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1066069 Posts in 70844 Topics- by 18677 Members - Latest Member: KVBianchini
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41  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Theory---Largest..or Smallest? on: Apr 17, 2017, 03:22AM
I went back to the beginning of this topic to see what it started out as....
WOW.... eleven years ago the quality of debate was SO high... I was gripped by the twists and turns !
All these years on I will add one thing...
This academic year two lads turned up at the RCS with very similar equipment... and it was very like that played by the bass trombonist in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra... a stunning player who anyone would want to emulate.
The problem was that these two were playing so much better when they auditioned almost a year previously, and had swapped to very large mouthpieces, like that used by the BBC player. They simply could not cope at all. They have now swapped onto much smaller equipment that suits them well at this stage of their development. The BBC player sounds great on his big mouthpiece... but that is him... and I know it is a good fit, because he was also a pupil of mine and I put him on that mouthpiece.

Chris Stearn
42  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / Re: FS. Rath R1 1100 on: Apr 16, 2017, 10:34AM
It's going to a very good home  :) :) I hope he likes it.

Chris Stearn
43  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: My tribute to George Roberts on: Apr 16, 2017, 01:35AM

As always, beautiful playing! Good!  What bass trombone were you using if I may ask?

It's the player, not the instrument. Leif could get that sound on your Getzen, and so could you... with a lot of work... which you should go for.

Chris Stearn
44  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: Lesson with Jay Friedman: a summary on: Apr 16, 2017, 01:31AM
Very insightful, thanks. I doubt if you would be able to incorporate a lot into your playing from one lesson, but it is food for thought. One good idea is enough from a lesson. Also, thanks for the views on Mulcahy.

I have a few comments, for which I will take responsibility.

From my own experience, I find that increasing pressure works to a point, but as an older player, I know that pressure is not my friend. Unfortunately, when people talk about less or low pressure, this is often taken as "no pressure", meaning there are air leaks. This is absolutely not the case, and it indicates a dismissal or a misunderstanding of the concept.

Using a lot of air works, and it leads to a sub-topic on breathing. You can work through this, and there are many people and books to help you.

What people describe as a "complex" with overtones is the result of centred notes. But this, I mean note and not pitch. Listen to Joe Alessi, Stefan Schulz, Stanley Clark and others, and you'll hear a really interesting sound. This is not equipment related - it's them, and we all can learn to do it. We don't say much about centering sound on TTF; perhaps we should say more.

Centred tones.... yes, yes, yes.... and yes...
For many years I was lucky enough to sit next to Kevin Thomson who was a monster of a player, one of the best of his generation.... he made a huge and interesting sound. I once asked him how he got such a huge sound... he said it was all about focus... get in the centre of the note and it grows and grows.
He was right.

Chris Stearn
45  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: The Trombonist's Time Machine on: Apr 16, 2017, 01:22AM
1987-1993 was a pretty exciting time for the trombone. Plus I'd get to play Wolfenstein 3D with myself as a small child.

I was around then, in a full time job.... did I miss something ? Far more happening today... at an ever higher level...

Chris Stearn
46  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: "Herrick-Style" Lead Pipes on: Apr 16, 2017, 01:15AM
Very few people have original Herrick pipes, so it is not likely that people will post enough here to give an overall impression of characteristics. From what I can gather, Herrick made pipes to order after talking to the customer and possibly hearing them play. I doubt there is a characteristic to them. I have tried several Herrick mouthpieces and they were all very different... no real house style... and he didn't mark his mouthpieces, so you can often not be sure it is the real thing.
I have a Herrick pipe for bass.... how it compares to the norm ....
It is very free blowing.... standard length physically.... like a modern Conn or Shires B2 or Brassark 62..... it is very slotted with clear attacks... in most of my horns it makes things very bright and commercial, but it suits one of my instruments perfectly. Very different from all my other pipes.
 I have what is supposed to be a Kanstul copy of a Herrick pipe.... this one is very tight, hard down low, but quite mellow.... the opposite of the real one... but it might be a fine copy of a different pipe.

Chris Stearn
47  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 14, 2017, 11:21PM
"everything should fit together perfectly". Of course! However it depends on your definition of "perfect". "That" varies HUGELY in this industry....


Indeed... If I want to use the valve section from R8 no 340 on R9 no 34, I have to use a washer to get the correct space for the tuning slide... not a big deal for a ten year production gap. It fits fairly easily without, but I want a perfect fit.

Chris Stearn
48  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / Re: Pic, if you're interested? on: Apr 14, 2017, 03:08PM
Well.... I sell to who I want to in the way I want to on this forum.... I am not a business... I am not enslaved to Amazon... if you don't like that, get over it.
I take other sellers on their own terms... or I have to walk away.
I sort of like this setup.

Chris Stearn
49  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 14, 2017, 10:27AM
How do Rath's or other modular horns figure in this as the stress, or lack of, is controlled by the tension applied to the bell parts by the user? The fixings would sometimes undo on my R10..

Plenty of places for stress to lurk in a modular horn... anywhere in the slide... the valve section build... tuning slide... as far as modular connection... everything should fit together perfectly, then it will not be stressed.. the bell connect is a locking thread, which should be okay.
I had solid build early Raths... I converted them to modular... they played just as well.... at least for me.

Chris Stearn
50  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 14, 2017, 03:25AM
"so I prefer instruments with more mass". But "more" mass absorbs "more" of the energy you are putting into the horn, meaning "less" energy projecting.

Yes, parts "should" fit together with no stress "before" solder is applied, however stress can most certainly be induced "when" applying solder. Metal changes shape when it heats/cools, and solder and brass heat/cool very differently. If you don't understand this, and don't take it into account when soldering, then you are guaranteeing stress is induced,regardless of the fit prior to solder.


Comments from someone who knows... thanks.
I have noticed that some makers build up horns with all parts fitting very snugly... Holton for example... and others build up with quite a loose fit, so used more solider... like Elkhart Conns. Less chance of stress with looser fit ?
Number of braces and their position is very important to feel.

Chris Stearn
51  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Roy Benson trombones on: Apr 13, 2017, 02:50PM
Copy of a bad copy?  That is scary!

The Jin Bao that looks like a King 7B is not in fact a copy.... I have checked them. The Jin Bao might be a bad copy... but it plays quite well when judged on it's own merits.

Chris Stearn
52  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why do some trombones resonate and others do not? on: Apr 13, 2017, 02:46PM
I think it's more than stress or tension. For example, most Conns I've played ring to some extent. My 88h rings on F#, 79h rings on high A. My 70h rings on just about any note. Some a little, some so much it's distracting. The Rath horns I've played tend not to resonate this way. The Raths are without a doubt great horns, they just don't resonate in the same way that a lot of old Conns do. Before I was able to identify what was different between the Conns I'm so used to and the Rath I was just testing, I thought the Raths were kind of dead. Once I realized it was just the difference in the way the horn physically vibrated in my hands, I was ok with it. But I'm still just an old conn guy at heart. I don't think anyone would suggest that Raths are poorly assembled, so the presence or lack of resonance must come from another source in addition to the internal tension.

It is very nice to feel that a trombone is 'alive' in your hands.... I have a Holton that I worked on to get this effect... but the downside with that horn was that it felt a bit too hard to control at higher dynamics. I recently swapped the valve section and took the chance to add bracing with the aim of creating a better overall response.... I was lucky and got exactly what i wanted.
Raths.... stress free assembly... but they are braced to work well over the entire dynamic range... so may well not have that 'alive in the hands' type of feel. Careful choice of materials and leadpipe will ensure plenty of life in the sound. Too many people put together a dull sounding combo.... in my humble opinion.

Chris Stearn
53  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Intrumens from 19 and 20 century on: Apr 12, 2017, 10:47AM
The Bb/F Piering is mine... on loan to the collection. The Stowasser Bb/F was mine.

Chris Stearn
54  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 10, 2017, 10:08AM
She's off to Andy Clennell in a couple of weeks, he has an idea that will sort it.

That's good... Andy seems very keen to do this sort of thing.... he is even talking about building his own bass trombone model.

Chris Stearn
55  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / Re: WTB: Jerome Callet bass lead pipe on: Apr 10, 2017, 09:57AM
Didn't Dillon Music get the rights to make that pipe ? You might be able to get one from them. I have one in my modern Conn bass... Conns are the only Horns I have found them to work with, but we are all different.

Chris Stearn
56  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Straight Numbered Bachs on: Apr 09, 2017, 11:55PM
I use a MV 11 in small trombone and bass trumpet.... but I don't get paid to use them very often.  I modified the rim a little. Works for me.

Chris Stearn
57  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How do you stop using excessive pressure in the high register? on: Apr 09, 2017, 11:00AM
I have had extremely good results from Skype lessons and it has enabled me to teach players all over the world who otherwise wouldn't have access.  Quite a few from this forum.

And I've had to deal with players who have ended up more confused after Skype lessons... I will have to respectfully differ from you on this one Doug.

Chris Stearn
58  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How do you stop using excessive pressure in the high register? on: Apr 09, 2017, 06:59AM
To get a good high range, I make sure I'm getting a good buzz. Practice buzzing with no mouthpiece. Small aperture, big air support. Buzz ascending scales just a couple minutes a day, and you will feel a difference in a few days. If the chops can make the high pitch just from buzzing, you don't need mouthpiece pressure beyond what it takes to make the seal.

That works....
Sounds simple... as most good advice does, but can be tricky to do by yourself..
 best see a good teacher one-to-one. I am not convinced that skype is a good medium for this kind of work.

Chris Stearn
59  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Bell that overblows on: Apr 09, 2017, 12:13AM
It is a Yamaha YBL-620G.  The bell is actually gold brass; I said red brass above.

Yeah, maybe I just need to learn how to play it differently.  And I own or have tried several other basses that don't do it.  But it makes sense that I need to play it the way it wants to be played.  I will work on it. 

You got it ! I had a student with one of those... he sounded great, but he thought it was too bright at loud volumes... he wasn't.... but he changed to a horn that he feels better about... took him almost a year to get the sound back, but now we are both happy ! See how you feel with it.

Chris Stearn
60  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Valve Wraps on: Apr 08, 2017, 05:51AM
Chris, who would you say is capable of that kind of work in U.K.?......

That's not so easy.... Mick Rath is the obvious person, though custom projects will always run second to making his own instruments. Adrian Jarvis does great work, though I don't know how much custom work he does and Andy Clenell in Birmingham is looking like developing that side of things.

Chris Stearn
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