Is Plastic Fantastic?
With brass and woodwind instruments becoming more popular, and widely played within schools and music services, it’s time to answer the all-important question… Is plastic fantastic?
pBones, pTrumpets and even the pBuzz have taken the industry by storm, with pBones being sold in the hundreds of thousands within its first 2 years in production, but do they compare to original brass instruments.
Like any instrument, there are pros and cons, in terms of sound quality, intonation, weight and durability. The pros are obvious - The appeal is obvious as the plastic instruments are a fraction of the cost of metal, they are lightweight and come in a great range of colours which is appealing particularly to younger players.
From my personal experience, the quality of sound does not come close to comparing to a brass instrument, but maybe they’re not designed to show off the tone. The lightweight design, almost half the weight of a metal instrument, is incredibly helpful for schools and younger players, and put that alongside the range of vibrant colours that they are available in, it makes them a fantastic alternative. The pBone and pTrumpet, in my opinion, don’t compare to a ‘real’ brass instrument, but do they work? Do they do the job? Yes, they do. And for what it’s worth, they shouldn’t be thought of as a gimmick or a joke, but to be thought of in the sense that it is allowing younger/smaller players to enter the world of brass.
I previously mentioned the pBuzz. For me, this is an incredible tool/instrument/bundle of fun. The pBuzz is from the makers of ever popular pBone and pTrumpet, the pBuzz is designed to capture the interest of younger musicians and teach them the basics of playing a brass instrument in a fun, exciting way.
Offering a truly authentic experience of a proper mouthpiece, pBuzz has a range of 6 notes through its movable slide. The slide positions are outlined by colour, note name (i.e. F,G,A,B, Bb, C) and also slide position from 1 to 6. The multiple options engage the player and really get them thinking about position, tuning and movement.
This is a fantastic choice for schools and workshops and, as well as providing an excellent learning tool and introduction to the brass family, pBuzz also offers a superb value for money, making music accessible to everyone.