Eb Trumpet Question



  • One of my colleagues asked me to sub for him at a band performance at a military cemetery on Memorial Day. But there's a catch. He plays the Eb trumpet/cornet parts for this particular event. I have a Getzen Eterna D/Eb I bought several years ago as an experiment and because it was cheap. I play it now and then and have performed a couple of incidental things on it, but I have no real training on Eb and am certainly no kind of expert.

    The problem is that it sounds OK when I really play out and project. But when I try to throttle back to mf or lower the lower range just sounds really tinny and the upper range sounds shrill. I have tried quite a few different mouthpieces including 3C, 10.5C, Stork 7P (piccolo), Schilke 11D4, Schilke 12B4, and even 3C Megatone. So far, the 3C Megatone actually sounds best (!), but I have difficulty hitting the highest notes on it. The 10.5C has the best range, but the tone is "thinner."

    Any suggestions other than to go buy a Schilke Eb cornet? I can't justify that level of investment.

    Thanks.



  • So you are going to sub with an instrument that sounds okay and you have many mouthpieces that you can choose from. And you are not going to spend more money on anything else. And the time is short. What do you want to hear other than pick the best sounding combination and practice?



  • @Newell-Post said in Eb Trumpet Question:

    Any suggestions other than to go buy a Schilke Eb cornet? I can't justify that level of investment. Thanks.

    Did I miss something? If you're not going to buy any other equipment then don't you either have to make due with you have or not do the gig? I don't understand the question. Maybe I'm seeing this too simplistically.



  • What I was sort of hoping for was advice from more experienced Eb players like:

    • In the upper portion of the range, try x with the breath support but y with the lips. However, in the lower portion of the range, try the opposite (or whatever).

    Or maybe....

    • Even Maurice couldn't make an Eterna Eb trumpet sound right. Just bite the bullet and get a really good Eb cornet such as a <insert favorite here>

  • Qualified Repair Techs

    Well, an Eb trumpet is not an Eb cornet. They sound and blend differently, and both are difficult to play. They take a lot of practice for sound and intonation, which also means getting used to the group you’re playing with and their intonation challenges. As far as horns go, some BBB players I know are playing quite well on Yamaha Eb cornets. We had one in at work recently that I play tested, and it was quite nice. That may be a way to go if you’re going to continue on Eb cornet. If not, work with what you’ve got.



  • I borrowed an Eterna D trumpet from a friend once - I thought it played pretty well.

    On my current Eb\D, a Yamaha 6610, it just seems that when I throttle back on the volume, it takes a lot more support to keep the sound from thinning - small horns are just a challenge to play, and I'll jump on to what others have said, pick your best mouthpiece that works with it, practice, and go from there.



  • Thanks flugelgirl and trickg. I'm going with the 10.5C and will make it work. It is really only the notes at middle C and below where I can't get it to sound right. But I will figure something out.

    This particular group has been together for 20 years and they do basically the same music for this Memorial Day event every year, so they only have one rehearsal. But I'll survive...



  • ...and if I don't survive, hey, I'm already at the cemetery!...



  • I'm a little late with advice, but you need to practice on the Eb enough to ingrain the pitch/written music relationship in your head. Most of the tinny sound people produce on the Eb (and picc) is caused by unfamiliarity and excess tension. Just try to open up and relax in the lower register and remember that's the easy part of the range.



  • @Bob-Pixley Got it. Thanks. The performance is on Monday, so I still have time. I have been practicing with it every day, and I'm starting get the "feel" for the different pitch, but time will tell.



  • @Bob-Pixley said in Eb Trumpet Question:

    I'm a little late with advice, but you need to practice on the Eb enough to ingrain the pitch/written music relationship in your head. Most of the tinny sound people produce on the Eb (and picc) is caused by unfamiliarity and excess tension. Just try to open up and relax in the lower register and remember that's the easy part of the range.

    Good advice and also blowing too hard can cause the same problem.



  • LOL. OK, so here's the rest of the story..... I show up at the one and only rehearsal and after the first two pieces, the conductor says: "These next few pieces have some of the melody in the flugelhorn part. We really need that. Third cornets, can you find the flugel part and cover it?"

    So I (the substitute Eb player) stick up my hand and say: "I brought my flugel, if you want me to try it." "Great. Do it.", he says.

    So, for the next few days, I'm running about half of the pieces on Eb and half on flugel. We get to the gig this morning and he says: "Oh, the regular flugel guy is here today. I need you to do everything on Eb." So, I wind up sight reading about 4 pieces on Eb, an instrument where I'm not really fluent. (Well, I guess it wasn't pure sight reading, since I had played the pieces, just not the Eb part.) But we survived.

    The thing I did find helpful was to use a lot of abdominal support, but not over blow. r1-IMG_0136.jpg



  • @Newell-Post

    Sounds like you used the right approach.


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