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977963 Posts in 64850 Topics- by 15909 Members - Latest Member: m13usc
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1  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Your Favorite "Warm-up" Piece of Real Music on: Apr 17, 2015, 02:43PM
Bolero! No kidding.

When I studied with Henry C. Smith, he recommended putting it in my warm up.
After I laughed, he said, why not, you play things just as difficult in your warm up.
To drive the point home he picked my trombone, which was actually his (he had lent it to me to play on because I was visiting him at Tanglewood without a horn) and he played a perfect Bolero. No warm up and he hadn't played a note for weeks.

He was right, that really helped my Bolero back then and it became one of my best audition pieces.

2  Practice Break / Polls / Re: TA-TA-KA or TA-KA-TA?? on: Apr 15, 2015, 12:59PM
Both, I use Ta-Ka-Ta for slower passages, because it's more stable. It has the Taa-Ta-Taa-Ta  6/8 felling in it.
Ta-Ta-Ka I use for fast passages. That's the way John Swallow taught it.
3  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Double buzz in long notes and Caruso six note exercise on: Apr 15, 2015, 12:50PM
I guess I really misunderstood about the double buzz, sorry. At least through it we got some great info from Sam, shedding more light on the Caruso, at least for me. Thanks, Sam!

About the double buzz or split tone as I would call it. In my job I am expected to do this on demand. The easiest ones are of course the ones with the 3/2 overtones but 4/3, 5/4, 6/5 and even 8/7 and 2/1 are possible.
To be dependable on 4/3 and above, I really have to pull the cheek and chin muscles back while puckering against that. The lower tone is always a half step higher, (unless you lip the upper one down) so a 3/2 will be a tritone, a 4/3 a major 3rd, etc.

My theory on this is that the B harmonic series (starting on the double pedal B) is activated with the lower tone. I'm not sure about this, it's just a theory.

Mike Svoboda will soon have a book out about modern trombone technique with Baerenreiter. I helped him with the split tones and I'm sure he will explain them in depth. This should be the definitive book on modern techniques.
I will also do a video blog soon about these soon, if any one is interested. Check out the blog section of Musikfabrik.
4  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Double buzz in long notes and Caruso six note exercise on: Apr 13, 2015, 07:23AM
Brucolli...you write:

Yes, no and maybe to this, too.

Again, from my own experiences and in my book...

With exercises like this there are basically 6 ways that you can approach the "keeping it on the chops/"keeping the lips tensed" problem.

The first 2 are:

You can:

A-Leave the m'pce on the chops between notes or portions of an exercise or:

B-You can take it off.


The 3 that can be applied to either of the above 2:

1-Keep the corners tensed.

2-Let the corners relax but keep the lips themselves in the same positional relationship into which they fell when you stopped playing the last previous note.


3-Let the lips open completely, not even attempting to preserve the setting.

Experiment with them all. They all have different strengths and weaknesses and they are all valuable for learning certain things. I know what they do for me. How do they function for you?

Get back to me after you have messed with them in simple ranges...or not so simple if you are in good shape...for a couple of weeks.



Words can be so misleading. When I say I relax the lips completely I mean I keep the playing form of the embouchure, corners stay where they are but I release any tension, hopefully very little. "Relax doesn't mean collapse" as Doc says. So this would be your No. 2 above, Sam.

When the lips vibrate they are open (the aperture) so when you stop the tone you would have to close the lips, tongue or glottis in order to breath in through the nose only. I use the aperture, more for low notes, less for high notes, to supplement the nose breathing. I may be guilty of opening this a bit more for the low register, but I try and keep the lips in the playing form. This is what works best for me.
Would this be Reinhardt's "buzzing firmness"? I find firmness also misleading. It's like a purse to make a whistle, the lips are in form but totally relaxed, are they firm? Not really, but maybe so.

The problems I have had (similar to the OP) are when I use Nr. 1 above, "keep the corners tensed". This may bring more strength in the long run but I personally don't like the increased tension this brings. I never tense the lips before an attack, form them yes, but completely relaxed.
The word double buzz is also misleading, I would call it more a bit of dirt in the tone but I guess it must be a vibration.

"Keep the corners tensed" is how I originally interpreted the directions of the Caruso Calisthenics book years ago and didn't really care for the results.
This is the problem I have with the book, the directions can be easily misinterpreted. Julie Landsman's Caruso Project has shed new light for me in the Caruso method and can highly recommend it.

The demands of me as a player are sometimes extreme and my experience of being trombone soloist with one of the best contemporary chamber ensembles in Europe for over 20 years, has shown me that I can cope with these demands best when I stay as relaxed as possible, not always an easy task.

5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Double buzz in long notes and Caruso six note exercise on: Apr 10, 2015, 03:24PM
Relaxation from a point of strength.  Not just "relaxation.". Nobody ever got stronger from relaxing without working out for strength first.

Of course, the stronger you are, the more relaxed you can be.
6  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Double buzz in long notes and Caruso six note exercise on: Apr 09, 2015, 02:05PM
I had this same experience in that register when I started doing the Caruso, especially the intervals, but even with the six-notes sometimes.
For me, this happens when my lips are too tense, which happens when I try and hold the lips in the playing position in the rests. I find it MUCH better to keep the mouthpiece on the lips but to relax them completely in the rests. Since doing this, I have had no problem with the double buzz, my tone and range are better.

I also find it better to breath in with a combination of nose and mouth breathing, I just can't get a full breath with just 2 beats through the nose. Alternatively, I will inhale through the nose over the whole 4 beats but I prefer the combination, it feels much more natural. I know this may go against the directions but I try and avoid anything that lets tension creep in to my playing.

This is one of the problems with doing these methods with out a teacher, the directions can lead you astray. I'm lucky in that I have a colleague who has a lot of experience with the Caruso exercises and gave my the tip of relaxing in the rests.
Relaxation is the key to playing any brass instrument at a high level, it's a life long endeavor.
7  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Can't remember the name of a unaccompanied Trombone Solo... on: Apr 08, 2015, 02:22PM
You are not thinking of the Berio Sequenza for TRUMPET are you? It uses this effect and is unaccompanied, well, in so far as the piano player doesn't actually play anything, he just pushes the piano pedals down. You would need someone to do this in any case for this effect to work.

8  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Dvorak 7 on: Apr 02, 2015, 12:10PM
you can't go wrong with Kertész, legendary recordings.
9  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Switching from jazz style to classical. on: Mar 16, 2015, 08:26AM
Hi I come mostly from a jazz background and I am trying to learn more classical repertoire.  What are some things you do differently when you switch styles?
My articulations are very legato by default with a du or a da syllable.  What are "normal" articulations in classical?  Are eighth notes usually played staccato and quarter notes long?

wow, that's kind of like asking, I'm a classical player and I would like to learn more jazz repertoire. Do I just play everything with a triplet feel and play the eighths long and quarters short?
You know it's not as easy as that!
Just like jazz, classical has so many different styles. Listen and emulate, try to play with some good classical players and if you're a good musician, you should have no problem.
10  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Piano Accmpt to Rochut on: Mar 10, 2015, 02:00PM
Benny Sluchin did a piano accompaniment with Tezak publishing. Tezak is long gone, so I'm not sure it's still available. I think have a copy and I believe it's the whole first book 1-60. I may be wrong and would have to dig it out to check.

11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mouthpiece advice for an old German horn on: Feb 25, 2015, 12:24PM
I'm not a real fan of the Klier (JK) mouthpieces but an awfully lot of professional players are playing them here in Germany, with German and American instruments. The system is fairly simple, for every rim size you can have a graded series of cup depths: This makes finding the right size rather easy. In your case, a 5 rim (which is a 26mm Bach 4 equivalent) as a 5B or a 5C would probably suit your use fine. I imagine the 5C would be better for the Kuhn. This with a medium or baritone shank should fit the bill.
Here is the web site, http://josefklier.de/mouthpieces/trombone/?lang=en

With Bruno Tilz, the choice is much more complicated. There are 7 different model lines and hard to know which one has what properties.
Here is the web page; http://www.mundstueckbau-tilz.de/index.php/serienmundstuecke/posaune-bariton

A Schmidt 260 Tenor trombone mouthpiece (26mm rim diameter) would probably be a good bet. I have no experience with this mouthpiece but it looks like a good line. Web page as in above post.

Thein and Lätzsch would have experience with this model as they both make similar ones, Lätzsch has a model Kuhn. They should be able to recommend one of their models or others that would work well. Hans Nienaber at Lätzsch is a very nice guy and will be willing to help, I'm sure.

As they say in Germany, "du hast die Qual der Wahl" meaning, you have the torture of deciding (works better in German)

12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mouthpiece advice for an old German horn on: Feb 23, 2015, 12:44PM
A model Kuhn would be a Weite ll and would not have a large shank receiver, a medium shank is most likely. The mouthpiece normally goes in pretty far in old German instruments.
American mouthpieces can work but these instruments really come to life with a German style mouthpiece, such as from Josef Klier, Bruno or Josef Tilz, Lätzsch, etc. You should be able to get one with a 4 (26mm) rim but the cup shouldn't be too deep and the bore not too big. Get one with the medium shank and you should be set.

13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Squeaky corks on: Feb 19, 2015, 12:24PM
A light touch of cork or tuning slide grease, I would think.  Just a little.

yes, but I find that however much you use, it is always too much. Alternatively, you can lick them (I never do this), spray some water on them or breathe on the inside of the bell (this is what I do, when I have this problem) You have to keep doing this until the next phase, which is;

rub the cork and the part of the inner bell where the cork touches with your fingers, what you need is a thin layer of fat, grease, what ever. Nose grease works fine (not the inside, the outside of the nose).  Once the layer of grease/fat is there, on the corks and the bell, it should't be a big problem anymore.
14  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Looking for both Pederson Trombone Trio books on: Jan 22, 2015, 08:14AM
I have both volumes in the original.
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: New design Bach case? on: Jan 08, 2015, 10:58AM
That looks like a Conn 88H in the Eastman case.
I thought that this particular Eastman case is only recommended for wide slides like a Bach 42. Anyone know if this actually works?
I would love to get this case but, since my Raths have narrow, Conn-like slides, I didn't think it would work.
16  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Re: Don Quixote on: Dec 21, 2014, 01:04PM
I think I heard it was John Swallow, not 100% sure about this, though.
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Spit Valves (...or WATER KEYS) on: Dec 18, 2014, 01:09PM
Get a Joykey and you'll not have to touch your water key again, except maybe when you pick up your horn cold.
You could also get rid of the water key altogether.


I've got them on two slides and they are great.

Only thing is, silicon based slide lubes can block up the water wicks.
Ultra-Pure slide lube works fine though, I've no troubles with that.
18  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: The Voights on: Dec 07, 2014, 03:40AM
I don't know the Helmut Voigt trombones but his bass trumpet in C is my absolute favorite!
It is very similar to the earlier Alexander, made after the war. The build is longer and narrow curved and looks more like a German rotary trumpet than the shorter, wide curved ones Alexander and everyone else is making now.
When I need one I rent it from him, for a very small fee. I would love to buy this instrument, and I would indeed, if I needed it more often.

I've always dealt with Stephan, who is very nice. He has told me that everything they make is pretty much special order, so they will build anything to suit you.

Jürgen Voigt is also supposed to have a very nice bass trumpet, which I have not yet played.

19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Alto trombone mutes. What works? on: Nov 29, 2014, 03:49AM
There are quit a number of contemporary pieces written for alto.
Other than the ones already mentioned, there is Schönberg - Peleas und Melisande, Stockhausen - Carré (straight and cup), Emmanuel Nunes - Lichtung 2 and 3 (he liked the sound of alto trombone and euphonium instead of tenor and tuba) and even a trombone concerto by Richard Ayres for alto and a whole box of mutes, just to name a few.

Mutes kind of depend on the bell size (throat) of the alto, Unless it's the small size like a Bach etc., one can use many of the tenor mutes. The Wick tenor straight, for instance, works better for some things than the Wick alto mute. The Wick cup works fine. I have an Ulvén cup that is great for alto.
Anything that works in a small bore tenor should work for alto. But even a normal Tom Crown works alright, it sticks out pretty far but it sounds fine. I've seen Christian Lindberg use the TC with an alto in a concert.

One big problem for alto is a harmon or wawa mute, nothing really fits well. The JoRal flugelhorn mute does not fit an alto at all, but one can make due with a JoRal tenor or other brand.
I really wish a mute maker would make one of these!
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: What are the really nice Straight 525s? on: Nov 26, 2014, 12:44PM
I own a Conn 78H (made in the 60s) and a JP Rath 231. I much prefer the JP Rath!
Easier to play, with a nicer, more colorful sound, for me.

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