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1048531 Posts in 69884 Topics- by 18074 Members - Latest Member: TromboneMom2016
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61  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Less is more? on: Apr 09, 2016, 06:47AM
Hi, I have a question that cross my mind many times.

The musicians from the past that musicians of today try to emulate or being inspired by played on instruments that they can find and practice on it, so why today many musicians play on custom horns, mouthpieces, etc?

I am an awful hacker of a weekend warrior. I own two custom trombones.

The reasons why:
1. I try to find things that get me closer to the sound I have in my head, which may or may not be the sound of someone I'm trying to emulate, or something new, or an amalgamation of a bunch of people, pro and amateur, modern and historical to whom I've listened. I'm not sure. I just know the sound that I'm going for.
2. Build quality: Shires, Edwards and Rath make some of the best horns on the planet. True, Thein and Courtois make equal horns in non-modular configurations, but in each case, it's more expensive than the non-modular alternative. Yamaha also makes fantastic horns at a phenomenal price with great build quality and some real quality of life improvements (the spit slide on the 822g), but they may or may not be precisely what I'm looking for out of the horn.
3. Leadpipes, in particular, are an intensely personal choice (the closer to the face you get, the more personal it is, I find at least). Having the ability to swap out leadpipes to get that last bit of the horn working to my satisfaction is extremely... satisfying.
4. Valve configurations: I knew I wanted modern valves (thayer, hagmann, trubore) and I wanted them in a dependent configuration. The only ways to get these were from Shires, Edwards or Rath. Nobody else even tries (with an honorable mention for Kanstul putting their Controlled Resistance valve on their 1662 in dependent configuration). On my tenor, the choices valve-wise were Shires Trubore, Rath Hagmann and Bach Hagmann, and Bach had been having some issues with their Hagmann valve 42's.
5. Modern intonation: One thing that you'll notice about an Edwards, Shires or Rath horn is that the D and F above the staff in first position are closer together than they are on a Bach/Conn. That's the sort of thing to which you can adjust pretty quickly... but why?
6. Shires 7*LW bells: They're a miracle of modern art and science, aiding timely and precise articulations while still supporting a full and clear sound. Magical.

You can also make arguments about ease of repair by being able to quickly remove various parts without unsoldering anything, but that's starting to push it a bit, since it wasn't a consideration in either of my decisions.
62  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Different bell on Rath horn on: Apr 04, 2016, 09:55AM

As for horns flying apart in your hands, John Beers, Jr.? With enough solder, or duct tape, or C-clamps from the hardware store, anything will stick together. Epoxy will work. JB Weld epoxy is great on crappy horn repairs.

And yes, John Beers Jr., I myself, while still a professional bass trombonist did also own my own propane torch and solder to remove things from my Bach bass. And along the way saw a lot of Frankenhorns made with Holton parts.

Clearly you have a mechanism in mind by which attaching the wrong bell to the horn for any length of time destroys the value of the instrument for eternity thereafter.

I was just hoping that you might expand upon the mechanism by which the rest of the horn is tainted.
63  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Repairs, Modifications and Maintenance / Re: Different bell on Rath horn on: Apr 03, 2016, 05:37PM
And yet we have a working pro in this very thread who did the same mod to his Rath bass, and it somehow didn't start vibrating wildly and shatter into a million pieces. Go figure.
64  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Looking for large bore-suggestions?? on: Apr 03, 2016, 05:32AM
There's also an Edwards here: http://trombone.org/classifieds/instruments.asp

$2200 with a nice gig bag and a very good mouthpiece.

Unfortunately, the guy doesn't give any information about configuration of the horn, and it could be something peculiar. But at that pricepoint (JUDGING SOLELY BY THE PRICES EDWARDS GIVES FOR VALVE REPAIR: http://www.edwards-instruments.com/edwards/faq.php ) it could be worth consideration, even if it needs valve work. Especially since it's relatively recent (When I spoke earlier, I was mostly concerned about, like, a 1993 horn).

Find out what the parts are, and PM someone here who knows what s/he is talking about with Edwards bell numbering(read: Not me), and see what the story is.

As for the slide, I'd be careful about getting anything that was T-DBN or -AN. Nickel slides and dual-bore slides can work, as can slides that are both, but that's starting to get into the specific-use side of the spectrum.
65  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: More YouTube Trombonists on: Apr 01, 2016, 03:35AM
Eastman Trombone Studio group recital:

Timestamp is for the Creston Fantasy, which seems to have become a rarity in recitals recently. The Creston is preceded by a student playing a very nice, vocal sound with which I'm not familiar. Afterwards, another student plays the Bourgeois Concerto, followed by a trombone quartet with which I'm also not familiar.
66  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Looking for large bore-suggestions?? on: Mar 31, 2016, 07:06PM
I will also look at the Edwards for under $3k.

Be careful about that. An Edwards for <$3k might be well-loved, and axial-flow valves are finicky. I think I read something on here that talked about how they're all leaky by necessity in their design, but the trick is in minimizing the amount of leak involved, which requires "frequent" recalibrations. There's a reason that Bach bought the license to the new Infinity Valve that included additional bearings to lessen metal-metal contact/wear on the core.

Basically, there's a chance that you'll have to drop $500 after buying the horn if the valve isn't in good shape, so either buy it from a reputable small shop (Hornguys, Dillon, BrassArk, Baltimore Brass, Newell Sheridan, TheBrass-Exchange, dj kennedy, I'm sure I'm missing some), or, if on ebay, find someone local to try it out for you.

I don't know how much similar risk there is with Hagmanns (anecdotally, I've heard that once a Hagmann valve begins to stick, it will never stop sticking), but they may be safer. Rotors may be your best bet.
67  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: To Buzz or Not to Buzz (beginners and returning trombonists only) on: Mar 31, 2016, 09:48AM
David Vining's book "Daily Routines for the Student Trombonist" includes mouthpiece buzzing exercises as well,  and is focused on the younger player.

My question for Doug et al.,  do you differentiate between mouthpiece buzzing for the sake of strengthening the chops,  and mouthpiece buzzing for the sake of making sure your student is buzzing a particular pitch to improve tone quality/resonance?

I've found it to be more useful for explanatory purposes than having the student change the pitch of his buzz to match an exemplar on the horn.
68  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: fast lip slurs on: Mar 31, 2016, 08:17AM
I am not good at fast lip slurs either,  but I make an effort at it,  because it I can see how it affects me musically.

It improves,  among other things,  the rhythmic accuracy of your slurs.  Make sure you do them with a metronome set to a tempo at which you can make the slurs reliably in time. This will also help you play fast tongued licks in time,  you're just removing the tongue from the equation and isolating your lips, like an exercise machine.

It also helps a lot with legato playing above the staff and the ability to do cross-the-grain rips,  Grace notes,  and turns.

Like GBP says,  there are definitely musical applications,  and you will encounter them in the future.  Doesn't it make sense to prepare for them now?
69  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Lesson Interval on: Mar 31, 2016, 07:51AM
How do you determine an effective frequency of lessons for your students? Once a week is great in theory,  but sometimes it doesn't make logistical sense for scheduling,  practice time availability or financial reasons.

I'm asking from both sides of the equation.  I would like to start taking lessons again,  but I do so much ensemble playing during the week that,  along with my full-time job,  finding time to practice etudes or excerpts to the degree that I would want to show them to a teacher can be difficult.

On the other hand,  when younger students enter high school,  you have to balance both maintaining diversity of repertoire so they don't get bored or distracted by social matters with increasing demands on their time between non-musical clubs,  sports and various other extracurricular activities.

How do you find the happy balance in each case? If you're the student,  how do you approach a potential instructor with a proposal for  say,  once a month lessons   knowing that that might affect the profitability of his/her time the other three weeks of the month?
70  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Benefits of different mouthpiece sizes on: Mar 30, 2016, 04:35PM
I'm pretty much convinced that different-sized mouthpieces work at different stages of a player's development.


If you're interested in considering that line of reasoning, Gabe made a post here several years ago that I found extremely interesting:

The implication is that playing a brass instrument for long periods of time induces physiological changes in the lips, which can be noticed at the lip-mouthpiece interface.

I'd love to read more about this, although any results would be entirely different for the individual players, especially as an added confounding factor on top of facial bone structure and dental structure.

But for an individual player? Maybe there's something to it.
71  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Getzen Bass Trombone Case on: Mar 30, 2016, 02:41PM
72  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Looking for large bore-suggestions?? on: Mar 30, 2016, 12:43PM
Don't really get why you guys are pushing for Yamaha so hard. Don't know Why not let the guy make up his own mind?

All I said was that he should TRY the Yamaha first, and, if it works for him, that it makes his life a whole lot easier. And I explained my reasoning: They have fantastic slides that seem to stay in adjustment well (judging from friends who own them and are not fastidious about instrument care), and are extremely consistent out of the factory, as well as being a very good value. Also, there's a larger possibility that you can find one in a local brick & mortar music shop than a GOOD Conn/Bach/Getzen, and there's always risk in buying an instrument used, even if someone else has had it fixed up and loved it.

And that was largely in response to the assertion in the original post that the poster was unsure of the quality of their professional trombones, which hasn't been an issue in 30+ years.

If I felt that strongly that everyone should play Yamaha, you'd think that I'd own at least one of their instruments myself (Although I came very, very close to grabbing that used 822G that Dillon's has for $3100. It is a fantastic bass trombone.)
73  Creation and Performance / Music, Concerts and Recordings / Leon Levy Archiuve at nyphil.org on: Mar 29, 2016, 11:44PM
Really cool stuff. They've put up "Fair Use" scans of a lot of their library, featuring the notes that their conductors (mostly Leonard Bernstein) and players have made over the years.

For example, Schumann 3 trombone parts, as marked by Leonard Bernstein: http://archives.nyphil.org/index.php/artifact/24fd64dc-bcf8-4435-9103-c927d41f0506?search-type=singleFilter&search-text=schumann&doctype=part&search-dates-from=01%2F01%2F1900&search-dates-to=01%2F01%2F2016&npm:PartTypeDesc_facet
  • =Trombone

74  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: Stuff you find on eBay... on: Mar 29, 2016, 11:27AM
Granted, I think most attachments have tuning slides that are way too long...  they don't actually allow different pitches and just make for wasted material, but a little bit goes a long way here.

That's actually the perspective I'm coming from here, as well. I've played a lot of basses where the D slide was too long, and so I really didn't have the opportunity to tune my second valve, even though I tune my F-valve to F (rather than to C, like a lot of my colleagues), giving me a juuuuust-about-usably-flat D up against the bumpers.

Not being able to tune the second valve is something that I got used to, pretty quickly, and so it wouldn't necessarily bother me so much on a future horn (though, as mentioned, I would prefer it to err on the side of being a tad sharp rather than flat, for obvious reasons).
75  Practice Break / Found on the 'Net / Re: Stuff you find on eBay... on: Mar 29, 2016, 10:31AM
Huh, apparently I am surprised every time I see this that there is no tuning on the second valve.

Well, Good luck this time around.


I kinda like it. For starters, I've always sort of liked the idea of having the second valve on a Thayer-equipped horn be a rotor, just for the shorter valve throw with a less direct/motion-efficient linkage.

As long as the valve is tuned slightly sharp of D, it's no real problem to have no D tuning slide on the thing. How often do you really use the two-valve Bb/BBb in 7?
76  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Looking for large bore-suggestions?? on: Mar 29, 2016, 10:24AM
I would hesitate on Yamaha, but I hear they are making a comeback.

Honestly, if I were in your shoes, the Yamahas would be the very first horns I tried. They're very consistent, have possibly the best handslides on the market, are efficient on air, and, for me at least, have nice, even, clear tones without excessive effort (for me, at least).

They also come with perhaps the best stock cases on the market, as well as completely usable mouthpieces, which is more than you can say for a majority of the competitors.

They're the best value in trombones, and good enough for Larry Zalkind, David Finlayson, Alain Trudel, Peter Sullivan and countless others.

Once you've tried all four of them and decided that they're not to your liking, at that point do you start expending serious energy trying to find a GOOD Bach/Conn, a Getzen 3047, or a used Edwards/Shires/Rath in a middle-of-the-road configuration for your specific pricepoint, which might take longer than you're expecting to spend on it.

I also wouldn't suggest buying a used modular horn until you've tried a lot of different configurations of that brand's horn. I was able to get away with buying a used Shires tenor and a used Shires bass, but I had a pretty good idea of what the horn would play like at the time I hit the "Send payment" button, and even then it was a pretty major gamble each time (Despite having a friend who has been through pretty much every valve, slide, bell, tuning slide, leadpipe and waterkey that they offer, multiple times each).

EDIT: I also like the Kanstul 1570 as a good horn for a good price: http://www.kanstul.net/detail.php?pass_search=1570.0000&pass_instrument=Trombone

I really liked it with the Thayer, but that particular option doesn't seem to be available any more. If you can find one near you, it's certainly worth giving it a good toot. The 1588, also.
77  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Mouthpiece suggestions for a King 5B on: Mar 28, 2016, 01:48PM
Stork BT4.5 Heavy.

I liked the sound of a 5B with my relatively-heavy Greg Black mouthpiece, and the Stork has the advantage of only being 60bux new.
78  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: thumb over brace bass on: Mar 28, 2016, 10:59AM
The placement of the trigger on a Conn type horn such my Blessing B88 is workable for me, but I would actually prefer the old King type thumb over the brace.  However, whenever I have tried a Bach type set-up it is very uncomfortable.

It's too bad that there aren't options to fit our preferences.


Here's something that gives you the ability to rest your horn on your thumb, and it doesn't even require unsoldering and resoldering bracing to random parts of the bell hoping not to introduce wolf-tones to the horn.
79  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Shires Q&A, what would you like to know? on: Mar 28, 2016, 10:52AM
Hi John,

1.) I'm not sure what you mean, do you mean timbrel stability?  I.e. do you mean you want the timbre to stay the same throughout different tessitura and dynamic ranges? If so, there are different ways to achieve this.  If you are generally happy with the overall timbre of the horn I might recommend looking at a long leadpipe.  These tend to provide greater stability to the slot and this could translate into better timbrel stability.  If you are open to changing the timbre of the instrument I might investigate looking at adding some yellow brass somewhere on the instrument or trying a soldered bead bell. A different bell would provide the greatest difference, either in gold or yellow brass (progressively more stable) and a soldered beadwire might provide more stability as well.  The 7YLW is an extremely popular bell but is also a big difference from your current 2RVE.

2.) I cannot confirm that the Marcus Bonna case works with a dependent valve set, I was going off of what I heard someone, somewhere say (though for the life of me, I cannot recall right now).  In general, most cases are not designed for dependent valve set ups and a dependent axial takes up a LOT of space.  I would think that a Cronkite would work well, though that would not work well for someone seeking a hard case. Perhaps one of the Bonna double cases would provide the clearance needed.

3.) It is possible, though we haven't done it yet.  I should warn that both dependent axial valves and axials with the Bollinger stop arms are particularly sensitive to lever geometry.  Combining the two might require more regular adjustment/maintenance than is typical with independent or dependent valves with standard geometry.

Hi again, Ben. Thank you for the information.

Further responses:
1. Timbral stability is definitely the biggest part of it. I'll see about searching out a longer leadpipe at some point, before committing to a different bell.

2. I've got it in the Protec 309 case currently, which is fine for getting around town (I didn't yet have the case when I initially posted, so was unsure how good it would be). My interest in the Bonna was primarily for the sake of possibly getting it onto an airplane at some point, while simultaneously increasing the "getting around town" protection for the horn. I'll stick with this case for the time being.

3. I didn't yet have the horn when I asked about the bollinger-geometry on dependent axial. The springs are already fairly heavy as-is, I'm not sure that I'd necessarily want to dramatically increase the strength needed to depress the valves. Knowing about the fact that I'd be compounding two already-fiddly geometry problems makes me less prone to want to do it (My last bass was an early 1062FD, and geometry problems with the second valve annoyed me from the first day I got the thing in the mail). I don't need that kind of frustration.

Thank you again for the information, you're doing a great service to the trombone community at large by being so transparent about such things.
80  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: New concert black ideas on: Mar 26, 2016, 03:58AM
For women it is a little looser but generally over the elbow and to the ankle.

I read this article when it first came out, and my question was this: If you're going to reinvent the wheel and come up with a new formal concert attire, why not take a step further and come up with something unisex? It's not like women can't wear pants.

Or, at bare minimum, come up with something with the same general color scheme/form factor as the male performers. Black lower clothing, be it pants or a skirt. White blouse, and some manner of black jacket on top.

Make the members of the orchestra look more uniform, rather than less.
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