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978477 Posts in 64899 Topics- by 15914 Members - Latest Member: Brassophile
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1  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: Big regret over choice of instrument on: Yesterday at 01:48 PM
When was the last time you heard an audience of reasonable size clap, scream, yell, cheer, dance to, and clap their hands for a trombonist ...

The Mnozil guys get a good reception. I think they're probably the most innovative group in creating a following out of any group using "traditional" instruments.
2  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Have you bought a horn from Quinn the Eskimo? on: Apr 17, 2015, 01:28AM
I read a lot of good about DJ in this topic. I kept reading hoping someone would list where DJ was, but I did not see anything but comments. Can someone tell me or list how to contact DJ?

3  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Considering starting to play the trombone on: Apr 17, 2015, 01:11AM
As a beginner, I'd suggest one of the many good student instruments out there.  A simple trombone with a half inch (12.7 mm if you are metric) bore and about an 8 inch (200 mm) bell...

...If you are an advanced trumpet or tuba player you are probably used to using valve slides to adjust intonation.  We just move the slide a little in or out.

1 As you're already playing tuba, you could get a large bore trombone if that best suits the styles you aspire to play (orchestra, brass band). Just get a mouthpiece which feels comfortable.  Something within the range of Bach sizes from 5g to 4g work for most people - 4g ish probably best coming from tuba.

2 Worse, you're probably used to lipping notes into tune. Once you get the hang of the slide you'll realise what an abomination that whole concept is.

3 Bass trombone would be an option for you as well, and the mouthpiece size is closer to what you're used to.

I played cornet before, and learning to use the slide was less of a challenge than developing an embouchure that worked.  (After 5 years I still think of the slide positions as "1 and 3" etc rather than "6th position"  but it doesn't affect my playing.)

Good luck

4  Practice Break / Polls / Re: TA-TA-KA or TA-KA-TA?? on: Apr 15, 2015, 03:19PM
Just ignoring the vowel aspect,
I reach a speed ceiling with T-K-T  T-K-T...  well below the ceiling for T-T-K  T-T-K...

I think I am constrained by the time it takes to get the tongue in the correct position from the 3rd note in the group to the first note of the next.  It's much quicker coming off a K to a T than a T to a T. 

Maybe there's some psychological block about this but I need to think that I'm putting some sort of emphasis on the first not of the group. Maybe I think that I can get away with murkier articulation on the secon note in the group than the first.

I learnt to double tongue before triple tonguing so a natural progression was to use T-K-T T-K-T...   It took me about 10 times as long to unlearn it and change to T-T-K T-T-K.  Maybe the Arban book covers triple tonguing before double tonging is to ensure that the natural progression to T-K-T doesn't happen.

5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Pedagogical Myths on: Apr 12, 2015, 11:30AM
Good points Walt.
I think the issue is better defined as "getting learners to play softly without explaining the right and wrong ways to play softly, and making sure their technique is correct".  (I'm definitely not accusing you of this.)

This probably applies to all aspects of playing, but I think that the "play softly" one is more dangerous than most. It may be a bigger issue for trumpet/ cornet than trombone/ euphonium etc.

6  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Pedagogical Myths on: Apr 11, 2015, 03:56AM
Proposed myth :
"It is important to get learners to play really quietly."

The reason for doing this is to teach breath control.

My experience as a learner:
I probably learnt a bunch of bad habits to reduce the airflow while trying to play quietly before I had anything like a well-developed embouchure. e.g. Tension in throat or back of tongue, tip of tongue touching lower lip.
7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: a what?? elkhart bach bass? on: Apr 10, 2015, 07:23PM


Yes it seems wrong on several levels, but the auction description is probably close enough to accurate.  While not branded "bach" , it was sold by Vincent Bach International.

8  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: teaching bass clef to a brass bander on: Apr 06, 2015, 01:30PM
Get some bass clef books of well known (fairly simple) tunes and play them without reference to the treble clef versions. Then the student will know if he's playing an incorrect note.

I've got Arbans versions in both treble and bass clefs.  I first used the treble version when playing Bb cornet, then used it to learn trombone (reading as Bb treble).
I got the bass clef Arban to learn to read bass clef.  It seems to work well, but I'm still a long way from reading bass clef like a native.

As a bonus, going back to the start of the Arbans book has benefits for technique (long tones, slurs etc.)
9  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Notes - Euph. vs Trombone? on: Mar 25, 2015, 02:07PM
What generally gets referred to as "resistance" on TTF is actually acoustic impedance.  Resistance is what we feel when blowing through the instrument without buzzing and only comes into play in airflow through pipes at much higher velocities than we can blow.

There's a "physics" answer in there somewhere, but damned if I know what it is.

Some of it is in here:  http://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/z.html  , with the key sentence being:
The acoustic impedance of an instrument for any particular fingering is one of the major factors which determines the acoustic response of the instrument in that fingering. It determines which notes can be played with that fingering, how stable they are and it also helps determine whether they are in tune. 

At the bottom right of the web page there are some plots of impedance spectra for different instruments, a cylinder and a cone. The differences illustrate that the shape of the instrument has a significant effect on its response.  The theory of response based on shape would be very complex, but based on this I think we should expect a euphonium to respond very differently to any trombone.


10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Something to mess around with on: Mar 12, 2015, 02:44AM
Have you investigated a theremin ?
11  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Does the single tonguing section in Arbans complete method for trombone work? on: Mar 11, 2015, 12:51AM
There may be an issue with tension in the throat and back of the tongue which is slowing you down. 
If you think there might be, check out this old thread...

12  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Pedagogical Myths on: Mar 10, 2015, 05:27PM
Corners aren't used in coronet playing????
That's pretty much how I recall it. The muscles that got tired playing the cornet were around the middle of my mouth - I never experienced tiredness in the corners as they weren't doing much.  This may have been a result of using too much mouthpiece pressure as a proxy for developing a properly strong embouchure.  I eventually decided that I just wasn't very well suited to it. (Life might have been different if it hadn't taken me 20 years to figure that out !)

I should say that my focus is playing a large bore trombone in a brass band, so the "good tone" I'm aiming for is toward the symphonic end of the scale.

Bill Watrous plays a lot in what is for most people the trumpet register. I'm guessing he somehow manages to play with a trumpet-like embouchure on an 11C-ish mouthpiece. I bet he would sound better than resonable playing a trumpet.
13  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Pedagogical Myths on: Mar 10, 2015, 02:22PM
That characteristic may be linked to DNA, but it still could possibly be improved upon.
In my case it's probably linked to 20 years of trying to play the cornet.  I think that gave me strength but limited flexibility in the centre of my mouth and not so much strength at the corners as those muscles weren't used so much. I've spent 5 years on trombone trying to build strength at the corners and flexibility in the middle  ( and still working on it).
14  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Pedagogical Myths on: Mar 09, 2015, 12:48PM
Good tone comes from playing correctly.

But playing loudly can be a way to improve the correctness of playing.  And once learned, it can be possible to transfer the correct playing to quieter dynamics. 

Theory based on what seems to work for me (YMMV):
I think sometimes poor tone is the result of the lips not buzzing across the full inside diameter of the mouthpiece, or with the lower lip buzzing less than it should be.  This is a sign of insufficient embouchure strength and flexibility. The best way to build strength may be to practice at a higher volume (e.g. mf or f rather than mp).
I think the most important thing to remember is Sabutin's point that in order to play well the player needs to build "resistance at the lips".
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: What have I found??? on: Feb 28, 2015, 05:21PM
A little more detail.
Euphonium writing is varied. It includes a lot of octave doubling of solo cornets, bass parts, counter melodies and florid accompaniments. There are 2 euphoniums usually playing from the same part but with often solos and division. The principal euphoniumist is one of the main soloists in the band.

Baritones play from separate parts 1st and 2nd. They typically play tenor voiced parts, sometimes team up with the euphoniums particularly for a tenor like melody or counter melody. They also play lighter accompaniments that need to blend in such a way that wouldn't be possible on a euphonium. These accompaniments can be very intricate. A first baritone player is more than a 3rd euphonium player. They can form a lower extension to the tenor horns. It is harder to make a baritone project as a solo instrument when the horns, trombones and euphs are all playing. Consequently, the baritone is lest frequently featured as a soloist.

This is a very polite way of saying that there is a standing joke among players of other instruments that  baritone and Eb horn players are specialists in playing off-beats.  Evil
The extent to which this is true depends on the laziness of the arranger.  Some more recent test-pieces for brass band have challenging parts for all players.
16  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: British Brass Bands on: Feb 24, 2015, 12:22PM
...in the days when the whole band stood around the conductor in a circle at contests...

Not sure why you used the past tense. It still happens...

If they used french horns the bell wouldn't collect rain.
17  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: British Brass Bands on: Feb 23, 2015, 02:37PM
But if you were designing a brass band, from scratch, what would you change?

For a start, ban the snare drum from being played in anything except marches.   Evil
18  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: Australia in Eurovision Song Contest??? on: Feb 12, 2015, 09:58AM
They should open it up to all the former colonies and oppressed territories.

Wouldn't it then include everywhere except Japan and maybe parts of China ?
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Bb? on: Feb 07, 2015, 10:57AM
au contraire, I know at least a dozen people who can sight transpose concert pitch music to their Eb instrument.  I'm not one of them, but then I don't play an Eb instrument either so there's been no need to learn.

It's not always as difficult as it seems. Brass band Eb bass players can read concert pitch bass clef by pretending it's written in Eb treble clef and adjusting the key signature .
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: How many horns do you own? on: Feb 06, 2015, 10:46AM
Getzen 4047IB Bousfield 2014
Conn 88h 1969
88h 1959
88h 1967
8h 1967

Hi Tim
It would be great if you could do a review of the Getzen, using the Conns as a reference point.
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