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1083350 Posts in 71707 Topics- by 19125 Members - Latest Member: trombone.willy
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41  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Stearn's law of leadpipes on: Aug 20, 2017, 12:49AM
Well, not really... but I have noticed an unfortunate quality in a group of pipes I have been testing....

The better the feel and sound of a pipe, the more out of tune the harmonic series,
The worse the feel and sound of a pipe, the more in tune the harmonic series.

I am greedy.... I want feel, sound and a good harmonic series..... those pipes are rare birds indeed.

Chris Stearn
42  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 20, 2017, 12:44AM
It's been an interesting experiment, but I have been working this week, and that has been on a Mt Vernon 1 1/2G.... it never really got to the stage of the 2G being a real consideration.... it still hits places on my teeth that make it feel less than right. It did make me look for some old Conn leadpipes which have turned out quite well, at least on my modern Conn.

Chris Stearn
43  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Chip Hoehler on: Aug 16, 2017, 10:10AM
This is positive. Keeping fingers crossed.

Chris Stearn
44  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: How is Chip Hoehler? on: Aug 15, 2017, 12:37AM
Jonathan will update us when there is news. I suspect that he is still in a coma. He is in a hospital in Germany as far as I know.

Chris Stearn
45  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why Coprion? on: Aug 12, 2017, 02:42PM
... But that was made from sheet copper.  I don't think Mick had access to any electroforming equipment.  The difference would be the amount of work hardening the copper endured.

Still, all copper is VERY different from either Sterling Silver or pure Silver (SGX).

It was indeed formed from sheet..... by a forum member.... these bells are still very soft, though not electro formed. I was answering a question from Harrison about comparing sounds.

Chris Stearn
46  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Why Coprion? on: Aug 12, 2017, 12:41PM
I have a Rath R9 with a copper bell. Mick offered that in the early days. I like it a lot. Not at all like silver. Very warm at low dynamics and gets interesting when louder. Great feedback to the player.

Chris Stearn
47  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Resting the horn on your shoulder. on: Aug 11, 2017, 12:45PM
Message for OP....
I have a short neck and play bass trombone....
I have rested the trombone... usually valve tube... on my shoulder for 50 years so far....
No problems yet....
Will keep you posted.....

Chris Stearn
48  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: Contrabass tuning opinions on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:23AM
I didn't know there was an American system. Anyway, I set the Rath up so it could be used with pretty much ANY tuning... You get to choose.

Chris Stearn
49  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:18AM
No problem with being slightly off topic.... Just note that many of the world's greatest players have a chops break... or even several  of them.... others have no breaks.... and a few get to choose...

Chris Stearn
50  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Who in their right mind plays a Bach 1 1/2G ?? on: Aug 09, 2017, 02:29PM
I desperately try to hear bass trombonists live when I can - but that is so few and far between where I am - out local symphony rarely has a full trombone compliment.  I found a guy that lives locally who is a top notch bass trombonist - I'm trying to get some lessons with him with 95% of the reason being that I just want to hear him up close.

I wish it weren't so hard.

You live in a beautiful part of the world... You can't have everything. Gabe is not so far away and makes a great sound. I will be in MA over Christmas... if you want to travel we could play some duets... beer keeps me happy.

Chris Stearn
51  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 09, 2017, 07:04AM
Chris do you know the differences, besides the wider rim, between the Rath B2 and B2W?

That's fairly easy... The B2 was a copy of a great MV Bach 2G..  with Rath throat and backbone.. . The B2W started out as a B2 to which was added a very wide rim which I re-shaped to be in the style of the Ray Premru rim.

Chris Stearn
52  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 08, 2017, 11:56PM
May I ask the question, is the Rath B 1 1/2 a copy of Chris' beloved MV 1 1/2 G?

The B1 1/2W is a copy of a wide rim MV 1 1/2G that I own. The B1 1/2 was done away from me. All Raths have their own style bores and backbones so none are really copies.

Chris Stearn
53  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Efficiency/Pure Relaxation on: Aug 08, 2017, 10:07AM
It's about learning to only do what you have to do to get the result you want..... as you get older you HAVE to work that one out !

Chris Stearn
54  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 08, 2017, 02:40AM
Thank you, Chris for clarifying.

Real bass trombone sound (old 2G):

Perfect bass trombone sound (old 1 1/2G):

Two of the all time greats.... and interesting that those sounds are not so far away from each other. I heard Ray play many times and it was even better live than any recording.

Chris Stearn
55  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 08, 2017, 12:30AM
Mouthpieces that create a "real bass trombone sound" and a "perfect bass trombone sound"? I'm pretty skeptical of that. Especially seeing as there are so many different approaches and sounds that are considered to be good Bass trombone playing, whatever that means. If you are able to create the perfect bass sound by just plugging in a particular brand of mouthpiece from a particular set of years, I would sure love to hear it!

Mouthpieces do not DO anything.... they ALLOW the player to do things. The player creates the sound. I have found with my students that moving to a 2G has allowed them to make a darker richer sound (in the conceptual context we work in here) .
For some stupid and frustrating reason, the bass mouthpieces made by Bach in the NY and MV years allow great sounds and have a great feel and have yet to be replicated in a meaningful way.... some are close... none are there... even those stamped Bach.
I think we have to accept that most Americans and most Brits are on a completely different page with equipment and concept. You can admire a musician even if you don't want to sound like them..... look at traditional sports cars in the UK and US... Corvette Stingray v MGB.... the 'vette is all about power for big long straight roads.... the MGB is gutless but goes round bends and is small enough for our little windy roads.... each is great in it's own setting... each is a puzzle in the wrong place.

Chris Stearn
56  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 02:46PM
To Tbarh: Definitely. The rim is only so much of the equation. To me, the 2G ish rim allows for insane lows as well as F5 - F#5 (on tenor), but I suspect that what Chris is talking about in the 2G has way more to do with cup and rim contours, as well as the shape and size of the throat.

It makes me wonder if you could get the two different sounds Chris mentioned (the 2G UK sound and the American sound) by keeping the 2G rim size and contour, but changing up the cup and throat to match the larger "american" sounding mouthpieces.

The Monette BT2 would fit the small rim big elsewhere idea I suppose... does not work for me... dull in a kinda bright way...

Chris Stearn
57  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 02:16PM
I think at least in this country, the attractiveness of the sound of the 2G is not in question.... though that is a different story in other places. I have seen, or more accurately heard, a new generation here embrace these old mouthpieces to very good effect.
I suspect that my dental structure will push me back to the 1 1/2G , but it is really fun to try this old warhorse in my downtime and learn a little about how to get it to work.
What is becoming apparent is that the fit of the mouthpiece in the pipe is crucial. Resistance changes with the distance the shank goes in... look up old Sam Burtis posts about Teflon tape.... fit is critical.

Chris Stearn
58  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:59AM
In other news, bass trombonists the world over ditched their 0G and .5G mouthpieces, with the sudden realization that they had been wrong for as long as they could remember. Those notes had all been false notes...

Well, a year ago I was playing Doug's wonderful, easy playing 116 rim with J,K,L and M cups. Nothing better for what is called the modern American sound.
Now I am back on a 1 1/2G and trying a 2G.... putting me back in the mainstream of British sound. People do play the trombone outside America.... and I can remember a time before I played the big stuff.
If you want to be flippant I can do that....

Chris Stearn
59  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 09:53AM
I do have a MV 2G in my collection, I'll have more of a look at it.
The question I have: Is it POSSIBLE on that size to have the same easy access to the bottom of the horn as it is on a large mouthpiece?  And volume?  Somehow I doubt it, but I'd like to hear from the guys who use it.
I certainly recognize the sound advantage, but doesn't it limit what you can do, somewhat?

WGW heard a pretty impressive bit of low register stuff from my student, and I have heard 'Sub Zero' work very well on a 2G.... so flexibility is possible. Volume... think Bob Hughes, Ray Premru and a bunch of others. Swapping between the 2G and the 1 1/2G I think the sound at volume is better on the 2G. That said, my 1 1/2G fits my face better than any mouthpiece I have ever had.... perhaps with a bit of time....
Easy access to the low register ? Well, it is more work, though I think there is a technique to doing it... one of my reasons to re-visit and it is possible to get a sound that everyone seems to like.
I will only really know how good it is when I get some Conn leadpipes ... It makes the old 60H sing for now.

Chris Stearn
60  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 05:35AM
Interesting, Chris. I have always felt that there's a threshold between 2G and 1-1/2G. It may be a counter-intuitive first comparison to go to, but the point that springs to mind is that a 2G works well in a large tenor as a light bass, whereas a 1-1/2G in the same feels like a large mouthpiece that requires lip-grip. A 2G on bass makes for a very natural sound relation to the tenors in the section, more so than the 1-1/2G, a point that was perhaps more obvious in the days when a 1-1/2G was thought of as the largest mouthpiece for bass trombone.

I hypothesise a three-fold division in bass trombone mouthpiece sizes:
2G and smaller: Small; think of bass as tenor with better low register
1-1/2G to some 1-1/4Gs: Medium; a happy compromise between retaining easy access to 'tenory' responses and easing the low register
Other 1-1/4Gs and larger: Large; requiring a different approach; much more comfortable in some ways, but making it notably more difficult to function as '3rd trombone' sound and response wise

More extreme at either end, there are further subtle subdivisions, but this is how I basically conceive bass trombone mouthpiece sizing. Does that agree with your thinking in any way?

Well Dave, I wish things struck me as a logical progression, as you describe. From the listening side of things, my students sound darker with more focus on their 2G pieces... and two of these players are on trial for symphony jobs at the moment, so we are talking the cream of the young crop here.
The 2 and the 1 1/2 are strangely different.... I suspect that the 2G has it's origins in a custom player-designed piece. Before the War Bach only produced one bass mouthpiece... the 3.... no G , just plain 3. I have one... similar to the modern 3G at the rim but more shallow and restricted.
After the war the 2G appeared.... and the 1 1/2G.... I've seen a NY 1 1/2G but not a NY 2G.... which came first ?
The rim of the 2G is hardly any wider than the 1 1/2G.... the blanks are the same, but the rim profiles are quite different, at least on early examples... the 2G tends to be rounder and the 1 1/2G flatter. This changed in later times and post Mt Vernon examples of the two have similar rims with a sharper inner edge and a high point more toward the inner rim.... I have just re-modelled a later 2G rim to match the early one and all the work needed was from the high point inwards.

Chris Stearn
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