With the success with pTrumpet and pTrombone Warick Music has introduced the pBugle
It is designed to be inexpensive and easy enough for any child to learn about brass playing through playful exploration. At the same time, it is a real trumpet (without valves) that allows the development of good brass skills. The pBugle has had success with introductions in Europe and Japan, and now are being introduced in America.
Chris Fower, the Director of Creativity and Innovation at Warwick, used feedback on the pTrumpet to create an instrument that would be the best way to start young brass players specifically young trumpet players.
“Creating an instrument that, like pBuzz, isolated one of the key aspects of brass learning whilst becoming ‘the best way to start your trumpet journey’ meant that a similar instrument would have to both look like a trumpet and play like a trumpet; leading directly to skills that would project a learner more effectively onto their trumpet learning pathway.”
The pBugle was created for a number of reasons.
First, it is an easy way to start on “my first trumpet;” learning to “buzz” and play without the complication of valves.
Second, it’s a good way for students to learn basic embouchure and tone production.
And it is a great introduction of the Bugle in its own right… so it is a perfect way to start learning skills to join a marching band or drum corps style group. Bugle Bands are popular in the United Kingdom and of course Drum and Bugle Corps have been popular in the United States since the 1920s
Fower had been looking at the British bugle, which is somewhat different to the American bugle, and thinking about how this used to be an access point into brass learning for thousands of children in the past. He wrote “Whilst researching the history of the bugle I came across images and video of the American G bugle and American musicians playing bugle calls on trumpet for Taps and other calls. Why not create a simple Bb trumpet without valves which could be used to explore that other set of brass playing skills; crossing the harmonics or partials?”
An excellent thought and great way to focus more attention on the Bugle and its place as an instrument of tradition, honor and significance. It should be the instrument of choice when sounding Taps.
So this instrument is not based on the American styled M1892 model rather a single wrap. In fact during WWII they developed a plastic bugle when brass was scarce. Here is an example of one.
These were in G. Developed for the Army using a plastic called Tenite which had been first introduced in 1929 by the Eastman Company. The design is based on the M1892 Field Trumpet
As for the pBugle for the costs involved, it is an easy way for those interested (I get many requests from adults) in learning to play to see if they have the patience and talent to learn the bugle.
The pBugle is easy to blow. The mouthpiece is decent. I think it’s a medium size cup which is good for starting out.
It will also take a metal mouthpiece which is something I would recommend to anyone serious in continuing.
The horn is pitched in Bb which makes it a little tough for raw beginners as they can get two tones easy (the low Bb and F) and with some effort work up to the middle Bb. It would take a little time to get to the D and high F. A bugle pitched in G would be better but I think students should learn it in Bb as it will be easier to adjust to a regular trumpet.
The only drawback for me for me personally is that I wish it were shaped like the US Regulation Bugle. I would think it would sell a lot to buglers in the US if it looked like a Regulation Bugle. But It’s not meant to replace the brass bugles we use in ceremonies today. However, it’s a great tool to start a beginner on a brass instrument. And I do get a lot of requests from adults who are looking to learn to play.
PBUGLE Bb Bugle (Red). No other colors at this time (2020)
Mouthpiece Black 7C plastic (with anti-microbial protection)
It is a brilliant crossover between toy and musical instrument and is inexpensive and robust enough for a child or adult to learn about brass playing through playful exploration.