The Badger Band Gets More Getzens Yet Again

Posted by Getzen on December 2nd, 2003

UW Receives Getzen Trombones
Mike Leckrone (l) takes delivery of the new trombones in custom Wisconsin cases from Tom Getzen (r).
(Click image for larger view)

Following the order of 100 Eterna Classic trumpets a year ago, the University of Wisconsin Badger Marching Band continues their love of Getzen instruments with an order of 75 new Getzen trombones.

Mike Leckrone, the Badger Band director, took a break from early season band practice to receive the delivery of the 75 silver plated 351 trombones with Amado waterkeys. As with the Eterna Classic trumpets, each trombone included a custom soft sided case in Badger crimson with the band’s logo embroidered on the outside of the case. In addition, Mr. Leckrone ordered several soft briefcases matching the cases for use by his assistant directors.

Any high schools or universities interested in Getzen instruments in custom cases featuring school colors and logos can contact the Getzen Company at 800-366-5584 or via our contact form for more details.

Becoming the Smart Musician, Part II of Series

Posted by Getzen on May 23rd, 2003

by Robert Levy – Professor of Music, Lawrence University
Getzen Artist & Clinician

While Part I of this series addressed an approach in practicing by isolating Musical Elements, I’d like to backtrack a moment in Part II to the very beginning of our journey.

When starting out, young players have most likely been drawn to the trumpet for having heard someone play it – maybe a friend or relative. Or, perhaps they attended a concert and heard a soloist and were captivated by the glorious sound ringing throughout the auditorium or concert hall. At any rate, there was something captivating about this instrument for each of us from the very beginning and we made a conscious decision to get one and learn how to play it. Little did we know this would be on long journey!!

After many years I’m still amazed when I see raw beginners taking their very first steps as they learn the fundamentals of good hand and finger position, get their lips buzzing on the mouthpiece, and produce their beginning level tone qualities. They have such boundless enthusiasm and a yearning desire. They just want to get blowing the horn as quickly as possible with little regard for how they might sound. And this is understandable and I believe quite okay in the first few weeks of this learning process. I think the number one priority for teachers is to take advantage of this great enthusiasm that exists. All too often I see young teachers giving detailed lectures on the refined points of embouchure development, the importance of musical notation, and even a theoretical analysis! While all of these things are not only important and essential, I truly believe for a young student, age eleven to thirteen, the priority should be allowing them to play as soon as possible and take advantage of their desire to create a sound. Johnny and Susan don’t get this kind of opportunity in math or English class. We can work on refinement and all the other important concepts later as the long journey continues.

To hold the young student back from actually playing the instrument is like giving a four year old a new toy and keeping him/her from playing with it while you tell them all you know about it. He wants to play just as our new young trumpeter is excited about making those first sounds. In most cases they won’t be very beautiful, but they will be their own.

There is all too often a high attrition rate with young musicians and I believe this occurs because they become bored. If we can capture their excitement and enthusiasm it will get them up and running and many more young students will stay motivated playing their instruments.

Lastly, I believe very strongly in even the youngest students hearing models as early as three or four weeks after they’ve begun. They then have a long range goal before them. They’ll remember THAT sound and begin to formulate sound concepts. It can be done with the teacher making a point to play with the student (rather than strictly talking), by bringing in guest players, or by regularly playing recordings of outstanding players. Let’s remember the wonderful success with Suzucki teaching where the emphasis is on playing; reading comes later. I think there is a considerable amount to be learned from that technique.

Part III of this series will address the importance of sound concepts. Meanwhile, let’s keep our youngest students turned on to playing their horns!

University of Wisconsin Takes Delivery of New Eterna Classic Trumpets

Posted by Getzen on November 9th, 2002

UW and Getzen
Mike Leckrone (left) eagerly accepts new Eterna Classic trumpets in UW’s custom cases from Tom Getzen
(Click image for larger view)

The University of Wisconsin Badger Marching Band recently accepted delivery of over 100 new 900 Eterna Classic trumpets all in silver plate. Each trumpet also included a specially manufactured soft sided case made in Badger crimson and sporting the University of Wisconsin Marching Band’s logo embroidered on the outside.

“We are proud to continue to be part of the Badger Bands trademark sound” said Tom Getzen, President and owner of the Getzen Company, Inc. He also noted, “The Badger Band has been using Getzen silver plated trumpets, trombones, and flugelhorns for several years and it is always a thrill to hear our instruments being played by a band of this caliber.”

Getzen 900 Eterna Classic trumpets are a return to the original 900 Eterna trumpet design made famous in the sixties and seventies. Each features a .460″ bore valve set, nickel silver mouthpipe, nickel silver slide tubes, a two piece 4 3/4″ diameter yellow brass bell, a first slide saddle, and a third slide adjustable ring.

Becoming the Smart Musician, Part I of Series

Posted by josh on November 8th, 2002

by Robert Levy – Professor of Music, Lawrence University
Getzen Artist & Clinician

While I have spoken in previous issues of choosing the more beneficial aspects of playing and selecting a good daily routine, there are some additional thoughts I’m pleased to share. First, I want to thank those hundreds of trumpet students I’ve worked with over the past, nearly forty years, and my many musician friends who have given their time to share their thoughts and ideas in teaching.

I believe we sometimes simply take many things for granted including the belief students will be able to sort through an approach to learning on their own. If learning is, according to Webster, “the acquiring of skills or knowledge” there is a process we must go through to acquire those skills. I’d like to view this whole idea within a framework that leads to developing total musicianship. Yes, we all are continually learning new ways and new skills, and better ways of doing things, but I think we can find easier ways and possibly save time. This is what I refer to as “becoming a smart musician” rather than simply becoming a tongue and blow player. Perhaps this is oversimplification, but I have seen and worked with both types of musicians and seen my students make many mistakes that they could have avoided.

The “smart musician” can learn an approach to playing and practicing that is direct and concise and gets to the heart of the matter. It also ties in with reducing the complex to the simple. One non-musician friend many years ago was sitting in the audience with me attending a symphony concert. He remarked, “how is it possible for all these players to do all which is necessary to play together as they do?” I thought that was a fascinating comment, and as I thought about it, the idea is rather amazing. How many other fields or occupations are there where one person will multi task or think about so many things simultaneously: pitch, rhythm, intonation, balance, blend, style, articulation, releases, hand and finger positions, breathing, embouchure, trying to make a beautiful sound. Add to that phrasing, watching the conductor, and listening to everyone else on stage. When you stop to think about it, that’s truly amazing. Yet, we do it and many do it in terrific fashion.

Now, how might we approach things in the learning process? If an etude or musical composition appears difficult, we want to somehow “reduce the complex” to make it simpler and easier. This begins not just with slow practicing, but also by isolating the elements one at a time. First get your pitches, then get the rhythm (you can even speak it without playing), the work on the articulations, add the dynamics, accelerandos, retards, etc… Finally add phrasing and musicality and begin combining all of those elements while practicing it slowly and gradually increase the tempi as the passage becomes more comfortable for you. Last of all, listen carefully for good tuning and play with your best sound. The key is to isolate and learn each aspect separately when working on something difficult.

With these tips, you’ll learn the piece BETTER and FASTER. It’s another example of how you can become the “smart musician”.

World Class Brass Band Joins Getzen

Posted by Getzen on April 12th, 2002

Doc Severinsen
Göteborg Brass Band with their new 3850 Custom Series Cornets
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When the Göteborg Brass Band stepped off the bus in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for their Midwest USA Tour, they were attempting something that many groups would not think of trying. They were receiving an entire new set of Getzen Cornets. This in itself is not so daring but deciding to leave their old cornets back in Sweden was. After spending time testing the instrument, principal cornetist Victor Kisnitchenko decided that the Getzen cornet significantly outperformed their current cornets and wanted the band to play them as soon as possible. Göteborg’s Brass Band Director, Bengt Eklund, also believed “the quality of sound in the new Getzen would greatly improve the concept of sound for the entire ensemble.”

The Göteborg Brass Band recently won the 2001 Swedish National Championship. Mostly made up of professional musicians and very highly skilled amateurs, the brass band has been in existence since 1982. Founded by its director Bengt Eklund, the brass band quickly gained an international reputation by participating in orchestral festivals and contests. These successes paved the way for new concert tours, which have encompassed four continents. Göteborg Brass Band has held the position as Swedish Champions for many years (as recently as 2001) but the band’s greatest success came in 1988 when it won the World Brass Band Championship and Entertainment Titles in Australia.

Doc Severinsen
Bengt Eklund

With a wide variety of musical genres (from Mozart’s Magic Flute to Thelonious Monk’s ‘Round Midnight) the brass band dazzles all who listens. Their Midwest tour took them through most of the state of Wisconsin and Minnesota. They were one of the spotlight performances at the Wisconsin Music Educators Convention in Madison where they amazed the audience. There were countless comments about their performance during the remainder of the conference. Most felt it was the highlight of the conference. Getzen is proud to be associated with such a world class organization. In Summer of 2002 the brass band will be receiving a set of Custom Series Trombones which they are awaiting anxiously.

Bengt Eklund, former trumpeter of the Göteborg Orchestra, and currently Professor at the School of Music and Musicology, Göteborg University and Professor of Trumpet at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo. He held the position of President of the European International Trumpet Guild from 1994-2000. His inspiration has lead the brass band to four CD’s – World Champions, The Magic Flute, Versatile Reality, and Ambassadors of Brass.

The Trumpet and Its Bore Size – How Critical is It?

Posted by Getzen on April 12th, 2002

by Andrew Naumann

There are many choices when faced with buying a professional quality trumpet. One of the first decisions most players encounter is which bore size should I choose? Many players assume that a larger or smaller bore size will create the type of “feel” or blow they need (i.e. more open or a more resistant air stream). This article will help you understand the concept of bore and help you realize its importance when choosing a new trumpet.

Getzen 3051First, the design of the bore is not the size of the hole in the piston but rather it is determined by the size of the inside slide tubes of each of the valve slides (1st, 2nd and 3rd valve slides) and the tuning slide. The leadpipe and bell are conical. The general bore sizes offered on Bb trumpets range from .459″ to .468″.

I would like to first say that the differences in bell size and leadpipe design will change the resistance of the instrument, tonal production and rate of air flow much more significantly than the overall bore size. For these reasons, you should not concern yourself with bore size more than understanding the different leadpipes and bells for each trumpet you sample. Many professional trumpets manufacturers describe the shape of the bell as well as the leadpipe in detail along with giving a bore size. The significance of leadpipe design and bell design has a larger overall effect on the quality of sound and blow than bore size. With that in mind, when looking for your new trumpet, pay attention to the detailed descriptions of the bell and leadpipe and how they effect your playing and overall concept of sound you are trying to achieve.

Generally, the rate of taper in a leadpipe defines the quality of blow (open or resistant). A slower taper creates a more stable, resistant air stream and a fast taper creates an open free blowing air stream. As for bell design, larger bells produce a dark, free blowing feel and medium large bells offer a more controlled, brilliant tone. For example, if your concept of sound involves a darker tone, it would be best to begin with a trumpet that offers a larger bell in conjunction with a slower tapered leadpipe to help balance air flow. My experience has lead me to believe that the best playing instruments are balanced within themselves. Large bells with medium leadpipes or large leadpipes with medium large bells. This balance usually creates the optimum air flow you are looking for.

Where does bore fit into all of this? Basically, it puts it last on the priority list. Balance is what you are looking for. A balanced trumpet will offer a higher quality of sound with more stability and endurance for your embouchure. The ease of playability will encourage your development and ultimately produce higher quality performances.

A Night of 1000 Trumpets

Posted by Getzen on April 12th, 2002

Doc Severinsen
Click image for larger view

Doc SeverinsenDoc has done it again! The night of 1000 trumpets was held at Southern Mississippi University on October 9th 2001. The challenge was to assemble 1000 trumpeters in one arena for a spectacular performance that involved all. This idea was turned into an event complete with masterclasses and exhibitors along with a performance by the Southern Mississippi University Symphony Orchestra. Doc Severinsen was not only the featured artist at this great event but was the master of the ceremonies.

The event, sponsored by the University, achieved a total of more than 700 trumpeters playing at one time during the concert. Players from all over the USA and at least four other countries around the world attended. The event was scheduled to have well over 1000 players attend but the September 11th tragedy had a large effect on the turnout. All that did attend enjoyed a wonderful day of entertainment from Doc. The concert opened with a fanfare written especially for the mass trumpet ensemble.

Doc last visited Hattiesburg, MS in 1996 with the USM Symphony orchestra. According to the USM news report “prior to Doc’s long-running gig with the Tonight Show, Severinsen performed in the then-small college town of Hattiesburg in 1969. In his return in 1996, Doc pledged he would return every 30 years!” For our sake, it was great he returned in 2001.

Doc Returns to Where It All Began

Posted by Getzen on October 17th, 2001

by Andrew Naumann

Doc Severinsen
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When Doc arrived at the Getzen Co. this past June it felt as if a long lost family member found their way home. Many workers for the company remember the days when Doc was a regular around the old factory. His sense of style and flash has not changed and his interest in trumpet playing and designing seems to be even stronger. As he toured the factory, he took extensive amounts of time to sit with the craftspeople and watch their expertise. Many times he would comment on the fine work he was witnessing, which would always draw a smile. In fact, at one point he said to one of the employees in the Valve Department, “Do you realize how important you are? This is where the heart of the trumpet begins. You are responsible for starting this instrument’s voice. What an important person you are for all Getzen trumpeters!” His humility was seen by many of the workers which brought and immediate respect for his love of the trumpet.

Doc Tours Getzen FactoryEight months earlier, I contacted Don in hopes that he might be interested in discussing his return to the Getzen Co. Twenty years has passed since Doc has endorsed Getzen instruments. When we met and discussed what he wanted in a trumpet, I knew we could offer him what he has been looking for. Mainly, he was interested in having trumpets made with quality in mind. He felt most firms have gone the route of trying to build trumpets as fast as possible with Wall Street driving the company. It was difficult for Doc to talk with this type of company because it would mean the company would need to slow down and research better designs. This approach is costly and time consuming – two things corporate America hates to hear. But at the Getzen Co., we still have a single owner and a small company atmosphere that thrives on new ideas and craftsmanship. This attitude has always been with the Getzen family.

The Getzen Co., owned and operated by Thomas Getzen, has strived to improve its product line for the past ten years. Achieving new developments such as the Thayer Valve (trombone axial flow valve) has been an integral part of improving Getzen instruments. This forward thinking has led to the development of improved valve sets and bell manufacturing for both the trumpet and trombone lines. Doc realized that the Getzen Co. was on the fast track for some of the best instruments offered by and brass manufacturer. In fact, he stated, “Getzen is not mass producing brass instruments, they are mass customizing top quality brass instruments.” The Getzen Co. also offers some of the best warranties in the business which includes a lifetime warranty on all trumpet valve sets.

Doc’s return is both an honor and a sign of the good things to come for the Getzen Co. Many plans are currently in design for even more developments and improvements in the product lines. Doc will be an important part of the Getzen design team by offering advice and testing new instruments. Commitment, courage, ability, and resources are all necessary elements in success. Getzen realizes these elements and uses them to drive forward to a bright future.