Instrument Review : C Trumpet from Norwich Natural Trumpets

I was recently sent a new C trumpet by Matt Martin from Norwich Natural Trumpets. This was designed in collaboration with Mark Bennett and has arrived with me looking spectacular. These trumpets are custom-built to order, but surprisingly do not have the custom price tag. In fact they are currently less expensive than many people's … Continue reading Instrument Review : C Trumpet from Norwich Natural Trumpets

Do Bell Covers help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

OK, so I need to say right off the bat that I have no intention of actually answering this question! I am certainly not qualified. This past year (plus change) has seen it become ok for us all to express ‘opinions’ on science, and for us to have the choice to either agree or disagree, sometimes depending on our political leanings. This confusion has been confusing!

Edgware by BBICO

I was recently sent a range of new products to take through their paces from BBICO - the British Band Instrument Company. Their Edgware range (named after their North London home) encompasses an intriguing ethos of sustainability.

Design Innovations : Ultimate Brass

Established 2013 in Philadelphia by Chinese-born bass trombonist Sun He, Ultimate Brass started as a brass instrument repair studio and later became an innovative company that designs and makes brass instrument mouthpieces, trombones, trumpets, and brass instrument accessories. Ultimate Brass Mouthpieces and accessories are being used daily by members of the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New … Continue reading Design Innovations : Ultimate Brass

Design Innovations : Tom Clary

In May 2018 in San Antonio (TX) I had the great pleasure of meeting Tom Clary at the annual ITG conference. Tom is the founder / designer / master craftsman behind Clary Woodmutes, and was there to display his range of beautifully-crafted wooden trumpet mutes. Two years on, Clary Woodmutes continue to go from strength to strength with a broad range of exquisite looking (and sounding!) mutes - I was delighted to sit down and spend some time with him (socially-distanced over Zoom of course) to chat about this great progress:

Finding the perfect orchestral mouthpiece

I have spent a lot of time recently (mainly virtually!) working with players who have used this enforced period of time off to look at new and possibly better mouthpiece options for themselves. Many classical, and particularly specialist orchestral players are traditionally very conservative in their choices and often choose to stick to the ‘tried … Continue reading Finding the perfect orchestral mouthpiece

Frate Precision : Black Onyx Trim Kit Review

Hands up, anyone who has wasted a practice session messing around with heavy valve caps and trim in the hope that they will be the answer to all of their problems. And then gone back to what they had on originally. I guess that I am probably not alone. There are some really attractive options out there and there is no doubting their ability to give you a ‘pimped up’ horn. At first glance, these trim kits from Frate Precision are beautiful. A gold-plated refined Italian design with black onyx set into the finger buttons, and black anodised aluminium stems. They are simply stunning. Ultimately though, what will persuade us to keep them on the horn is how they help or improve the instrument’s performance.