Re: Caruso on Piccolo trumpet

  • Re: Caruso on Piccolo trumpet
    Thank you for your early reply. Actually, I haven't practiced the piccolo trumpet seriously yet. Because the symphony orchestra is the center of my musical activity, I have limited opportunities to use the piccolo trumpet. I recently borrowed a piccolo trumpet from a friend and tried playing "Bolero" and "Exhibition". However, I couldn't play it properly, and I played it well with the C trumpet.😢 Your advice is that the piccolo trumpet needs a completely different approach than a regular trumpet, right? I would like to know what kind of practice and etudes are effective.🎺

  • Global Moderator

    Although I do use the picc. on occasion, I am by no means a specialist. You had better approach Rowuk directly - he's the God of Advice here.

  • @barliman2001
    Thanx a lot!

  • Qualified Repair Techs

    When I started studying picc, I was an adult and a professional player, but this is what worked for me. I studied with a local orchestral player who started me out with typical wedding literature and a tuner - because intonation is wild on that little beast! Try “The Classical Wedding” and “The Joyous Wedding” for literature, and take some lessons. I’m primarily a Jazz and commercial player, but I have played picc pretty regularly over the last 20yrs for weddings, church services, and in brass quintets, so your options aren’t that limited. It does take regular practice, though, so don’t think you’ll only learn and then pick it up at Easter! When I’m not performing regularly on picc I’m doing at least 2-3 practice sessions with it per month so I don’t forget what it feels like, and then a regular week or two of short daily practice before a performance. It works best for me to limit practice to 15mins at a time switching from Bb, because that’s what I’ll normally do in a performance situation. Good luck, and enjoy!

  • My take on the piccolo trumpet? It is simply another trumpet. Any instrument needs time to figure out what it can do. That means IF we are interested, we start slowly and build basic skills - then move to more difficult things.

    Samurai, you documented a VERY serious weakness in your playing. "I recently borrowed a piccolo trumpet from a friend and tried playing "Bolero" and "Exhibition"."
    What did you expect? You claim to have played it well on the C trumpet - do you think that your definition of "well" is the same as mine (serious question). Would the truth be more like "I barely get through with the C but crash with the picc"? I have played first trumpet often enough on Pictures - it is serious work even for professional players.

    I use a G trumpet with a big bell for Schmüyle (everything else on the Bb or C depending on the orchestra. He was a skinny, lying, cheating, nervous runt and probably owed Samuel Goldenberg money. That nervousness is not what I associate with the picc. I play the high Bolero part on the D trumpet.

    The picc is/was an incredible opportunity for me to earn money on church gigs - supporting even until today, my trumpet collecting.

    When I get a new trumpet, I stay in the comfort zone for as long as it takes to get acclimated. With the Bb picc that was high C above the staff. I played easy oboe and recorder chamber music at the beginning. Then came "glorious C and D major baroque trumpet literature". I always warmed up with the big trumpet and finished the practice session with the same. The picc was "embedded" in between. Clarke, Arban - all of the same routines - just up an octave. I do not post about my adventures until I have figured out how things work. I certainly do not assume that anyone is impressed by the "hard music" that I claim to have tried.

    So, back to the serious weakness: when we approach something, we need to start slowly. We are creatures of habit and if we jump into the deep end, we usually develop bad habits that are much more difficult to cure later. Thoughtful practice means that we know our strengths and weaknesses and practice to perfect. With THIS attitude, the picc is a project for a month or two before we can start to make music. After that, we simply practice it along with our other instruments and keep balance. It is just another trumpet.

  • @flugelgirl Thanks for your reply! I'm not a professional so I hope I can enjoy playing the piccolo trumpet in the future.😃 I feel that adding short piccolo trumpet exercises between regular trumpet exercises fits my goals.👍

  • @ROWUK Thanks for your reply! I'm not a professional, so your feedback may be a bit too advanced for me.😢 Playing the trumpet is a hobby I enjoy on holidays. It makes no sense to say that the C-trumpet played Bolero and the Exhibition better. It was almost impossible to play with the piccolo trumpet, but it was a little better with the C trumpet. I can't play like Mr.Smith or Mr.Herseth. Your idea of "It is simply another trumpet." is very interesting. I would like to continue embedding piccolo trumpet exercises between regular trumpet exercises, and try my best to be able to play even better.😃

  • Samurai, this is not to be disingenuous at all, but I'm not sure that Rowuk relates to casual players. I think his standards and approach to playing is not aimed at the guy who slouches on his couch and blows the horn while watching T.V., LOL. I'm not making a judgement, just an observation. As Andy Bumatai says, "Don't quote me, I might be wrong."

    If I were in your shoes, I'd continue to play and refine your excerpts on C trumpet. Get really relaxed and refined at that tessitura then move it up to a higher-pitched instrument.

    You might also take easy tunes you know (after you can play comfortably of C Trumpet) and play them higher. I know this is for "legit" playing, but my understanding is that high-note specialist Maynard Ferguson, when he was younger, played tunes and exercises up an octave. Some moderated application of this might help. Just make sure you can play them properly a the original octave first.

  • @Kehaulani You probably are right about my "standards" although I have been known to watch TV while holding out longtones (especially recently where I got full lower dentures and needed to acclimate - slowly and with as little pain as possible-to those listening).

    So it also is with embedding the picc between the serious big horn sessions. This keeps our chops "grounded" and prevents or at least limits the possibility of bad habits.

    As I said, the picc has traditionally been the money maker and I can recommend it to any medium to advanced players (my students also get sessions of picc playing in irregular intervals).

    Even more important, is for someone new here to realize that there are players here that play just about every repertory - at very high levels. That should be kept in mind when speaking of "promising", "good", "bad" or "just for fun".

  • Global Moderator

    Why not try it on piccolo trumpet?

    If you are trying to get good at the piccolo trumpet, there is no reason not to try all the typical exercises, like Caruso, Clarke, Cichowicz, etc, on piccolo. You just may have to adjust for range considerations.

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  • @Kehaulani Thank you for teaching me how to practice. I liked how it was practiced by our hero Maynard Ferguson.👍

    @ROWUK I think you're alerting that amateur musicians like us can get bad habits as a result of picking up the piccolo trumpet easily. I would like to take it as an important opinion based on your playing and teaching experience. Thank you.😄

  • @administrator Thanks for your reply! That's the first thing I wanted to know.😄 If anyone in this forum has practiced that way, I would like to know the results and situation. Have you ever done that?

  • Samurai, what country are yo posting from?

  • @Kehaulani  I'm posting from Japan.

  • Do you mind telling me where? I lived in Nagoya three years and Tokyo (Kokubunji) for four years. Toured all over Japan, Okinawa and Korea.

  • @Kehaulani I'm glad to know that! 😄 I was born in Tokyo and now live with my wife in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture.

  • @Samurai_trp said in Re: Caruso on Piccolo trumpet:

    @Kehaulani I'm glad to know that! 😄 I was born in Tokyo and now live with my wife in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture.

    Well, we were practically neighbors. Welcome to the board.

  • @Kehaulani Thanks! I want to talk to you and as many Trumpetahorics as possible.👍

  • Credentialed Professional

    I play piccolo very regularly and I have no big problems with it (other than then usuals it playing in a ice cold church...).

    Anyway, I have a "piccolo routine": I play a long C a couple of times on work on some "beginners" books like Porret or Getchell. After that I work on repertoire (this time some excerpts and some arrangement that I will play with my trio).

    You can play some Clarke, scales and arpeggios, specially warming up in the gig.

    For some people, changing between picc and bigger horns need some work.

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