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1092485 Posts in 72165 Topics- by 19436 Members - Latest Member: Pablo3A
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Edwards 502i, I Pulled The Trigger. on: Jan 19, 2018, 05:53AM
From your posts and clips I am certain this horn will be in excellent hands.

But what will you do about your TTF ID?   Evil
2  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 18, 2018, 04:39AM
That should be Tony Studd... he did most of their recordings.
I don't look at that as brighter or smaller... I look at that sound as interesting and rich. I consider many modern sounds as dull and diffuse... but that is often more due to the mouthpiece and the mindset than the instrument. Just my biased UK take on it.

Chris Stearn

This reminds me of speaker discussions back when that sort of thing was more popular.  Some folks kept trying to insist they got more bass from their 8" woofers than others got from 15" woofers.  In reality, the 8" was physically incapable of providing more bass. Instead, it punched up an octave above.  The first group was mistaking the "punch" in that octave for greater bass.  Even at lower sound pressure levels where the 8" COULD match the 15" for power in the lower octave, the added punch an octave up made them identify the smaller unit as louder.

IMHO the sad reality is that many modern sounds are lacking the overtones that make  the "older" sound seem "bright" to them.  And IMHO color (or colour) and richness are EXACTLY what is missing in the more modern sound.  Along with that I hear a reluctance to articulate the beginnings of notes, unless the notes are extremely fast, in which case there is no tone, but just articulation.

All venting aside, is there any hope that this more "modern" Wessex can produce a "modern" sound that retains at least a little interest?

3  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: School's Bass Trombone Having Tuning Issues on: Jan 15, 2018, 04:45PM
Agreed. A properly strung linkage works great. This mishap is completely on Mr Fix it guy.

I just stared at a 290 for some time this last Saturday.  I have a REALLY hard time imagining how the tech mis-strung it.  Must have been a special, unique talent.  Wish we had a picture.  That would have been a classic.

Wonder if this is the same tech responsible for this horn "... is great playing compared to the condition it was in ... sophmore year..."?
4  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Is it worth getting a 1G for bass trombone? on: Jan 15, 2018, 07:20AM
Thanks for the input guys. I think I'll keep an eye out for a cheap 1G - or a 1-1/4 G, which might be a good bridge from the 1-1/2G.

Can you specify what does NOT work for you with the 1 1/2G?  If, for example, you can't get a big enough sound after a couple months on a 1 1/2G, you will ONLY get a diffuse, woofy sound on a bigger mouthpiece.  There is a LOT to adapt to on a bass, coming from even a large bore tenor. 

As I mentioned above, searching other mouthpieces without a specific and reasoned objective in mind is an exercise in futility.
5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 14, 2018, 04:08PM
Way more effort went into this than a tweak of an existing model. First I got them to copy a frankenbone I had built. I got that back and asked for every part they currently made for any bass model to be sent. I then messed around. The result is not based on any one horn... it contains parts they have made before and parts they have never made before. It is unique and pretty big in the bell section. 562 bore slide.

Chris Stearn

Any idea if they'll show at the Eastern Trombone Workshop this year?  Would love to try one out!

And thanks for the info.  My guess fell further short than I dared to hope!
6  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: New Wessex PBF565 bass trombone on: Jan 14, 2018, 01:49PM
How's it stack up against the 562? Or is it a reconfiguration/redesign with the same specs?

I may pick one up in a couple years.


The 562 is more of a King 7B/Benge 290 derivative.
This horn is more of a Yamaha 830 derivative.

If, by specs, you mean bore size, it's a bass trombone.  It's got a big bore.
If you mean bell shape, I'll bet the bell shapes are pretty true to the source models (although I wouldn't be too surprised if Chris had a hand in refining the bell on the new one.... among other things.)

If you mean material choices, safe to say there will be different materials in slide and bell.  It does not, for example, look like the Mack/Jin Bao TB831L.  I doubt the bell is rose brass, or the outer slide nickel silver.  And I can see that the lead pipe is removable. 

Looks like more of a TB831L redesigned to fix the misses on that horn.  Can't see the linkage side in the photo, but it looks like the second valve goes the opposite direction from the TB831L, which is a very good thing.

I find my TB831L vastly better behaved than my Benge was.  I could not produce the sheer volume of undistorted sound I could on the Benge, but I have NO call for that kind of playing any more (thankfully!) For everything else, my TB831L does the job, and is easier to play and hold.  I would bet good money that the changes Chris has made in this horn just make a good thing much, much better.

And you'll likely be able to practice more, and want to practice more, with this than with a less performant horn (so buying sooner rather than later is a GOOD thing unless debt is involved.)
7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: STERLING BELL //SCREW BELL QUESTIONS on: Jan 14, 2018, 01:33PM
I have an Edwards sterling silver bell. Clank the bell and it has a real long lasting deep ring. Play it and you get great overtones from the very low up.Hold the bell while you play and it goes dead unlike a brass bell that sounds like you are holding it.
Not to sure I would want to cut a sterling silver bell.

Might it depend on the bell?  Alan Raph had his Duo Gravis SilverSonic cut so air travel would be easier. You can hear it in his Youtube videos.  I think he used it on many of his Quincy Jones dates.  All sounds pretty good to me.

Side note on my Silver Sonic:  I REALLY dread gigs where the pitch lowers to the point where E is in tune with my bell resonance.  The horn vibrates like mad in my hands, and I have to work my tail off to make the note heard in the room (horn is eating up all the energy.)  Sure makes a pretty "ping" on that note, though :)
8  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Is it worth getting a 1G for bass trombone? on: Jan 14, 2018, 01:29PM
Well, as someone who used to use a 1G, I'll say that it isn't a good mouthpiece IMHO.  Going from a 1.5G to a 1G is a pretty big jump too.  If you do want something in the size range of a 1G, I'll say that there are better ones from different companies of its size.  Also it could apply to the Schilke 60.  Just my honest opinion.

Wedge 1G
Hammond 21BL or BXL
Greg Black 1G
Just to name a few

I can appreciate the 1G not working for you, but that does not mean it is not a good mouthpiece, or that there are necessarily better ones.  I, for one, spent most of my money-making orchestral time on a 1G.  I could not get what I needed to out of a Schilke 60.  All the other large options did not exist at the time.  So, at that time I COULD have said, "this is the best mouthpiece in the world."  Even then I knew it was not.  It just happened to do what I needed at the time. But then, at that time, I had just finished four years of doing things like playing HOURS of refuelings out on the open ocean (you don't need to know what a refueling is... just think about blowing your face off playing marches with not even a distant mountain to bounce any sound back... the ultimate outdoor wearout routine...) and a little university playing.  I could (and did) play six hour dance band gigs with transcriptions of Buddy Rich charts many nights in a row.  My face then was quite different from yours.  And from mine now, for that matter.

I think there is a sub-text to your post, and Bruce alluded to it: you went on a little trip.  You moved from a mouthpiece that did not fit your face at the time to one that fits much better.  Maybe you could post a bit more on THAT for the OP, rather than dumping on a decent piece of equipment, or recommending other equipment that very well could be no better for the OP. 

For the OP:

Face first!  Read gregs70's post a couple more times.  If you can play the music you have before you with a 1 1/2G, NO reason to go bigger.  GREAT players have gotten "characteristic sound" from bass trombones with sizes as small as a Bach 3, and made a living doing so.  If the mouthpiece is NOT comfortable on your face, or you CANNOT practice enough hours in a day to make it work on the music you have before you, start looking, but have specific goals before you start looking.  Even with specific goals, you can chase a LOT of mouthpieces and STILL not find "the one."  Without goals you can spend your time confusing your chops and ending off worse than if you had never started looking around in the first place.
9  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Conducting styles on: Jan 14, 2018, 01:10PM

You've made some very helpful observations here from the "other side of the podium."  I think it only fair that forum members have an idea of how solid those observations are.  You are NOT talking about just directing a trombone choir, or even small band.  You, unlike most of us, have gotten excellent reviews conducting large forces doing things like Mahler 6. 

I may be 40 years older than you, but I am young enough to learn from what you have to say, and really appreciate little comments like stepping back to let principal players make eye contact at appropriate moments.

Thanks for your contributions!
10  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Conducting styles on: Jan 14, 2018, 08:39AM
Fixed that for you.

You are correct of course.  But there comes a point where it is selfish to stay.  There are about six churches that always invite us to their carol sing, and all are very small and very old - no longer able to hold a note on pitch or even sing with tone.  Clearly there is a personal reward for being there, but I would question how much it adds to worship.  That is not true of our church yet, but all of us are aging and there is nobody coming up behind. 

Back to the issue at hand.  le.tromboniste gave a good explanation and it's a perspective I hadn't seen.  Clearly the beat_after_ictus approach is more common than I'd realized, and I just have to be more situationally aware.  Most of my band experience has been with conductors where the ictus is close to the beat.  Also...........ahem.........I've returned to reading glasses in band, and the conductor is a bit blurred.  Maybe I need to do the same in choir!  (But then, I had them on this morning, and I didn't have any trouble knowing where Dave's beat was.) 

... and if you don't think THAT was an awkward rehearsal, with this thread in mind  :D

I'll give some examples, not by way of bragging or tattling on myself.  These examples could cause some to think I was better than I was, or subsequently less committed than I was.  They are just examples of real-world experience.

Von Karajan (only one time): stayed quite far ahead of the beat. We had to watch concertmaster to stay in sync with the strings soundwise, but had to keep eyes glued on Von Karajan as well because he did not keep time: he interpreted, to a very high degree... Luckily most of us had both eyes functioning, so gluing one on each key figure was do-able.

Eleazar de Carvalho: moderately ahead of the beat but, without question THE most rhythmic conductor I ever played under.  Spent a season and a half with him.  His placement relative to the beat was so consistent we needed no other cues.  We all kept an eye on the concert master anyway.  Friend of mine.  I doubt I could have gotten the gig without the concert master's kind assist.

Joseph Silverstein: my favorite of all of these.  Conducted close to the beat, but not so close that he could not achieve wonderful subtle tempo and dynamic variations.  Of all the versions of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra I've heard, his with the Boston University Symphony remains my favorite, and NOT because I got to play the John Coffee part.  The movement with the free woodwind ensemble is the heart of my addiction to this recording.

Roger Voisin (yes, the former principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony): Extremely precise, extremely close to the beat.  He would go over his game plan with a group, then stick to that plan.  He would change tempo, dynamic, phrase exactly when he said he would, and was, in that way, very predictable.  The price for the precision and closeness to the beat was a loss of ability to follow a musical moment as it came up. If a solo part took an unexpected and particularly pleasing turn of phrase, Mr. Voisin WOULD follow that, and pull the group along, but it was never as seamless as with Mr. Silverstein, for example.  OTOH, brass ensembles with Mr. Voisin were an absolute GAS!  His precision meant we knew, with FAR more precision than with ANY of the others above, the exact instant to enter on a big chord.  I NEVER had brass moments like those in ANY orchestra. 

I guess it's a great illustration of YMMV.  All told, though, with a large group, I'd take Silverstein any day of the week, complete with the lag between ictus and actual moment in time.
11  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Conducting styles on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:31PM
Conductor's job is to LEAD the group musically. S/he is not a metronome.  In an ideal world, by the time you get to where the conductor just indicated, the conductor will be at the next moment.  Since it's not an ideal world, you will find conductors in all sorts of places relative to the beat.  As the other poster said, keeping the beat is the job of the individual players.  The conductor should get "there" ahead of you so you have a millisecond or two before the tempo or dynamics or phrase direction change.

Job 1: learn where THIS conductor likes to stay, relative to the beat.
Job 2: set your internal clock to keep time at THAT location.

and don't forget to have fun, since this IS singing, after all!
12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: School's Bass Trombone Having Tuning Issues on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:17PM
I've sent it to the repair shop and it actually isn't bad as it seems.  It turned out that it wasn't restrung correctly.  That's the downside of string linkage IMO although besides that, the 290 is a great playing horn compared to the condition it was in my sophomore year.  Very underrated bass IMHO and probably the only few independent basses I like... just my opinion.

so, what was it?
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: School's Bass Trombone Having Tuning Issues on: Jan 12, 2018, 05:16PM
I know a French horn player who got used to playing primarily on the Bb side because his switch valve had been strung incorrectly when he was learning to play. As a young professional he was still playing the same way.

As Rockymountain notes, pro's have been doing this for years... long enough that a number of horns are set up so you can easily string to "stand" in either pitch.  Makes life confusing for a novice who picks a horn "just like ...." then runs into fingerings that don't match the book  Eeek!
14  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: School's Bass Trombone Having Tuning Issues on: Jan 12, 2018, 11:39AM
Can you post a photo somewhere with a closeup of the linkages and stringing?
15  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Aural Reconciliation on: Jan 10, 2018, 05:00AM
Thanks, for the responses, guys.  It has been quite a learning experience, and I've certainly got some things to focus on.

In regard to mic/phone placement, I've been keeping my phone on the music stand so that I can get video as well, but what is considered appropriate mic placement to achieve decent quality sound?

"Decent quality sound..."

I continue to be amazed at how we shine a lot of light on how much effort it takes to develop OUR skill sets (be it as trombonists or painters or sprinters or what-have-you) and fail to recognize the effort for OTHER skill sets, especially for those like recording engineers.  There are substantial reasons why guys like Robert Fine are still revered in the industry.

I had a friend who, at one time, worked for Columbia, recording the Philly.  We would be listening to something, and it would be far from what we'd have expected live.  He'd name a couple offending frequencies, then adjust his equalizer, and get it MUCH more reasonable in one shot. 

A recording is only a model of the "real thing."  Think of it more like a drawing.  We all have seen drawings ranging from our first stick figures to works of masters like DaVinci or Picasso.  If the goal is to recognize that the draw-er saw a human being, a stick figure with head and appropriate number of arms and legs is a reasonable model.  The more sophisticated the vision, the higher the level of artistry.  But in all cases, it requires a suspension of disbelief to mistake the model for the live 3-D situation.

Many of the small-device recordings are a lot like the stick figures.  As long as we can hear the intonation, articulation, and phrasing, it's a good enough model.

But if your focus is on tone quality, chances are a fault in tone quality will get in the way of listening to those underlying elements.  Unfortunately, tone quality starts getting into the higher levels of artistry.  Microphone distance, type, angle to horn centerline, and especially the room used all make big differences.  And you may still not get your "real" sound.  Good chance you'll get tone that won't distract you from listening to the underlying elements, but the sound behind the bell WILL be different from the sound in front, and you just can't be in both places.  AND no matter how "good" the recording, it will STILL be a model.  Just as the current setup makes your tone less pleasing than you think it should sound, a better setup could make it sound better in ways that a real listener in a real room would not identfiy as being equal.

There are some excellent recordists on this forum.  There are entire fora devoted to recording, and there are even MORE experienced recordists and sound engineers there (along with interested parties with lots of opinions and little experience... much to be taken with many grains of salt....)  If you want to get as close to your sound as possible, I recommend checking out those fora, then getting someone whose ears you trust to help you dial in your setup.

If, on the other hand, you want to improve your playing, I recommend simply getting your phone far enough away from you that you do NOT "break up" on the microphone and focus on other elements than sound quality.  Recording great sound requires the same kind of time commitment that PRODUCING great sound takes.  You get to choose where you make the time commmitment.
16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Method for making sound files available to others on: Jan 09, 2018, 06:14PM
Correction: it seems that you can have only 2 GB of data in Dropbox without paying and not 15 GB as I stated above. It is google that have 15 GB for free.

But still - 2 GB gives you room for lots of mp3 files and PDFs. And it has so far worked well for our band with Dropbox.

Do they still add GB if you invite others and the join Dropbox?
We used this in a big band so each member had enough room to pull down one WAV file of a full rehearsal while I ended up with enough to store several weeks of rehearsals online...
17  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Brushing teeth before practicing? on: Jan 08, 2018, 04:34PM
Everyone tells me I do!

I thought miketrombone's post was an interesting take on this subject; food bits in the teeth causing salivation and helping with dry mouth. I can't abide by the bits of food on my two teeth, but maybe sucking on a lemon would help with that. I wonder what band-mates would say if I did that...


Hmmm... I thought I recalled an old Little Rascals black and white where an audience member sucked a lemon to derail a horn player... but it's so looooong ago..

But in line with Mike's comment and yours: have you heard of sodium lauryl sulfate?  It's a foaming agent in many toothpastes.  It can (not the same as "will") also cause dry mouth. 

So my contribution to this thread is: try something like Biotene that does NOT contain SLS.  I find that, with my favorite toothpaste, I can NOT brush before playing.  With Biotene I can.  YMMV.
18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Method for making sound files available to others on: Jan 08, 2018, 04:27PM
robcat2075 writes:

> > Dropbox recently sent out a bunch of notices about
> > the way it handles this kind of link.
> Where can I find the notice?

Check out the page that discusses important changes to the Dropbox public folder.

> If I need to change the link on trombone forum, that
> would be hopeless since we can't edit old posts.

A moderator will update the old post for you upon request.

Thanks Todd! I deleted the email on that long ago, so was scratching my head how to reply to Rob.
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Method for making sound files available to others on: Jan 08, 2018, 10:03AM
It claims all anyone needs is the link.

Here's an example...

Go to my page of Popper play-alongs


and try to download the "download this zip" file

You will get a file but it won't be the zip.

It used to work. It no longer does

Dropbox recently sent out a bunch of notices about the way it handles this kind of link.  Did you see those and make the needed adjustments?  I admit I have NOT done any public shares since those changes....
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Method for making sound files available to others on: Jan 08, 2018, 05:36AM
Lol. I believe Graham is inquiring about BiaB music file sharing. I don't think they need military-grade encryption to be safe from prying eyes - unless his original compositions have world-class value. Maybe they do!  Way cool


Matt is not talking about military-grade encryption. He is talking about pretty much run of the mill self-protection of privacy.  Once a service like Google Drive or Dropbox is setup for one thing it is just a matter of time before it is used for another.  So, what starts off as music sharing that may or may not have copyright concerns to warrant some security can quickly cascade into sharing files with, say, the executor specified in a will.  The EASIEST time to set up reasonable privacy protections is before you start using it.

So, LOL all you want Geezer.  Matt did Graham a service with an excellent post.
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