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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) Resting the horn on your shoulder.
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Krazzikk

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« on: Aug 10, 2017, 07:59AM »

I had a lesson recently where my instructor pointed out that the mouthpiece was tilted downwards so it was like I was using more pressure on the top than the bottom and it wasn't aligned with my mouth so the air wouldn't be going straight through. This was a pretty big revelation for me because I never thought about how resting the horn on my shoulder completely would affect embouchure. I found that to maintain the correct embouchure I have to support the weight somewhat with my hand so that the mouthpiece is aligned with my lips. Especially since I feel like this is a relatively new problem as only about 6 or 7 months ago I got my first large bore, f attachment horn (YSL-882O)and the weight on the backend is much more significant.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with this problem in their playing, or are there any comments on what I should be doing to correct it? Sometimes I feel like I over compensate for the weight and I'm holding the horn completely in my hand which makes the horn and mouthpiece wobble around on my face when I play standing up, but I after messing around a little bit I found that just touching my shoulder with the horn while still keeping the mouthpiece centered gave me the best results.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 10, 2017, 08:32AM »

My shoulders aren't big enough to rest the horn on and still reach my mouth.

I recall some kids in early band years who got sort of a hunched over posture from trying to rest the horn on their shoulders.

Long run, it sounds like a bad habit.
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 10, 2017, 08:35AM »

When you rest the horn on your shoulder you tend to crane your neck down to reach the mouthpiece, and that must restrict your windpipe like putting a kink in a water hose. 

That said, I do see people doing it using a plunger. 

I think that the horn should be held totally and firmly with the left hand and the right hand should only move the slide, not support any weight.
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #3 on: Aug 10, 2017, 09:19AM »

Anchoring against your shoulder or neck may work for some people, but you should hold and manipulate primarily with the left hand with just a little support from the right.

The embouchure is kind of a separate issue.  The way you hold the horn needs to support what your face needs.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:33AM »

List member naj invented a counterbalance support that totally removes the weight of the horn.

It was a rod that connected to the balance point of the horn and extended back over your shoulder, with a weight on the end. 

He patented it but did not manufacture because it looked too weaponized. 

I built one but had trouble with the connection and with slipping off my shoulder.  I still think it has promise especially for awkward instruments like a valve trombone.  The weight was far enough back it only took one pound to balance my 42B. 

Sorry for the veer off topic. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:41AM »

I have an issue playing small bore where the slide is too narrow for my neck, effectively anchoring it against my neck whether I like it or not. It doesn't seem to cause too much problem, and I do have to try to make sure I support using my left hand.
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Sascha Burckhardt

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« Reply #6 on: Aug 10, 2017, 10:55AM »

I have an issue playing small bore where the slide is too narrow for my neck, effectively anchoring it against my neck whether I like it or not. It doesn't seem to cause too much problem, and I do have to try to make sure I support using my left hand.

For that reason I play wide slide instruments, like 79h, had my 6h slide widened, etc. Have a hard time playing 30h, small Holtons, etc.
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Matt K

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« Reply #7 on: Aug 10, 2017, 12:06PM »

List member naj invented a counterbalance support that totally removes the weight of the horn.

It was a rod that connected to the balance point of the horn and extended back over your shoulder, with a weight on the end. 

He patented it but did not manufacture because it looked too weaponized. 

I built one but had trouble with the connection and with slipping off my shoulder.  I still think it has promise especially for awkward instruments like a valve trombone.  The weight was far enough back it only took one pound to balance my 42B. 

Sorry for the veer off topic. 

I don't remember seeing that? Was there a thread on it here? Would be interested in seeing that!
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timothy42b
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 10, 2017, 12:27PM »

Huh, post failed.  Trying again:

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,67058.0.html

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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #9 on: Aug 10, 2017, 12:43PM »

I find with narrow span instruments I need to open the dihedral angle (between plane of the slide section and plane of the bell section).  You can give yourself a little more room that way.

I also prefer wider span instruments like my Bach 36, my symphonic tenor, and my bass.  But I found the Conn 40H has a bit more span.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 10, 2017, 01:14PM »

I find with narrow span instruments I need to open the dihedral angle (between plane of the slide section and plane of the bell section).  You can give yourself a little more room that way.



Is that possible mathematically?  Isn't the radius of a circle the same most of the way around? 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 10, 2017, 01:21PM »

Is that possible mathematically?  Isn't the radius of a circle the same most of the way around? 

Don't get too technical.  I didn't believe it at first either, but it works.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #12 on: Aug 10, 2017, 06:30PM »

I find with narrow span instruments I need to open the dihedral angle (between plane of the slide section and plane of the bell section).  You can give yourself a little more room that way.

I also prefer wider span instruments like my Bach 36, my symphonic tenor, and my bass.  But I found the Conn 40H has a bit more span.
For narrow slides I put the slide as horizontal as I can. Its a little uncomfortable, but it makes the most of the horn.
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BillO
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 11, 2017, 05:58AM »

Is that possible mathematically?  Isn't the radius of a circle the same most of the way around? 
Yes, it lowers the bell towards the shoulder.  I think the net effect is it allows the bell brace to rest better against your hand.  At least for me that is what happens, and it's only really effective with straight horns.  I don;t do this, but Ive seen other do it.

I have a shortish neck and large trapezius muscles but still do not rest my trombone on my shoulders.  The gooseneck on small span instruments nearly rests against my lower left jaw, on wider span instruments it's a bit lower.  In either case there is about an inch or more between the goose neck and my shoulder.
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:17AM »

Pierre Beaudry, bass trombone of the Montreal Symphony, designed a very nice gadget. It requires having a little piece of hardware installed on your instrument on the cork barrel, right behind the inner slide stay. Then, a rod inserts in that piece, with a 3-axis joint. You put the other end of the rod on your seat, between your legs (or, with a longer rod, on the floor if you're standing), and the rod is adjustable so it's at just the right height. It effectively takes the weight of the horn off from your left hand - the horn is supported by the rod, your hand only supports the balance of the horn so its center of gravity is above the rod, and so it doesn't tip over. That also means you can really position your horn so the mouthpiece is exactly in front of your mouth without having to bend your neck or anything.

It's used by 2 out of 3 players in the Montreal Symphony, and various players here have had one installed temporarily at a point or another in their career when they were recovering from left arm or back injuries.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 11, 2017, 09:37AM »

That sounds almost exactly like an ErgoBone.
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Le.Tromboniste
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 11, 2017, 10:20AM »

Ha! I had only seen the version of the ErgoBone with the harness - I didn't know it could be used without the harness. So yes, same concept, although I think he designed his before. It's also simpler and sleeker - it doesn't have that spring section in the middle, and it moves freely on 3 axes instead of 2. No harness, the rod either extends to the chair or to the floor. But it requires soldering a ring with the anchor point for the rod onto your horn (although one could conceivably come up with a detachable version).

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« Reply #17 on: Aug 11, 2017, 10:49AM »


Ahhh that's pretty cool. I may have to construct one of these 'deadly weapons' to give it a shot  ;-)
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« Reply #18 on: Aug 11, 2017, 12:45PM »

Message for OP....
I have a short neck and play bass trombone....
I have rested the trombone... usually valve tube... on my shoulder for 50 years so far....
No problems yet....
Will keep you posted.....

Chris Stearn
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« Reply #19 on: Aug 11, 2017, 01:29PM »

Chris's experience notwithstanding, I was taught to bring the trombone to your embouchure, not reach over to it.  If this allows the tubing to rest on your shoulder, fine.  Otherwise, you should put the trombone where you can best blow it.

If you really like (or need) it to rest on your shoulder, take a cue from the Violists and put a pad under it:

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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 22, 2017, 02:31AM »

I have a YSL-882 GOR here on long term loan from a friend who switched to playing bassoon. When I put an Edwards Bullet Brace on my 830, he put one on the 882. It makes a huge difference on holding the weight of the horn.

There are many aids like the Bullet Brace that help with holding the horn: Neotech, Rath Hand Brace, Ergobone, etc. They might help solve your problem.
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Martin Hubel
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 23, 2017, 05:15AM »

Many trombonists rest the horn on the shoulder, especially basstrombonist with a wide slide.
That is not a problem by it self.
Other players let the horn lean against the neck. No problem.
 There ar other problems you dond hand like nose heavy horn like tobone or s a narrow slide and thick neck.

I say whatever problem you have,resting the horn on your shoulder is not one of them.
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