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1097397 Posts in 72521 Topics- by 19563 Members - Latest Member: SlideThomson
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1  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Good guy with a gun fail on: Feb 23, 2018, 08:38PM
What I dont understand about the american culture is the guns.. Its going to fare when the president tell the teachers should carry a gun?

2  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Re: Question: How to Interpret Solo Markings on Chart on: Feb 23, 2018, 03:06PM
I teach my students to study, or impersonate, those musicians who they want to become.

It's a part of the learning process. A baby doesn't just babble, it attempts to imitate its parents until it can communicate its own thought.

Imitation is part of the learning process.

 Good! Good! Good!

That post should be sticky up somewhere.....whatever we try to learn in life we somehow have to look at what other people have done in that profession. Then learn from it, and then maybe even go further if we work and are open for further possibilities. I belive that that we as experienced players and teachers shouldnt set to much limits and rules. But also encouraging to work, explore and be creative. Isnt it so that most breakthrough, no matter profession, is because they go beyond or look even further than known rules?

3  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Checking your instrument angle by mouthpiece in-buzzing? on: Feb 23, 2018, 12:20PM
Is there a simply way for a player (by himself / without an instructor present) to check/confirm/verify that he is using the best angle while playing?

There is one way, and that is to try different angles and listen what sound best. Buzzing is a little different than playing the horn, free buzzing is even more different. Listen your sound, feel where the angle make it easy to play, easy to articulate. And listen for where you can colour the sound you have in your ears.

My experience is not to think much about it, take the angle that feels natural. Or try some different and you feel what is best. Also try it when buzzing but remember buzzing is a different task.

If you search for Sam or Sabutin, he might have some experience with free buzzing, mouthpiece buzzing and make it slow go from lips, mouthpiece and then into the horn.

4  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: What is a realistic salary for a professional trombonist? on: Feb 23, 2018, 08:54AM
Im afraid we have to go for lotto.....   :(

5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Open Mouth on: Feb 23, 2018, 08:46AM
I never thought about it, my teachers in younger days never told much about mouth or embouchure. But I go for the words many says above; "go for sound" Its important to have the throat open, I had some trouble with that before. But in fact it was easy solved. Just keep it open and it worked nearly at once.

6  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: Bass Trombones: Slide/Valve Positions and Alternates on: Feb 21, 2018, 05:14PM
Over the past 4 years or so of playing bass trombone with a single valve Bach 50B, Benge 290, and Getzen 1062FD, I have made/observed some different views on what positions to use, when to use them, etc.  Here are my honest views on the subject and keep in mind, this is coming from a 19 year old (well, turning 19) and an amateur's prospective, so take it with a grain of salt, and this is mostly referring to the Bb/F/D dependent set up and it's what I'm more experienced with (just a little FYI):

I see the F valve to be more of an aid more than anything with notes in the staff, I personally only use it when I find it necessary and depending on the piece of music.  I'm not afraid of using sixth position if I really need to.  For example in Cajun Folk Songs by Frank Ticheli , I don't use the F attachment at all in the first movement, I personally like playing low F in sixth position because the notes in the 1st movement are the first three notes of an F concert scale, and on that concert scale, I always start in sixth position when both going up and down.  Usually when the low F is present in the first movement the note that follows is a low G in fourth position, you know like how I stated earlier, i start out in sixth position in F concert to G in fourth.  Now, in the second movement, the that's where my F valve will later come into great need.  I use it for low D below the staff (T4), C in the staff (bT1), and F below the staff (T1).  Note that I don't use both my valves for D and I'll explain why.  I like playing low D in T4 (which on a regular trombone, is at about at sharp fifth position) and going to the low G in fourth because it feels really good and it makes so much sense to me and it isn't at all a weird transition like playing low D in both valves in first then going to low G, which doesn't seem logic in my opinion.  On the C, it does go to a F in the staff and sure you can play it using sixth position for both C and F, but personally I prefer to have some movement on the slide.  And for low F, there's a Bb in the staff that follows and I think we all agree that it's a very logical choice.  The notes I use at all times on my F valve are notes below the staff like Eb (T3), D (T4), and Db (T5) and I never use low C in T6, ever!  Mainly because at least on my bass, the is rather short and really plays too sharp when playing low C that far and I always use both valves which I'll now discuss.

For both valves, The only two notes I use them at all times are low C (TT3) and B (TT4) below the staff.  I occasionally use low D and Db with both valves but rarely, for D, I always use both for Bb arpegio going down from low Bb and going up from pedal Bb.  For Db, it depends on what notes follows going up or down chromatically or whatever case, same case with D but going down mostly.  Also, very rarely, I use pedal or even double pedal Bb using both valves where is not too far from low C in T6 but not at the point where the slide is holding on for dear life, and like I said, it's not that far compared to T6 for low C in my experience. Also, I never use both valves in or above the staff, but maybe for tuning preferences for tuning my second valve to D, that's really about it.

So yeah, that's my overall prospective on my approach of the bass trombone in terms of slide, alternates, and valve choices!  Hoped it gave a little bit of insight and could help beginners and younger players out there.  What did you think of it?  Would love to hear feedback! Good!

EDIT: This topic in particular isn't meant to convert or force anyone to do what I do, I've been hearing about this a lot at my school and just thought I would get it off my chest and say my honest opinions about the matter and say while yes, alternates are handy and very useful in fact, but this is just my overall view on how I approach it and thought others might find interesting, nothing more! :) 


Ethan, I like your post! And its obvious you as a relative young player really have been working on this.  Good!

I feel familiar with how you do it and how you think. Its good to find a way to do things, but dont let it stop you to explore new roads.

When I perform I tend to do what is safe. I dont think about what position I use, but I use what is feeling ok there and then.

What I should have been doing is to practice all the options we have as bass trombone players.  Even with a single trigger there is a lot of options. Not only in low register.

So Ethan, I confess I have not done all my homework. But you have all the time in front of you. Learn all the possibillities and combinations, use all depending on the music and situation. But as I read your post; you are defenitly on the right track!

7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: How Do I quiet my Bach on: Feb 21, 2018, 10:56AM
The Bach 50BL I had long time ago was also noisy, the only thing that helped was oil on all movable parts. Also inside the rotor itself.

8  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Wedge Bass mouthpieces-thoughts on: Feb 21, 2018, 10:52AM
I tried it some months ago but just for 10 minutes. It was a tenor mouthpiece but nearly same size as a 1 1/2g. In that 10 minutes I didnt feel much benefits from it but 10 minutes are not much to get a real impression.

I wonder what should be the benefits compared to regular mouthpieces? And for what type of players will it have an effect?

9  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Large bore obsession on: Feb 19, 2018, 01:59PM
I think its the word "large" that is the clue here. Let me explain. Its about more "volume". Bigger mouthpieces, bigger horns, more volume. LOUDER. Younger people buy that easy but I understand them. Everything is louder today. Orchestras is bigger and I understand the  trombonists in the big orchestras try to adjust. I was in cinema with my small child, its extremely high sound even it is movie for small children. Listen the advertisement on TV, its extremely high volume.

Its sad because there is a limit what the human ear can take. Its sad because with louder sounds, the colour, the excitement, the nuances in the sounds is lost. And then also musical nuances. But nobody can stop that development before the human ear say stop.

So I understand both pro and amateurs that want "large" Just so sad we loose the delicate, colourful and interesting sound......but we have a choice.

10  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: It's really all about your breathing, now here's how to improve it... on: Feb 19, 2018, 01:27PM
This weekend I published a video on breathing. Specifically, using a simple household item to open the throat and monitor and strengthen one's breath control.

In the video, I offered a free copy (including shipping) of my latest book, Jazz Ear Savvy, to the first ten people to comment on the video. Even though I'm up to 31 comments, I've yet to have 10 people qualify for the book - two slots open. Qualifying basically means sending me their physical address so I know where to send the book.

To learn more, watch the video. As you'll see from the comments, people are getting some good insight from the video and adding nicely to the conversation - which is what I want.


 Good! Good! Good!

Im glad you told about open throat. I had problem with that before but hope I solved it. I told about that in my post in the thread about "breath support". Also glad you told about Arnold Jakobs. He obvious was into all about breathing because we know even singers had lessons with him. And obvious he had influence on how great the Chicago brass sounded because of his knowledge. Must have been something "gold" in his knowledge even if more modern thoughts use different words.

11  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Why is tenor clef used for trombone work? Composer preference? on: Feb 19, 2018, 11:38AM
That is a telling sign of how tastes and expectations have changed since the 19th Century.

Same horn. Higher range.  Yet no general clamor for tenor clef by either composers or players even though it was once deemed essential.

Naah, Im not sure about that, if you see more "modern" or new music written for trombone, you often see both bass, tenor and even treble clef when its going high up. Treble clef where it should sound like its written.    sound as C in the same octave as it would be on a piano. All to avoid help lines. Isnt it so? I have seen it in some modern solo works for tenor trombone.
In orchestra I dont know. Modern composers often use what they personally think looks best? But I never seen it in jazz or big bands. Always bass clef.

12  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Why is tenor clef used for trombone work? Composer preference? on: Feb 19, 2018, 10:41AM
Isnt the tenor clef used so the sheet music looks better? To avoid the help lines in high register so notes are kept more inside the staff? Its mostly cosmetics so the score looks better I think. The strange thing is its never used in jazz even its going high up in the lead trombone.

13  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Define "breath support" on: Feb 19, 2018, 01:56AM
Just to be clearer, in my proposed definition of “breath support,” I wasn’t describing how to move the air but rather what the results should be. I don’t use the term, but because it’s so common, I need to be able to talk about it. The “how” of breathing is such an incredibly complex process that we’re not able to fully understand or describe it consciously.

What’s often missing in the teaching of “breathing to produce music” is awareness. Students are told to do something differently than what they’re doing, without first sensing what they’re presently doing. And many teachers don’t really know what they’re doing and just regurgitate what was said to them. A classic example of this is telling students to “breathe diaphragmatically” and hold the chest still. This might have been well meant advice for a student who was breathing into the chest but it just substitutes one faulty pattern for another.

A skillful teacher will have (and continue to) developed methods to guide their students to breathe in ways that enable them to make music in a healthy and sustainable manner. And furthermore, a skillful teacher understands that each student is an individual, bringing their own unique anatomy and life experience to the lessons.

“You can’t teach anybody anything, you can only create conditions in which they can learn.” Moshè Feldenkrais

I agree with this.

"Breath support" is maybe an outdated term? We have to breath in and do it rather quick with an open throat. And without disturbing the embouchure too much. I try to do it through the corners like Doug once told me. So the setting of embouchure is not disturbed. I have to admit its not easy for me. Bass trombone sometimes need a lot of air and if there is time in the music I do it with open mouth.

When we blow out its important like many told to control the airflow. The flow need to be steady and use not to much, not to little to make the lips vibrate and make the desired sound. This process is maybe hard for many of us, its delicate. When I make music, I never think about it. When I do long notes or slurs I do think about air. Make it steady on long notes, sometimes do cresc. and decresc. to control air. In slurs it needs the air to go steady through the slurs. Like some told, our ears need to be active so we can listen if it is right. The embouchure have to work together with the air.

Maybe all the talk about breath and air is to complex and just confuse the process? Maybe we make it more complex than it is? Maybe just breath as natural as possible? One thing is sure, if the air goes in it will also go out bye it self  :D Maybe just not make it more complex than it is and listen more?

14  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 16, 2018, 07:17AM
I dont mean to be hard against Bonesmarsh, but I dont understand what he think is advertisement? He has lot of interesting post and I enjoy him. But this advertisement thing I dont understand? We are all trombonist and we talk about instruments, especially when some new shows up on the scene. That cant be problem. I always say the old Conn is best, is that an advertisement? Bye the way Im joking a little when I always tell that. But for me it is true  :D

Dont go anyone, let us have a beer and relax. Good!

15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Please keep ads out of here on: Feb 14, 2018, 03:04PM
I dont understand you Bonesmarsh.  You have done this same accusation before against Ralph C. Sauer. I think we all agree that musicians like Chris, Ralph and Svenne is where we listen every word, because they have been through every scenario both as musicians, performers and pedagogues.

Bonesmarsh, think twice.  Clever

16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Bigger mouthpiece gives more volume? on: Feb 11, 2018, 05:08AM
Thanks Ethan! Seems to me that this trumpeter should be taken with a grain of salt.

17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Bigger mouthpiece gives more volume? on: Feb 09, 2018, 10:38AM
Maybe this has been up before, but I talked to a jazz trumpeter some days ago and he told bigger mouthpieces gives more volume. Is that true?

18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 08, 2018, 10:28AM
I remember when I studied trombone back in the eighties. My teacher told me, "why do you want to change to bigger equipment? You already sound nice and big on what you have" I didnt listen. I believed only my feel and comfort when playing the bigger stuff in my practice room. It felt more easy and I thought it sounded better. 

Many years later I discovered my teacher was absolutely right. Why didnt I listen him? Because of my own stupidity, my feel and my lack of knowledge. I wasnt even able to know how I sounded. Just relayed on feel in my practice room.

One thing is sure, we cant buy sound, articulation, legato. We cant read internet to get sound either.  However we can buy professional knowledge and help to make sure we work the right way. Work is in the end the keyword. And in my case, I should have listen what the professionals say when they stand right beside me....

19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Feel.... the real obsession on: Feb 06, 2018, 01:05PM
 After many years I know just one thing, (I hope.) How we feel it sounds is often not how we actually sounds.

20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Is anyone building a great 88H copy these days? on: Feb 02, 2018, 09:09AM
I regret I sold one of my Conn 70h. (1941) It was the best of them all. It didnt have any "quirks" either. I dont think its possible to copy it. The other conn's I have is slightly different but all have one common thing. They sing better than any other trombones. Except one of them which Im going to repair. Make the slide perfect with new parts and be sure the valve is 100%. Maybe change it, but to the same kind of rotor valve. They still have parts for slide and rotor that fits?

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