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Got a cornet, now what?



 
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olds1959special
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Joined: 06 May 2020
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject: Got a cornet, now what? Reply with quote

I recently acquired this cornet:

https://www.gbase.com/gear/olds-l-5-special-cornet-1959

Is it a good find for a beginner? It came with a Mt. Vernon Bach 3c mouthpiece. I'm having trouble with the higher notes.

Any suggestions for me?
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Ed Kennedy
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 2813

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody has trouble with higher notes in the beginning. The Mt. Vernon 3C was a fairly large diameter but a relatively shallow cup which should help the upper register. There is a good beginner book by Claude Gordon:

LINK

You might find this helpful.
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Dayton
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Joined: 24 Mar 2013
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot comment on the cornet, but regarding higher notes, and cornet/trumpet playing more broadly, I recommend that you get lessons from a teacher. He/she can help you put together a routine that meets your developmental needs. If that is not possible, a few good books to consider include:

-- Harold "Pappy" Mitchell's "Mitchell on Trumpet" or
-- Bill Knevitt's "Getting Started Right on Trumpet" followed by "The Developing Trumpet Player"

Good luck!
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Beyond16
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Joined: 07 Jan 2020
Posts: 88
Location: Coronaville, TX.

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a beginner too. High notes take a certain amount of mouthpiece pressure. Otherwise, the extra air pressure needed for high notes would escape around the mouthpiece rim. At first, I made my lips tight like a guitar string. That works, but the result is a thin piece of lip clamped between the mouthpiece and front teeth that cannot endure the force for very long, at least for me. I find more meat between the teeth (upper for me) and the mouthpiece is the answer. But even with that, lip strength and air pressure are needed. I think most players have no problem with air pressure. Harmonic slurs and scales could help strengthen the lips. I used a Bach 3C for both cornet and trumpet until recently. I switched to Olds 3 mouthpiece because it seems to have more cushioning for the lips.

Olds cornets are great. I have several vintage favorite trumpets, but somehow I gravitate to the Olds cornet. I used to play the special, but switched to a super just for the bling trim. I have a $5 Olds ambassador that plays just as well to my ears. The valves are reliable for me, and even a beginner needs reliable valves.
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Uberopa
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Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Posts: 825
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Olds Special is a great instrument. At some point in the 1950' Olds started putting a more universal receiver, where you insert the mouthpiece. Prior to that they used a larger receiver specific to their house brand of mouthpieces. You may find that if you try a different mouthpiece it may wobble in the receiver. Simplest fix is to use a bit of Teflon tape to help it fit better. Later you may want to get a mouthpiece sized to fit an older model with a larger receiver. The MV 3C cornet mouthpiece if in good shape could fetch you a few bucks. They are quite desirable.
Have fun with playing. Try and find a teacher to guide you. There are lots of free tutorials on YT. Best of luck.
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olds1959special
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Joined: 06 May 2020
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the tuning slides? There are two that move, one in the back that slides completely out and one on the side that just extends out a bit. What do these do? Can I just leave them all the way in?
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olds1959special
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Joined: 06 May 2020
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

today I learned there are four slides total. I got them all moving but one required a drop of WD40, which I read is okay as long as cleaned off afterwards, which I tried to do, before putting the valve grease on. All the slides come out completely except for the one on the side, maybe it's stuck?
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Bob Stevenson
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Joined: 04 May 2005
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Location: Essex, England

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1) Find a brass band...a good one....if they won't let you play at rehearsals ask to be allowed to sit in and listen....don't miss any rehearsals.

2) Listen carefully to all of the cornet players in the band especially the front man and the repiano.

3) Pick the best player and try to forge a friendship....persuade him or her to give you some basic lessons...ask for breathing and articulation as vital points you want to pick up........When he/she runs out of stuff to teach ask who was their teacher or who is the best teacher around (make sure it's not a trumpet player)

4) Listen to the best recordings you can find of the top bands...thjey are all in the UK and there is some good stuff on Youtube...listen to 'Black Dyke' 'Cory' and 'Grimethorpe'.....listen ncarefully to all the soloists not just the cornets.......Never allow yourself to go into "I'm never going to be able to do that" , just absorb the music and style.

5) Get an 'Arban'.....make it your joy and pleasure to use (because that's what it is)....don't set yourself the 'task' of getting right thru it...use it to sort out your playing.

6) get a small mpc....more or less any size but small enough that you have a decent range on it......stick with this until you can make the cornet do whatever is required.....then aquaire/borrow a Wick 4 and see if you get an improvement in sound........if the sound is better but the range is less stick with it and work on your range to get back there.......if you are now a valued member of a good band use a Wick 4B for rehjearsals and work on the 4 for 10 minutes only at the end of your daily practice.

7) Pick a suitable day in the week and NEVER play on that day.

When you have been playing for 6 months or so, decide what sound you want to make and what you want to express in that sound.........DON'T pick the best player you have heard and copy that sound, decide what your own sound will be.

Good luck!
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beagle
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Joined: 18 Dec 2006
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Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Stevenson wrote:
.....When he/she runs out of stuff to teach ask who was their teacher or who is the best teacher around (make sure it's not a trumpet player)


Hi Bob,
I found this comment interesting. Why not a trumpet player as a teacher? Is this just because of repertoire or stylistic considerations, or are there also technical differences to be aware of?
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Bob Stevenson
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beagle,...thanks for reply.......reading back what I posted I certainly hope I did not offend any trumpet players as that was most definately NOT my intention!

I do feel that there ARE technical differences but I was mostly thinking about the major differences in personality between good cornet and trumpet exponents. I have several good friends who are very able trumpet players and I would love to have had that sort of character to become one also, however, I was always a cornet player!

......When I taught young brass players from scratch I was always fascinated how they mostly sorted themselves out into cornet or trumpet, and were rarely wrong.
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Brassnose
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Stevenson, interesting post. I started playing the cornet in 1980, switched to trumpet after 6 months when I got my own instrument and always played the trumpet (plus a little flugel). Over the years I have come to realize that even on the Bach I sound pretty mellow (compared to the rest of the band). So I might have been a cornet player gone wrong but the region I grew up has below zero tradition in cornet. So now I mostly am a rotary and bass trumpet player - honestly think bass trumpet will be my thing for the future, it is just too much fun.
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