Professor Corno: Cut your Bell Already
Let us say that you play a serious, professional quality horn. And it is fixed bell. There is a point where you need to get real and have the bell cut.
The fact is, if the work is done right your horn will play better or at least the same. Among horns with bells that I have had cut I felt like they played better after the conversion. I have yet to play one I thought got worse.
More reasons, if you need more:
- Planning to fly somewhere with a horn? Fixed bells are a drag
- Cutting your bell will only increase the value of the instrument
- Oh, one arm longer than the other? Due to carrying a heavy case around? Get a screw bell case with backpack straps already.
I know other horn artists who claim when they had the bell cut it ruined the horn, blah blah blah. Please. Don’t be a head case. Cut the bell already.
With the disclaimer being that you should really consider this question: is your horn worth doing the deed to? Some horns are not worth doing the conversion on, they are student model horns a real pro would never consider playing (even if they claim to be “professional model.” Ha! Marketing is so funny). This is something to scope out carefully as some horns, for sure are not worth the trouble. Just buy a new horn with the screw bell and sell the fixed bell one to a younger student or someone who never plans to fly with the horn.
Oh! News flash! Some horn maker has invented a way to attach a screw ring set to the bell of a horn so that it can fit in a reasonable case, one more suited to flying and backpack straps and such! A smashing idea, no? A lot of players out there seem to have missed this development in horn design. But all makers of horns at least offer a screw bell as an option and it can be added to any horn by a high level horn repairman.
One final note, the so called “Bruce” and “John” who run this site (if those are their real names) posted the first two articles of mine as “humor.” Humor? I am a serious international superstar of the horn. But if it makes them happy, fine, call this post humor.
And to the head cases out there, you know who you are, cut your bell already.