Jazz Blog - October 16, 2005

Flugelhorn conclusion

jupiter flugelhornIf you've been following my site for a while, you know I've written several blog entries about the Jupiter flugelhorn that I purchased in August of 2004. Most of the entries focused on the valve problems that I had and the subsequent repairs.

Well, after several months of deliberation, I've come to a conclusion: I'm selling my flugelhorn.

My reason for selling has nothing to do with the horn itself. Now that the valves have been repaired, they're awesome, even better than my Bach. Everything else works well too. The slides slide, the spit valves spit, etc. No, the problem isn't the horn, the problem is me. I've discovered that I just don't like my sound after it's been flugel-ized. I feel like the flugelhorn mellows out my sound too much, killing the intensity and masking the emotion. It kind of reminds me of playing the French Horn. Yuck!

While I'd be content to never play a flugelhorn again, I'm still glad to have gone through this experience. Thanks to the flugelhorn and to the trumpet trial, I'm confident that I'm playing the ideal horn for me right now. The range of tones I can produce, from airy and mellow, to crisp and bright, allow me to express myself precisely as I intend. My trumpet is my ideal sound, cracked notes and all.

For anyone interested, I'll probably sell my flugelhorn on eBay in the next month or two. Who knows, maybe it has your ideal sound ;-)

Updated 12/5/05: I sold the horn yesterday!

Comment by Eric

Cats like Terence Blanchard and Wynton Marsalis play trumpet and only trumpet for everything. Both of them still have the ability to play ballads that can bring you to tears. How about Clifford Brown? Sell it and don't look back. I think the only way you can double on the instrument successfully is if you approach playing both with a completely different sound concept. I think I recall Woody Shaw stating this in an interview once.

On another subject... I'm thinking of getting another horn and selling my TL6. You will NOT read this on my web site (can you say inside scoop?) but I'm not happy with the sound of it. Way too dark. I've already got a flugelhorn... I need something with bite and energy. Lately I've been playing my silver student Yamaha which gets me there easily. The TL6 has a very early bell taper which totally kills the zing. I can get it if I play loudly or push but I don't have to do that with the Yamaha. Bach 180-37 is at the top of my list...

Comment by Bill

I recently bought a used King (Silver Flare 2055T), and it sounds beautiful -- a warm and bright sound.

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