Eye opening changes
So this year I’ve switched from playing cornet to baritone horn......
Long before I ever learned to play I used to watch the bands in the local parade. The bone used to really speak to me, and they still do!
When I got the chance to join band I did, with the hopes to play the trombone but the teacher said my buddy and I were to small. He ended up on drums and eventually nothing. I ended up on trumpet.
Years past and I did well. Enjoying the hell out of it. Played some first chair in middle school and some second chair in HS. Most of the time I played third and sometimes fourth. My band teachers always assured me that it wasn’t due to my inability but because my tone and projection was really nice in those mid/lower registers.
Fast forward some years and I was a comeback player. Joining a community band and getting back in the saddle. Once again playing third. While somewhat disappointing I was still happy to be playing again and it led to joining other bands including a competitive brass band.
In the brass band I learned what a cornet was. Saw one once previously but didn’t really grasp what I was looking at-as it was just being played as a trumpet.
Playing 3rd cornet for a season in brass band I settled into a large bore cornet and a Wick 4. Things were feeling good.
The next season I’m sitting front row with the big dogs and really feeling like a monster. This is where I wanted to be. I’ve always struggled with counting rhythm correctly and sitting front row really highlighted that. Also I’ve now been a commercial electrician for 20 years and my hands are a bit beat. Dexterity has been comprised greatly and is just downright uncomfortable at times.
This season I’m playing second baritone and even had to audition. Sooooo..... different game all together. First and second baritone hardly ever play anything close in relation to each other. BUT I’m grasping the baritone more-I feel than I ever did the trumpet/cornet. For one I always felt that the mouthpiece I was playing on was way to small, the Wick 4 really felt good!
Now I’m basically playing something with the tone of the bone but I’m able to use the fingering I’ve learned from 30+ years as a trumpet player, and my mouthpiece is in a range I feel comfortable in. Even my director said I seemed so much more comfortable with this instrument. Bought a bone a few years ago but just couldn’t get the positions, so I donated it. To hear the tone that drew me in coming out of the horn I’m playing is such a feeling!
I still struggle with rhythm but am vastly improving. I think I grasp the idea of what I’m reading now better?
I love playing the baritone!
Anyone else have an experience like this?
I play trumpet in a swing band as well and we’re always short a trombone. Should I get a valve bone and see where I can go with that?
One day I’d like to try to play bass. Good thing is the opportunity is there. I could go BBb bass in brass band because it’s all in treble clef.
Now I also want to start teaching myself bass clef though so I can take my low brass playing to new hights or lows as it were.
I’d like to hear some of your experiences.
Oh and it’s not the baritone your used to seeing in American bands. It’s more like a bigger tenor horn.
Maybe I could buy another trombone and work more on the positions.
Not really sure what category I needed to post in do I just kinda threw the dice.
Also there’s just no discussion on baritone. Tons on euph, but I’m not really interested in that horn for whatever reason
That’s all I’ve got.
I’d really enjoy reading what you all have come to realize about your musical journey
J. Jericho last edited by
I'm a member of http://trombonechat.com/ , and I think you'd get a lot out of some of the discussions there, as they cover all low brass. They're a bit heavy on equipment discussion and buying and selling, but technique is covered as well, and there are always members willing to help.
Some say that working regularly with a metronome helps develop a sense of rhythm, but I'm not sure. I think that having rhythm could be genetic, like having a sense of pitch.
In American school band programs treble clef baritone is often a safety valve for trumpet players that lack range. There's something about the size of the mouthpiece that allows for a lot more ease in tone/range production. If I have a beginner that struggles getting an initial sound on trumpet I will often have them work with a trombone/baritone mouthpiece and then step down to trumpet. It almost always works. I enjoy playing one myself and have considered switching over since I don't really have the time to keep up my trumpet chops.
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Nice post - but why is it in the Home/Instruments/Discussion/Bb & C Trumpets part of the forum?
I play a german Bb tenor horn and BBb Tuba in addition to Bb & C trumpets - only because it is fun!