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Thread: Trombone player looking to start Flugelhorn

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    Trombone player looking to start Flugelhorn

    So I've been playing trombone for about 10 years now, and I'm starting to get really into the flugelhorn. I just love the dark sound, and I'm really interested in starting it up. Is there any suggested model that would be good? I doubt a student model would be the best thing, but I think a professional model might be too expensive, especially because I've got school to worry about (freshman music ed major). Any general advice?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    A student model should do the trick. Yamaha used to make a great flugelhorn. Do you read treble yet?
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    Yes, I read treble, though of course not as well as I read bass, or probably tenor or even alto. I've been looking at the Allora AAFG-103F model. A lot of people have said good things about it, but I'm having trouble finding out what country it's manufactured in and things like that.

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    My advice--and this is speaking from experience: Allora is a crap brand and you won't be happy with it. I realize instruments are expensive and we're always trying to save a little money. But seriously. An Allora horn is better served as a flower pot. In all honesty, a student instrument would do the trick. You don't particularly need anything overtly expensive, and a student horn will sound fine. Just not an Allora. Trust me on this!
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    Okay, thanks! I suspected that it would be crap since it's less than half the price of most of the other horns I've seen. But can you tell me what the difference between a student horn and other horns are in the case of a flugel? I mean I play a Bach 42 so I don't think air would be any sort of issue.

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    Typically student instruments are a little more durable but don't have the sound quality a more professional instrument has. The reverse applies as well. But, unless you're going to be playing flugel with the Boston Symphony Orchestra you don't need a professional horn
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    haha I wish. You said you recommend the Yamaha? What's you're opinion on the Bach Aristocrat model?

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    Yamaha and Bach both make good instruments. (I just threw Yamaha out there because that's what the school owned horns for my band are.) A good friend of mine uses a Bach body with a Yamaha mouthpiece and Amati valves. Ultimately though--if you're purchasing an instrument and not just renting--it should be about what is comfortable for you--the player--and what sounds best with the way you play. Let's face it. All instruments are not created equal and all musicians have quirks that others don't. When it boils down to it--money of course being a factor--you have to experiment with a couple different instruments to get the right feel for you. If you go to a local music store, most of the time they will allow you to play it BEFORE you buy it. If you buy it online, you're going to get what you get. For instance, I spent a lot of money on my cello. A lot. But then again, it's a professional instrument that I built from the ground up. I get an amazing sound out of it, because it's tailored specifically to me. For instance, my bridge is actually a little tiny bit thicker than a standard bridge, the body is made out of oak which has a brilliant rich sound, and the sound post is made out of maple. Then I have three bows, one is a mix of white and black real horse hair, used for general all around playing. Then I have a jet black horse hair if I really want that double bass power. And I have a white haired one for more delicate higher playing.
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    That's a very good point. For some reason it never crossed my mind for some reason. Thanks, I'll definitely try some horns before I decide on one. I have one final question. Although I really doubt it'll be an issue, would playing the flugel interfere with the embouchure I use for trombone? Since it's my main and favorite instrument and everything, I want to make sure that I can stay on the right track with it.

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    For the most part, as long as you don't forget trombone for twenty thirty years, you're not going to forget how to play. When you play trombone for the first time after a longer period, it will take you a few minutes for your embouchure to remember how to play, but it's muscle memory. Just like riding a bike. And it may actually help your trombone playing as well. The flugelhorn (obviously) requires a tighter embouchure than trombone. Like all of the low brass instruments in particular, trombone has a tremendous range. The main hiccup, however, for most trombone players is developing the chops to play that high. I've been playing long enough that I can achieve this, but then again, I've also got a few more years under my belt then you . It always throws my students for a loop when I play the first trumpet part in the trumpet range on tuba. I know you're a music ed majour, so if you have any questions or just want advice, you're welcome to PM me as well.
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    Fantastic, thank you so much! (By the way, the fact that you can hit that range on the tuba is incredibly impressive!)

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    Don't you know? It's us old dogs that get to teach the new pups on the block! Thanks for the compliment! But I've also been playing tuba for 35 years now! And in all honesty, learning trumpet my senior year of high school really helped with playing tuba. It may take you a bit of time to get used to switching back and forth between embouchures, but that's okay. Practice makes perfect.
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    Man it just gets better and better. I'm getting really excited haha

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    It only gets better So what level of music ed do you want to teach at? I mean high school, college, etc..
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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    Captain of Water Music musicteach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Watt View Post
    musicteach! I'm surprised you're saying you've got a rich tone with oak on your custom upright.
    Oak is a bad wood for building solid body electric guitars, the varying densities of porous and tight grain
    making for a diffused acoustic quality that doesn't focus sound around the pickups.
    I can only imagine that using oak acoustically would only magnify this effect.
    Oh! Thinking about that just gave me a cold shiver, making me go "burrrrrl". That confused my brain, er, grain.
    I know, that's why it was quite the challenge to get it just right. It is oak, however, we took great time and painstaking efforts to select woods that have the same grain and porous density. All in all, it really has a brilliant bright sound. Like I said, it cost a lot of money and time. And actually, most student-quality stringed instruments are a plywood mixture that can be up to 35% oak sometimes.
    Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them-a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our Nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music. -Gerald Ford

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