Instruments | Styles | Artists | Members | Forums |
              Subscribe Register Login 
Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument? 
 

Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?

Search Forums: 
    
[-]
Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    18:21 on Sunday, December 17, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

James_Dowdy_Moos
e

I've done a lot of thinking about switching to a brass instrument for marching band next (I loath the work of Pit) year and, of course, to continue the instrument after the season alongside oboe. My top two choices are mellophone and baritone/euphonium, but I am really not sure which to chose. I'm asking any horn players, who may also be playing mellophone, whether mellophone/horn would be a good introduction to the brass world.

Also, if you play anything in the tuba family as well, please give me your opinion as to which (Horn or Euphonium) is better for starting brass on. I take suggestions more seriously from those who play multiple instruments.

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    13:39 on Monday, December 18, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

ekdavies
(208 points)

You should be concerned about the possible impact of playing a brass instrument on your oboe technique - and the opinion of your Oboe teacher. IMHO providing you continue to practice both regularly neither technique should suffer. However, you'll probably find Euphonium easier to learn - although the upper register will require alot more air than you are used to.

Typical French Horn/Mellophone parts are very different to Oboe parts. Horn parts (unlike Euphonium parts) rarely have tune and are frequently not melodic - although this is not true for some more modern arrangements. If you would to play a marching instrument just for a bit of fun, then - depending on your physical size - you might wish to consider a Sousaphone!

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    15:05 on Monday, December 18, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

James_Dowdy_Moos
e

Thanks. I am aware of the whole embouchure thing with playing a brass and a woodwind instrument and, actually, I am used to playing lines that are not melodic due to the fact that I originally played sax, which I know often plays similar lines with the horns.

I had once considered sousaphone, but I figured that it would be wiser to play euphonium first, since it makes the higher notes on tuba easier.

Since you know what you're talking about, however, I'll put a bit more consideration into euphonium for now.

Thanks again!

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    16:03 on Monday, December 18, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

laeta_puella
(344 points)

I play the bass clarinet primarily, and i switched to mellophone for marching band this year. it wasn't too hard a switch, and i'm getting a french horn from school at the begining of january to continue on.

personally, i'd recommend mellophone over baritone. why? those baritones are heavY!!! it was hard enough keeping the mellophone up for long periods of time at attention at first for me.(i marched soprano clarinet last year, so it was a huge weight change+arm position change)
musically, though, mellophone's pretty fun. i picked it up pretty quickly- i got it just before schoool got out in mid-june, and by mid-august i had candide memorized.

also, since horns and mellophones are more different than marching baritones and concert euphoniums, you'll be less out of your league than with baritone because the horn players arent on their primary instrument either. just a thought

good luck with whatever you pick!

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    17:02 on Monday, December 18, 2006 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Galileo
(42 points)

You'll find switching to brass very different as the previous posts said. I play french horn and have played the mellophone as well. I would sugest baritone if you want something not too hard to play, but you might find it hard to march with it. Horn would be much harder to play, but easier to march with. Good Luck!

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    17:58 on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

tenorsax13
(534 points)

I played clarinet for a year then switched to tuba. IT WAS SO EASY I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. But sorry to say, i hated it. So now i play saxophone. In other words, id say tuba if you wanna switch.

Good luck!

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    13:44 on Thursday, January 04, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

granny
(132 points)

I would recommend the euphonium (baritone horn). Embouchure isn't an issue as any one who practices a moderate amount can compensate for the differences in a short period of time. Playing any brass instrument will serve to strengthen the embouchure you will use for oboe. The real issue to me is what's easiest to march with & what's more enjoyable. A euphonium is heavier, but is supported with a strap, whereas a marching mellophone is held straight out in front like a trumpet with nothing to support its weight other than your two arms! Plus, a baritone or euphonium mouthpiece is larger & is less effected by the movements of marching. The smaller mouthpiece of the mellophone is very sensitive to movement. Every little bump makes it difficult to maintain a good sound. I played baritone horn (euphonium) when I was only a 90 pound junior high student. I had a wonderful time! The euphonium has wonderful counter melodies to play similar to trombone but with the prettier more mellow sound of a euphonium. I also played trombone for one marching season & found I liked euphonium better. Later in high school & college I played F trumpet(sort of a mellophone instrument)for marching & I can tell you that the musical parts were not nearly as interesting or enjoyable as the parts I played on euphonium. Valerie in Tacoma

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    13:44 on Thursday, January 04, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

granny
(132 points)

I would recommend the euphonium (baritone horn). Embouchure isn't an issue as any one who practices a moderate amount can compensate for the differences in a short period of time. Playing any brass instrument will serve to strengthen the embouchure you will use for oboe. The real issue to me is what's easiest to march with & what's more enjoyable. A euphonium is heavier, but is supported with a strap, whereas a marching mellophone is held straight out in front like a trumpet with nothing to support its weight other than your two arms! Plus, a baritone or euphonium mouthpiece is larger & is less effected by the movements of marching. The smaller mouthpiece of the mellophone is very sensitive to movement. Every little bump makes it difficult to maintain a good sound. I played baritone horn (euphonium) when I was only a 90 pound junior high student. I had a wonderful time! The euphonium has wonderful counter melodies to play similar to trombone but with the prettier more mellow sound of a euphonium. I also played trombone for one marching season & found I liked euphonium better. Later in high school & college I played F trumpet(sort of a mellophone instrument)for marching & I can tell you that the musical parts were not nearly as interesting or enjoyable as the parts I played on euphonium. Valerie in Tacoma

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    14:31 on Thursday, January 04, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

James_Dowdy_Moos
e

Thanks, to all, for the replies.

Now, I just want to make it clear: no Sousaphones!

Valerie--Apparently, the Euphonium is not (or no longer) played with a strap. But the strap doesn't really concern me. Thanks for the info on the mouthpieces.

Unless persuaded by more posts, I think I'll do baritone.

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    18:52 on Thursday, January 04, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

granny
(132 points)

Hmmm ... I'll bet you could get a strap. It sure made it more comfortable for me! I think you'll enjoy baritone. The only reason I played F trumpet in college is that I was a French horn major & F trumpet was the closest thing. Baritone would have been more fun for marching season. F trumpet & mellophone parts for marching music are pretty boring compared to what baritones get to do. Good luck.
Valerie in Tacoma

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    17:36 on Friday, January 05, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

laeta_puella
(344 points)

the strap i'm sure depends on what sort of baritone/euphonium you will be marching with- in my band, they play marching baritones that are also held like a trumpet, with only the arms for support.

the parts will of course depend on what sort of music your band will play. my freshman year, the mellophones had a awesome feature in jupiter. I don't know much about the baritone part that year. This year, our mellophone part had a mix of accompaniment parts and melodic stuff, which ended up being a lot more fun than the clarinet part (i had a copy of both). The baritones had some cool stuff, but a lot more low supporting lines.

if you don't have a huge desire one way or the other, perhaps you could ask your director which would be more useful? we had a lack of mellophones this year, before cross-overs. you may have unbalanced sections that would make it preferable one way or the other, or it may not matter.

[-]
   17:51 on Friday, January 05, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

granny
(132 points)

"if you don't have a huge desire one way or the other, perhaps you could ask your director which would be more useful?"

Good point! That's really the bottom line: where you are needed the most. The whole reason I played so many different instruments for marching season was because I was a versatile instrumentalist who was willing to do anything my band director asked me to. For 9 years of marching seasons I played: Eb Alto horn, baritone horn, trombone, Bb trumpet (second part), and F trumpet. And believe it or not, I started out on clarinet & piano. It was great experience for me & helped me decide what my major instrument would be for study in college -- French horn. When I took method classes in college, they were a snap for me becuase of my mixed up background! Other music majors really struggled playing unfamiliar instruments, but for me it was second nature to learn something new. So for anyone who can, I suggest switching as often as you have opportunity. It's great expreience & will expand your musical abilities. Valerie in Tacoma

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    19:04 on Friday, January 05, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

James_Dowdy_Moos
e

Laeta: You are so lucky. I would bug the Hell out of my band director to get him to have my band play Jupiter for marching band. This gives me ideas.... Anyway, thanks for the advice; I'll keep the question of what is needed most in mind.

Valerie: You have the sort of music background that I have been dreaming about achieving for a while. That is one of the reasons as to why I want to take on a brass intrsument. Thanks a bunch, you've been a great help.

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    19:37 on Monday, January 15, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

ickivicki26
(3 points)

This past summer I decided to learn mellophone for marching band (previous years I played saxophone and did color guard) and the switch was so much easier than I thought it would be. At first I was like no way a brass instrument thats way too hard to learn. But I'm glad I did it because I absolutly love playing mellophone, and I deffinetly recommend it.

[-]
Re: Is Horn/Mellophone a Good Starting Brass Instrument?    15:23 on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

FhornSteve
(21 points)

I'd stick with pit, especially if you play Oboe a lot still.
The change in instruments might leave you with a bad start/entire season in marching, because a lot of the mello players in marching band this year weren't too great at it because thier skill was a bit lower, but they were mostly people who don't play horn/mello a lot I guess... Or they were coming up from middle school.

The weight shouldn't be a problem, as long as you can toughten it up and deal with all the marching and stuff. Our band teacher was very strict about how we marched. Absolutely no slacking.

Pit is easier work too, so the change into marching might be a bit tough if you're not ready to put in a load of effort, unless your marching band is really relaxed and not the competitive... Wich I'll assume it's not relaxed.

   





This forum: Older: Would anyone happen to know...
 Newer: Favorite valve string





 


Other Stuff

Free Sheet Music by Artist : # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
8notes in other languages:              








Help | About Us | Contact Us | Link to Us | Add Score | | Privacy Policy | Terms Make us your homepage
© 2000-2014 8notes.com