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1088709 Posts in 71954 Topics- by 19317 Members - Latest Member: Whitewolf07
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81  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
82  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
83  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
84  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / 2G or not 2G ? That is the question. on: Aug 07, 2017, 01:18AM
Well, those of you that follow my sporadic ramblings, know that I went back to a very fine Bach Mt Vernon 1 1/2G almost a year ago. No regrets.... it has a sound and feel combination that surpasses anything else I have tried.
Now, during the first part of this year I have seen my students and ex-students downsizing to the Bach 2G !! No input from me... they just went and did it.... and all sound better !
So, over my summer break I have become curious.... sure, I have tried to live with the 2G many times over the years. Growing up in London, almost all the top players were using the 2G.... none on a 1 1/2G. The most admired players over here are predominantly 2G people.... even today.
I have been very, very lucky to purchase a pristine early Mt Vernon 2G for my re-visit. As new, gold plated with a Conn taper shank ( these early MV's all had that shank as standard)
I want to remind myself of the specific challenges of these mouthpieces, and first impressions are that the 2G and 1 1/2G are very different animals, even though they are so close in size. They sound different... they feel different....
The journey begins....

Chris Stearn
85  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Can I get bottom C on single plug bass trombone? on: Aug 06, 2017, 10:06AM
The bass trombone.....

Three pages on how to play one note.....

It's gonna be a BIG book......

Chris Stearn
86  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Can I get bottom C on single plug bass trombone? on: Aug 05, 2017, 05:46AM
There is a simple explanation for the availability of low C on a B flat/F trombone.

When Sattler integrated the rotary valve attachment in 1839, it was (and still is) based on an acoustic compromise. The B flat trombone slide is not long enough with the F valve engaged to provide an in-tune low C because the air column has not been lengthened sufficiently by the addition of the valve attachment tubing. The air column would need to be several centimetres longer to achieve the low C without changing the fundamental pitch of the attachment.

Consequently it becomes necessary to lower the overall pitch of the attachment tubing by extending the tuning slide adequately to allow the low C to sound properly. As a direct result, the low F series is no longer available, as the air column is now too long to permit the shorter B flat trombone slide to access these notes.

Generally speaking, every B flat trombone with F attachment must have the attachment tuning adjusted in order to reach the low C. You can either tune to low F in first position and lose the low C or tune to allow the low C to sound correctly and lose the first position series, which has to be performed in sixth position. This is the tuning compromise that was used by many professionals on single valve instruments until the double valve models were more widely adopted.

Many traditional German trombones have longer slides and shorter bell sections that allow for a low C if the player has long enough arms.
The Conn models 72H,73H,71H and later 70H all have longer slides that allow a low C without adjustment as does the Reynolds contempora.
But you know this Ed.
Just puttin' it out there.
Chris Stearn
87  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Who in their right mind plays a single valve bass? on: Aug 04, 2017, 01:02AM
I was one of that first generation to really embrace the double valve bass trombone. I got my 73H when I was 15 years old. All the guys in the London orchestras then played single valve basses. I wondered why these top players had not run out and bought doubles.... when I asked, they simply said that doubles were too heavy. There was more to it, of course but they were not letting on to a pushy kid.
I have owned and used singles together with doubles since my collage days.... I have auditioned, and won trials, on a single (though I would never recommend it today). I won my job on a Holton TR185 with the slot-in valve.
I need a double available to feel comfortable but often use single set-ups.
What did those top London players avoid telling me all that time ago ???
ALL the best bass trombones I have played have been singles.... that includes the Edwards I had 25 years ago that I bought with the single adaptor as well as the double Thayers.... played better in single mode.... and the Raths I have today that can be configured with one or two Hagmanns.... play better as singles.
Singles respond better... period.
Don't try and boil it down to the gooseneck, simple weight or such like....
They really BLOW and put you in a more simple musical mind set....
On the other hand, I have some great doubles  Evil Evil

Chris Stearn
88  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Can I get bottom C on single plug bass trombone? on: Aug 02, 2017, 03:47AM
Ha ha  :D  letīs all agree with the fact the low B and C have been played very loud on singels for ages!
How to do it and how we tune the attachment is more or less personal. I do it my way and have meet lots of players do it other ways.

If it works it is allright.

 Who the Hell is George RobertSON ? Yes that is funny? Sorry  Yeah, RIGHT.

Yes indeed. What else is there to say ?

Chris Stearn
89  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Who in their right mind plays a single valve bass? on: Aug 02, 2017, 03:44AM
Many bass trombonists today own at least two horns. Often one double and one singel. I use singel and double as it comes, the best tool....
That said, all music I have seen is playeble on a singel, much music is easier on a double.

I do often use one of my singels for lot of reasons.

And that just about sums it up  Good!

Chris Stearn
90  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Building stuff... at home? on: Jul 31, 2017, 12:02PM
Slides are fine to work on as long as you take your time. Get everything right as per the book... then when the slide is poor, as it usually is, work with it until it glides. Feel the force Luke  :)
Chris Stearn
91  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: BAC Bass for $9000??? on: Jul 28, 2017, 12:10AM
Enough for now. Locking.
Chris Stearn
92  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Who in their right mind plays a single valve bass? on: Jul 27, 2017, 04:44AM
I use a single when I don't need a double.... I have a single and double Hagmann set for the Raths. I have single and double Holtons and Conns. Don't carry plumbing that you don't need.
Great false notes on those last two links... bravo.

Chris Stearn
93  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Chip Hoehler on: Jul 26, 2017, 10:21AM
I believe a number of members of this forum know Chip Hoehler, so thought would let you know the sad news that he is very seriously ill in hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage while doing what he loves most, playing trombone.

I am sure you will join me in praying for his full recovery.
This is a big shock and very, very sad. If you speak to him, please send him my very best wishes for a speedy recovery. Such a gentleman.
Chris Stearn.
94  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Markus Leuchter/Brass Ark Fuchs Collaboration on: Jul 26, 2017, 05:38AM
Interesting that two of these Fuchs rotors are larger through the cores. sf105... What about yours ?
Chris Stearn
95  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Markus Leuchter/Brass Ark Fuchs Collaboration on: Jul 26, 2017, 03:20AM
A little more....
Firstly, I greatly admire Noah and his efforts to bring better products to the trombone world. If you go to his site you will read that this is a not planned to be an exact copy.
What do you copy anyway ? My Fuchs (1925) has a 9 1/2" bell and the bell section weighs slightly more than my 60H bell section. The valve is small on the outside but the passages in the rotor core are larger than the 60H... and I very much doubt, knowing some of it's history, that it has been messed with.
The Fuchs and the 60H bell sections could have been made on the same mandrels and play in a similar way, but the slides are different... materials and leadpipe will be quite different. Also, Noah's Fuchs has had the bell/slide connection changed to screw connect. The original friction fit makes that area much longer.
Add to that the different positions of brace work between bell and valves and many things have changed.
Will this trombone play like a Fuchs ? I doubt it.
Will this trombone be a really great new trombone with the best heritage ? Every chance !

Chris Stearn
96  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Markus Leuchter/Brass Ark Fuchs Collaboration on: Jul 24, 2017, 01:22PM
Has Chris (Blast) seen this?.........

Yes I have. I have a Fuchs so I don't need a copy.

Chris Stearn
97  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Jazz Bass Trombone on: Jul 23, 2017, 01:25AM
I would also recommend the duo gravis for big band work. I played a 1970 silver sonic my whole career. I never had the valve setup changed as I found it very fast and not uncomfortable after the first few weeks. I also found the horn to be quite versatile as I used it not only to record with the Boss Brass but for all other work both live and recorded. This work was a combination of symphonic and commercial styles, all on the same horn and the same mouthpiece. The work ranged from Boss Brass to CJRT Radio recording Orchestra to Phantom, of the Opera to Canada Pops Orchestra to various touring Ballet and Opera companies to jingle and TV and film scores (1,000 +  sessions) to nightclub work to rock bands. I played a season with the Hamilton Philharmonic under Boris Brott. I used that duo gravis with my Giardinelli 1G+ mp to play Bolero with a semi pro community orchestra. At the other range extreme was a season of Robocop TV episodes which had bass trombone parts full blast from low E down to pedal E. I list all of  this work to simply point out the versatility of the king duo gravis. I get a little tired to keep reading that it is a 'jazz' horn with weird valves. I would say that 80% of the recording work I did was in a symphonic style. Bass trombone in both commercial and legit work is heavily based on sound production. And I found the original valve setup to be OK by me.


With respect, that says more about you being a great musician and exceptional performer than the merits of the Duo Gravis. That said, I agree that the Duo Gravis has been unfairly put in a commercial 'box'. It is the right trombone for some people, as is a Conn or a Holton or a Bach etc. etc.
Sounds and styles are in the player's head, not their hands. Any fine bass trombone can be used for all styles, which has not been the case with tenors for some time, at least for section work.
Let's not shoot ourselves in the foot and decide that we need three or four different bass trombones where one is fine.

Chris Stearn
98  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Titanic - The Musical (experiences??) on: Jul 21, 2017, 11:36AM
Boring night of long note exercises.

Chris Stearn
99  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: What is a realistic salary for a professional trombonist? on: Jul 19, 2017, 11:05AM
Totally agree with all of this. I don't need to live in luxury but for the last 20+ years I've owned and lived in a house with a yard. Deals can be found but I've also rebuilt 2 houses. I don't want to do another one-yet.

It's a very nice house Bill  Good! Good! Good! Good!

You don't play the trombone to get rich, you play it to get happy.... though THAT doesn't always work out. If the OP has to ask the question it may not be the right job for them.
I have had a full time playing income for 28 years and the last 5 years on 30 weeks. Covered the bills, have a place called home, some wheels, a wife and two great grown up kids. A 15 minute audition and two weeks on trial worked out for me.... but... there are only just over 20 full time bass trombone jobs in the UK and some of those pay per session.... most people will never get a full time gig.... you do not do it for the money.

Chris Stearn
100  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Wessex Bb/F Bass trombone on: Jul 17, 2017, 12:48AM
The new bass is not based on any one model. It is not a backward looking design but a modern bass trombone... that was the Wessex brief. It has been two years in evolution with much trial and error work through that time. It will be a hand made high quality instrument and you can expect to pay a little more for it, though not the price level of top horns from America and Europe. I think people will be surprised at how good this trombone is.

Chris Stearn
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