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  1. #1

    Default Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Hi! I got to try some brasswinds about two years ago. First off was euphonium and then I moved on to flugelhorn. This was before I started playing woodwinds - so I know all the technical differences between those two families. However, I never got to try Trumpet or Cornet. I am looking for a Brasswind but unsure about which one. Euphonium is out of the question - it is too limited. It is almost exclusively used in Brass and Wind bands. I would appreciate of someone could enlighten me on the technical differences between Trumpet, Cornet and Flugelhorn - how the play differently, technique, usage areas and so on. A friend of mine has offered to lend me his trumpet, but I have no chance to try a cornet. What would you guys recommend?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    If you are talking about Bb instruments all around, the general difference are in tone.

  3. #3
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    These are generalities:

    - the basic technique for playing is the same.
    - high register and loud playing is easier on the trpt.
    - cornet may be a little more agile than the other two.
    - carrying power:
    - - trumpet
    - - cornet
    - - flugel
    - clarity/purity of sound:
    - - trumpet
    - - cornet
    - - flugel
    - mellowness of sound:
    - - flugel
    - - cornet
    - - trpt

    Exceptions abound of course. For example, I said the trpt is the clearest, and most adaptable to high, fast and loud, and yet I play a vintage Martin medium-small bore Committee with a Kanstul copy of Miles' mouthpiece and I get much more of a flugelhorn sound. You would never mistake my sound for Arturo Sandoval's, LOL.

    A lot of it has to do with equipment: bore size, make of instrument, mpc, size and backbore, etc. It's fairly difficult to say that one of these has more or less resistance than the other, etc. Bore sizes really make a difference.


    Each instrument has easier and more difficult things to do. My advice is to listen to a bunch of players on each instrument and decide what style and sound you want and let that be your decision maker.

    Some players to listen to:
    Cornet:
    Gerald Schwartz
    Ted Curson
    Bobby Hackett

    Trumpet:
    Don Jacoby
    Adolph Herseth
    Dizzy Gillespie

    Flugelhorn:
    Art Farmer
    Chuck Mangionne
    Kenny Wheeler
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Thank you! That clears up a lot. I think it will be a Cornet or Flugel for me since I want to play in a Brass Band eventually.

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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    I think trumpets are much more common in Brass bands today, than Cornets, and Flugel horns are rare. The bores are also different, Cornet being more conical than trumpet and Flugel being fatter and more conical than both,
    Trumpet mouthpieces will generally not fit a cornet, which has a slightly smaller lead pipe.

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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Quote Originally Posted by spike421 View Post
    I think trumpets are much more common in Brass bands today, than Cornets, and Flugel horns are rare.
    That can be confusing and/or misleading...trumpets might be more common just because there are more trumpet players, and not because the brass literature would favour trumpets in a way. (and purists may argue that a trumpet has no place in a British-style brass band)
    I know cases where people were being payed big (karma) bucks for playing a flugelhorn part, just because of the sound, and just because FH players are so rare.
    Ben

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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Play all of 'em. Most trumpet players I know also play flugel and cornet.
    Come see me live with Platinum Express

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    Distinguished SOTW Member jazzcat58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    flugelhorn,i love the sound of that,if i had to choose that would be my instrument!
    bs gunning

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    Distinguished SOTW Member Tom Goodrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    I have played all three types. For many years I jobbed only as a trumpet player. But, I carried a cornet for Dixieland and a Flugelhorn for fancy jazz. For someone starting out, I'd recommend the cornet. The articulation is much easier - the fingering is faster and the lip goes along with the fast fingers easier than on trumpet. That is why it is favored in Dixeland bands.

    Find a store where the sales staff play brass on weekends. They can reccomend a starting horn and mouth piece.

    Trumpet would be my second suggestion. Any beginner's trumpet with a Bach 7C mouthpiece would be fine.

    The Flugelhorn is like a soprano sax - hard to play in tune. The lip has too much control of intonation. A beginner has little control. You'd have to practice a couple years before playing in public, starting from scratch.

    For any sax player going to a trumpet or similar instrument, you have a lot of work to do. Face it. You are used to having one set of keys for every note. All your lip does is seal around the mouthpiece. On the trumpet you only have three valves and yet you must play all the notes the sax players do. How does that happen? Your lips play about eight notes for every set of valves held down. Your lips also have to make the sound itself.
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  10. #10
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Tom, I'm curious about your statement that fingering is faster on a cornet than a trumpet. Valves are valves aren't they? Are cornet valve casings smaller or shorter than trumpet? Are there other factors regarding the travel distance of the valves on the two instruments? Thanks.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    In times past the cornet mpc interior was more of a cone, nowadays they are almost like a trumpet.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    I'll second the recommendation for cornet as a first instrument in this range, but for another reason - price. There are a ton of lightly used instruments of the "my kid used it for a year, then put it away" variety, that can be found on popular auction or classified sites, for less than comparable trumpets, and usually in better shape. I got a Yamaha cornet for a steal, it has a broken brace solder, but otherwise is in fine condition, and works very well.
    Alto: I have a couple. Tenor: One of those, too.
    Bari: Yes, I just got one. Lovin' it. Clarinet: Too many.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Trumpet is the main instrument

    Flugel is used for mellower sounds

    cornet has more control than the trumpet but is rarely used anymore these days.

    So if you're going to invest in a horn, I would go with trumpet.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Quote Originally Posted by crsbryan View Post
    I'll second the recommendation for cornet as a first instrument in this range, but for another reason - price. There are a ton of lightly used instruments of the "my kid used it for a year, then put it away" variety, that can be found on popular auction or classified sites, for less than comparable trumpets, and usually in better shape. I got a Yamaha cornet for a steal, it has a broken brace solder, but otherwise is in fine condition, and works very well.
    When I was in fifth grade the deciding factor between a trumpet or a cornet for me was my physical size. My instructor being expirenced <sp> as he was reasoned that along with the instrument we would be buying a mute too. A wise man. That mute was my parents best buy for at least 2 years in a row. I guess with my shorter arm length using the mute would be easier for me.

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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    This thread is old, but the information could still be useful to someone today. Anyhow, check in with SIRSPINBAD. He's a great trumpet player and a member here on SOTW.
    "The key to improvising is being able to play and listen at the same time."

  16. #16

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    you rang.....

    trumpet is the beast that demands the discipline.....

    cornet and flugelhorn have their charm......

    Flugelhorn is my FAVORITE instrument....which is why i SELDOM play the flugel....the more you play the flugel ,the more the trumpet kicks you in the butt

    Chuck mangione was an amazing trumpeter,the more he played flugel the trumpet was done....and the lists go on,and on

    funny enough, I only practice tenor sax these days ,and my trumpet playing is improving and improving!!!!!!


    cornets are heavier playing,valvwise....id say probably largely due to the fact that the better ones are vintage and just made that way
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    To breath life into an old thread (don't you just love those wind related puns).

    Looks like the cornet is the advised instrument for a beginner??? I've just got myself a Flugel to learn. Man, this is so much harder than sax! It has only been a few weeks and I'm thrilled if I can get a D2. If I'm really on a good day I can get an E on top of the staff. And there is another octave to go

    I wonder if it would be easier to learn the cornet first? Is lip control easier on cornet? Maybe just persistence with the flugel? At least a basic instrument is a damn sight cheaper than an equivalent sax. I bought a Bauhaus from brass wind woodwind UK (is that what they are called). I have a Bauhaus Sop so I thought I'd give the flu gel a try. Seems pretty good (from someone who wouldn't have clue) for $500 (with Denis Wick mp, stand & mute), that mute is a handy thing!
    "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    maybe I didnt say it right...I believe Tom above was the only one to stick to the point of playability...

    trumpet leads to all other instruments...... cornet and flugel are a different kind of blow

    I do recommend cornet for a very small child,as the horn is easier to hold..and carry around...but then an upgrade is needed after a year or two to trumpet
    SML Revision D Tenor Otto Link Slant Sig 7* Brillhart HR Sakshama Lost Wax Guardala MBII in sterling silver Theo Wanne Wood Ambika 7* Strathon 7* Stan Getz Legend 7*
    R&C curvy soprano Wanne Gaia 8 soprano mouthpiece

  19. #19
    The most prolific Distinguished SOTW poster, Forum Contributor 2014 gary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    . . . however, if you are an amateur player playing for your own satisfaction and prefer the flugelhorn, I see no reason to buy an additional instrument and work out on that. Do what satisfies you.

    An analogy - when I began sax, soprano was by far my favourite and if I was only going to play for my satisfaction and in groups where my soprano would be at home, I definitely would have gotten a soprano and given my all to that instrument.

    But I had broader goals, e.g. learning saxes to help me compose/arrange idiomatically and also to, perhaps, play semi-professionally (I was already a professional musician - brass player). Therefore, I bit the bullet and bought an alto because I recognised its preeminence in classical sax music as well as being a key jazz instrument and its value as a foundation instrument in learning the saxes.

    My soprano = your flugelhorn
    My alto = your trumpet
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Trumpet vs Cornet vs Flugelhorn

    Thanks Gary. that sounds like good advice. I've never really been keen on the trumpet but the flu gel sounds so sweet.

    Cheers
    "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
~ Pablo Picasso

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