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1072603 Posts in 71132 Topics- by 18853 Members - Latest Member: UtahTrombone
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1  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: What is 'core'? on: Today at 08:26 AM
But what about a sound that's unusually airy/bright?
In my mind, a sound with a lot of core is one that is fully capable of bringing forth the aural characteristics of the instrument with minimal loss ("loss" being perhaps bad tone, air in the sound - things that remove "core")

Yes, that was no definition in even the slightest. My $0.02.  :D
2  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How do you get more core in the sound? on: Jul 18, 2017, 07:13PM
Is everyone confusing "core" sound with overall good sound? I am aware of four parts of a good sound: (etc.)

Geeze, I personally would classify "general good sound" according to the ADSR curve, or at the very least ASR. I know LOADS of players with an EXCELLENT tone quality in their Sustain, but their Attacks are always too soft/non arrticulate or often crack. I personally am one with a good Attack and Release, but my Sustain COULD actually use a bit more core-building lately.

Not that this helps the OP... Just my personal thoughts.

Back to the conversation.... carry on!  :D
3  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Trombonium, tenor horn, or baritone horn? on: Jul 17, 2017, 05:47PM
good grief!!  Amazed I'll stick to my limited American knowledge.
4  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Re: Latest piece on: Jul 17, 2017, 10:49AM
I'm impressed.  Have you ever thought of doing commercial work?

I sure have! (especially of late). Just focusing on finding a way to break in - doing some networking with other musicians, composers and recordists.
5  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Re: Latest piece on: Jul 16, 2017, 01:41PM
Are you playing all the instruments?  Or is this done with synthesized/sampled sounds?

All the brass is played by me (trumpets, horns and bones). Everything else is synth/sampled.

Cute!  It's got a little bit of everything.

Thanks for checking it out fellas!  :D
6  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Latest piece on: Jul 14, 2017, 02:40PM
Hey, guys!
I've been talking about how I've been feeling rather limited lately (e.g. the post just two beneath this one :/).
But by just forcing myself to try 'things', I've been able to grasp a small bit of inspiration and create something. It's essentially my shot at making old cartoon music-meets 50's T.V. ad backing music. Let me know what you guys think of the arrangement, recording/mixing and performance quality.

7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Wessex vs/and Jin Bao Contra Bass Trombone on: Jul 14, 2017, 05:09AM
Trent Hamilton tested the Chinese likely a JinBao) BBb contra (Miraphone copy):


There's actually a thread of videos on this, ending with a "eulogy" for it, since it was dropped and the music store said it wasn't worth repairing.

That was hands down one of the saddest moments in a YouTube video featuring a trombone ever recorded.  Eeek!
8  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Re: Becoming limited?? on: Jul 10, 2017, 01:54PM
beautiful tips!

I'm listening to some Rick Beato stuff and just trying to beef up my music theory knowledge - I think if I start up by learning some theory 'nuances', and then restricting my next few arrangements to mastering those few techniques at a time, perhaps I can walk away able to use them more.

I have been messing around with composing using bass guitar as my go-to "composition motor", as I like to say. Part of my imposed limits are because, while I have an extensive library of chords that I CAN play on keys, I have a tendency to play the SAME things over and over and I have trouble coming up with something on piano that doesn't already sound like something I've done before.
Establishing chord structures on bass guitar is sort of helping me expand that. But then - I'm no bass virtuoso, and I yet again have a few styles that I REALLY like to play on e.bass (notably 4-on-the-floor neo-soul grooves, I LOVE that stuff!!!). I think I miss out on meaningful chord movement, though, since I still draw back to use the same chords when I'm back on the keys.

I'm thinking the biggest help now is to just learn more about chords and scales!! Somethin' tells me that'll lead me pretty far.

9  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Re: The 5 Stages of an Electronic Music Producer on: Jul 09, 2017, 02:15PM
I've just dabbled at the VERY top layer of EDM, but I've got a number of good friends who are deep into it (one of them being the prolific K-391 from Norway).
I think something I appreciate the most about EDM is that one CAN master it in a relatively short amount of time with critical listening, imitation, and practice. Its simple easy to be one's own teacher, or at least explore what other have done without sitting down in a class with necessarily and specific goal. And on top of that, there are LOADS of communities out there for people to exchange ideas and encourage each other to new milestones.
That's the sort of thing I find that makes other genres (and skills - composing in general, music performance on an instrument) a LOT more difficult to "break into" if one ever wants to be any good.
Can't forget that, even with awesome resources like these forums and YouTube and stuff, it's tough to really feel like a unified community like the EDM guys can seem. Maybe the guys doing EDM, being quite a bit younger in average age than the comparably highly-hailed counterparts of instrumental performance virtuosity, are simply better at creating a net presence and 'pull'/'draw' that appeals to "their people" - the ones who want to follow what they're doing and perhaps dabble themselves.

I'm not great at articulating my thoughts, maybe there's something to mine from this.
Lemee actually read the full article now  :D :D
10  Creation and Performance / Musical Miscellany / Re: Is it okay to puff your cheeks when you play? on: Jul 04, 2017, 11:17AM
I hate to come in with what might be considered one of those useless responses - but I know that for me, I get MORE control and volume in the tone with VERY CONTROLLED puffed cheeks.
Particularly when moving into the lower register, it's like air flows into my cheeks - VERY lightly, with the absolute minimum amount of pressure required to make them move / push the outwards, NOT to where I'd actually need to consciously fill them with air e.g., use WAY too much air pressure to make a nice sound on the instrument)
 with air and they support the note
It's something that sort of developed itself once I started with high brass instruments...

Not sure if it's worth anything to you, hopefully I'm not throwing a wrench into anything (and I'm expecting to receive some backlash for this response, as I usually do - but this is just something that's worked *well* for me and my playing!)  Good!
11  Teaching & Learning / Schools, Colleges and Conservatories / Re: Degree for composition on: Jul 04, 2017, 10:52AM
But is there any merit in shooting for something lower than "stardom" - to just get hired AS an arranger for a group or publisher? What would a job like that require? And are there any job prospects for it, or are all the best guys already working and newbies won't find a way in?
12  Teaching & Learning / Schools, Colleges and Conservatories / Degree for composition on: Jul 04, 2017, 08:08AM
Hey, guys -
I'm probably going to be starting college within these next 6 months, but I want to have a rough idea of what I might be going into.
Seeing that I'm naturally quite musically inclined (though obviously not without a number of faults), I feel my best bet would be to sort of play to where my talent lies - arranging/composition.
However I'm curious for you guys in the industry - what kind of jobs are out there for composers in this day and age? Is it more worthwhile to focus on jazz theory or classical? Is there even any choice?
Lots of questions to ask and be answered  :cry:
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Mouthpieces / Re: Started on Conn 12C small shank, need advice for choosing new moutpiece on: Jul 04, 2017, 06:59AM
A 12C mouthpiece is great for someone wanting fast/sharp articulation while mostly playing above the staff on a small horn. Other C cups with slightly larger rims are also good for this situation. I am less enthusiastic about the large 6 1/2 AL on small horns. If someone wants the deep sound produced by the 6 1/2 AL on a continued basis, they would probably be more satisfied with a larger horn.

In my opinion (having been a student who's switched back a forth from 12C to 48 before settling on the 48) the 12C is great for playing laser beam, stuff from F in the staff on up, but for less-specialized applications the 48 wins out.
I struggle to get a big sound or rich warm tone on that mouthpiece. At the expense of a couple high notes and needing to work a little harder, the 48 delivers, for my playing, the sound/feel of a small bore with a mouthpiece that provides for much better tone quality.
14  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / What's it take to be a GOOD doubler (or multi-instrumentalist)? on: Jul 02, 2017, 07:58PM
I've been investing the better part of the last two years honing my skills as a trumpeter - and I have for all intents and purposes become as good at trumpet as I am at trombone.

Unfortunately, that's not saying much.  Amazed

All self-pity aside, I'm hoping to spend the rest of the year targeting specific problems in and improving my valved-instrument playing - specifically with regards to technique, finger speed and arpeggios and stuff like that. Once that's through and I've reached the goal I'm aiming for, I'll target the specific problems in my trombone playing. I've no intentions to be a professional-level player (though that'd be sweet!), but I have certain goals that I want to meet as a trombonist, valved-instrument player and general musician.

So, the title says it all...for you doublers and multi-instrumentalists, I'm dropping the open-ended question: What does it take to be a GOOD instrumental polyglot? What defines "good" to you for a multi-instrumentalist?
15  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: How to break the news to a sub on: Jul 01, 2017, 07:55AM
I'd actually forgotten about this topic - gig came and went, without a hitch! If I can say - the primary actually told his sister - also a saxophonist - about the gig and had her learn the parts on the condition that IF he can make it, he'd play instead of her. Since it was out of my hands a bit at that point (he'd already told her, and she'd agreed!) I just let it go this time around. She ended up playing instead of the primary, and did an excellent job at it, too.
16  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Re: Becoming limited?? on: Jun 29, 2017, 02:19PM
It's very hard to hit that small window between "they've heard too many times before" and "it's not like what they wanted."

I can certainly attest to that.
Sometimes I just wanna jump out and do something that makes NO musical sense whatsoever - perhaps the process of going WAY outisde the boundaries and then sorta "reeling it in" from there could be a good way to expand. I'll see what happens.
17  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Tuba and bass trom are not interchangeable on: Jun 29, 2017, 08:06AM
Yeah, that's what I meant, although I didn't say it directly. The Euph sounds more tuba - ish, and a 4-valve has most of the range needed, but I'm better with a slide than valves. The setting is quintet, music not yet selected, sounds more classical than jazz.

I've always weighed the idea of finding/renting a 4-valve euph and seeing how it'd perform on recordings with a huge mouthpiece (1.5G) playing primarily in the pedal range. I should do it and see.
18  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: How do you get more core in the sound? on: Jun 28, 2017, 04:49PM
Tone is all about how you focus the air through the aperture, and also the shape of your oral cavity and tongue, AND also the fact that both of those things are somewhat related to one another. All of these things also are affected by the resistance that your trombone presents (or doesn't present).

These things all also change based on the register you're playing in. Your question might as well be "how do I get real good at playing a brass instrument?". It might seem cliche but in order to get the tone you want you need to practice, listen, tweak, practice, listen, tweak --- until you get where you think you want to be. Then you reassess...

Interesting thoughts, harrison - but doesn't directly hit the nail on the head, if I'd been the one asking :D
I know at least for myself, doing lots of glisses from positions 1-6 and at all dynamics improved what I considered my 'core', in just a week - a more focused, more in-tujne, easier to control, brighter sound for much less effort.
It DID indeed get me to focus my aperture and moved me into a more puckered embouchure. Since then, I've been a bit slack with low brass, focusing more on trumpet, and I can tell that my lack of maintenance has caused me to LOSE what I considered to 'core'. Take this with s grain of salt, but it worked for me!
19  Teaching & Learning / Composition, Arranging and Theory / Becoming limited?? on: Jun 28, 2017, 09:53AM
Hey trombrethren!  Hi

I haven't had much time in the past few months to just compose stuff "straight from the heart". But a bit more free time has come into my hands.
But lately, I've been feeling like everything I start messing with has this "cold-handed", down-right SIMPLE approach to composition that lacks any sort of "spice", I guess. Like, I need a new chord progression or a new genre/sound in my 'inner ear' to give myself something to be WRITING for.

My music has NEVER been terribly "progressive" - it often stays within basic melodic/harmonic/rhythmic confines. But now I'm starting to feel that my BIG lack as a composer is that I'm missing THAT stuff - the weird scales and chord progressions, time changes, etc.

Anyone ever been in such a funk - where you feel you lack the theory knowledge to really be able to unleash your creativity? What are some good ways to overcome this?
20  Creation and Performance / Performance / Re: Tuba and bass trom are not interchangeable on: Jun 28, 2017, 09:12AM
Been following this topic since last week, lots of interesting thoughts here....
I'm tossing it around in my mind, because to me this is like telling the lead player to perform his part on flugel. Or maybe using electric bass in place of acoustic in orchestral music. It's a somewhat similar idea in terms of range, but style and tone are completely different in such a way that, to me, would completely change (destroy?) the intentions of the composer. Especially when I think of bass trombone in big band - to me, tuba in rhythmic big band music has a DRASTICALLY different effect than bass trombone. Still a very cool sound, but not so similar to bass trombone, given how much mellower and more enveloping the sound is in comparison to the bass trombone's bite.

Then again, I've had success recording flugel in place of F-horn, using careful mic placement and pos-processing. But even then, the sound isn't *quite* what I would have used if I HAD an F-horn - but it worked in a pinch.
Cool topic!
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