Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘field trumpet’

Veteran (76) Takes Lessons to Sound “Taps” on His Bugle

Posted by glennled on November 17, 2017

Sounding “Taps” sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Just ask my 37th student who started with his first private lesson from me on 6 October 2017. He’s the captain of the Color Guard of VFW Post 3063 in Ballard in Seattle, and he wants to play “Taps” at various military memorials, ceremonies and funerals.

The B-flat bugle (without valves) can sound only harmonics, and “Taps” is comprised only four—G, C, and E on the staff and G above the staff. Moreover, there are only 24 notes in “Taps.” He signed up for five one-hour lessons. You might guess that that would be enough. Maybe so, if you’d played a brass instrument well in your youth. But if you didn’t, and you’re 76 years old? It’s not easy, my friend. Bugler[1] clip art

There are only a few beginning trumpet students in fifth grade who can hit that high G after 9 months of taking band classes at school. But of course, at that young age, band students don’t practice much at home, and their muscles are not yet fully developed.

So, since my man is determined to succeed and his wife is supportive, he can do it—if he is patient and practices regularly. First, he must gain control of the bugle. He must train his embouchure to hit, with consistent accuracy, the “sweet spots” in the slots for each of the four notes. He must learn to properly tongue those notes. Then, we’ll improve his tone and phrasing. He’ll learn how to breathe diaphragmatically and play with an open throat. When he sounds good in private at home, we’ll help him learn how to control his emotions when performing in public. He is my 37th private student and my first bugle-only student. Someday, he’ll master it.

Fortunately, he owns an outstanding bugle. That helps a lot. It’s the same one that I use–the Getzen Field Trumpet Model M2003E with B-flat and G tuning slides. I’ve mentioned it in numerous blog articles, and I featured it with photos at https://glennstrumpetnotes.com/2015/05/04/my-new-getzen-bugle-2-17-15/. You’ll find this model on the manufacturer’s website, http://www.getzen.com.

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My New Getzen Bugle!

Posted by glennled on May 4, 2015

Getzen Field Trumpet, M2003E, with B-flat tuning slide

 

Getzen Bugle with 3C Mouthpiece and Carrying Case

Getzen Bugle with 3C Mouthpiece and Carrying Case

On 17 February 2015, UPS delivered a carefully wrapped package from Getzen Company, Inc. of Elkhorn, Wisconsin directly to my front door. Instantly, I knew what was inside—my new Getzen Field Trumpet!—commonly known as a bugle. I played it publicly for the first time with the Honor Guard, VFW Post 1040, on the following Saturday at a graveside service at the IOOF Cemetery in Monroe, WA.  It’s sonorous!

I bought model M2003E with a clear lacquer finish. It bears logos for Getzen and Bugles Across America (BAA) and a special etching on mine: John 15:13. As you know, that’s where Jesus says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The bell is one piece, hand-hammered yellow brass. Like all Getzens I’ve ever played, it blows easily, with minimal resistance, and the tone is solid and rich. I bought the extra G tuning slide, too. I plan to use the G tuning slide for “Taps” and “Funeral March” and the B-flat slide for most other bugle calls. The U.S. Army and Navy use at least 67 bugle calls.

In addition to being Post Bugler for VFW Post 1040, I am also a member of BAA, a national organization that furnishes live buglers for military funerals, memorials and ceremonies. The designation, “American Heritage Elite,” is given by Getzen to those field trumpets purchased by members of BAA. See http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org. For more about Getzen instruments, see http://www.getzen.com.

 

 

 

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