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tedrick

mellophone breakdown - what are the percentages?

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curious as to the breakdown of french horn players to other brass players that march drum corps mellophone -

would the collected wisdom of the group consider the percentages a 50/50 split between french horn players and other brass (ie trumpet players)? or are most mello spots marched by french hornists?

do most lines march a special mello mouthpiece or do members march french horn mouthpieces or trumpet mouthpieces?

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I remember the vast majority being horn players.

For years I assumed that mellophone was just a fancy name for marching French horn.

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Just now, jeffmolnar said:

I remember the vast majority being horn players.

For years I assumed that mellophone was just a fancy name for marching French horn.

I had always thought mellophone mouthpieces had a cup while French horn mouthpieces didn't which made the latter so darn hard to play w/o fracking. 

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21 minutes ago, CrownBariDad said:

I had always thought mellophone mouthpieces had a cup while French horn mouthpieces didn't which made the latter so darn hard to play w/o fracking. 

Probably, I know nothing about the mouthpieces. Baritone player here so take anything I’m saying with a grain of salt. I just remember most mello players having a French horn background.

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1 hour ago, CrownBariDad said:

I had always thought mellophone mouthpieces had a cup while French horn mouthpieces didn't which made the latter so darn hard to play w/o fracking. 

I think the fracking is more a result of the close overtone series inherent to the French horn rather than the mouthpiece. I might not have explained that properly, I’m a bassoon player. 

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34 minutes ago, Brian Tuma said:

I think the fracking is more a result of the close overtone series inherent to the French horn rather than the mouthpiece. I might not have explained that properly, I’m a bassoon player. 

I believe you are partially correct. Yes -- in the higher registers, the partials are really close together.

But, I'm told the lack of a cup in the mouthpiece means lesser resistance when you play and is less forgiving.

I have a single French horn I bought at an auction and have played a little on it.  It has a decidedly different feel (at least to me) than when I play trumpet (left handed valves notwithstanding).

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I have a mello player at home and I would offer that about half of the people he marches with are French horn players, but marching mellophones really play a lot more like trumpets then they do French horns. . In fact the mello mouthpiece that most corps use looks more like a trumpet mouthpiece than a French horn mouthpiece. Because of this there are a lot of trumpet players that go back-and-forth between trumpet and mello.

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15 minutes ago, WaxDCIFan said:

  Because of this there are a lot of trumpet players that go back-and-forth between trumpet and mello.

That's how the BD have had their 40 trumpet moments.

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I’m a horn player and I played French Horn bugle in Drum Corps in junior corps and mello in all-age and alumni corps.  I found a mello mouthpiece with a thinner rim and deep cup that worked out great for me.  I was ###### because if I’d know mello was so much easier than the “beast”, I would have played it 47 years ago. 

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I would say the majority of Mello players are horn players, myself included.  I don’t know of any corps in the top 12 that use horn mouthpieces with the adapters to adjust to the lead pipe size of a mellophone. It hurts projection, and I would think it’s actually more harmful to the embouchure of Horn players. Horn is played at an angle, so when using adapters the mouthpiece is straight to the face, like a trumpet. I’ve found that trumpet players can play mello far more easily than a horn player can play trumpet, so I suppose it would depend on what’s needed. 

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