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jon112780

Switching from G to Bb/F instruments, what year?

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The switch to Bb/F horns happened in 2000. According to http://www.dci.org/news/view.cfm?news_id=ca77ecfc-38f5-4c64-8774-c3c9b5cfc9cc , the cadets and BD were the first 2 corps to switch away from G. The last corps to switch to Bb/F was the Racine Scouts, and they marched their season away form G bugles in 2011, according to

http://drumcorpswiki.com/Racine_Scouts

I'm not sure why DCI made the shift, but a big part of it was about evolving the activity and making it on the same page and more available for everybody to participate in. This way I can bring my B flat trumpet to a camp and play that, instead of getting used to a new instrument (same basic concept, sure, but they handle differently from what I've heard). I don't know much more than this, sorry.

Wrong. Les Stentors and Spirit of Newark are the last two DCI Open Class Member Corps who use G bugles. Spirit of Newark still marches some 2-valved, non-chromatic bugles.

The main reason for the switch was money. Sure, some people claim a musical aspect to it, but money always trumps. As a musician, I actually really enjoy G bugles. It's hard to play a two valved horn in most modern corps (DCA or DCI) and next to impossible in a marching band, pep band, etc. Three valved bugles are fine because they are chromatic. I personally enjoy playing 3 valved G horns in bands because it challenges my musical knowledge and abilities to stay in tune, know the fingerings (when not playing properly transposed music), and it's really quite fun.

I was too young to march DCI before the switch to any key, but I challenge any and all of you young bucks out there to try a G bugle before you judge their intonation.

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I understand the switch to Bb, but was sad to see the G horns go.

the Bb horns just don't produce the sound or power the G horns had. Thats why today you see 16 tubas on the field and can barely hear the low brass unless the synth is doubling the parts (a sadly all too common practice)

The horns changed every ten years or so regardless. 70s were Valve/Rotors, 80s Two valve G, 90s Three valve G, 00s any key

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who was the last corp to make finals with G bugles? and i know that Star of Indiana was the last corp to make finals with 2 valve bugles.

another interesting question. how many world class use large bore horns? You think most corps would considering Bugles were all large bore im pretty sure. I know most yamaha corps march .459 trumpets and compared to .468 bugles thats a big difference.

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The bore size can be a tricky way to compare horns.

A lot depends on how an individual plays. If a player depends on a horn's resistance to support the tone, then a large bore horn can actually feel stuffy and hard to blow because the player is attempting to support their tone in the absence of the resistance they are used to.

A horn's construction makes a big difference too. Whether the crooks are an even radius or squared, how soon the bell flare opens up - slow as opposed to fast, etc.

Some of the best flugelhorns have a relatively small bore, compared to a trumpet.

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I know this is a little off topic, but for me, the allure to drum corps was the different horn. First it being in a different key than the trumpet I had been playing for 9 years, then the configuration. The PR I didnt care for, but the 2 valve just made it interesting and a new challenge to conquer. It gave drum and bugle corps that extra uniqueness that I don't feel exists today.

Wasn't Pioneer one of the last G lines in world class? I think they made the switch in 2012?

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So, from what I've heard, the official DCI ruling that occured for the 2000 season was made to allow for the use of 3 or 4 valved brass instruments in any key, right? Please correct me if this isn't totally accurate...

If this is true, does that mean that bugles (keyed in G, one valve, two valve, piston, rotor, whatever) are still technically allowed to be used today?

I'm really interested in this because it seems to me that some corps could (or should) still use these instruments that it seems like many people miss a lot...Being a younger member who's only marched one season so far, I'd be thrilled to hear a currently active World Class corps stand out from the pack because they're using a hornline filled with bugles. That may seem odd to some people, seeing as the major debate concerning bugles seems to be between the older fans who marched with them and the younger fans who have been doing just fine with Bb horns.

If the reason why every corps switched away from bugles since 2000 is for financial reasons, there are definitely a number of corps out there that could afford to replace their hornline with bugles for one or more seasons. I don't doubt that most of the top 12 corps could do that fairly easily (maybe they don't NEED to get new uniforms one year?) Heck, I think it would be way cool just to see a soloist in a corps using a bugle. I'm 99% certain ANY corps out there could get their hands on just one bugle if they wanted to do this. I'm pretty jealous of all you guys out there that got to sit in front of dudes screaming away on real sops! haha..

But if I'm wrong about the ruling and it was actually a matter of outlawing the use of the older instruments, then it would be obvious why we don't see/hear them anymore.

Thanks to anyone who can contribute some information about this!

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The quality of the horn was not the same. I say "out-of-tune" because it's #### hard to get them to play in tune across the entire instrument.

I hear that stuff when band teachers talk about any marching brass. "Oh those marching Baritones are so hard to play in tune."

Well, if the ensemble doesn't take the time to practice playing in tune then it won't happen.

At Sky Ryders, we took lots of time to play and listen, listen and play. The instructors were constantly saying "don't tighten you throat up, play nice open round tones". Go back and take a listen, our G bugle line sounded musical. Go back and Listen to Freelancers, Blue Devils, Garfield Cadets, Cavaliers, Madison, Star of Indiana, Troopers, Crossmen....... Lots of good sound coming from G Bugle Lines. Yes, Crown's hornline has been out of this world for a while now and it probably the best I have ever heard. I'm pretty sure they would have an outstanding sound if they picked up G bugles as well.

The better Quality Bugles were Old, and King as far as I have found. The low end was Dynasty, but many corps used Dynasty and had good results. There were other brands, I just don't have any experience with them.

I'm currently playing a Dynasty 3 Valve G Baritone and I don't hate it.

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I know this is a little off topic, but for me, the allure to drum corps was the different horn. First it being in a different key than the trumpet I had been playing for 9 years, then the configuration. The PR I didnt care for, but the 2 valve just made it interesting and a new challenge to conquer. It gave drum and bugle corps that extra uniqueness that I don't feel exists today.

Wasn't Pioneer one of the last G lines in world class? I think they made the switch in 2012?

Yes, they were the last World Class Corps to get rid of G Bugles. I think they shipped most of them to Africa if I'm not mistaken. I think it was before 2012.

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So, from what I've heard, the official DCI ruling that occured for the 2000 season was made to allow for the use of 3 or 4 valved brass instruments in any key, right? Please correct me if this isn't totally accurate...

If this is true, does that mean that bugles (keyed in G, one valve, two valve, piston, rotor, whatever) are still technically allowed to be used today?

I'm really interested in this because it seems to me that some corps could (or should) still use these instruments that it seems like many people miss a lot...Being a younger member who's only marched one season so far, I'd be thrilled to hear a currently active World Class corps stand out from the pack because they're using a hornline filled with bugles. That may seem odd to some people, seeing as the major debate concerning bugles seems to be between the older fans who marched with them and the younger fans who have been doing just fine with Bb horns.

If the reason why every corps switched away from bugles since 2000 is for financial reasons, there are definitely a number of corps out there that could afford to replace their hornline with bugles for one or more seasons. I don't doubt that most of the top 12 corps could do that fairly easily (maybe they don't NEED to get new uniforms one year?) Heck, I think it would be way cool just to see a soloist in a corps using a bugle. I'm 99% certain ANY corps out there could get their hands on just one bugle if they wanted to do this. I'm pretty jealous of all you guys out there that got to sit in front of dudes screaming away on real sops! haha..

But if I'm wrong about the ruling and it was actually a matter of outlawing the use of the older instruments, then it would be obvious why we don't see/hear them anymore.

Thanks to anyone who can contribute some information about this!

The word was allowed. The old equipment wasn't disallowed. You still the occasional use of rope drums for parts of shows.

It's the judges who seem to put pressure on corps to use the Bb/F horns as well as the sweet deals by BIG INSTRUMENT companies.

I don't think any top 6 corps is willing to put their placing in jeopardy just so the fans can hear a G line again.

Wait, maybe the Blue Devils should do it.

I could imagine Madison or Cavaliers going totally retro and using G bugles. What would they do with them after the season was over? Sell them in the Alumni or All Age Market. Maybe keep them for their Alumni.

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