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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentInstruments(Moderators: tbone62, slide advantage) Who in their right mind plays a single valve bass?
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Author Topic: Who in their right mind plays a single valve bass?  (Read 8210 times)
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bonesmarsh
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« Reply #100 on: Aug 04, 2017, 03:07PM »

One point not mentioned:

Likely .2% of the modern bass bones made are single valve. No student/kid/amateur is going to shell out $5K for a serious single valve when a new double is $6K.

Good luck finding a single less than 35 or 40 years old. Conn hasn't made them since George Roberts screwed up the 110H---- well, Conn did. King hasn't made one since HN White was still alive.

Kanstul makes one. but you'd already have to know how to play a single to make it worth your while to drop that kind of money.

So, how many singles will be left in 20 years? A few, but not many. Not for the curious or the faint of heart either.
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« Reply #101 on: Aug 04, 2017, 05:24PM »

One point not mentioned:

Likely .2% of the modern bass bones made are single valve. No student/kid/amateur is going to shell out $5K for a serious single valve when a new double is $6K.

Good luck finding a single less than 35 or 40 years old. Conn hasn't made them since George Roberts screwed up the 110H---- well, Conn did. King hasn't made one since HN White was still alive.

Kanstul makes one. but you'd already have to know how to play a single to make it worth your while to drop that kind of money.

So, how many singles will be left in 20 years? A few, but not many. Not for the curious or the faint of heart either.


Edwards makes a single. They call it the 427.
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« Reply #102 on: Aug 04, 2017, 05:47PM »

I like my 70h for small orchestral 3rd part stuff. Also great for olddr bigband 4th book. Works for 40% of my quartet music. It's just lighter and less work and easier to get a good sound. Plus I can get away with a smaller mouthpiece and it meeses with my tenor chops less. Lots of reasons to love single valve bass.
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« Reply #103 on: Aug 04, 2017, 06:52PM »

One point not mentioned:

Likely .2% of the modern bass bones made are single valve. No student/kid/amateur is going to shell out $5K for a serious single valve when a new double is $6K.

Good luck finding a single less than 35 or 40 years old. Conn hasn't made them since George Roberts screwed up the 110H---- well, Conn did. King hasn't made one since HN White was still alive.

Kanstul makes one. but you'd already have to know how to play a single to make it worth your while to drop that kind of money.

So, how many singles will be left in 20 years? A few, but not many. Not for the curious or the faint of heart either.
So, I was at Bachfest at the Bach plant a few weeks ago... I was surprised by the number of 50B singles I saw in process. I didn't inquire on their current model mix, but it was way more than .2%

Cheers,
Andy
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« Reply #104 on: Aug 04, 2017, 07:47PM »

So, I was at Bachfest at the Bach plant a few weeks ago... I was surprised by the number of 50B singles I saw in process. I didn't inquire on their current model mix, but it was way more than .2%

Cheers,
Andy

Yeah it doesn't look like it's too hard to get a choice of single basses from bach.
http://www.bachbrass.com/instruments/trombones/professional
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bonesmarsh
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« Reply #105 on: Aug 04, 2017, 08:50PM »

They do them in production runs to avoid having to tool up for an individual horn. Next run will be a schwack 'o 42Bs with open wraps....etc etc. etc. etc. etc
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« Reply #106 on: Aug 04, 2017, 08:54PM »

George Roberts did pretty good on a single trigger bass bone.
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MrPillow
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« Reply #107 on: Aug 04, 2017, 09:06PM »

There are also new single-valve bass trombone offerings from JP Rath, Wessex Tubas, Yamaha, Amati, and a variety of other imported makers.
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« Reply #108 on: Aug 04, 2017, 09:29PM »

George Roberts did pretty good on a single trigger bass bone.
Not many of us have George's talent. It's one thing to hit a C below the staff. It's a whole 'nother thing to play it in the context of a ballad and have it be just another note rather than something you have to work at. EDIT: And sounds like you're working at it.

I've seen a fair number of people lured by the siren song of the single valve - but they almost always end up going back to the double for most of their playing. There's almost always at least one lick that you need it for.

I play a single at Bones West a lot of the time - but that's on fourth (lowest tenor). If I have to move over to bass, I'm pretty well worn out after a three-hour rehearsal - and that's playing the upper bass line on pieces with six parts.
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« Reply #109 on: Aug 05, 2017, 01:57AM »

I play a single trigger as my main horn. A conn 60h and sometimes a 70 h. I do it because of the reason Chris Stearn told. That said if I was a young student today aiming for a professional career I would get a double as main horn and a single as second. For me the single is fun to play, good to hold especially the 60h. It has a more responsive and livelier sound, it's more life in it. So its easier to make it sound good and reach out in a concert hall. Both orchestra, big bands and brass ensemble. Just try it folks and you get a surprise. I have a double, but in fact, it's not often I  need it.
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« Reply #110 on: Aug 05, 2017, 03:58AM »

One point not mentioned:

Likely .2% of the modern bass bones made are single valve. No student/kid/amateur is going to shell out $5K for a serious single valve when a new double is $6K.

Good luck finding a single less than 35 or 40 years old. Conn hasn't made them since George Roberts screwed up the 110H---- well, Conn did. King hasn't made one since HN White was still alive.

Kanstul makes one. but you'd already have to know how to play a single to make it worth your while to drop that kind of money.

So, how many singles will be left in 20 years? A few, but not many. Not for the curious or the faint of heart either.
That is right. My single bones are made 1954, 1980 and 1983.  Most young bassplayers play only double bone. In 20 years from now I will probably not play if I am alive.

Mr Geroge Roberts was famous, Mr Basstrombone! Was he famous for playing singel? Not really, there was many basstrombonists playing singels then. He was famous for playing beautiful a tasty.
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« Reply #111 on: Aug 05, 2017, 08:46AM »

I've seen a fair number of people lured by the siren song of the single valve - but they almost always end up going back to the double for most of their player. There's almost always at least one lick that you need it for.

Although I have and use a double again, after spending a year using a stock 72H for everything (including licks that should really be played a double) I'll never go back to only having a double. With the kind of music people are writing for the instrument nowadays a double makes life a lot easier, but no double plays like a vintage single. It's a different instrument, useful for different things. I'd almost say it's the bass trombonist's equivalent of having a small and a large bore tenor, and I'm more than happy to bring both to a gig.

Plot twist: my double is also a 72H!
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« Reply #112 on: Aug 05, 2017, 08:52AM »

I don't play bass bone, but I'd say the appeal of a single valve one would be the lighter weight.

I have considered buying a 72H too.
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« Reply #113 on: Aug 05, 2017, 09:25AM »

I own three bass trombones: 2 singles and a double. I mostly play the double every day for many reasons, but when a single is the right tool I love playing it.

I would not take an audition on a single. Why? Nobody else there will be dealing with that complication on the excerpts that are much easier on a double. I might practice switching between the double and a single and bringing both so that I can be playing the best tool for each job. But that's also an added complication.

Somebody asked who can afford 2 bass trombones...2 bass trombones is much less money than a quality bassoon, and we're still not even in the ballpark of truly great string instruments.

In the orchestral world it's now expected for the principal player to own and play an alto trombone very well. In my opinion, the 2nd and 3rd trombones should own and regularly play instruments to match that alto trombone well, and for me, that's a smaller bass with one valve.
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« Reply #114 on: Aug 05, 2017, 02:05PM »

Right on, Gabe.
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« Reply #115 on: Aug 05, 2017, 04:25PM »

Where do we see the future of the single valve bass ?
Modular manufacturers offering single sections, or will the like of Yamaha Bach Conn continue to offer it as part of their line ?

Gabe, it was I who mentioned the cost of owning 2 basses, but it comes from my perspective as an amatuer player.
We are lucky that even our top of the line handmade boutique instruments cost less than a flute head joint. My friends who play bass in my area are all on old kit. They mostly own only 1 bass and that is a double and between tham cover a range of different manufacturers. The work they do is mostly freelance and most of them have a job away from music. This makes owning 2 basses a different proposition. A single sitting in a cupboard becomes an uneccessary luxury.

I can't argue that a single bass isn't easier.
Do they sound better ? Only played one, so can't give a decent answer
I like that whilst it might make some passages technically harder, it also makes it easier on the thought process as you have less ways to play it. The relatively short time I spent on a single, it forced me to play what I saw. You can't worry about whats the best valve combination to use to get the 4th note in the phrase. You dont have that option. A single puts you in a musically simpler place and you just play.
Would I trade my new shiney Rath for a single ? No chance. Would I consider saving for a single valve section ? Yes. Would I use it ? I can't answer that.

Single valve sections supplied for modular instruments might be where the future of the single valve bass will end up. Otherwise, as I said earlier, I believe single valve basses will ultimately be used only by people who use them in their job. I dont see them at all in my smallish amatuer circle and know possibly 1 person locally who owns one.

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« Reply #116 on: Aug 05, 2017, 07:42PM »

They do them in production runs to avoid having to tool up for an individual horn. Next run will be a schwack 'o 42Bs with open wraps....etc etc. etc. etc. etc
So, I also saw a lot of those... they had a pretty decent mix of everything flowing through.  I'm a manufacturing person, and it didn't really look like batch production.  Looked way more like batch of one, or small single racks mixed up.

What I'm saying is, they have a higher percentage of the market than we would probably expect.  I would guess it is easily >10%, and I would guess what I saw was >20%.  I wonder how many schools are buying singles pushing that up.  Dunno.  Would love to see some data on that if anybody has any.

Cheers,
Andy
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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #117 on: Aug 08, 2017, 07:33PM »

Who plays a single valve bass?

Someone who doesn't want numb fingers and hand cramps!  I played an Olds P24G for a few years and it was torture... sore hand, sore shoulder, and with the weight and poor balance I ended up supporting some of the weight with my right hand, which messed  up slide technique.  Back to tenor for  me!

Ten years later I chanced into a Conn 60h... what a difference!  Better tone, Much more responsive, light and comfortable!  No comparison!  Just those two horns, but I'll never switch.

John Thompson
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« Reply #118 on: Aug 09, 2017, 05:31AM »

My Yamaha 321 with the Instrument Innovations rest bar is incredibly comfortable to hold and play and for what I get called to do so far on Bass, a single is all I need
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« Reply #119 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:06AM »

Would it be fair to say, given
  • the enthusiasm for the sound and playing characteristics of single valve bass trombone, and
  • the practical problems encountered when playing arrangements on one
  • -> that arrangers could be doing better, in their bass trombone parts, if someone were to acquaint them with the situation?

I mean, if it's unclear what I'm talking about, suppose we regularly heard bass trombonists saying "well, I'd love to do this one on trombone, but that would be so rugged I'm afraid I'm going to have to get out the baritone saxophone for it."  This hopefully hypothetical situation obviously represents a failure on the part of the arranger, who doesn't know what can reasonably be done on a trombone, and as long as the musician is actually equipped to substitute bari sax, he or she is the least injured party.  The injury is to the music as arranged, and eventually to the arranger.  Substitute multi-valve bass trombone for bari sax.  I realize not everyone holds this opinion, but you can see above quite a number of comments about the musical superiority of bass trombones with only one valve, enough to establish it at least as a reasonable question.
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