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1097397 Posts in 72521 Topics- by 19563 Members - Latest Member: SlideThomson
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: What Was Alessi's Pre-T396A Setup? on: Nov 03, 2017, 01:37PM

He sounds like Alessi on whatever he plays (maybe not a garden hose) but whilst it doesn't fix poor technique, gear does have some affect on the end product of sound produced.

Gerard Hoffnung organized a series of comedy concerts in the 1950s. In the 1956 concert Dennis Brain played the third movement from a L. Mozart Horn Concerto -- on a piece of garden hose. It was supposed to be a joke -- the greatest hornist in the world struggling with a garden hose. Brain did just fine, and his sound was recognizably Dennis Brain.

I suspect that Alessi would sound like himself on a chunk of garden hose.
2  Creation and Performance / The Healthy Trombonist / Re: Ergo-bone vs Spinesaver on: Oct 28, 2017, 09:38AM
The one problem with the spinesaver that I see is that it's made to sit on a chair, and that's not always available. Also, the Spinesaver looks even more expensive, and it's still made of steel, which is a big dent waiting to happen.

There is a fitting available (extra cost, naturally :/) that attaches the strut to the user's belt. Putting the weight on the hips is even a better idea than putting it on the shoulders.

As to being made of steel, I figure I'm buying one but I'll need it for all three horns, so it's going into the mute bag (or alongside the mute bag in a PVC case or something). It's not going to reside in the case with the instrument.

The current exchange rate is $1.16 = €1.00. The Ergobone full set is €172 (including a flat shipping fee), so it's $200 plus whatever duties Uncle Sam demands. The Spinesaver is $224 including the belt fitting. Pricing looks to me like a wash.
3  Creation and Performance / The Healthy Trombonist / Ergo-bone vs Spinesaver on: Oct 28, 2017, 07:21AM
I've been having some neck pain in the last few months.

A neck x-ray revealed some arthritic changes (disc degeneration) and bone spur formation. I've seen a physical therapist and will be seeing him fairly regularly for a while. He thinks my trombone habit is part of the problem, and suggested looking into support systems.

I was aware of the Ergobone, but my Google-fu uncovered the Spinesaver.

Are there are any opinions about the advantages and drawbacks on each?

With regard to the Spinesaver, the maker offer "custom bending". How does this work?

Thanks in advance.
4  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Hand grip for wrist pain on: Sep 25, 2017, 03:13PM
I recently switched to bass trombone and I am having considerable pain mostly in my left wrist, as well as my elbow and arm to a lesser degree. What are some reasonably priced hand grips that would help reduce this pain? I am a college student and I play for at least 2 hours everyday, so I need to find something that will help quickly.  Thanks in advance.

A grip might help, and a grip might not help.

Consider that it might be the soft machine:

5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Rings for press-fit leadpipes on: Sep 16, 2017, 09:24PM
How good are you with a torch and soft solder?

Can you solder thin copper tubing together without putting holes in the tubing?

You can make an effective ring out of 12 ga copper wire if you have access to a ring mandrel. Soldering a ring to a leadpipe isn't too tough, but a leadpipe is not the place to learn the skill.
6  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: No antique value on: Sep 10, 2017, 08:44AM
The difference between a great vintage Elkhart or Earl Williams vs. a modern trombone is STILL not the same as a Strad against a great modern violin because 90% or more of the sound you get out of a brass instrument depends on the player.

Actually, Cremonese violins (Stradivari, Amatii, Guarnerii etc.) are regularly losing out to modern violins in blind testing. Violinists can't reliably hear differences, and when they do they prefer the modern instruments. This result has been overblown in some media, but violinists are beginning to acknowledge that they don't need a million dollar instrument. Good modern violins aren't cheap (you could own a complete set of Shires or Rath or Edwards trombones from alto to contra and spend less than you would on a good modern violin) but they aren't in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The National Geographic article is particularly good -- it presents graphics that show how the scoring came out.
7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Who in their right mind plays a single valve bass? on: Jul 24, 2017, 05:48AM

A King 4B or a King 5B?

Premise: playing essentially non-soloing bass trombone parts in a big band and/or amateur symphonic setting.


Either is okay, the 5B/Symphony is possibly a bit better (due to the larger bell throat). As to the non-soloing premise, I'm not sure about that. Bart Varsalona played with Kenton on a King Symphony and did his share of soloing.

When I did the Stravinsky *Octet for Winds* about 10 years ago I would have used a Symphony if I'd had one available.

8  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: If you could have only 3 horns... on: Jul 10, 2017, 02:26PM
I'm pretty happy with the three I have. In order of acquisition:

1972 Bach 36B

1957 King 3b (Brass bell with both slide and valve section. I got it that way, so it doesn't count as two horns.)

1990s Bach 50T3G

The only changes I'd consider are a SilverSonic bell for the King, a straight bell to go with the 36, and a single-valve option on the bass. I suppose I'd consider a Bach 12 or 16 to replace the King, but I'm not at all sure about that.
9  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: 4 Trombones in an Orchestra on: Jul 04, 2017, 09:59AM
I don't understand why you'd have someone out at all who couldn't cover the part??

John Paynter is supposed to have said (of a weak player in the North Shore [Chicago] Band), "We don't need her, but she needs us."

I have no idea whether that story is true or apocryphal, but I know (and appreciate) the sentiment of it.
10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Shires Q&A, what would you like to know? on: Apr 26, 2017, 07:23AM

I've got a 1972 36B that I like a lot, but it's losing plating on the inner slide stockings and the slide is generally showing its age despite an overhaul a few years back. I'm thinking pretty seriously about replacing/adding a Shires slide to it, probably a 2547. My playing with this horn is mostly 1st part in brass band and (large) concert bands. I'm currently using an Elliott XT103.D.D4 setup.

1. Will I have to replace the slide receiver? Ideally, I'd like to be able to continue to use the Bach's original slide when I want to use it.
2. Is this likely to work out well, or should I stick with a straight .525 slide?

Thanks in advance.

11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: TMEA 2017 on: Feb 10, 2017, 08:45AM
... Or maybe music in Texas is just big because football is big and you gotta have a halftime show.

The real state religion of Texas is football, not fundagelicalism. Texas schools have marching bands because of football. The have concert bands because the band people need something to do during the Spring football season.
12  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: On Hillary on: Oct 21, 2016, 04:38PM
It's amazing you guys will vote for a president that will sell access to the highest office in the land.

As opposed to a might-be billionaire who is famous for self-dealing (http://www.marketplace.org/2016/09/21/world/heres-deal-donald-trump-and-self-dealing, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/donald-trump-business-campaign-trail-228500 for starters) and would be the most conflict-of-interest ridden President (https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-02/donald-trump-might-make-the-white-house-a-walmart) in history?
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: What are Baritone Bugles used for? on: Oct 18, 2016, 07:17PM
They are used in Drum Corps. Older ones are pitched in G -- there was a rule that bugles were bell-front instruments pitched in G with one valve to D. That was later changed to permit a piston valve and a rotary valve (pitched as two semitones and one semitone) and still later to permit two valves of any configuration. More recently, any bell-front instrument with valves was deemed okay regardless of pitch.

As to being used at funerals, I borrowed a baritone bugle to play taps at my Dad's funeral. The Department of Defense was going to send a synthesized bugle. Dad was a musician, and I'd be damned before I'd allow a synthesized bugle to play his final salute.

I believe that Bugles Across America accepts players using baritones bugles, mellos, marching euphs/baritones, etc. No trombones, though.
14  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: NABBA March 2017 -- Solo rep on: Oct 08, 2016, 07:53PM
Hi Dennis,

In my time playing bass trombone in a brass band, I found no serious solos for the instrument.

Hi Martin,

That has actually changed. In 1997 or so, Doug Yeo and the Black Dyke Mills Band recorded *Proclamation*, a bass trombone solo album. If you don't own it, you should -- there is some sublime playing by Doug and the BDM band on it. For my money, the picks of the litter are:

*Proclamation*, Gordon Langford (this used to be available in a wind band transcription by the composer as well.)
*Rainy Day in Rio*, Goff Richards
*A Tribute to George Roberts*, Bill Geldard (*In the Hall of the Mountain King*, *Stella By Starlight*, and *Feelin' Low*, transcribed and adapted for brass band from George Roberts' solo LPs)

Nothing on the disc is *bad* -- those are my favorites, but I'm not looking for something to play with the band. Part of the festival is a solo and ensemble competition.

YouTube has a recording of *Elegy for the Whale* by Deanna Swoboda (mistitled *Elegy for Whale*, and Wilder isn't credited -- boo!). She does an excellent job with it.
15  Creation and Performance / Performance / NABBA March 2017 -- Solo rep on: Oct 06, 2016, 08:05AM
I'm going to be at NABBA with my new buddies in the Cincinnati Brass Band next year, and I'm thinking about entering the old fart Solo festival/contest/competition. (I'm not much into musical competition, myself -- I think it's a collaborative art but I'm digressing.) This is my first trip to NABBA.

I have a question about rep: if I enter, I want to play Wilder's Elegy for the Whale. The problem: I'm a trombonist, not a tubist. (It lies beautifully for the bass -- range is  8vb to  with no stupid tuba tricks. The piece deserves to be better known!) My question: how is this going to be received?

What sorts of things do folks usually perform at these things?

Thanks in advance!
16  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: "What is a leppo?" on: Sep 10, 2016, 07:56AM
I've heard the word before but "What would you do about Aleppo?" is maybe a bit bare to spring right out of the blue without any other context.

However, after finding out what it was, he went into a second interview that day where "Aleppo" was posed again and he still didn't have anything to offer on it.


A lot of people are fantasizing that he's some very astute third-party alternative to Hillary or Trump but he's really just another know-nothing small-government crackpot.

For those who aren't familiar with the Southwest US, he referred Colonias as if it referred to a place. In fact, colonias are unauthorized subdivisions. They typically lack utilities, particularly water and sewage. They are a pretty serious problem for local governments in southern New Mexico, west Texas and northern Mexico.

His one insightful remark on the issue was a question as to whether not knowing that when he was running for Governor of New Mexico should have disqualified him. He didn't think so, but given his performance as Governor (I lived in NM through the entire Johnson administration) it should have.

The saddest thing is that after eight years in the roundhouse and fifteen years out of office, he still doesn't know what the colonias are.

Small-government crackpot indeed,
But one who loves his weed.
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Building a BBb Contrabass, a Photo Essay on: Sep 08, 2016, 08:04PM
My wife looked at the picture, and she says she believes that Brad and Noah were over in North Korea testing that beast today. The test resulted in the 5.3 "artificial" earthquake. (Flutists have a generally low opinion of trombonists. I still don't know why she married me.)

Apparently we can absolve the North Koreans of the suspected nuclear test today.

Seriously -- nice work, Brad.
18  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: On Hillary on: Aug 25, 2016, 04:36PM
This forum and its moderator consistently commit this:

Ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person

In classical rhetoric arguments are likened to a stool with three legs: ethos, pathos, and logos. Conspiracy theory sites are (generally speaking) lacking in both ethos and logos. Briefly, ethos refers to the advocate's credibility and logos to the advocate's (and the argument's) logical and factual structure.

Rejecting the arguments proffered by an agent known to be factually challenged is not an ad hominem attack. Rather, it is an efficient use of time. For example, if a student comes into my office claiming to have a compass and straightedge construction that trisects an arbitrary angle, I don't need to parse the proof to know that there is an error in it. Why? Because I know enough abstract algebra and geometry to know that trisecting an arbitrary angle involves solving a cubic polynomial. Compass-and-straightedge constructions all correspond to solving quadratic equations.

Websites that exist in the fever-swamp of conspiracy theorists are so factually challenged that fact-checking them is a fool's errand.
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Need help with choosing equipment on: Aug 14, 2016, 10:14AM
Moving back to the question about equipment, in your position I would buy a Bach 36 or 36B.  It is the standard and best choice for an all-around trombone that will do everything.

This, twice. If you go with the F attachment (36B) don't worry about open wrap (36BO) vs traditional wrap (36B). The Bach 42 and 36 are nearly identical after the slide receiver (the 36 uses Bach's tenor receiver, the 42 uses their bass receiver). The only difference is the final bell diameter: 8 inches for the 36 vs 8.5 inches for the 42. They are formed on the same bell mandrels.

The result is that the valve ports are undersized on the 42. What is fine for a .525 bore ends up being a constriction for the .547. Open wraps were one response to the problem (axial flow valves were another). But it isn't a problem on the 36, so don't worry, be happy.
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Nartiss hand support on: Aug 13, 2016, 08:17AM
Looks super ugly with those plastic nobs :-0

Meh. It's coming out of the Baltics, so they are certainly metric threads. I'd get three allen head screws the right length and replace the knobs.
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