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1052521 Posts in 70059 Topics- by 18206 Members - Latest Member: Lchughes5
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1  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: Byron Peebles Passes Away on: Today at 02:44 PM
I was privileged to have worked a few times with him. Fine gentleman, great player of course. I contacted him by phone a couple of years ago asking about his involvement with the Minick inline double valves during the 1970's, though he was very frail and under care, he was very lucid and had a great memory. He was a star in the trombone world, and a fantastic mentor.
2  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Animal Rights--Now a Topic on Purely Politics. on: Today at 02:37 PM
I played as a pick up local musician several times in the 70's, 80's with the RB/BBC. I only saw gentleness and affection towards all the animals. However, the employees behavior toward each other was pretty rough. Saw a few fist-fights over who is cleaning up stuff like elephant dung after the crowd left.

More abuse between the humans and each others than the animals.
3  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Performing a solo with a high school band on: Today at 02:28 PM
If you are comfortable with Morceau Symphonique, I would recommend that.http://www.hickeys.com/music/brass/trombone/tenor_trombone/solos_with_band/products/sku024518-guilmant-shephard-morceau-symphonique-op-88.php

If you want a more jazz oriented piece, Reflective Mood by Sammy Nestico is great, but it takes very good interpretive skills to make it work. What I mean is that you need to have a mind-set of someone like Urbie, or Carl Fontana, or the like. If you just play the notes it is OK, great when you add the soul of an inspired musician. http://www.hickeys.com/music/brass/trombone/tenor_trombone/solos_with_band/products/sku089000-nestico-reflective-mood.php
4  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: Why the negativity? on: Jan 14, 2017, 08:21PM
One of the first things I do when playing a road show (and I have dozens if not hundreds) is erase extraneous pencil marks...positions, accidentals, sloppy marked cuts, etc.

Then I go back and try to figure out the logic of why they were there, adding cautionary accidentals in parentheses, clear markings of cuts and changes, vocal cues, etc. Most of the time, other pros have marked those things clearly...students and amateurs add ridiculous comments like "Don't breathe here Stupid!" or "what the heck, it is in 4 not 2", and similar nonsense. By the time you read it, try to decipher it, you have missed the next thing to play. Same with big sweeping Xs or marks across the page.

Pros have found codes of time changes, eyeglasses (to listen to stage or watch conductor), arrows to show ritards or accelerando, etc. that are quick to recognize and avoid the confusion of "the fog of war".

The simpler, the better. I hate seeing reminders of a key change, when I have already seen the key change. But if I miss it once, I put in that cautionary (#) or (b) in my part. Don't like the scribbles some others put in.
5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How would you approach playing with more core to the sound? on: Jan 14, 2017, 08:00PM
LONG TONES!!

Concept of the sound you want, like has been said. When I first heard the marvelous tone quality of George Roberts at 16 years of age, I put that sound in my mind and did everything to pursue it. After 50+ years later I still do. Like Phil Teele says, it is not about our technique, it is about how good we sound.

And he told me many times over coffee between rehearsals, it is all about

LONG TONES!!
6  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Pedal notes and altitude on: Jan 14, 2017, 07:51PM
I have played professionally at sea level and at 8000+ feet in 3 continents. Obviously in high altitudes, you need to become accustomed to the altitude for oxygenation. But, as a bass trombonist, I have not noticed any effects on pedal tones. But, we are all different.
7  Creation and Performance / Trombonists / Re: Rare footage of the Glenn Miller military band wwII on: Jan 14, 2017, 07:39PM
Interesting that in the parade part Sousaphones are up front. And the 2 of them sound great. Wish I could say that about the trumpets!
8  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: The world has gone mad... on: Dec 19, 2016, 02:15PM
Sorry to break it to you, the world of current civilizations went mad hundreds of years ago.
9  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Bass trom low Db on: Dec 05, 2016, 09:23PM
Two places to nail that note. Love them both.

Been working on "Saturday Night" lately with a couple of bands I play with. Bass Trombone feature by P. Williams. Lots of low Db's. The double trigger is comfortable, the long position pops a little better. And, it is a groove piece, throwing the slide out there helps the groove feel.

Long or short, what works for the music, is more important than the physical technique. String players been telling me that forever.
10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: On a scale from 1 to 10, How good is slide-O-mix? on: Nov 11, 2016, 03:47PM
Slide o mix is great, 9.5. I prefer the Yamaha slide lubricant 10+ in my vote.
11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: What's a good mouthpiece that helps with playing pedal notes? on: Oct 26, 2016, 04:00PM
I once heard LA recording artist and college teacher Paul Tanner play awesome pedal notes and false tones and a great double pedal BBb on a Bach 15 mpc on a very small bore tenor.
12  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Starting Up After Time Off on: Sep 06, 2016, 06:38PM
Something I read a long time ago.

First day back play anything FF. About 30 minutes.

Then do your regular practice routine, maybe slower or longer.

After a few days, it feels good.
13  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: What's the first thing you play at the beginning of the day? on: Aug 25, 2016, 09:37PM
Well, some people would call it warm ups, long tones, lip slurs, scales, articulation, technical exercises, etc.

I just call it music. Whatever that means to you.

The alternative is very boring.
14  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Demise of the 88H on: Aug 07, 2016, 03:45PM
Nice endorsement for Shires, which I own and recommend, but a bit off topic.

Being alive and working as a trombone player from about 1960 to the present, I have seen a lot of wonderful changes in trombones.

The Conn 88H of the 60's (before the tragic move to Texas) was fantastic, as was the Bachs 36B/42B of the same era. Though I am a bass trombonist, I knew several wonderful musicians who played these instruments, and I played with them on hundreds of occasions.

The Conn enthusiasts loved the variability of the 88H: it sounded great in orchestra, sounded great in more "commercial" applications.

The Bach players focused more on its strong sound for orchestra, but never heard a bach player suck in a big band.

It really is about personal choice. In those days, we admired certain players who played a particular instrument. As a bass trombone player, I loved George Roberts sound on an Olds, but it was extinct when I tried to find it. "Settled" for a Conn 72H (modified by the legendary Minick). My tenor player friends admired players on both the Conn and the Bach.

Today, there are fantastic choices for tenor, bass, commercial, orchestral trombones. Test them all, pick what you like for you...let the business select you for your good choice.

That being overly said, the Conn 88H of the 1960's was a beautiful musical trombone.
15  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How much air is enough and how much is too much? on: Aug 04, 2016, 11:11PM
How much air to sing a phrase either as melody or harmony. That is how much.
16  Town Hall / Notices from TTF Members / Re: Bolero - Style Challenge on: Jul 01, 2016, 06:03AM
 Fantastic! Besides being an exceptional musician, you are a very good listener and interpreter of style.

Was your conductor on board with this? If so, he or she is very cool. Did he or she notice but not care, because it is your solo? If so, very patient.

 Did the conductor not even notice the different interpretations? If so, not surprised. Known many of those.  Yeah, RIGHT.
17  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Mary Poppins on: Jan 15, 2016, 06:30AM
I played a 3 week long run (20+ performances) on my 3/4 BBb Weril and it worked great.
18  Practice Break / Chit-Chat / Re: What did your trombone get for Christmas? on: Jan 09, 2016, 06:50AM
A Mighty Bright stand light and a Best Brass practice mute.
19  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: What is it, then, that makes a good trombonist exceptional? on: Nov 28, 2015, 09:01PM
I think the real problem here is defining an artist as "exceptional". I think that has no meaning unless you are a journalist throwing that adjective into a story to brag about yourself discovering some "exceptional" person. It has no meaning applied to anyone working to improve the artistry of what they do.

For sure, you can point to a few trombonists as being "exceptional" (definition: forming an exception or rare instance; unusual, extraordinary). But I think that search misses the point.

Within my 50 years of playing I have stupidly asked very accomplished players on all instruments, who is the best? I always got a blank stare and a smile. The basic answer is "they all are". Is Wycliffe Gordon better than Tommy Dorsey? Is Michael Douglas better than Joe Alessi...etc. They are all the "best".

So what does being the "best" mean. Obviously all the previous posters nailed it: work ethic, dedication, learning from those before you and those around you, etc. Read the thread, lots of great philosophy and experience about this.

To turn this around, I request that rather than think of "exceptional", consider "excellence". There are a lot of very good musicians, the excellent musicians are who we should emulate.

About 10 years ago I got fanatic about what is excellence. Searched over and over on the web and was astounded at what I found, quotes, advice, etc. When I applied it to my limited field (trombone playing) it was obvious that is my philosophy. Don't pursue perfection in what you do, don't pursue "exceptional" in what you do, don't pursue being better than anyone else....

Do strive for excellence (humbly) in all that you do, that means letting go of comparing and then focusing on making yourself better. Do you want to be Carl Fontana, who definitely was excellent at what he did? Or do you want to play like Joe Alessi, or Wycliffe Gordon...all of whom I am sure are the "exceptional" players? The difference is, they are focused on the excellence of their particular playing in their present moment. You will probably not measure up to them right now. But strive to be an excellent player and you will be happy with your successes, whether smaller or greater than these respected musicians.

Good trombonists will probably never be exceptional trombonists. But they sure can be excellent trombonists if they do due diligence in practice, learning, listening and imagining.
20  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Playing loud in marching band on: Oct 20, 2015, 04:08PM
Always use your "indoor voice" otherwise you will sound like an angry shouting maniac. Never try to "carry" the section, it will just make them hide behind your blasting and not contribute. It still should be music, not war. Lead by musical example not volume.
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