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Brass Flugelhorns

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
So yeah. Been GASsing for brass. I've listened to a lot of classical and jazz played on brass instruments, and while I initially thought about taking up the trombone, I've drifted towards thinking that the flugelhorn with its mellow, smooth timbre might be the one for me.

So the big question is, is the intonation, especially on cheaper instruments, as I'm not going to shell two grand for something I might not play that much, really so bad? I understand it's not worth getting one without a trigger because of said intonation problems. Is it not possible to adjust your embouchure to get them right?

There's a couple of vintage flugelhorns on eBay that might be OK, but most of them don't have the tuning trigger.

Or I could take the plunge and order the Thomann or G4M Chinese cheapo. At least the Thomann horn has gotten relatively good reviews, what little I could find out about it.


Cheers,
Jori
 

Di in France

Senior Member
Messages
619
Hi,
I played a flugel horn for years ( a long time ago ) none of them had triggers then and we didn't have problems with intonation. Perhaps things have changed and I'm out of the loop. I played in brass bands and the best flugel then was the sovereign range, don't know if they still make them.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Read somewhere that it is the combination of the third valve with one of the others that tends to be sharp, so the trigger lengthens the third valve extension tube.

One must realise that most brass instruments use a series of harmonics modified by the valves or slide position but still using the full tube length, Somewhat different from woodwinds, where the majority open holes in the tube to achieve the different pitches.

If you want difficult, what's wrong with the French Horn? The Sauter Finnegan Orchestra played good big band jazz using them but don't take any notice of me as I'm starting the Flu Gel for the second time as I've promised to play "Didn't he ramble" at YC's funeral. If he objects, that date may well be advanced substantially.>:)
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,945
Read somewhere that it is the combination of the third valve with one of the others that tends to be sharp, so the trigger lengthens the third valve extension tube.

One must realise that most brass instruments use a series of harmonics modified by the valves or slide position but still using the full tube length, Somewhat different from woodwinds, where the majority open holes in the tube to achieve the different pitches.

If you want difficult, what's wrong with the French Horn? The Sauter Finnegan Orchestra played good big band jazz using them but don't take any notice of me as I'm starting the Flu Gel for the second time as I've promised to play "Didn't he ramble" at YC's funeral. If he objects, that date may well be advanced substantially.>:)
Since I joined the orchestra, I've been impressed by the impact a well played French horn has on the overall timbre of the orchestra. That and it's really good sounding when playing the melody line. I knew the horn was a difficult instrument, I hadn't realised how hard the world of horn playing was though - a lot of transposing at sight.
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Seeing as the horn should be own its way here now, I guess the next step is to get a book on the subject. Any suggestions? There doesn't seem to be much for the flugelhorn specifically, but I guess I can just use any trumpet guide?

I've already watched a lot of trumpet lesson videos, and they seem to contradict each other in certain areas, such as whether the mouthpiece buzz is necessary or not et cetera, trying to figure out which bits of information are good and which aren't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q17qIjoZ0-k&list=PLD279A79ABE4E47E9&index=2 This guy seems to know what he's talking about, and at least his playing sounds better than any of the others I've seen on Youtube lessons.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Thanks for your expert advice once again, Tom! I ordered the book from Amazon, along with a trumpet care kit to get free delivery.

I guess the mouthpiece that comes with the JP should be okay to start with, but if it's not, what mouthpiece would you recommend?
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Denis Wick5EFL is designed for jazz use. Comes in silver or internal gold finish.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
It does really depend on what size mouthpiece suits you. The common logic is that most people (commonly adolescents) begin on a smaller size mouthpiece - the 7C Vincent Bach for cornet, trumpet and flugelhorn - which has an inner diameter of 16.5mm. As an adult learner I was happier with a larger mouthpiece - a 1.5C size (17.00mm). I currently play a Curry 1HFL at 17.37mm.

Several Flugelhorn mouthpieces I would recommend - made by Denis Wick, Curry, Stork, and Schilke, many of which are sold by Thomann. Probably a mouthpiece such as the Stork Vacchiano 2 would be good, a Denis Wick 2FL, or a Schilke 14F4, all of which are about 17mm. The Denis Wick is the best value, and I do play one at times - excellent traditional sound. With flugelhorn mouthpieces you need to know which mouthpiece taper applies - there are two - usually Large Morse, which applies to American/Japanese horns, and Small Morse, which applies to European horns. I have emailed Steve, the brass man, at John Packer to get the answer and will let you know when I hear from him. As it is likely to be made in Taiwan it is likely to be the Large Morse.

Kind regards
Tom
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Denis Wick5EFL is designed for jazz use. Comes in silver or internal gold finish.
Quite small an opening for me - same as Bach 7C - 16.5mm. May be worth a go, as Henry Lowther designed it!

PS I've just ordered one to give it a try! Can't say fairer than that.

Kind regards
Tom
 
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Chris J

Member
Messages
211
I have a few Curry mouthpieces, and I have had excellent service from www.mouthpieceexpress.com

http://www.mouthpieceexpress.com/catalog/index2.php?cPath=197_200

I went for Curry mouthpieces for 3 reasons. One reason is that they are are highly praised in various brasswind fora. A second is that they are very reasonably priced. At about $55 USD, with only a few dollars more for postage, they have arrived to UK from mouthpieceexpress in USA about 7-10 days after ordering (with no customs charge).

The 3rd reason, not making things easy for myself, I have an old (guessing 1930s - 40s) Couesnon Monopole Conservatoire. They have a French taper mouthpiece (different from the other two already mentioned in post #12 by Tom). Curry mouthpiece have this as an easy option to pick. The flugelhorn is very pretty!





While on the subject of mouthpieces, there is a good pdf from Vincent Bach that details the various consequences of altering measurements of rim, cup depth, cup diameter, backbore.

http://www.bachbrass.com/pdf/AV6001 Bach Mpce Manual.pdf

As for starter music, Lyrical Studies for Trumpet by Giuseppe Concone starts from basics and can take you a good way on

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lyrical-Stu...0CR6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358981654&sr=8-3

Chris
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I have usually used Mouthpiece Express to buy my brass mouthpieces - good service. I use Curry mouthpieces on flugel, cornet and trumpet!
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
Just heard back from Steve Herbert at John Packer - the JP Flugelhorn has a Standard (Large Morse) Taper.
 

jrintaha

Senior Member
Messages
283
Thanks for the valuable advice. I think I'll have to try out the included mouthpiece for a few weeks at least, and then go test different mouthpieces. I read the Bach manual, and there seems to be quite a few variables present, and I don't know what to make of them just yet! I know I'm looking for a pretty traditional dark, mellow sound, so probably a relatively large and deep cup, but I don't know if I have the chops to actually play it.

PS. Chris, your horn is a real beauty! Has it been re-plated at some point? From the looks of it, it's hard to believe it could be that old!


Cheers,
Jori
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
The Wick is the right mouthpiece for your requirements as stated. Try the included one and the main issue may be size - you can tell if a mouthpiece is too small or not. Let us know what it comes with!
 

Chris J

Member
Messages
211
PS. Chris, your horn is a real beauty! Has it been re-plated at some point? From the looks of it, it's hard to believe it could be that old!
I am confident that it is the original plating. There are many touch areas that have lost plating, and the engraving is crisp. I love vintage instruments, and all my silver plate instruments (especially the metal clarinets from 1920s) look in amazing state compared to my lacquered saxes - but then, give me a lived in partially lacquered vintage sax over a shiny new one any day!

Chris
 

Filton

Member
Messages
243
Seeing as the horn should be own its way here now, I guess the next step is to get a book on the subject. Any suggestions? There doesn't seem to be much for the flugelhorn specifically, but I guess I can just use any trumpet guide?

I've already watched a lot of trumpet lesson videos, and they seem to contradict each other in certain areas, such as whether the mouthpiece buzz is necessary or not et cetera, trying to figure out which bits of information are good and which aren't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q17qIjoZ0-k&list=PLD279A79ABE4E47E9&index=2 This guy seems to know what he's talking about, and at least his playing sounds better than any of the others I've seen on Youtube lessons.
I have no idea if he is right or wrong but I do know hus videos have helped me with my attempts at trumpet more than any of the other million or so I have watched.
 
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