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1097184 Posts in 72489 Topics- by 19556 Members - Latest Member: posaunissimo82
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1  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: Career/Life Advice? on: Feb 21, 2018, 11:34PM
1. Make a list of all the kinds of jobs or specific jobs you think you could do.
2. Sort the list on most wanted jobs.
3. Make a fast plan on how to get the first five on your list. How to get them?
4. FŲr each job you find to be realistic try to imagine what your life would be like if you get that job/reach that goal.
5. Consider any stress on you and your environment how to get there, and make a plan on how to reduce what may be hinders.
6. Discuss the plan with all effected to see if they are willing to back you up on this. If not what are your alternatives to get there anyway.
7. Do it

/Tom
2  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Define "breath support" on: Feb 19, 2018, 11:15PM
Tom, one problem a lot of kids have is that they try to increase pressure using vocal chords.  This causes all kinds of problems from lousy attacks to spurious tones to weak notes.  On trombone we need to use the lip embouchure to get the "back pressure".

Yes this can be a problem. As a trombone player this just destroys your playing just as any resistance before your lips does.

As a singer you need the resistance to be at your vocal chords.

The problem is a trombone player who is an aspiring singer.

As a trombone player I use far more air than my fellow choralists but gains nothing compared to them. What I've found is I have to increase/tighten the vocal chords and back off with the air a bit to make a better balance - "what the leader said" - and this seems to work. I need to compensate with resonance.

To back off on the air is something I don't do on the trombone. I just push the air more or less. It does not feel the same when I sing. The vocal chords when I sing needs less, that was what he meant when he gave me that advice.

I think of it as maximum volume with minimum air just as I think when I work on my trombone sound. The difference is where the resistance is. Then I need maximum resonance as a singer and maximum resonance as a trombone player, that is volume of sound. Practicing sound like a singer and a trombone player is a very different feeling. I've never thought of it like that before. It might be evolving for both.

/Tom
3  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Define "breath support" on: Feb 19, 2018, 09:40AM
I don't want to add to the confusion but I do think there is something different between how singers look at support and how brass players look at it.
 
The choire in which I sing is an amateur chore at a fairly high level, that is we sing some of the major larger works of Brahms, Mozart, Bach and Handel.  We did the O.Messian Requiem before Christmas as an example. The singers are amateurs but many are educated singers. We have to audition to be a part of the choire and you are automatically retired when you turn 60. Hope you get the level of the choire.

Now when it comes to technique I am astonished how easy some of these amateurs can hold their phrases. I have 5,5 litres of air and have no problem to hold a farly long phrase on the trombone if I'm playing soft but when I sing I can not do the same. I'm always short on air but my fellow choralists do not seem to have the same problem. I think we sing about equally loud.

I got some advice from the leader to increase resistance in the vocal chords and to hold back the air to be able to find a better balance. I tried to do this and it helped. I don't think I do the same when I play trombone. I don't find it to be nessesary, or I do that unconsciously.

Still the difference between trombone playing and singing bothers me   Confused

When we sing we let the vocal chords vibrate so they become our first resistance and when we play we use our lips and leadpipe and outer instrument to make the resistance. As a singer we only have the body. What I feel is the vocal chords need another stream to work efficiently compared to the lips/leadpipe and horn. I think this is what makes it so hard.

I think the key is to expand the voice so as to find the maximum volume of minimal air. The same principles as to expand a trombone sound, but at the moment it does not feel the same at all.

/Tom
4  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Why is tenor clef used for trombone work? Composer preference? on: Feb 18, 2018, 03:04PM
I have had professional gigs where I had to play Treble clef, Alto clef, Tenor clef, Bass clef, Treble clef in Bb, Bass clef in Bb (= one single rare occasion and not very funny) Bass clef 8:va and 8:va basso,  Treble clef 8:va basso and besides this I hade to cover a Bariton sax in Eb a French horn in F and Tenor horn in Eb.

As a teacher I had to transpose from any part to be able to help the students.

I have also played with singers who demanded to have the piece transposed on the fly, up or down.

/Tom
5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 18, 2018, 02:43PM
There's a particular arranger (his initials are SE) that is the absolute worst about this...

...putting string pads (that were superfluous in the first place) all over the wind parts so they're covered.

Whenever I see something like 32 bars of goose eggs in a part with no rests or breath marks, I can easily assume the writer put about as much thought into the chart as I do into a shower.

It's okay to say "let's not play that" - bad writing is bad writing. Circle it so it doesn't get played by the next guy.

Absolutely  Good! Unfortunately this is hard to know when you are subbing and playing prima vista.

I had such a gig this Suterday evening in Stadshuset in Stockholm, the same place where the Nobel banquet is held. It was an Estonian Festival, and we played heavy arrangements of pop/rock hits for four hours after dinner. A good gig but those arrangements were filled with such unnecessary background nonsense. Fortunately the ordinary first trombone player had marked what to omit.

/Tom
6  Teaching & Learning / Pedagogy / Re: Why is tenor clef used for trombone work? Composer preference? on: Feb 18, 2018, 04:19AM
Just like the subject line says, thanks.

One reason is to have the high notes within the staff. Less lines above the staff compared to if the part would have been in bass clef.

Then sheet music tradition is from church music and trombones began to double the parts in church choires, that is the alto, tenor and bass parts were doubled with alto, tenor and bass trombone and the singers had their parts written in alto and tenor clef, for the same reason to be within the staff. This is what I've been told. I have often wondered what instrument doubled the soprano. I long hoped to find that the soprano was doubled with a soprano trombone but have not seen any evidence of this, which means it must have been another instrument. For what I've heard the soprano trombone was very rarely used. Was it ever used in old music? Any proof of this?

/Tom
7  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Open Mouth on: Feb 16, 2018, 02:06PM
Keep your mouth as closed as you can get a good sound.
Having your mouth too open creates a lot of instability that does you no good.

I'm prepared to agree on this. To some it means they need more space and to others it means they need less space. For my own playing I have found I need a slight less open mouth/distance between my teeth than before. This is to make big leaps easier and articulation easier as well. Not sure what is the right opening for each note? Seems impossible to answer. It could be depending not only on your individual physics, but also the mouthpiece and instrument as well as the volume and timbre you strive for.

The sound must guide you. 

Dispite all complexity with this I came to the conclusion that I should minimize my average opening to be as small as possible while still doung my best sound.

After a couple of months on this I think my higher register and middle register playing has seen some improvements.

I also think the overtone singing method that Sam teaches helps a lot in finding the right oral cavety for certain notes at least it could help players to get a sound concept. It requires a lot of the player as you need to understand what he is talking about and you need a real good ear to be able to hear those overtones and to be able to hear what those overtones does to your sound. This means you need to be fairly skilled in the first place to pick up that method. After this the work is to transfer it to every note, this is the big issue. If you found one good sound you can find another good sound, that's my thought on this.

My experience is mostly from tenor playing so I wouldn't know much of the real low register, but when it comes to the allmost lowest register I do believe what Sven tells, that the lips shall be in contact with each other and not allowed be "flapping" loose in the mouthpiece. This helps a lot. The sound you get this way is more compact and controlled. Firm corners in the low register. It helped me in the pedal range. With loose flabby lips you get a "blatty" and uncontrolled sound. It could be loud but not very pleasant. Loose flabby lips will not take you down to the lowest register securely or you have to do some kind of a switch. After I begun thinking like this I climbed down to the pedal F right away and know I'm down to a pedal D.

Even thoug my low end has  improved I still have to switch somewhere here (e-eb) 8-va basso  b to be able to maintain volume.

The switching has been improved as I have noticed I do less of it. Not as big a change, still a change but less. A quicker less obvious switch that makes it possible to jump in and out without to much trouble.

/Tom 
8  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 01:40PM
Not quite.  In the first several centuries of the instrument's existence, it was a professionals-only instrument.  Those guys were likely every bit as capable as top-tier professionals today.  We've got the music that was written for them, and a lot of it is extremely difficult. 

I would bet that players in the 16th and 17th centuries were, on average, much much better than the average player today.  Don't make the mistake of comparing yesterday's professionals with today's abundance of amateurs. 

When it comes to trumpeters I'm prepared to agree as the trumpet was not allowed to be played unless you had a license. There is a documented story of a licensed trumpeter who heard an amateur practice the instrument. The trumpeter kicked the amateurs teeth in and was rewarded on his rightchues action. I don't think the same "restrictions" applyed to trombone playing so amateurs were alloud. That said it was probably not a cheap instrument to buy. I do think the number of good trombone players today is a lot higher. Quality of instruments is better. Instruments can be bought cheap. Education has evolved. Raw-models can be studied over the Internet. Sheet music is available for anyone. Add to this we have higher living standards today. There may have been great trombone players early but I doubt they were as frekvent as they are today.

/Tom
9  Teaching & Learning / History of the Trombone / Re: How did the SLIDE come to stay? on: Feb 16, 2018, 09:14AM
We can have a boxing glove on our instrument and knock a viola player. Not at all the same practical use for this with the valve-trombone  The stick a string player uses is not strong enough to hold a professional glove.

/Tom
10  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 14, 2018, 01:18PM
I don't think I've ever personally played in a band where the parts didn't get shifted around at least a little on a gig.  Not necessarily fatigue, but yeah, I've been on pretty long sets and there's nothing sensible about wrecking your face for a bunch of drunk people at the end of a wedding. At least in my mind  ;-)

Sounds like a good supporting band-environment  Good!

/Tom
11  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 14, 2018, 09:36AM
Well, I'm glad you didn't mean something else.

I can recall several. I can't recall it ever being over one set, but it happens pretty often on those 4 set nights. You guys must play quiet.

We play strong enough and we play accustic, the original big band charts. No mics for anything. I don't play much rock and heavy electrified music. I can understand that some environments like that could ask for more. If very heavy environment and no mics and you play for five hours then there is a problem. I hope anyone in that environment  have mics and ear-protection. I don't like to play with earplugs. That's a big difference. Your experience is as good as mine, and I share my experience from my musical environment where people hold on to their parts because they play their part, their role. Of course you do what you have to do.

A solo can be passed or added depending on who is in the section. That's very common. The pro lead players I've played with are strong players and I have not noticed any fatigue from any pro leadplayer I've subbed with. If it happened they kept quiet about it and nobody noticed.

Kill another beeing? No just esspressive, whitty people with strong opinions. Not a weak character. Not a slow character and a character with nerves out of steel.

I agree on mindset. You have another hat on, if you play second and third or bass.

/Tom
12  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 13, 2018, 03:03PM
Oh yeah ya do. Now most dance band stuff I do, chairs might stay static for most of the night so everyone can focus on their role... that said, if there are three guys in the section that can play lead and play it well, we pass parts around. I don't care how solid you are, towards the end of that 4th set everyone who is playing lead is going to have issues.

I said NORMALLY and then I meant normally. To pass the first part to the 3:rd player because of fatigue is not something that happens often. I can not recall one single occasion. When I'm called to sub in a band over here on first it is expected that I play all sets. If I'm called to sub on second then I'm expected to be able to perform the solos in that part. I'm very rarely called to play the 3:rd part. Bass happens.

A first player has never passed his part to me or any other player because of fatigue. It is not something I've experienced.

I guess it is because the bandmembers have their part and also their place in the band. The jazz part close to the drums. First part in front of first trumpet and so on. If somebody switches a part - which happens, but not normally - it is not because of fatigue. At least it is not a common case. This has been the same in semi professional big bands, professional big bands, symphony orchestras of all levels as well as brass bands for as long as I have had gigs. In short every payed gig I've had. I have not experienced bandmembers of any instrument to be like that.

Another thing if we play in rehearsal bands or meet just to sight read music. Then we pass the parts around. Under those conditions it is very common.

Do I ask the third player to play my part on a payed gig where I'm hired to play first because of fatigue? No.

Often people here are hired as a specialist on their role, at least that's how I remember the scene to be when I had my time. How the best pro trombone sections here seemed to function when I visited their concerts.

Nowdays I'm mostly playing semi professional gigs and then I have a strong feeling I should not be expected to hand my part to someone else because I'm tired. So I guess it seams to be common practice here to hold on to the part given to you. This could be the subject for a new thread. That is human behavour and that could be interesting. Your experience  is different. Good for you!

/Tom

13  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 13, 2018, 08:51AM
This is the only thing I know that works.  Try as I may I cannot seem to duplicate the exercise in a practice room.  Banging attacks, impulsive rhythm, more air and more air and more air, sight reading under the gun, etc. 

Incidentally, most all the longish notes in a big band have to be hit and then come off a bit to leave space for others.  The rhythm contribution is all in the attack.  Holding volume is usually (but not always) poor style. 

Every note has to be alive, every phrase has to mean something just like any good music.

But... it is no guarantee that you learn to play better if you play together with others. To be better you need to play with people who know what they're doing and actually are better players.

The second thing is you need to be perceptive as to pick up the style from players. Listen to the right people and learn from them. In a bad band no one learns. In a bad environment what you hear is the sum of all bad things which is worse than each player individually. Been there. Done that. Don't want to do it again.

/Tom
14  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 12, 2018, 11:11PM
Don't be afraid to hand off a chart to 2nd or 3rd before you get tired. No reason you have to be stuck on lead for all time.

You normally don't do that in a pro band, unless you have agreed on switching some parts before the gig starts. You need to be able to last the whole gig or else you will not be on first next time.
 
/Tom
15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Bach 39 alto on: Feb 12, 2018, 11:00PM
Harrison, I wasn't clear in what I meant. There isn't anything wrong with the ability for a tenor to play those notes. Itís the same as an alto with a Bb attachment. Access to notes isnít my issue.
My issue is the timbre composers/people want out of the tenor trombone is all-encompassing of the trombone family. However, most of the expectation is more towards the bass side in terms of darkness.
The timbre of a lot of the altos I have played (most of the ones I listed) is more tenor-like. Itís too big, too deep, and too dark. Itís not the ďflavorĒ of alto. I feel the same way about most tenors. They are too big, too deep, and too dark as well. Itís all about the character of sound you get. If you want certain notes to function a certain way, they need a certain character.
So in the case of the Bach 39, I think it has more of the alto characteristic sound than most of the others out there right now. It will require the entire section to downsize, yes, but itís all in the name of a more authentic performance to the character the composer had in mind.


Bach 12E

/Tom
16  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 12, 2018, 02:07PM
A lot of rehearsal bands.

You can't do it in a practice room.

True! A good rehearsal band with a good first trumpet player and rythm-section.

AND what I find of most importance listen to records with great trombone sections. The Francis Boland Big Band with Ňke Persson, Nat Peck and Erik van Lier or any record where Ňke plays lead. There are a couple of records with the Swedish Harry Arnold Big Band in the late 50-ies (I think 1959) that are absolutely the best sound I've ever heard from a lead player. That is Ňke as his best. A great soloist too but the lead playing - the SOUND - is what really stands out...

/Tom
17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Beginner and newbie question. on: Feb 12, 2018, 01:43PM
Thanks Tom. I don't mind doing it myself but I was wondering about the tool needed for the job and how thick should be the felt, and is cork a possibility?

I would not use cork for that. An O-ring of the right size does the job, but it could be thicker than felt so you need to check that your slide lock still works.

/Tom
18  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Practicing for big band lead on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:47AM
Especially for modern big band writing, lead trombone parts can sometimes be *VERY* strenuous, and the gigs can be long. In terms of preparing to maintain a big, full sound in the upper register that doesn't flag with fatigue, especially in the G4-G5 register, what are some practicing drills that you like to maintain?

I don't know if there is a special method for leadplaying. Would be interested I if there is.

In any case what I'm doing seems right for the kind of leadplaying I'm doing. Basically chromatics as high as possible. Then I play high sweet solos by ear. "I'm Getting Sentimental over you", "Stardust", "Londonderry Air" and any other tune I can think of. There are a couple of minus one CD's you could try with the Gordon Goodwin band with the first trombone book. Those are demanding stuff. Other than this I guess what helps is a small mouthpiece - for the ones who thinks it is easier to play high parts for five hours on a small mouthpiece - and small bore trombones + same reason.

Other than this. You tell me  Good!

/Tom
19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Instruments / Re: Beginner and newbie question. on: Feb 12, 2018, 10:03AM
Hi everyone,

The King 606 has finally arrived so I thought I would share the announcement here. From what I can see there is no major dent in the slide, it is in need of a cleaning and oiling. Seems also I need to change the felt bumper of the slide. Anyone has a clue about where to find them in Europe (Thomann seems to sell only sets of 3 which I don't think is what I need) Also I don't have a brass repair shop near me (closest is 3h30 drive away from me) so I was wondering if I can find the tool for changing those felt bumper or, but it might be a stupid idea, to make one, as far as I can see it is just a matter of finding the right size tube and then to cut the 'hook".
Anyway i should get the cleaning kit later next week so I still have to be patient, but at least I can practice free buzzing for now.

I would have post pictures but I still have to find how ;-)

If you have no repairshoop you need to do it yourself. I have used an O-ring instead if felt or you buy felt and use a scissor.

/Tom
20  Practice Break / Puzzles and Games / Re: What are you doing? (Five words or less). on: Feb 11, 2018, 11:36PM
On train, going to work  :*)
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