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1080658 Posts in 71528 Topics- by 19059 Members - Latest Member: francesco.ro79
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1  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Wessex Valve Trombone or Bass Trumpet? on: Yesterday at 07:19 PM
I have had a Wessex euphonium for a couple of years now and the valves are fantastic. I've also played the silver plated piston valve bass trumpet (albeit for only 10 minutes) and I loved it. It's still on my list of things to buy. However, if you're looking to double professionally on euphonium(the most common valved double for tenor trombone players), get a euphonium. Getting used to the 4th valve is quite easy, but you have to use your air differently on a euphonium than you do on a trombone. Lastly, the double that will make you most money is a bass trombone.

Sounds like good assessments. I'm not so much into doubling a gigging per se, more of an overly interested amateur (the majority of my skill is in studio and arranging-work), and I do sort of want to bring interesting sounds into my productions). Primary looking for someone to convince me far over that I should go for either a valve trombone OR a bass trumpet, for any reason at all, from tone to wieldiness to usefulness to whatever.
I've got a 3-valve Yamaha euph - would be sweet with a 4th valve, but I know I don't *need* it.

But a bass trombone would be a load of fun... that's definitely something I've thought about, perhaps I ought to give it a bit more thought! I'm not actively playing in any groups that rehearse weekly or anything (partially owing to my job situation - my local community band rehearses thursday evenings but I'm ALWAYS invariably occupied on Thursday evenings  :( ).
2  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Wessex Valve Trombone or Bass Trumpet? on: Sep 22, 2017, 09:03PM
If you do get anything from Wessex, Iíd love to know how you like it after youíve had it a little while. As far as valve bones, they show up pretty regularly on eBay, but I gather they have often been poorly cared for. My Couesnon isnít bad. Perhaps I was lucky... Good luck either way.

I definitely won't forget to post a review or something if I do end up with something. Really considering their silver-plated Bb valve bone. It is all for kicks and giggles, so even the C isn't out of order (though at that price I'm inclined to look at a different instrument that I'd get more performance-use out of). Thing is that valve-bone models seem to run at 4x to 6x the cost of their comparable straight models of the same condition on average.
For something that I'd have a little bit for fun - and perhaps have a dual slide case if it works with the bell - I definitely don't feel like $1000 is gonna pay itself off with the lack of use I'll get out of it compared to my slide playing, even if I've got it in the case available to me. But, who knows! Maybe a real deal will turn up...


I'm wondering about the valves on the Wessex valve trombones and their other valve instruments. If they're coming out of the same factory as the other Chinese horns with valves that people don't trust, why would the Wessex valves be any better? I don't think they're having valves custom made for their horns.

This is something I've been thinking about. These are *basically* QC'd stencils, right? Why don't you see too many other Chinese manufacturers ripping off their designs? I haven't seen any other valve trombones out there using quite this particular design.
In any case, I have an ACB flugel, a Chinese flugel with Trent Austin's stamp on it - the valves are GREAT - not quite as "smooth" my Yamahas, but very good for what they are. It unfortunately very much needs a different type of oil, as they seize up daily because I'm still using Yamaha oil. Not that there's any direct comparison, but if its any helper for me of what kind of quality it might come close to, I'm not too hesitant to go ahead and purchase right now as I type  :D
3  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Purchasing Soprano Trombone suggestions please! on: Sep 22, 2017, 10:39AM
I played both a Jupiter (with the WORLD'S WORST slide) and then a custom German-built. Even after a full year's worth of building up my trumpet chops, I just couldn't make the things sounds good... I think it'd require a fair bit more time invested directly for me to be able to sound any good on one of those...
4  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Classical pieces - without a tuba? on: Sep 21, 2017, 08:56PM
Such great info here! I totally dig the cimbasso. I sort of wish it were used more - and were easier to rent. I'd love to take one for a spin, but there's nowhere to pick one up.
Thankfully I'm free to sort of tailor the arrangements for fit my needs. I've been able to get some REALLY good results thus far arrangement-wise, and I can tell it's going to sound good in the real (as long as my players know their stuff). The one thing that has this all hanging in the balance is that my exteremely talented guitarist friend agreed to learn upright bass... in 8 weeks, to be good enough for some high-level arrangements. Here's to hoping he pulls it off in time!!


Slippery slope, my friend - there's more than a few pieces in the standard rep that don't use trombones, either. Just played a concert Sunday where two pieces (one by Beethoven and one by Mozart) that had no trombone parts.

Wouldn't put it past modern arrangers - but I've got bones, and I'mma use em!!
5  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Wessex valve trombone or bass trumpet? on: Sep 20, 2017, 06:03AM
this is what a bass trumpet sounds like when pushed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GixE_T2lq5w

everytime I've had to do that solo, I've done it on trombone.

Personally I sort of dig it. In other recordings it reminds me a bit of a horn-like sound. I'm thinking that when covering the bass voice in a 4-man horn section it'd be fine.

How much is the Wessex bass trumpet? $675? Brand new? If I could find just a handful of paid gigs with some buddies in a jazz combo that would pay for the horn. Not including practicing, and getting tunes to play if we don't play from what we already know. That seems fairly reasonable for a hobbiest like myself. I don't know your situation, but the satisfaction of experimenting is worth a lot to some people, too.

I don't think I'd be playing bass trumpet or even valve trombone in any of the big bands I play lead in. But I think I would be monumentally interesting in a small horn combo. It's on my Christmas wishlist, too!

In a way I do wanna just have something cool, with some "wow-factor", and that'd be fun to pull out every now and again when jamming and stuff. With this in mind, Wessex's valve trombone is actually a bit more affordable. I'm thinking in this case that it comes down to what I think I'll enjoy the most.
Has anyone actually tried these particular models though? I'm not seeing any videos or anything of them on the interwebs!


P.S. I tried changing the title of this thread to reflect the "new developments" in my mind... couldn't do it!
6  Creation and Performance / Other Musicians and Ensembles / Re: 100 years old. The first jazz recording. on: Sep 20, 2017, 05:41AM
Ah, nothin' like some good ol' Jass!
I find it interesting that the playing when compared to later "Dixieland"/trad. jazz has VERY many 'long notes' and is much closer to straight in feel than today's triplets-based swing.
7  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Classical pieces - without a tuba? on: Sep 19, 2017, 05:40PM
The tuba was patented in 1835, so there is no classical music with an original tuba part. You'll be fine with a contrabass and bassoon.
Haydn, Mozart, & Beethoven never saw (or even imagined) such an instrument as a tuba, much less employed one in their compositions.  Brahms used a tuba only in his Second Symphony, composed in 1877 - but not in the other three symphonies.  The tuba is not a vital element in "classical" music. 


These are the comments that pique my interest. I suppose the fact that many well-known composers and well-known work DON'T use tubas speaks for itself. Cool stuff.... guess it could help me a bit to hit the scores! Haven't done ANY score study thus far :cry:
8  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Classical pieces - without a tuba? on: Sep 18, 2017, 05:10PM
I suppose those are decent enough answers. Mind you guys - this orchestra is made up of 6 woodwinds, 5 brass, piano, bells and 8 string players doubled by synth. I'm guessing though that in the location (an indoors low-ceiling hall with little resonance, but a good-quality sound system) the lack of bass can be adjusted since we're relying so much less on purely the acoustics of the room anyway.

Just something good to chew on as I arrange in this case!
9  Creation and Performance / Performance / Classical pieces - without a tuba? on: Sep 18, 2017, 03:09PM
I'm writing a Christmas Medley for a church orchestra to be performed early this December. Our bass/low brass consists of a bassoon, possibly one contrabass, and 2 trombones (with of course, piano and synth doubling the low-end string part). Would this suffice for a strictly classical piece? What are some of the risks I might run if I choose NOT to write for tuba for this tune?
In my mind, it seems more about the power in the low end and the tone of the tuba itself that is going to give a particular effect, no?
10  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: Planning and distribution for modular bands?? on: Sep 18, 2017, 08:23AM
Hi. Do you only play hymns or other music as well. Our church had regular afternoon sing-alongs and I got a set of books from Singspiration which have over 500 settings. The books come in sets. C, Bb, Eb, F, and Bass clef which can also be used for trombone Quartets. They have a very good selection of church music and they can be used for any combination of instruments. I did one gig once and the choir master gave me the copies of the music that the choir was singing and I scored it for the instruments that I had. When we started to play the choir choirmaster said. No no you are playing it too high. He said he wanted it down a third. I told him I had scored it from the music he had given me. He said what sort of a band have you got, My choir can sing it down a 3rd why can't your band play it down a 3rd. They sang that day without a band. I just used to use the old fashioned method of getting in touch with people using the phone and most instruments were covered by the books no matter what combination of instruments turned up. Hope this helps. Good luck Max.

This group is particular plays almost strictly jazz/pop tunes with arrangements. That does sound like a good method for arranging, Max - thing is though, this group is rather small and plays on a level where it's better to make use of each individual part, and I feel as if doubling parts would just remove, for example and opportunity to use another harmonic voice or something.
Good thoughts thus far, though!
11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Thoughts on buying a cheap valve section for an existing bell/horn on: Sep 13, 2017, 09:18PM
My mind is slowing getting more and more set on a bass trumpet. Been watching a lot of videos to get an idea of the tone quality - sounds just like what it is, something partway between a trumpet and a trombone. Haven't heard one 'pushed' yet though. In my mind, if I CAN'T score a good used valve trombone within 4 months, my late Christmas gift to myself will end up a shiny new bass trumpet.
It'd also help me save space when packing the van, I can imagine.

How could it sound in a 7-piece jazz combo? How about covering lead in big band? Is it by chance unwieldy - would it tire me out after the 2nd set?


Anyone with experience comparing Wessex's and MACK Brass's horns?
12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Wessex: marching trombone, valve trombone OR bass trumpet? on: Sep 13, 2017, 03:49PM
So I'm a bit torn.
For the sake of fun (and more reasons you'll see in my OP), i want to invest in either a valve trombone, marching trombone, or bass trumpet. In a way, I wouldn't mind something that's would wow the crowds a little with its unorthodox appearance, and still be functional as a good trombone-like voice (a bill that any of these, but primarily bass trumpet and valve trombone, would fit).

Does anyone has experience with Wessex's versions of these horns? I'm primarily thinking of the silver versions of their Bb piston-valve bass trumpet and Bb valve trombone.
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Mouthpiece for Mirafone contrabass on: Sep 13, 2017, 06:37AM
Due to some seriously good luck and - I am pretty sure - optimally aligned planetary bodies...

I stumbled across a Mirafone BBb/FF contrabass trombone today.  And I urgently need a mouthpiece for it.  The receiver appears to be the same as (or very close to) bass trombone shank.  Any suggestions?...  THANKS in advance!



Shut ya mouth!! That's a lucky find if I've ever heard of one
14  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Planning and distribution for modular bands?? on: Sep 11, 2017, 08:05PM
So guys,
I've got a pretty big weekend-long event coming up for my church (this COMING weekend), and I'm planning the band for it. Unfortunately, the higher-ups waited until just over a week prior to the event before making any final decisions. I've got a sort of modular band with a couple of drummers, an occasional trumpetist, 2 saxes and myself on bone, plus a fast bassist and synth/keyboardist.

However, NOT everyone plays on EVERY song during the weekend, and the group changes in size pretty often. In fact, sometimes there are songs without horns and I'm requested to be there - even if it's just the rhythm section playing from a leadsheet.

What would be some good suggestions for how I can keep everyone informed on which pieces each individual is playing on, when rehearsal times will be and stuff? I've got a group in the app Telegram, as well as made a spreadsheet saying when everyone is playing and what pieces will be performed... we're using Dropbox links to get music sent out.

But people are coming directly to me asking for that same info, and I feel like what people need to know is still incomplete.

How do you guys handle this organization stuff? Especially when you're scrambling to get arrangements and leadsheets together at the last minute?
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: No antique value on: Sep 11, 2017, 09:13AM
Value is subjective, and is in the eye of the beholder...or the buyer.  Everything has value to the right person. 

Which is exactly why it's hard to get people don't spend so much on antique brass instruments. There's really only a few people who fall into the category of the "right" person.... everyone else seems to just be out to make a buck
16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Accessories / Re: Selfiesound - trombone bell reflector on: Sep 08, 2017, 11:01PM
Good grief... seems WAY over-priced! Could build one of these and make it looks nice AND perform equally well at (I reckon) half the cost!

It's a cool invention though, no doubt. Something I'd like to try myself.
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Wessex Valve Trombone or Bass Trumpet? on: Sep 06, 2017, 07:35PM
What are some of the potential downsides to purchasing one of these cheap (sub-$150) valve trombones on Amazon or eBay and using the valve section on an existing bell (namely, a Yamaha 354)?

I'm considering doing so to get some practice on low brass valves without lugging out the whole euphonium and having to set myself up for playing euphonium. In addition it could be cool in (low-level) performance settings where there might not be quite as much space for a slide.

But how bad would the intonation be? Could it possibly wreck my tone? Is the general build quality just bad? What would I be looking out for even, if I really were considering doing this?

Just trying to save a buck on the 354V.... those things are PRICEY!

<Edit: Changed Title per request>
18  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Open wrap? Closed wrap? on: Sep 04, 2017, 01:53PM
Do they typically make closed wraps with a slightly larger bore in the "wrap" section to make up for potential loss in tone quality? Or am I making that up?
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: .500/.525 on: Aug 30, 2017, 08:11PM
I came across a used 356 in the LMS. I quite liked it but was disappointed it was not compatible with a single bore 354 slide. I did think, however, that the 356 felt a little like the 354, that is, a student horn.

Ouchies! I've been searching high and low for that horn for 4 years since I've always wanted a red or rose bell with trigger that takes a small shank mouthpiece. Wonder how it'd function for lead playing. How does it stack up to, say a 646?

In honesty, after my taste, the 354 has a bit of a TOO warm, rich sound when i'm behind it for what I prefer for lead playing. Though perhaps other disagree - or maybe I'm just doing something wrong.
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: .500/.525 on: Aug 30, 2017, 05:39PM
If anyone comes across another 356... let me know!!  Eeek!
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