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How do you know if a student flugelhorn is “good enough”


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Trumpetstud
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 3:20 pm    Post subject: How do you know if a student flugelhorn is “good enough” Reply with quote

If someone is going to play professionally how do you determine if a student flugelhorn will be good enough to do the job?
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

works reliably, can be played in tune, sounds like a fluegel should.
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Trumpetstud
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jay
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 7:24 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you know if a student flugelhorn is “good enoug Reply with quote

Trumpetstud wrote:
If someone is going to play professionally how do you determine if a student flugelhorn will be good enough to do the job?

Out of curiosity are you talking about using a horn on a paying gig - i.e. can a given "student" horn be good enough to get through an occasional job because you don't want to drop serious money on an instrument that's not going to be used much or are you asking how to tell if a given horn is good for a serious student to learn on?
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Trumpetstud
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don’t want to spend the money or rather not sure if I want to.
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Jerry
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about a Curry or GR mouthpiece that sounds flugelly?
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trumpetstud wrote:
Don’t want to spend the money or rather not sure if I want to.

I'd say Jay's comments above are solid.

I don't know what your playing is like - presumably you'd be able to judge the sound of a horn you tested? Here's a couple of examples of budget flugels (frugalhorns? ) that I got out of curiosity that I consider acceptable to play on a gig. Likely wouldn't be what an LA studio player would keep in their gig bag but I doubt anyone at a Saturday night dance with a local combo is going to complain.

I sold the Barrington because I don't need two but like the one I kept it had buttery-smooth valves.

A video I made to include in an eBay listing to sell it specifically to demonstrate that it was capable of sounding decent. I used the generic mp that came with it, there are mellower-sounding mouthpieces. Paid about $150 for it used on eBay, sold it for about a $100 profit.


Link



The one I kept - another stencil horn pretty much identical to the one above. Using a Denis Wick 4FL mp.



Link

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stuartissimo
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2023 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
Here's a couple of examples of budget flugels (frugalhorns? ) that I got out of curiosity that I consider acceptable to play on a gig. Likely wouldn't be what an LA studio player would keep in their gig bag but I doubt anyone at a Saturday night dance with a local combo is going to complain.

In your opinion, would they also work for something in the style of Helen Williams or is a 'better' flugelhorn required for that?
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stuartissimo wrote:
Robert P wrote:
Here's a couple of examples of budget flugels (frugalhorns? ) that I got out of curiosity that I consider acceptable to play on a gig. Likely wouldn't be what an LA studio player would keep in their gig bag but I doubt anyone at a Saturday night dance with a local combo is going to complain.

In your opinion, would they also work for something in the style of Helen Williams or is a 'better' flugelhorn required for that?

I had to look up who that is - you could play the same notes but to get a similar sound you'd need to find out what horn and mouthpiece she uses. I'm sure her approach plays a factor as well but I don't see getting something similar to her kind of timbre out the Chinese eBay stencilhorns. Nor is her horn going to sound like a Taylor Phat Boy.
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Getzen Eterna Severinsen
King Silver Flair
Besson 1000
Bundy
Chinese C

Getzen Eterna Bb/A piccolo
Chinese Rotary Bb/A piccolo

Chinese Flugel
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stuartissimo
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
I had to look up who that is - you could play the same notes but to get a similar sound you'd need to find out what horn and mouthpiece she uses. I'm sure her approach plays a factor as well but I don't see getting something similar to her kind of timbre out the Chinese eBay stencilhorns. Nor is her horn going to sound like a Taylor Phat Boy.

Thank you, that's helpful to know. I'm half looking around for an affordable flugelhorn for shared use in our orchestra, so it's useful to know the uses as well as the limits of these kinds of horns. I did a little digging and apparently she plays a Courtois 154 with a Denis Wick 4F mouthpiece (just like you did in the second video).

Robert P wrote:
I had to look up who that is

Sorry about that , next time I'll add a link.
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shofarguy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trumpetstud wrote:
Don’t want to spend the money or rather not sure if I want to.


I agree with what Jay said.

Here is my own perspective: Buy the very best instrument(s) you can afford. If you cannot afford the best instrument you can find, save up for it. Find a way.

Music is creative, subjective. Budgets are analytical, objective. Don't think objectivity will help you create music. Give yourself the best musical tools you can.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it largely depends on what your flugel sound concept is rather than what equipment you play.

I've only had the briefest listen to Helen Williams, and obviously a great player, but my opinion is that brass band flugel players have a different approach and sound concept to those who use a flugel for jazz

Despite being a brass cornet player (although I do admittely play flugel predominantly for jazz unless I get asked to dep on flugel in a brass band), my sound concept is more along the lines of Roy Hargrove:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqdnupOB3dE

I of course don't claim to be any Roy Hargrove or Helen Williams, but presumably owing to my sound concept, my Bach 183 with a Bach 3CFL gives me the sound concept I'm after. If I can be permitted to say so, I don't claim to be anything special as a player on any instrument (I'm definitely only a reasonably experienced amateur player), but I am grateful to receive many compliments about my flugel sound. I believe that a flugel sounds like a flugel in my hands, not like a trumpet or cornet, because I approach flugel as a flugel and have a flugel sound concept.

I don't think it is just sound, it is also how you approach flugel. If you don't approach flugel like a flugel, it will not sound like a flugel. What I do feel helps, is having more of a traditional small bore flugel rather than a larger bored doublers flugel. I once borrowed a colleagues Yamaha 631G as I had managed to leave my flugel at home. A very nice flugel, but it would let you play it like a trumpet if you approached it that way. I really had to think flugel to maintain my flugel sound with it. I feel that the .401" bore of my Bach 183 really helps me to approach the Bach 183 like a flugel.

Maybe I'm contradicting myself somewhat, but I don't think so. I think that first and foremost that you need to approach flugel like a flugel with an appropriate sound concept, and that this is easier on a flugel that encourages you to play it with a flugel approach. In my opinion, this is not a doublers flugel horn. These are easy to double on, because they don't in my opinion necessarily insist on your playing them like a flugel. You can play them more like a trumpet in my opinion, and make them sound more like a trumpet.

So, to end, I don't think it is the quality of the chinese flugel horns which is necessarily the problem, more that they tend to be more doublers instruments, which makes sense as someone wanting to double is more likely to go for a cheaper option. I would imagine that a chinese stencil of a traditional small bore flugel, would easier allow a more characteristic flugel sound and approach.

Just my 2p worth.

All the best

Lou
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Trumpets:
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louise Finch wrote:

So, to end, I don't think it is the quality of the chinese flugel horns which is necessarily the problem, more that they tend to be more doublers instruments, which makes sense as someone wanting to double is more likely to go for a cheaper option. I would imagine that a chinese stencil of a traditional small bore flugel, would easier allow a more characteristic flugel sound and approach.

Just my 2p worth.

All the best

Lou

Hi Louise - to clarify I wasn't implying there's anything particularly wrong with the sound of the Chinese flugel but there are construction differences that will impact the sound. I don't know what the particulars of Helen's Courtois are but I'll wager they're different than my stencilflugel - bell configuration and as you mentioned the bore come to mind.

If Helen were to play my horn while I'm sure she'd sound good I'd wager the design differences are significant enough that she'd get a noticeably different sound than she gets with hers.
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Trumpetstud
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The BIG reason I even have this horn is that a friend knows I play trumpet and he gave it to me to play to help honor his dad with it. I would like to do that but not to the detriment of the music. I really don’t think it’s bad but I’ve never played a pro level flugelhorn. I’ve played the same trumpet since my parents bought it for me. Bach Strad 37. I did play (once) a student trumpet and I could tell a difference just in how it played. It was a big difference. I don’t really feel that with this flugelhorn. It may be a pro horn but I don’t think so.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
Louise Finch wrote:

So, to end, I don't think it is the quality of the chinese flugel horns which is necessarily the problem, more that they tend to be more doublers instruments, which makes sense as someone wanting to double is more likely to go for a cheaper option. I would imagine that a chinese stencil of a traditional small bore flugel, would easier allow a more characteristic flugel sound and approach.

Just my 2p worth.

All the best

Lou

Hi Louise - to clarify I wasn't implying there's anything particularly wrong with the sound of the Chinese flugel but there are construction differences that will impact the sound.

Hi Robert P

Thanks very much. I didn't think that you were implying anything of the sort. I was just posting generally, talking about having a flugel sound concept and approach. I was also expressing my opinion that the chinese flugels appear to commonly be along the lines of the Yamaha 631G and more of a doublers flugel, which makes sense, as someone who wants a budget flugel is probably not playing flugel as their primary instrument.


I don't know what the particulars of Helen's Courtois are but I'll wager they're different than my stencilflugel

I don't either. I'm not particularly familiar with her playing, and didn't know that she played a Courtois flugel. I'm sure that if I googled, I could find out what model she plays and its specification, but I imagine that they are different from your stencil flugel.

- bell configuration and as you mentioned the bore come to mind.

Yes, I imagine so.

If Helen were to play my horn while I'm sure she'd sound good I'd wager the design differences are significant enough that she'd get a noticeably different sound than she gets with hers.

A different sound definitely, but Helen no doubt has a very definite sound concept that would prevail to a reasonable extent, in addition to her own inherent sound..

My Yamaha Neo cornet does sound different to my Bach 184ML cornet, but my sound prevails, to the extent that on either one you will hear me.

Take care and best wishes

Lou


_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trumpetstud wrote:
The BIG reason I even have this horn is that a friend knows I play trumpet and he gave it to me to play to help honor his dad with it. I would like to do that but not to the detriment of the music. I really don’t think it’s bad but I’ve never played a pro level flugelhorn. I’ve played the same trumpet since my parents bought it for me. Bach Strad 37. I did play (once) a student trumpet and I could tell a difference just in how it played. It was a big difference. I don’t really feel that with this flugelhorn. It may be a pro horn but I don’t think so.


Hi

Thanks very much for the clarification. Nevermind, but it would probably have helped if you had said that you have this flugel horn already. I presumed that you were looking to buy one.

Remember JayKosta said, "works reliably, can be played in tune, sounds like a fluegel should." It sounds like this flugel plays fine, and since you have a reason for playing it, I would do so for now in honour of your friend's Dad, and change when you feel that there is something that you would like to change.

I'm guessing that you haven't played a ton of flugel. My suggestion would be to do a lot of listening to pro players that are renowned for playing flugel, not just highly regarded trumpet players doubling on flugel, and get to know flugel.

All the best

Lou
_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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Trumpetstud
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for help!!
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louise Finch wrote:
... how you approach flugel. If you don't approach flugel like a flugel, it will not sound like a flugel. ...

--------------------------
That is the critical requirement.

A flugel ought to sound different than a trumpet, cornet, t-bone, French horn, etc. If it is approached as 'a trumpet-like instrument', then less likely to get the best 'flugel sound' from it.

Play pieces that are stylistically (including range) suited for flugel.
It's a sound concept that needs to be in the mind of the player.
Be a 'musician' who is playing flugel for its sound, not so much a trumpet player who is using a flugel.
_________________
Most Important Note ? - the next one !
KNOW (see) what the next note is BEFORE you have to play it.
PLAY the next note 'on time' and 'in rhythm'.
Oh ya, watch the conductor - they set what is 'on time'.
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HaveTrumpetWillTravel
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP, what exactly is the instrument? Beyond the sound concept discussion, which is very helpful, here are a few more thoughts:
1. Modern flugels have improved intonation a lot.
2. There's pretty wide variation among the Chinese doublers, but they can be good.
3. Mouthpiece shank is important (must match the horn you are playing) and cup size can also influence intonation.

I have the Jupiter 1100, which is a smaller bore instrument and plays really well for me, but I haven't played a lot of other instruments. I thought I'd like the deep curry cups, but they made intonation worse. My flugelhorn is very "vanilla," but I prefer that to something old and pitchy.

If you tell us what you have, people here can offer advice on possible quirks or how to improve the setup.
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
Louise Finch wrote:
... how you approach flugel. If you don't approach flugel like a flugel, it will not sound like a flugel. ...

--------------------------
That is the critical requirement.

A flugel ought to sound different than a trumpet, cornet, t-bone, French horn, etc. If it is approached as 'a trumpet-like instrument', then less likely to get the best 'flugel sound' from it.

Play pieces that are stylistically (including range) suited for flugel.
It's a sound concept that needs to be in the mind of the player.
Be a 'musician' who is playing flugel for its sound, not so much a trumpet player who is using a flugel.


Yes, exactly. I couldn’t agree more.

All the best

Lou
_________________
Trumpets:
Yamaha 8335 Xeno II
Bach Strad 180ML/37
B&H Oxford
Kanstul F Besson C
Yamaha D and D/Eb
- James R New Custom 3Cs
Flugel:
Bach Strad 183 - Bach 3CFL
Cornets:
Yamaha Neo + Xeno
Bach Strad 184ML
B&H Imperial
- Kanstul Custom 3Cs
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