Pip Eastop, Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Horn player, Photographer, Trumpet player

Pip Eastop, hornplayer, teacher, horn, trumpet, jazz, sessions, London, soloist, orchestral, improvisation etc....

Posts tagged “Eb alto

A most complicated horn.

According to Engelbert Schmid, my horn is the most complicated horn he has ever built. Here’s part of a letter he wrote to me which arrived with the new instrument. 

It’s a wonderful horn, in every way, and a marvel of design and engineering excellence. It’s the only horn I’ve ever seen with eight valves.  

It’s a full triple horn – F, Bb and Eb. To me, that’s a full double horn with an added Eb jazz horn built in.

And the Bb part of it has a stopping valve. 

I’ve had it for about two years now and I love it. I’ll try to take some nice pictures of it so you can see what a fine monster it is.


Taylor Trumpets’ “Phatboy” flugelhorn

Here’s something exciting!

It’s not a conception or a birth but some siginificant moment halfway between the two. Today, the building of a new instrument began. It’s an Eb flugelhorn. A big fat flugelhorn sounding one fifth lower than a normal Bb one. It’s being built by Taylor Trumpets and it’s going to be based on their amazing Phatboy flugel. Which looks like this:

My Eb tenor Phatboy flugelhorn is being made in this style

My Eb tenor Phatboy flugelhorn is being made in this style

If that is not a thing of great beauty then I’d like to know what is!

Why do I want one?

Well, this is a hard one to answer… Many reasons, I suppose. I’m a french horn player, mainly, but I’m learning jazz trumpet and I love to play the flugelhorn, too. My orchestral french horn is rather special in that it has an Eb alto section to it, a kind of “stealth jazzhorn” – exactly the same pitch as this new Phatboy Flugel I’m having made for me. Why Eb alto? Because it’s perfect for jazz, whereas the Bb of a modern french horn is – in my own personal opinion – not reeeeeeally suitable. It sounds a bit too gloopy for my taste.

So, I like to play jazz on my modern orchestral horn – but only on the Eb side of it. This is great because it’s so handy – I’ve nearly always got it with me – right there on my lap. Most convenient. BUT, it’s not a perfect solution, because, as it’s a french horn, it points backwards and this is not good for jazz. Jazz has to be right “in your face”. That’s my opinion – and it’s only that. Not a religion – just the way I feel about it.  I think jazz needs a horn with a forward-facing bell.

Another thing I like to do is play jazz on the tenor horn. I’ve not done it in public before but it really works as a jazz instrument – almost perfectly but not quite…  And why not? Because it points straight up in the air – not forwards. So, one thing I could so, I suppose, is to get an Eb tenor horn and bend the bell so it points forward. Yes, that would work fine – but it would look AWFUL.

Now look above at that beauty! See what I mean?

So, I’m hopeful that my new Eb “Phatboy” tenor flugelhorn will sound fantastic, play in tune and look fantastic. Fingers crossed!

I’ll try to get some photos of it, while it’s being built, to put here.