Archive for the ‘Trumpet’ Category

Alessi and the T396-A at Midwest

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Edwards will be at the Midwest Convention in Chicago December 17-19 displaying our regular assortment of trombones and trumpets. After much testing and input from players around the country, we’ll be showing our new Eb trumpet, as well.

Trombone players will also be able to play a new horn — the Alessi Model. But there’s a catch. You won’t find the T396-A in the exhibits hall. Instead, interested trombonists need to come to the booth to receive an invitation to our top secret location where you’ll find the horn and quite possibly Joe Alessi himself.

Okay, Joe will be there and so will I. We are planning on doing two to three sessions a day. Each session will begin with a 15 minute introduction, followed by a Q&A and time for you to try the horn. Please bring your own mouthpiece.

Space at these private sessions is limited, so be sure to stop by the Edwards booth early to pick up an invite. We have tentatively scheduled two sessions on the 17th and three sessions on the 18th & 19th.

See you there.

Edwards Eb Trumpet

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Just built our first five Eb trumpets. They’re in process in the buff room. After this they will be silver plated.

After they’re assembled we’ll get pictures of them and then you’ll be able to see them in the final state on the website.

Thanks to all that tried (purchased) and gave their input on the design and final product. It’s exciting to work with all of you and your input is greatly appreciated. Graham Ashton, Leonard Candelaria, William Takacs, and many players in the surrounding area (some not to be named due to other manufacturer endorsements) input was used and I am thankful to have these people as friends and collaborators.

We look forward to having this model added to the current Edwards line available Jan 1st 2009.


Christan Griego

São Paulo Low Brass Pic

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

There are quite a few Edwards trombone sections in symphonies around the world. We recently received this photo, taken shortly after the São Paulo Symphony performed the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra. Thanks to Alex for providing the pic!

Sao Paulo Low Brass Section

Ray Vasquez Recital

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Ray Vasquez has been practicing. If you are anywhere near Alabama you should try to attend his upcoming recital. Hear trumpet playing at its finest.

Auburn University Recital Hall
Samford Drive
Auburn, Alabama
Friday, November 7, 2008
7:30pm – 9:30pm

Support the arts. If we don’t, who will?

Cool Departing Shots

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Working in the back we often get interesting shots of horns and accessories being prepped for delivery. Our most recent shot was of ten Gen X Trumpets getting ready to be delivered to a military band.

Gen X Delivery

Why I Chose Edwards

Thursday, March 13th, 2003

The following was written by Leonard Candelaria

I have played Edwards Gen II trumpets (Bb, C, E/Eb/D) and Gen X trumpets (Bb and C) for more than three years and I have had direct input to their design for the past five years. I have been an Edwards Performing Artist for three years, having been a clinician for Bach for 12 years previously and Yamaha before that. I enjoy playing my Edwards trumpets. I receive many compliments from other professional players on my sound and artistry — as much or more so than before I switched to Edwards. I feel my accuracy and consistency are much improved with enhanced sound quality and good intonation. Other Edwards players report that they perceive similar results on Edwards trumpets.

Christan and LeondardThe construction and the workmanship of Edwards trumpets are outstanding. The valves, made by parent company Getzen, are superb and are generally regarded as the smoothest in the industry. The modular design of the Gen II and Gen X trumpets allows the player to evaluate different individual components (bells, leadpipes, and valve groups of both bore sizes, .460 and .462 inches) without changing the entire instrument. This helps eliminate much of the confusion players encounter when trying to assess the subtle differences in playing qualities between components and makes it truly possible for one to custom fit a trumpet to their particular needs.


The integral interchangeable leadpipe design (the actual leadpipe is inserted into an external sleeve) permits a quick and easy means to change leadpipe blowing characteristics while retaining the same bell and valve group. This concept is adapted from older German manufacturers of rotary trumpets. The difference is that the Edwards leadpipes are intended to be removable/ interchangeable and the German-style leadpipes are generally soldered in place once the player selects the leadpipe of preference. With the Edwards concept, since the rest of the horn remains unchanged (bell, valve group, tuning crook shape), one therefore can evaluate more sensitively the differences between various leadpipe models and more sensitively adjust sound and blowing characteristics without the obvious inconsistencies inherent in changing from one fixed pre-assembled instrument to another.

My recommended leadpipe for B-flat trumpet is the D-4 – similar in blowing feel to the Bach 43. The D-3 has a smooth blowing, slightly more resistant feel similar to Bach 25. The D-5 is quite open and free blowing. BD1 and A2 leadpipes blow with slightly more resistance and are perhaps better suited to commercial playing in which one may want to conserve energy while producing a well-focused sound with extra projection.

The C-trumpet leadpipes that I recommend are the D-5, D-4 and F-4 in that order of my preference. The D-5 C leadpipe is more open and seems to balance well the different resistance of the C trumpet compared to the more open blowing B-flat. The intonation of both the D-5 and D-4 leadpipes is quite excellent. Many players find the F-4 leadpipe to be an excellent choice because of it’s slightly less brilliant sound while retaining a free-blowing feel with good intonation.


Edwards trumpet bells are available in yellow brass, red brass (bronze) and sterling silver. Bells are also available in pure copper in a seamless (model J) version. B-flat bell configurations come in the K model (similar to Bach 37) and M model (similar to Bach 72). Bell thickness is standard in #22 gauge (the same as Bach). Sterling silver bells are standard in a standard heavier thickness –gauge, #21. Bb and C Bells are also available in #20 gauge (heavy) and #23 (light). C bells come in the C2 (similar to Bach 229) and C3 (similar to Bach 239). Bells can be heat treated (HT) at the bell crook or annealed in which case the entire bell is cooked at high heat.

I play both K-21 in bronze and K-21 in sterling silver on my Gen II B-flat trumpets and I play the M-22 bell in yellow brass on my Gen X B-flat. I play a C2 -20 bell in bronze on my Gen II C trumpets and the C2-21 bell on my Gen X C trumpets.

Bore Size & Tuning Crooks

I perform on both .460 (medium large) and .462 (large) bore size instruments in the Gen II B-flat trumpet design. I play the .460 bore on the Gen X B-flat and the .462 bore in both Gen II and Gen X C trumpets. My previous Bach instruments were: B-flat (.459, 72 bell, 25 leadpipe); and C (.462, 229 and 256 bells, 25A leadpipes)

Many players mistakenly assume that a large bore instrument will produce a bigger, darker tone quality. In reality, a large bore instrument will tend to produce a “louder” sound with the inherent increase in the brilliance of the sound that is a natural immutable function of the increased volume. While some players might detect a slight difference in the feel of the “blow” between .460 and .462. bore trumpet valve sets, different bell shapes, weights and materials, and different leadpipes can generally effect more perceptible differences.

Edwards provides tuning crooks in square, semi-round and round designs for both B-flat and C Gen II trumpets only. Semi-round tuning crooks offer a slightly freer “blow” and tend to provide slightly less resistance in articulation than do the standard square crooks. The round tuning crooks offer an extremely open feel but with some compromise in intonation. Some players find that a .462 tuning crook on a .460 valve set provides a perceptively more open and free “blow” while still retaining excellent intonation and response.

Instrument Weight

Both Gen II and Gen X designs are slightly heavier than standard weight of instruments offered by other manufacturers. The Gen X is about a pound heavier on average. The difference in weight between Edwards Gen II trumpets and those manufactured by other makers is variable according to the bell weight one chooses and which of the three available valve cap weights are selected.

Although the Gen X resembles other custom trumpets that feature a satin 24K gold finish, apart from the added heavy metal plates in the bell crook and tuning crook and the ovate tuning slide, the Gen X instrument is like the Gen II in nearly all other design respects with the exception of the ovate tuning crook configuration. It is important to note that the Gen X is not nearly as heavy as some other similar appearing instruments. Its increased weight does darken the sound somewhat and this is something that many players think they want. The Gen X achieves this effect while still retaining the basic characteristic sound of the trumpet — rich, resonant, brilliant – without producing the airy, dull, lifeless sound that excessively heavy trumpets tend to produce.


I find the intonation is quite good on Edwards instruments. Of course, the single most critical component in every instance is the ability and skill of the player. Because of the laws of nature, as dictated by the physics of acoustical science, it is a fallacy, despite the absurd claims of some custom manufacturers, that the common and characteristic intonational tendencies inherent in trumpet design can be completely obviated by manipulating design features of brass instruments or of mouthpieces.

It is true, however, that the match between a specific mouthpiece (backbore, throat size, and cup volume) and a specific instrument is important. Mouthpiece selection, therefore, is critical to achieving the best possible intonation and playing efficiency on any one trumpet, regardless of the manufacturer. This is a critical aspect that many players ignore, especially when changing from B-flat to C trumpet or from the either of the larger trumpets to E-flat and piccolo instruments.

As is the case with different bell and leadpipe designs, significant differences in intonation and tone quality are evident not only when changing component features in the trumpet design but when changing design features in the mouthpiece (cup depth, cup shape, throat size, backbore configuration). One must experiment to find the right combination of mouthpiece and horn compo-nents if one is to achieve the best possible intonation.

Edwards Mouthpieces

Edwards mouthpieces are crafted by special arrangement with Mark Curry and conform to the Bach standard of sizing. Some models (1H, 1CH, 1JC) are models copied from mouthpieces reputedly used by certain well-known players. 1H is similar to a Bach 1 but with a slightly deeper cup. 1CH is similar to a Bach 1C or 1 1/4 C, and 1JC is slightly narrower than the standard Bach 1C. Other mouthpiece sizes are available. The gold plating on all Edwards mouthpieces is of excellent quality. Edwards mouthpieces are very consistent in their sizing with little evidence of the inconsistent variations one can find in other mouthpieces of purportedly the same size that are manufactured by other well-known companies. Some Edwards mouthpieces are available with cup volume reductions (99%, 98%, etc.) The cup-volume options offered by Edwards mouthpieces affect response and intonation but require some experimentation, some money and time, and an informed idea of what one is trying to achieve if they are to prove practical to pursue.


Regardless of one’s personal opinion, it is important to recognize that there is considerable disagreement among scientists, and between scientists and musicians, regarding the effects of the various materials and finishes on brass instrument sound quality. It is true that silver plating is much more durable than lacquered brass finishes and is perhaps the wisest choice from the standpoint of long term durability versus initial cost. Many players who have experienced corrosion problems with lacquered or silver finishes find that gold plating offers the greatest durability.

Edwards Generation II instruments are available in raw brass, lacquered brass, silver plated or bright 24K gold plated finishes. Gen X trumpets are available in brushed 24K gold finish only. The quality of the plating on all Edwards trumpets is exceptional. The difference in appearance between the bright gold plate (polished) of the Gen II trumpets and the brushed gold finish of the Gen X is purely cosmetic. Differences in sound quality and response between Gen II and Gen X models are due to other design factors.


Music is mostly an art and only partially a science, therefore much of what one must deal with when selecting an instrument is based on less tangible factors such as the player’s sensitivity and perception of feel (feed-back), sound impression (aural) and sound imagery (conceptual), and the consistency or inconsistency in the individual player’s physical approach. No instrument can compensate for the differences between players or for inconsistencies within an individual player, however, Edwards has provided players with a means of selecting and evaluating the various individual components of ones custom instrument while retaining some sameness or consistency in other components. This greatly reduces much of the confusion players encounter when selecting an instrument.

Once one finds an Edwards set-up (bell design and weight, leadpipe, and bore size) that seems to work best for that individual player or playing circumstance, one is advised to not try to constantly change bells or leadpipes in an attempt to accommodate different musical applications – symphonic music, chamber music, lead playing, jazz playing and solo playing. To be constantly changing bells and leadpipes for every playing situation is confusing and foolish. It is wisest to stick with one basic set-up that allows the player to enjoy the greatest flexibility and versatility in their music making. Another possible approach is to select two set-ups (bell and leadpipe) that are so distinctly different in sound and blowing qualities that it is musically worth the effort and expense of changing components for special musical situations.

Gen II prices are competitive with all major professional bands. Gen X pricing runs around $3,500 but is less than other similar heavy custom trumpets. Many players who cannot afford the heaviest (in both price and weight) custom trumpets that are now en vogue find the Edwards Gen X to be an excellent choice of trumpet at a reasonable price.

Try Edwards trumpets. You’ll love playing them!

David Taylor Artist Profile

Sunday, March 2nd, 2003

The following interview took place at the Edwards Pro Stop on October 11, 2002.

Christan Griego: You just got back from Austria. Do you want to talk about that trip?

David Taylor: Sure, I had a great time in Austria. On this trip, I was in Vienna, playing in two different settings: a jazz club called “Porgy and Bess,” and Vienna’s main concert hall. It was wild, soloing on this incredibly historic stage. In both venues, I was performing in a trio for bass trombone, soprano saxophone, and piano.

The composer and saxophonist Daniel Schnyder is a great musician. Although I’ve played in other settings with him, these days we mainly play in this format. So in essence he’s writing all this music for the group we have formed. In the jazz club we play multi-genre compositions that he has written specifically for the group. Daniel has also done arrangements of the music of George Gershwin and Kurt Weil that allow us to improvise and stretch a little. In the concert hall, we performed in front of a silent film completed in the 20’s. Dr. Faust is based on Goethe, and directed by the great German filmmaker Mornau. Daniel composed a score to emphasize the action and ideas in the film, roughly 70% through-composed and 30% improvised, and also transcribed additional material from Bach, Schubert, Mahler, Liszt and other heavy-duty composers. It was great. We had about 1500 people attending. We’ve actually played this peice around the world.

Dave and ChristanI’m returning to Vienna at the end of October to play Daniel’s Concerto for Bass Trombone with the Tonkunstler Orchester Niedersterreich. We’ll do four performances and a radio broadcast in Vienna’s other major concert hall, the Weiner Musikverein. It’s a thrill for me to perform as soloist in both major concert halls in Vienna in one season. This is something I’m really proud of.

CG: You get to play in a lot of different chamber ensembles. Do you have a favorite?

DT: I don’t think in those terms. I’ve played L’histoire du Soldat with Wynton Marsalis and loved that setting. I love my brass trio, Areopagitica, the resident brass trio at Mannes College, with New York Philharmonic trumpeter Bob Sullivan and hornist David Jolley of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. I’ve mentioned the Schnyder, Taylor, Drew Trio, and really enjoy this setting, as well. I guess I would have to say that whenever there are great musicians in small settings, that’s my favorite type of ensemble. Great musicians listen to each other and give each other space. The whole idea is to communicate with the person next to you, and the great part of communication is to let the other person say as much as he wants. That’s not just music, that’s real life.

CG: Can you describe a typical day in your musical life in New York City?

DT: Well, as soon as I wake up, I’m practicing. My wife teaches, she gets up early, and then, you know, I go to work. There are days start by going to do a jingle, a lunch-time concert with the Mingus Big Band, a Latin recording session in the afternoon, and the same night play pieces like Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme with the New York Chamber Symphony in Alice Tully Hall. There are also crazy days where I get up, travel to Europe, and play a recital.

CG: Is your daily routine set in stone?

DT: Yes, my daily routine is set in stone. For the last 34 years I’ve started every day the same way, with the same series of exercises. I want to write a method book about this system, not necessarily recommending my exercises, but recommending a consistent approach. I plan to talk about how the exercises developed over the last 34 years, and what a consistent approach has done for my security and growth. For example, my first series of exercises are always the same, and take somewhere between 15 to 25 minutes, depending on how long it takes me to either limber up, get set, repair, or get away from pain.

CG: You mean depending on how you feel from the previous day?

DT: Exactly. But it’s always the same series of exercises in the same rhythm, usually the same volume level. I don’t go after perfection of sound right away, I go after the process (it’s always about process for me). Then I always take a minimum of 20 minutes rest after the first warm up exercises. I’ve stuck with this routine throughout the years, regardless of my schedule.

CG: You’ve never committed to one orchestra or any full time job, and you’ve taken the liberty to pursue any interest at any given time. What’s been the key to your success as a freelance artist?

DT: I think one of the things that helped me to be a successful freelance artist in New York City is that I’m from New York, and went to school in New York. I went to the Juilliard School of Music for six years. I wasn’t one of those guys who stuck around school and only performed in the rehearsal groups in school. I left the building to learn on the street. Every rehearsal group, band, you name it. I think the vital thing, to be a successful freelance artist, is that you’ve got to immediately start playing outside of the school that you are attending. That’s why I think it’s great for students to go to school in metropolitan areas. Prioritize playing in as many groups as you can. Prioritize practice discipline, and prioritize keeping your mouth shut. Just do the job, listen to the guys next to you, climb into the sound around you, and go home and practice.

CG: How has the use of electronic music affected the scene in New York City?

DT: It’s affecting music all over the country. And, with the world market changing, well, a lot of recording and movie gigs are going to Eastern European countries or places where an orchestra can be hired at a fraction of the cost of American groups. Combine this with digital technology, and you have the possibility of “piping in” a live orchestra to a production staff in a different country.

CG: When can we expect Pugh/Taylor Project II?

DT: It’s done. We’re in the process of getting the label, giving the recording a title, and setting the release date.

CG: Who do you listen to? Who are your musical influences?

DT: The last couple of weeks I’ve been listening a lot to Harry Partch. Harry Partch is an American microtonal composer from the first half of the 20th century. I listen to improvising artists, pop, rock, and R&B. I haven’t listened to that much orchestral stuff these days, probably because I’ve been playing in a lot of orchestra’s lately. Wait a minute, let me answer this question another way: I listen to me. I’ve been doing a bunch of solo recording projects, so there’s usually a project I’m working on. I have 3 or 4 CDs coming out this year where I’m either unaccompanied, or partnered with a soloist. So I’m always listening to or editing these projects. I’ve got an unaccompanied scheduled for release in Europe this fall on PAO records called Hymns, Hums, Hiss, and Herz. Also out in December will be Doppelganger, from CIMP records here in the U.S. This is an improvisation-based recording with drummer Jay Rosen and bassist Dominic Duval.

CG: Has recording yourself helped you in your concept of sound?

DT: Do you mean like recording projects?

CG: Yes, and even just recording yourself while you are practicing.

DT: For sure. I switched to the Edwards based on what I was hearing in playbacks on recordings I was performing on in the early 90’s. In certain instances I made a direct change because of what I heard. In many other instances, and this may sound funny to you, I made changes because it’s important to me that I have total musical creativity and whimsy in my playing. So sometimes that means not listening to how you sound, just feeling the process—making sure you have a horn that will respond to whatever your process requires. I have to say that there are times when I listen back as a trombone player and say, “Wow, I wish I could be more trombone perfect,” because I know what that is supposed to be. But then I say to myself, “yeah, but listen to the colors.” So for me it’s a constant insecure battle between trying to get myself to play trombonistically perfect, and get away from the trombone at the same time. It’s can be very disconcerting.

CG: What’s the weirdest gig you’ve ever played?

DT: [Laughs] I’ll have to think about that. I’ve played some weird gigs.

CG: Would Liza Manelli’s wedding be high on the list?

DT: Yeah, it wasn’t weird—that was just, [pauses] heavy. It was like sitting backstage eating dinner with the cats in the band, and Michael Jackson’s hanging back there as well. It was a very interesting situation. It was very moving because it was down by the WTC, just a few months after September 11.

I played the Michael Jackson concert in Madison Square Garden on September 10, and that was strange seeing all sorts of incendiary devices being used as part of the show, and then the next morning I was on the phone with you when the WTC tragedy was happening. Remember that? I have to think about that last question a little more. I’ve done a lot of strange gigs.

CG: When you started Edwards you were playing the dependent valve setup. In the past year you switched over to the independent. Can you tell me why?

DT: I still play both independent and dependent. So many guys were playing on it (independent) that I couldn’t turn my back on it any longer. I had to try it out. One of the reasons I stayed away from the independent set up earlier was because it was much heavier than what I was used to playing. With the earlier models of independent set ups, the rotors didn’t allow for colors to change the way Thayers do. With the valve improvements and bell choices, there are more options now for people to match the valve sections. It’s almost making the dependent vs. independent battle a moot point. I think you can make either work.

CG: What does next year have in store for you?

DT: My book is filling up with other projects. My next tour to Austria is the main thing on my mind right now. After the Austrian tour, I’ll be playing the Schnyder Concerto in Chicago on November 12, and in New York on December 13. There are also a couple of CD projects that I’ve planned, so it’s going to be another busy year.

CG: What is the biggest technical problem facing the trombonists you are teaching?

DT: I think that any musician who takes up the trombone today is brave. I don’t get in any student’s face these days about my own agenda of technique, because if you’re going to be a musician, and especially a trombone player, you have to have an air of adventure about you. So, usually I don’t push my students into a particular philosophy or into a particular way of thinking. One element of being a great trombone player is following your whimsy. Being a musician is such a positive force that I feel my job is to help students realize who they are, and to help develop their strengths.

Interview edited for website by Chris Branagan.
© David Taylor

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