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Questions tagged [brass]

The family of wind instruments that produce their tone through the buzzing of the lips into a mouthpiece. The most common brass instruments are the trumpet, trombone, tuba, and french horn.

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4answers
9k views

Physics behind why a bugle can play several notes, while a whistle only plays one note

A bugle and a whistle are essentially both tubes open at both ends. A bugle has no keys, yet you can play several notes on it. A whistle also has no keys, but it only plays a single note. Why is this? ...
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votes
5answers
8k views

Will my wind instrument be damaged if I leave it assembled?

Almost every teacher, expert, and book has informed me that I should disassemble my (clarinet / recorder / saxophone) each time after I practice. However, it is difficult for me to see how this would ...
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11answers
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Difference between Baritone and Euphonium

What is the difference between a baritone and a euphonium, and how can you tell? My band director sometimes uses them interchangeably, but I am pretty sure that is not correct. All I know is that this ...
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5answers
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Is there any difference between a soprano trombone and a slide trumpet?

Occasionally, I will see people arguing about whether an instrument should be called a "soprano trombone" or a "slide trumpet" yet I have never seen any instrument designated as one as being any ...
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1answer
1k views

What are good techniques to bend notes on brass instruments

I play Eb tuba, and sometimes I come across bending down in my notes - either as an effect at the end of a note, or sometimes as a slide between two notes. I find this difficult to achieve with a good ...
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3answers
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Woodwind v brass instruments - what is the defining characteristic?

The names of these classes of instruments suggest that the material from which they are made is significant but this is not so. Flutes are frequently made of metal and saxophones always are yet they ...
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3answers
4k views

First and second valves vs third valve

On B♭ trumpet to play notes E or A is prefered to use 1 and 2 valves, but there is possible to use third valve (most used in our brass band). 1 (valve 1) + 0.5 (valve 2) = 1.5 1.5 (valve 3) ...
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4answers
14k views

Can all notes be produced using only the trumpet's valves?

I am learning how to play the trumpet and I am currently practicing my embouchure. I was wondering if all the musical notes can be done with the valves, or if I have to do some changes in the way I ...
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2answers
1k views

Spectrum of brass tones of same fingering

On valve brass instruments, a single fingering may be used to play different notes. For example on the trumpet, leaving all valves open (up) allows the player to play the following notes: C - G - C - ...
8
votes
1answer
556 views

what is this ornament called?

Can anybody tell me what this sign is called ? I thought it was a mordent, but why isn't it written above the lines, why is it so short? Do you know any theory page on it?
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3answers
1k views

Why do trumpet valves shift down and not up?

I understand how trumpets work - valves open to force the air through crooks, which lengthens the pathway the air must travel, thus decreasing the resonant frequency. The question is, why are ...
8
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2answers
273 views

What is this Antique Brass Instrument on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels, Belgium?

Does anyone know what type of instrument this is? It looks like some type of Euphonium, but obviously very different.
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4answers
626 views

What instrument is this?

I thought it was a tuba, and it sounds like one, but looking around for pictures it seems the tuba is a smaller instrument. Is this an unusual type of tuba, or what?
7
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3answers
1k views

Which wind instruments are a problem with braces?

Which wind instruments are a problem with braces? Please make a list showing the relative difficulties. Clarification: I am also interested in what most people would consider minor inconveniences. ...
7
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6answers
2k views

Whats an easier instrument to play than trumpet, with mouth, but still a brass instrument?

Recently I joined my school band. My teacher is having me play trumpet, but the mouth piece is sooooo uncomfortable. I struggle a lot to reach the higher notes especially. My teacher told me that all ...
7
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3answers
6k views

How to make a brass instrument quieter?

I play trumpet at home. I feel a little uncomfortable playing because of the loudness. I found the Silent Brass series by Yamaha, which makes brass sound quieter, and you can still hear everything ...
7
votes
1answer
685 views

Sound changes: Putting curves or bends into a straight horn

I have some straight bell horns that are 26" and 29". They are powered by air compression tanks and have a very deep tone. I'm curious as to how bends in the horn would change it. Would they then need ...
7
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7answers
4k views

How can I use a trumpet in a pop rock band?

We need to arrange several pop rock songs. The band has vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. In addition, we add a trumpet. Do you have any idea, method or example of ...
7
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3answers
769 views

What brass band instruments can a cornet player feasibly cover on short notice?

Is it reasonable to expect that an experienced cornet player should be able to pick up a "middle of the band" instrument, like a baritone, or an Eb horn and become reasonably proficient in a few hours ...
7
votes
1answer
168 views

Why can a vuvuzela only play one pitch, while a non-valved bugle can play many?

According to our collective nightmares from the 2010 World Cup Wikipedia, the vuvuzela is a monotone instrument; it famously plays (roughly) the B♭ below middle C. Why is the vuvuzela restricted to ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to remove a rusted or stuck mouthpiece?

I have an old WWI US Army-issue bugle with the mouthpiece rusted onto the body. what it the best way to get the mouthpiece off without hurting the rest of the instrument?
7
votes
2answers
670 views

Wind instruments and sharp keys

As far as I know, most of the wind instruments are transposing, and many of them are either in B, in E-flat or in F - these keys make them more suitable for playing in "flat" keys. My question is why ...
7
votes
1answer
879 views

What is this trumpet attachment called?

Last night, I was watching a television special featuring American music. I noticed that a trumpet player in the band had something attached to her instrument. It appears that the valves of the ...
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3answers
2k views

Is smoking & playing horns really incompatible?

I've recently been to a funk jam with a nice horn section. I've later met them at the break, they were smoking cigarettes one after other, but still, they seemed to have incredible breathe. I know ...
6
votes
1answer
427 views

What instrument is this and why is it held so strangely and played?

Looking at this orchestral performance of sinfonia from Bach's 29th Cantata (BWV 29), it is really curious to see the trombonists (?) holding the horn/trombone with one hand and the way they are ...
6
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1answer
2k views

What are the advantages of different mouthpiece sizes?

I played horn from age 10 until age 22, and after a couple of years off I'm starting to play again. I was always pretty mediocre, so I was content to use my elementary-school Holton MDC mouthpiece the ...
6
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1answer
91 views

What are the effects of the shape of a bend in a brass instrument slide?

Some brass instrument manufacturers make a feature of the shape of the various slides - some have a semi-circular wrap, other more semi-elliptical. Some have a tight wrap (the two legs of the slide ...
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7answers
8k views

Key choice for brass instruments

I've been told several times that brass instruments prefer to play in keys with flats, rather than sharps. As a trumpet player myself, I cannot relate to this preference. E major is just as easy or ...
5
votes
5answers
218 views

Why is my girlfriend's flugelhorn a semitone lower than my bass?

Firstly, I'll apologise in advance - I'm a self-taught rock 'musician' and I have virtually no knowledge of music theory (didn't stop me playing hundreds of gigs though!). I have a four-string bass ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Suggestions for writing trumpet parts

When writing a passage for the brass quartet, what are some of the rules that should be observed with regards to the trumpets. I've noticed that due to the trumpet's piercing sound, my quartet ...
5
votes
1answer
498 views

Is the trumpet's theoretical range unlimited?

I'm more wondering about the upper register here, but I suppose this applies to pedal notes also. Is the trumpet's range theoretically unlimited? Is there anything (besides the player) that ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Are there conflicting requirements for technique between large and small brass instruments

I want to know some practical details on what to consider if you want to play different brass instruments of various size. Specially differences between the extremities like trumpet and tuba. Is there ...
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3answers
2k views

What techniques improve general ability to play fast runs on a tuba?

I play Tuba, so I don't have very many fast runs in orchestra arrangements, but there are occasionally small passages that can be challenging. I want to improve my general ability to handle such ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Finger techniques when playing valve brass instrument

I am playing Eb tuba with 4 valves (4th at my right hand pinky). Usually I have my fingers more or less straight out over the valves, resulting in the tips for all other than the pinky is sticking out ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it safe to use silicone spray as valve oil?

I used silicone spray to lubricate my trumpet's pistons. It's easier to spray the lubricant on the valves, but can silicone spray damage my trumpet? What about other general purpose lubricants? I ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a baritone be used for a trombone part?

I am making a brass quintet, and I need two trumpets, a horn, a trombone, and a tuba. I have all except the trombone. Can a baritone substitute for the trombone part? Will it have a similar tone and/...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Why is it harder to lip slur without tonguing?

I was practicing lip slurs yesterday, and I was wondering why it is easier to lip slur between harmonics by tonguing than without tonguing. It seems it should be the same either way-- whether you ...
5
votes
2answers
46 views

How to get a fuller tone from a small bore trombone?

I have an old 1962 conn 18h with a copper bell that has a .484 bore. I am generally playing lower pieces that don’t sound as good as the high register. Is there any way (other than a new mouthpiece ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Will learning trumpet damage my single reed embouchure?

I mainly play clarinet and sax, but I'd like to pick up a bit of trumpet to be able to play all the big band instruments (albeit quite badly for some of them). However, I've heard that playing brass ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How to hit right partials on brass?

Sometimes when playing a trumpet/flugelhorn part on my own, I can't tell if I'm hitting the right partial, usually in the upper register. Sometimes it's too high, other times too low. What is the ...
4
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3answers
629 views

Is divisi notation needed for brass or woodwind in an orchestra?

I'm composing for orchestra. I've read that divisions [of parts] should be notated using divisi. (or div.) above the staff. But I'm wondering whether this notation is mandatory for all instruments. ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Is it possible to play 2 wind instruments well?

I am currently playing the tenor trombone and flute. I have been playing the trombone for quite a while and I have recently taken up the flute. I am finding it difficult to sustain a strong tone on ...
4
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2answers
378 views

Does valve oil in the lead pipe of a trumpet prevent tarnishing?

Sometimes I've gotten the advice to drip a few drops of valve oil in my trumpet's leadpipe before putting on the mouthpiece and start playing. Allegedly this would help to prevent tarnishing and ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Learning to play multiphonics on a brass instrument

I would like to learn how to play multiphonics on brass instruments. (I am referring to the kind of multiphonics that are produced when singing/humming a note whilst playing another note.) I gave it a ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Why are we told to hold keys down while tuning?

While I tune my Tuba, on multiple occasions my sectional coach has called my section out becuase we do not hold down the keys aligned to the tunning slides of the key we are tuning. Is there a reason ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Extending upper range on a brass instrument

I'm looking for some input into techniques that I can use to extend my range on a Euphonium. I'm able to get a top C reasonably reliably, but anything above that is just not there. What are common ...
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Trouble playing the tuba on the edge of the seat

I'm currently learning how to play the tuba in school, and I'm finding it extremely difficult to sit at the edge of the seat like I'm supposed to due to the weight of it. If I sit on the edge, I have ...
4
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6answers
2k views

Can an Eb Bass/Tuba play in both treble and bass without changing valve positions?

I'm going to be moving instruments at both Church and School next year. I was playing Baritone and will be moving to Eb Bass/Tuba. At church I will be playing treble clef and at school I will be ...
4
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1answer
33 views

Drying my trumpet out after playing

Whenever I practice on trumpet, after practicing there is a lot of water gathering inside the main tuning slide and thirs valve slide but also inside the valve caps so I have to unmount these valve ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Size difference between Baritone Horn and Euphonium

I know that the Baritone is different from the Euphonium because it has a narrower bore and sharper taper, esp. in British bands, but my question is are there precise measurements that define whether ...