Martin Committee

 Q: Who was on the committee that designed the Martin Committee? The Martin Committee, a trumpet with an unusual name, earned its name by being designed by a committee. It went on to dominate the jazz trumpet market from the late 1940s until the mid 1960s or so. Committees were played by Miles Davis throughout … Continue reading “Martin Committee”


 Q: Have we mourned adequately the fate of Benge? A: Once upon a time, Pat Olguin had a web site called “The Benge Nut” that one day just disappeared as a result of disturbances, convulsions, and mergers in the force. This humbly takes its place. Photo on this page courtesy Paul Ayick. Check out Paul’s … Continue reading “Benge”

Baroque Trumpet

 Q: How can I make (a fake but serviceable) baroque trumpet at home? A: This was a newsgroup post written by Dwight Hall, a clever and handy amateur trombone and cornet player from Lakewood, Colorado. When he completed his horn, he contacted me, as a “real” trumpet player to test it and I did. It … Continue reading “Baroque Trumpet”

Trumpet Student Christmas

Q: What do I give a trumpet student for Christmas? A: Once upon a time, the mom of one of my students asked me what she could get her son for Christmas that would be “trumpet related.” That question grew into a handout which I passed out each Christmas to those who similarly inquired. It … Continue reading “Trumpet Student Christmas”

Pocket trumpets

  Q: I love those cute little pocket trumpets–should I get one? A: A note about pricing: The prices here quoted are those drawn from the web sites of the large volume retail discount music stores such as the Woodwind and the Brasswind, Music 123, andGiardinelli. I have often rounded up to the nearest round … Continue reading “Pocket trumpets”

Guide to Piccolo trumpets

Q: What piccolo trumpet should I buy? A: I’ve attempted, rather than to describe in detail the specifications and features of each horn, to link, where possible, this page with the manufacturers’ page for each of the horns. Some manufacturers have made linking directly to the individual horn impossible, with various interlaced frames and all, … Continue reading “Guide to Piccolo trumpets”

New trumpet guide

Q: What pro quality trumpet should I buy? A: This is an essay that started its life as a handout that I gave my students (and, more importantly, the parents of my students) who were looking to upgrade from a beginner’s horn. I fatigued of repeating the same information, or worse, repeating half of the … Continue reading “New trumpet guide”

Choosing a Trumpet

Q: When I am testing a trumpet, what exactly am I testing for? A: I think that sound (what is the quality and timbre of the sound? is it the same throughout the range?) response (how quickly does the horn do what I want it to do?) and intonation (does the horn play in tune?) … Continue reading “Choosing a Trumpet”

Testing a trumpet

Q: How should I test a new trumpet? A: What follows approaches the ideal for testing sound, response, intonation and resistance. There are few things in life that can be experienced at the ideal level, but try to get as many of these things together as you can. Plan ahead: 1) Test the horn with … Continue reading “Testing a trumpet”

Trumpet Gearhead

Jim Donaldson’s answers to a few frequently, or at least occasionally, asked questions The Gearhead Consumer Report How should I test a new trumpet? When I am testing a trumpet, what exactly am I testing it for? What pro quality B flat trumpet should I buy? (revised and updated as of May 2008) Yeah, but … Continue reading “Trumpet Gearhead”