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1087277 Posts in 72010 Topics- by 19242 Members - Latest Member: simonvd
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1  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Playing with multiple mouthpieces - Am I doing myself harm? on: Yesterday at 03:58 PM
Yeah, but don't let him see since he won't share the wagenseil etc

let him use his scholarly skills to find it


Nice one  :-P

Don't have the Wagenseil though. Wish I had.
2  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Playing with multiple mouthpieces - Am I doing myself harm? on: Yesterday at 03:25 PM
The one I have had since HS (1970s) does. Not sure what version that is. It's hiding in a closet somewhere.

I'm very curious to see that! Every edition I've ever seen has this cadenza :

3  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Playing with multiple mouthpieces - Am I doing myself harm? on: Yesterday at 09:19 AM
The Rimnsky-Korsakov has a high F in the cadenza. If you can play that on a Schilke 59, you are the man.

Not in the original cadenza, it doesn't. Highest note is Bb4 in the first movement. Neither the first or second cadenza goes higher than F4
4  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Playing with multiple mouthpieces - Am I doing myself harm? on: Yesterday at 01:40 AM
Mmh... Different things come to mind. First ask yourself why you are changing. If it's just to get higher notes, don't do it and use a tenor for tenor pieces. But I will say this : plenty of people double on several instruments using different mouthpieces on each. If some play tuba and bass and tenor and/or alto, eupho, bass trumpet, sackbuts (not mentioning those who double on trumpet!) with vastly different mouthpieces, hard to see how it can't be done or it would "necessarily mess up your embouchure" (I've heard that a lot).

However, keep in mind that different mouthpieces don't just sound different, they change the way you play, by requiring or encouraging certain things instead of others. That can be a good thing when playing a different instruments (I.e. Making you blow and play in the appropriate manner on each horn and helping your body "know" which instrument you're playing / avoiding to have the reflex of blowing in your tenor sackbut the same way you'd blow in your modern bass, for example). But conversely it can confuse you if you use several different mouthpieces on the same horn, because then you're playing the same horn with different sound concepts and ways of blowing. If you try to play with two quite different mouthpieces without also having a quite different approach,  and while trying to get the same sound, just having more high notes, that's when you get into trouble.

I do have a "real" bass mouthpiece, as well as a very deep and open but much narrower 5g-rimmed mouthpiece,which I use for lighter repertoire (Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, etc), stuff written with 3 tenors in mind and/or smaller orchestras, and I think it works great. But you have to spend time on both while always, always having a clear, distinct sound concept on each, being aware of the differences in playing it brings and keeping a clear mental separation between the two in every aspect. And I don't choose which I use based on the range or high notes I have to play, but on the sound and style I want.
5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Two New Wessex design Trombones on: Nov 20, 2017, 06:40AM
you will note the distinctive Wyvern cut-out brace which we are also fitting to future sackbut. It can be made different thicknesses of metal to balance for the particular instrument.

It's a bit off-topic and I really, really don't want to start yet another debate on sackbut authenticity and Meinl/Egger vs Wessex vs sawed off 2Bs.

But I'm curious on why you want to put a counterweight on your sackbuts.
6  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Tuner accuracy on: Nov 19, 2017, 06:31PM
A bit off-topic and newcomer's question, but I have always wondered. I have never played in symphony orchestra, only wind bands. If the orchestra tunes to A, but most of the brass instruments' closed pitch is in Bb, how do people in the brass section know that their instruments' closed pitch (where other tuning slides positions are derived from) is in tune, not just the 2nd valve tuning slide (or in case of trombone, the slide position)? Is it done entirely by ear?

And why doesn't the oboe gives A for strings and Bb for the brass section? (And maybe F for the horns and F tubas?) Theoretically the oboe should be in-tune for its entire range, isn't it?

Well, it also isn't the "closed pitch" for most of the woodwinds. Many concert bands do give A for woodwinds and Bb for brass. But trumpets are more often in C in a symphony orchestra. So are tubas, when they're not in F. Trumpet in Eb is not uncommon, and alto trombone either...you'd quickly reach 4 or 5 different notes to give...

You get used to know the necessary adjustments based on the given A. Also, we typically tune more than just an A. While the oboe only gives A, you can also touch D and E (as the strings need to play and tune those notes too).
7  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Things you use to could have sight read! on: Nov 19, 2017, 01:08PM
I have been back to playing now for 6 or 7 months. I have gotten most of my chops back. I can play most all my upper range, I still fight with peddle tones, but making progress.

I get frustrated at times. I am playing now with the local community band, and we have put together a trio at church. Things I used to could sight read back in high school or college, I struggle with. It can be disheartening! I feel like I am almost on the verge of playing well again, but just can't quite get over that hump! I practice a minimum of 30 minutes a day and most days an hour +. I do long tone scales and I do what I call speed and smooth drills. To get warm and to loosen up at the same time.

Any advice? Or am I just being impatient? It is like I have re-progressed to the point that I know the music is in there, I am just having problems getting it out of my horn the way I think I should.

Best way to be good at sight reading is to do a lot of sight reading.
8  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece on: Nov 19, 2017, 12:46PM
Even with the improved leadpipe, that horn has a bad low range. It's really just a learner's instrument. I don't think any combination of leadpipe and mpc will make it a really satisfying horn to play.

My experience was actually the opposite. I had a hard time making the Jin Bao I was borrowing sound good and wasn't really learning how to play alto until I got a really good horn I that didn't have to fight against. Which I since then sold because I wasn't playing much modern alto anymore, but going back to a Jin Bao when I do need a modern alto, I can now make it sound good. I don't think I could if I hadn't had a good instrument to learn on first. I wouldn't recommend the Jin Bao as a learning instrument, more as a back up horn.

Little funny thing, a Jin Bao alto was used at a major symphony orchestra's concert I attended... Quick calculation, the principal trombone was playing an instrument worth 10,000 times less than that of the soloist playing in the same concert :-P
9  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Music for baroque trio for harpsichord, cello, and trombone on: Nov 18, 2017, 04:08PM
I'd have a look at the Düben Collection. You can browse through it by instrumentation. I don't think any of the pieces specifying trombone would fit your instrumentation, but there might be stuff for gamba(s) or bassoon that fit.


Also, Partiturbuch Ludwig (it's on IMSLP). Again, none of the pieces for trombone will fit - they're all at least 3 part with at least one treble instrument, but maybe there's some two part music that would work.

Some great manuscripts and early prints in the various collections in the online database of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

10  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Music for baroque trio for harpsichord, cello, and trombone on: Nov 18, 2017, 02:03PM
Hey all!

It's been a long while since I've been on here, but here we go. I've started a baroque trio with a organist and a cellist and we are looking for new literature. I've been scraping my way through IMSLP looking for some trio sonatas or such I can arrange for our group, but nothings really caught my eye. I'm really looking for something like a fugue or a sonata with figured bass parts. Something for a group like us.

I'm really open to suggestions on music as we are just starting up so please feel free to throw in anything from Haydn to Telemann to Bach.


I'm not sure about trio sonatas for two low instruments, but there are a pieces for two bass instruments, like the few Canzone a due basso of Frescobaldi.

More easy to find, any piece for solo trombone (or unspecified solo instrument or solo voice) where the part you play doesn't double the bass line, then the cello can play the bass line. Again you can look at Frescobaldi canzone (for canto solo), Fontana and Castello sonatas, Cesare's La Hieronyma.

Or you can find yourself a violinist and then it opens up a bit more options.
11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Tuner accuracy on: Nov 18, 2017, 12:21PM
I disagree that we "never play in equal temperament."

I have heard a trombone soloist play something like just intonation with a piano and it was absolutely horrible.

There are plenty of times when equal temperament is totally appropriate.  Most of my gigs include a piano.  I would not intentionally play out of tune with the piano.  I guess you would.

I'd like to point out that I did specify I was talking specifically about orchestra playing and that equal temperament applies to piano (and the whole thread is about playing in orchestra). I don't think your insinuation that I would obviously play intentionally out of tune is warranted.

That being said although I mostly  agree with you about playing with piano, I also almost never heard somebody who didn't at least lower some of their major thirds a little bit when playing with piano. When I did hear it, that sounded horrible. Good accompanists will also occasionally leave out thirds in important chords because they know we can make them sound good and they can't, and give you a chance to make the chord ring on important chords or held notes.
12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Tuner accuracy on: Nov 18, 2017, 08:39AM
I was trying to practice playing sharp to try and convince my ear that it was ok. Was not going well. So getting back to A 440 was nice. Maybe I should have posted this question in a different section on how to play off pitch so you match a band.  

You don't play off pitch, you play on a different pitch. 442 is a really, really common pitch to tune to. Several music schools tune their pianos to 442 now. 441 is becoming very standard for concert bands because most percussions are tuned to 440, and if your piano is at 442, tuning the band at 441 is the best solution to avoid having either sound of tune. Many major orchestras play higher than 440. Some as high as 445. Under Charles Dutoit, for a while the orchestra was tuning so high that Pierre Beaudry had his tuning slide shortened to have some wiggle room. And in the world of early music, we have folks playing at everything from a=392 to a=520 (which is a span of roughly an equal-tempered major third). Playing at a=430 isn't forcing or convincing yourself to play everything flat, it's just playing in tune at a=430. And we play in different tuning systems, meaning even at the same reference pitch, what "playing in tune" means varies widely in terms of the pitches/slide positions we actually play. It is not uncommon for me to play slide trumpet at a=520 in pure intonation in the morning, then play sackbut at a=466 meantone, and later at a=440, all on the same day, with occasional a=430 in some well-tempered system or equal temperament thrown in there.

If your ear can't handle small variations in reference pitch, train it, because you'll almost never play at precisely a=440.
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Tuner accuracy on: Nov 18, 2017, 01:54AM
I'll just add to Harrison and BillO's great comments that not only is using a tuner on the fly bad because it doesn't take into account that others might be out of tune and you might need to match them anyway, but more importantly, it doesn't take into account that we never, ever play in equal temperament. Equal temperament is for pianos, not for orchestras. We play movable just intonation on an equal tempered scale.

In other words even if the rest of the group plays exactly in tune, and you are exactly spot on with your tuner, you'll be out of tune most of the time, because your tuner doesn't care about harmony and won't tell you to lower/raise your thirds by 14 cents or very slightly raise your fifths and lower your sevenths...

Use your tuner to tune your instrument when you're alone and find the default slide positions on your horn for that basic equal tempered scale. Then leave it in the case, use drones to practice pure intervals over that scale, and use your ears to play in tune in ensembles.
14  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece on: Nov 17, 2017, 02:48PM
You're right. Yamaha says as follows:

"The 48 rim combined with a very shallow cup. For alto trombones. Bright tone with good volume. Ideal for baroque compositions."

I must say every person I've ever heard play one (included myself) sounded terrible on that mouthpiece (of course I might have heard somebody in concert or recording play one and not known they were playing one and some people might sound wonderful on it - I'm talking people I know). The throat is (almost ridiculously) tiny and quite sharp. Bright tone, sure, good volume, I don't know about that. I sounded like the dead squirrel in the trombone player joke using that mouthpiece. Airy sound, difficulty playing in the center of the note...
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Tuner accuracy on: Nov 17, 2017, 02:17PM
I am questioning tuner accuracy. I have noticed when certain people give a tuning note for the orchestra or band that many are not the same. The oboe at an orchestra is always sharp. When she gives the note it is interesting to watch ever person up and down the brass row and some of the woodwinds that I can see push in.

Curious who else deals with this and how much variable is in the tuners?   

Yeah, having a bad oboe player give the A is always ******. On the other hand, it's her job to give you the A and your job to take the A she gives you. If she's sharp and you're okay, well she's right and you're flat, and that's the way it is (sometimes, unfortunately).
16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece on: Nov 17, 2017, 02:06PM
There are plenty of alto mouthpieces being made., and none of the mouthpieces you listed are those.  You should try those. The mouthpiece makers know more about it than anyone, and the artists they made them for are happy about that. FWIW, a Conn 7C comes with the Conn altos, and I've found that the artist type alto mouthpieces are head and shoulders above standard small tenor designs. If out of the Oft, or Bousfield, or Alessi, or Lindberg, or Friedman, or Slokar alto mouthpieces you find nothing that works, it might be the trombone or your approach to playing it.

Yes this!
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece on: Nov 17, 2017, 10:42AM
My reasoning for using your tenor rim size is that you get stronger and better at playing on one rims size if you're not switching and relying on that as a crutch for high range.  The fact is, the range you use on alto is no different than the higher side of tenor range.  And for me it's not limited to "reasoning," it's what I've been doing professionally for several decades.

It's true that for some players a smaller rim will give a very resonant sound - like bass trombonists who get a big sound on a 2G or 1-1/2G, or the fact that French Horn players use our full range on a comparatively tiny rim size.

But others, including myself, are unable to play low range, even an alto's low range, on a small rim size.  It makes a lot more sense to use what I'm already successful on.

As far as I know, in the numbering system used by both Schilke and Yamaha, "A" immediately after the size number designates a shallow cup.  Maybe Yamaha has changed that.

Yes, I agree with you, my comment wasn't geared at your approach to rim sizes - I have plenty of friends and colleagues who use the same or similar rims on different instruments. It was aimed at Chris' argument of "if you're a pro, better keep the same rim", which I don't get. Your approach is valid - but surely we can all agree that there are pros who do change rims between instruments and that other approaches can also be valid. I don't see how it has anything to do with being a professional player is all...
18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Need Suggestions for Alto Trombone Mouthpiece on: Nov 17, 2017, 08:41AM
as you list yourself as a pro player it will make more sense to keep the rim size same as your large bore....

I don't get that reasoning. Playing on different rims on each instrument is for amateurs and playing with a unique rim is "professional"? We all have different morphology and different technique - for some, having a unique rim gives the best solution, for some having vastly different mouthpieces for each horn is best, and for others, somewhere between those two extremes on the spectrum.

For the OP, if you like small alto mouthpieces, you might want to get in touch with John Cather. His alto mouthpieces are very very small, smaller than any standard model on the market that I know of. Really really not everyone's cup of tea, but interesting to at least try. I get a brighter but also much fuller and resonant tone on alto with mine than I did with the various 12C and 15C I've used.
19  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Republican duplicity re: sexual assaults on: Nov 16, 2017, 08:42AM
I'm surprised Baron von Bone didn't jump on this.

Asserting mutual corroboration from several allegations commits the logical fallacy of begging the question. It assumes the truth of the very proposition to be tested. We haven't yet determined whether each allegation is true, so none can be corroborative of the others.

In recent years there have been several attempts to erode what you Americans call due process, starting with sexual allegations. Campaigns like always believing the woman (what about male victims of rape??), rape shield laws and allowing criminal prosecutions based only on an accusation with no supporting evidence. These erode important and hard-won principles like the presumption of innocence and equality of arms. This has occurred across the Anglophone world, with Canada and England leading the way. Just recently, it seems that the state criminal justice apparatus (police, courts and prisons/probation etc) are now to be bypassed as all too difficult and inconvenient. Much easier to splatter allegations across social media and news media. The examination of the issues is conducted, as Dusty says, in the media and not in a court governed by well-established rules. Punishment is usually in the form of losing job and livelihood, family and friends. This is not the way we deal with criminal behaviour in civilised democracies. The process applied is more akin to the Lynch mob, which I assume you Americans don't want to go back to.

Even more recently, there seems to be a campaign against elected representatives. I grace several countries with my presence on a regular basis and have seen near-identical stories about 'politician perverts.' Many of the claims are really innocuous, hand-on-knee-in-1979 stuff, and not anywhere near the threshold of criminal conduct. But what counts is the damage to reputation, forcing an extra-judicial punishment of resignation and loss of career. The stories are so similar and have come out so close together that I wonder whether there is an element of coordination behind the scenes.

My recommendation to posters on this thread therefore, is to stop squabbling about political partisan sides and et tu quoque. The danger here is that democratic mandates are being undermined by (I can't resist the mixed metaphor) kneejerk fingerpointing which is only scrutinised according to current journalistic standards ie not very well. Beware.

Well given the abysmally low rate of conviction (let alone the rate of charges being brought and let alone the rate of actual denunciations), clearly these "important and hard-won principles" are failing victims in this particular area.

How exactly do you prove the absence of sexual consent beyond reasonable doubt? How exactly do you prove beyond reasonable doubt  that certain actions constituted harassment and not simple flirting?

Yeah, good luck with that...

And by the way, your mention of male victims in opposition to "believing the woman" is a very stupid argument and obvious fallacy. One doesn't have to disbelieve male victims to believe female victims. There is no opposition there.  There is a big stigma on male victims that prevents them coming forward. There is one on female victims too, they are of a different nature, yet both are results and symptoms of how patriarchy messes us up.

Males often don't come forward because they are afraid of being seen by others as weak to have been a victim of a female (or they feel weak themselves and are attacked in their "masculinity"), females don't because in many cases it would lead to marginalization, whether economic (loss of job or future employability in their field in cases where their abuser is an authority figure), social (how many rape victims who came out became parias for daring to accuse a well-respected man? how many friends do rape victims lose when their abuser is in the same social circles), or sexual (female victims' sex lives are almost systematically scrutinized, if not in court, in the media or public opinion, in an effort to demonstrate that they're really just promiscuous women incapable of refusing consent...).

In both cases the stigma stems directly from patriarchal ideas deeply entrenched in our society and how we define masculinity, feminity and the roles of genders. In both cases it's regrettable and we can only wish, in everyone's best interest, to eliminate those sources of stigma so that all victims feel comfortable coming forward. And in both cases it goes to prove that the justice system in its current form is not adapted to deal with the vast majority of sexual abuse cases.
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Flying with Cronkhite small tenor case - Aircraft list on: Nov 13, 2017, 01:43PM
Just fyi, the Brass Bags double case fits on EVERYTHING (in the US, at least) with overheads, including the Dash-8, which has the smallest bins I've experienced. The only thing I've flown commercially with no overheads is the Air Canada Beechcraft, but they'll usually let me put my case in a seat. Even if they don't, the luggage compartment is no worse than a van.

If I fly with a classical tenor only, I use a Reunion Blues "small tenor" case. That fits on everything too, but it requires a scary squish on the Dash. Fortunately I haven't been on one of those in years.

For multiple instruments and/or bass, I use Pelican cases. That's more complicated.

Hi Eric!

Mmh. Strange that my Cronkhite didn't fit in the Dash-8 and the Reunion Blues bag does - its the same case. I'm thinking maybe overhead design varies between airlines (there are reports of Q-400s without any overhead at all on some airlines for instance). Or maybe because my experience was with a 300?
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