Guide to the Guide

I want to start with the disclaimer that this is in no way an encyclopaedic guide to brass instruments. If you want to go deep – really deep – then you should start with Scott Whitener’s 432-page opus The Complete Guide to Brass (3rd edition).

In saying that, it turns out there is a lot of interesting information in the brass world so this guide ended longer than I thought it would. I have split it into multiple pages so you do not have to deal with a huge wall of text.

I have tried to be as concise as possible, but I am prone to tangents. To make things easier on you, here is a quick reference guide:

  1. Introduction
  2. Brass Instrument Materials
  3. What Makes a Brass Instrument a Brass Instrument?
  4. Brass Instrument Family: Trumpets, Flugels, Cornets
  5. Brass Instrument Family: French Horns, Trombones, Low Brass

I should also add that I am not a brass player despite working at a shop that specialises in brass (and woodwind) instruments. In my defence, I can play enough to test what I have repaired. I also spent an ill-fated couple of months as twelfth trumpet in the Wellington City Concert band a few years ago. Do with that information what you will.

So here we are. You, a brass player (or somebody who maybe wants to be a brass player), and me, a drummer, attempting to write a knowledgeable guide about brass. Good luck to us all.