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Trumpets - a primer

I've played on the same mouthpiece since I was in high school - my teacher handed me an old Conn Helleberg style mouthpiece when I was 16, and with the exception of a few brief periods of experimentation, I have not strayed far away from that. I'm always amused at my trumpet playing friends who seem to endlessly quibble over leadpipes, heavy valve caps, bell weight, and modified mouthpieces. Apparently, this has always been the case. Here is the quick and breezy primer to the most common trumpets. Commonalities Setting aside for a moment instruments equipped with a 4th valve and the piccolo trumpets, all trumpets have a written range of F#3 (3 lines below treble clef staff) to X. F#3 is the

Breaking my own rules

I usually have three or four arranging projects on the front burners and many more unfinished projects in my "work in progress" file. Maybe because last summer I had just told the world that I don't like to transcribe orchestral music, thus suggesting to myself that I can't or shouldn't do that, I suddenly got interested in some big orchestral transcription projects. At the time, I was also preparing my friend Jeremy Van Hoy's fantastic Wagner Ring Cycle synopsis for publication, and accidentally fell in love all over again with the idea of the orchestral paraphrase. I'll also admit that sometimes I hear or see projects done by other arrangers (not Jeremy's) and think "this was a great idea

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