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Author Topic: Low C above pedal Bb  (Read 1248 times)
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MontyPython
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« on: Jan 11, 2018, 07:46PM »

I have an independant trigger bass Bach 50B3LO trombone, and play on a 1g mouthpiece.  Low C is the most technically difficult for me to execute, almost to not being able to play it, and I can't play it with any Forte volume.  Low  D is fine, and any notes past pedal Bb are great.  Is this hard for other trombonists or I am I just a doofus?
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LowrBrass

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« Reply #1 on: Jan 11, 2018, 07:57PM »

How's your B natural?
How's your Db using the second trigger?


...You're not playing low C with a single trigger when you have a double-trigger bass trombone in your hands, are you?
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BGuttman
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 11, 2018, 08:07PM »

When you are playing two triggers you have the longest length of tubing (and hence the most resistance) of any note on the trombone.  It takes a lot of effort to make that length of tubing speak.

You aren't helping your case if the valves are slightly out of alignment making it that much harder. 

Practice long tones at variable volume down in that range to help.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 11, 2018, 08:23PM »

Some mouthpieces (and horns) will help you in that range more than others.  It's a point where most players do some kind of shift because they never figured out what their chops really need do to to get through that range.  It is a difficult couple of notes for just about everybody.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 11, 2018, 08:27PM »

Are your valves aligned and well oiled?
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 11, 2018, 09:30PM »

You have a loud D?  Next, get a loud Db working. Try edging down from D to Db if you can't hit it square. You have to consciously work on that every day.

When the Db is solid, start working on the C.


Another exercise to try if you have a good D and pedal Bb:

Slur in quarter notes from Bb to D, Bb to D, Bb to D, Bb to D... Do it without needing to re-tongue the D.
Then do the same with Bb to Db, Bb to Db, Bb to Db, Bb to Db...

I bet you can guess what the next stage is.

You have to consciously work on this stuff every day.



You're on a 1G? I guess that's already Bach's largest.


I find the low C to be a precarious note that is indeed hard to start. 

I can't just pick up the horn and play that as the first note of the day. I have to fail several times when I'm warming up and re-remind myself of how the lips need to feel on the mouthpiece for it to work. I have to regain my confidence on it every day.
« Last Edit: Jan 13, 2018, 01:20PM by robcat2075 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 12, 2018, 01:51AM »

Is low C a more difficult tone? Not for most basstrombnists, for a pro no, it is not a difficult ton. Normaly.
If the tones using both triggers are hard, D Db C B and Bb, it is probably something with the second trigger. Maybe it is dirty?
Are you used to play in just the mouthpiece? Can you buzz the tones in the mouthpiece? I guess your slide is on the right spot?
If you have D in first position with both triggers, you C is a little lower the regular 4th position.
Let somebody else try the horn to se if the low C is bad for other players to. If it is see a tech.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:03AM »

Some mouthpieces (and horns) will help you in that range more than others.  It's a point where most players do some kind of shift because they never figured out what their chops really need do to to get through that range.  It is a difficult couple of notes for just about everybody.

Yes, this.

I'm guessing you have a big shift for a pedal Bb. Is that right? If so, practice playing the pedal Bb more like the Bb an octave above. Can you slur down the octave from Bb in the staff to pedal Bb? Work on that, keeping the basic angle of the mouthpiece to your face the same and the jaw drop subtle. Look iin a mirror to see that the motion you do is as simple as possible. Slur back to low Bb. Eventually both notes will change, along with all the notes in between.

Now work on slurring down from low Bb to pedal Bb and then up to low C, all with that same basic mouthpiece angle.

Using that angle, I then do lip slurs up and down the partial series two full octaves with both valves engaged, then with one valve, then on the open horn, moving up chromatically so that I am covering the high range of the instrument as well.

Repeat every day for the rest of your life.

For me, the most free-blowing equipment does not make that register easier. I need the right kind of balanced resistance to give me the feedback to stabilize that register. I play a big mouthpiece, but the Bach 1G is not a good fit for me at all - too light, too wide open, not enough reinforcement. For an inexpensive option about that size that should help you a lot more, try the Yamaha Doug Yeo Replica. There are many other great choices, but that's probably the most economical.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:22AM »

While it is unlikely, as previously mentioned it is possible a slight misalignment of a rotor may be making it harder work then it should be.

If you can borrow or have a blow on another instrument it may help you determine if it is the instrument or you.

I've had a variety of bass trombones that have behaved very differently down in the double trigger ranges, most noticeably a Holton 181 that had a fairly linear increase in resistance as you went down towards the pedals, a Rath R9 with much less noticeable resistance but a greater requirement for airflow, and a cheap Chinese import that felt muffled and was almost unplayable when using both valves until I adjusted the stops slightly to allow the rotors to line up better allowing the air to flow much more smoothly. Even then it required a lot more force down in the double trigger range.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:29AM »

I read somewhere that Charlie Vernon's favorite note is that low C (I believe he told this to Christian Lindberg when he wrote Chick'a'bone Checkout for Charlie)

When I came across that, I remember thinking "Yeah, that's nice, but not for us mere mortals". Low C was a struggle for me.  Then I had a 30 minute skype lesson with Doug about a year ago. Yeah, I'm starting to love low C now, too  Good!  It's not "easy", but once you know the proper mechanics to practice, it helps a lot.

Also, I find that it's very a finicky note  with relation to slide position.  If my slide isn't right on, it won't speak nearly as well.
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 12, 2018, 11:14AM »

Some mouthpieces (and horns) will help you in that range more than others.  It's a point where most players do some kind of shift because they never figured out what their chops really need do to to get through that range.  It is a difficult couple of notes for just about everybody.

I'd like to add that the advice of Doug and Gabe L is also applicable to Doublers, in my experience. I will get used to a set-up or slotting, for sake of a better word, on tenor and bass...take it from there for shifting...with the objective being to try to minimize shifting with practice for the sake of efficiency and consistency. This is why I try to keep the number of mouthpiece choices to a minimum.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 12, 2018, 03:17PM »

That was the note that caused my to sell my bass and quit dreaming of being a real bass boner. I could play it, but not with any kind of authority. On the bright side, I traded my bass for a very nice 36BO that has been my main axe ever since.
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 13, 2018, 09:27AM »

There isn't enough handslide length in the handslide to play a low C in tune on a single valve horn.
If you began on a Bb/F tenor bone you'll be used to hearing the low C played sharp.
Once you switch to bass bone you'll be used to hearing it sharp and you'll not even know how far out you'll be.
( Even with the double valve, most players hear that note sharp, because they are used to it being wildly sharp.)

Match the slide positions for the staff C, to a low C and retry your attempt. Play it matching the intonation until your ear adjusts to the new lower pitch.
You can't do it on a Bb/F horn. You need a double trigger horn to play low C, unless you have one of two horns:
1. Conn 72H has a handslide long enough to play a low C, but you really have to reach.
2. Conn 60H can be pulled to Bb/bE and used to play low C in a normal 6th position.

The low C played on any Bb/F tenor or bass, when the valve is pulled to bE or Eb, will fall out of the horn. it will FALL OUT. On a Conn 72H or Conn 60H pulled to bE the low C is THE BEST note on the horn. You can play low CC or low BB, or pedal CC or pedal BB as effortlessly and freely as an open horn, using a 2G sized mouthpiece, on any old Conn.

Not magic. Just quality engineering and 100 years of hard hard R&D,.

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« Reply #13 on: Jan 13, 2018, 11:13AM »

If I have a note that I feel somewhat shaky on, I will play it over and over again, like long tones, throughout my practice session. I might end up playing the note 100 or more times by the end of the day. After a few days of that, the note is pretty comfortable.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:10PM »

There isn't enough handslide length in the handslide to play a low C in tune on a single valve horn [without lipping the low C].
...
I'm going to edit this quote because it bugs me everytime it comes up.

It is possible to play a low C in tune on a single valve horn but you have to lip the note so it's in tune.
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:22PM »

If I have a note that I feel somewhat shaky on, I will play it over and over again, like long tones, throughout my practice session. I might end up playing the note 100 or more times by the end of the day. After a few days of that, the note is pretty comfortable.

 Good!

Everyone has sight-unseen great advice and comments. But it's probably the OP. I can play a much nicer pedal G than I can a pedal Bb. And I can play a much nicer low C than I can a low D. It's quirky and we all have those quirks. We just need to - as students - practice harder on our weak spots. Pros may practice to their strengths to get their pay checks. But I believe we students need to work from the bottom up; in other words - concentrate more on the things we can not do well.

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« Reply #16 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:51PM »

I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but it helped me. I used to play semi pro, and used to play 6 hrs a day. I had strong range up and down. I used a Schilke 52e2 or 5g. Then I got a real job and didn't have time for playing anymore. I took 10+ years off. Returning has been a struggle. I only play a couple hours a week, and I changed to a much larger DE setup. Interestingly my high range is still ok, but my low range has suffered (with the big mouthpiece).

Recently I played some tuba, and my bass bone chops using a 1 1/4G started working better. I could rip low Cs much better than before. I can play to a pedal G ok, but pedal F is still weak.

I keep working on it with scales,  arpeggios, and glisses, but I have to put in more time. I'm also using the Azaroni(?) book playing bass lines, riffs, licks, intros, and other bass line cliches. Its the most fun I've had on bass bone ever. It gets you moving around down there playing fun licks.

I think the tuba got my air column ready to play that range without overcompensating with a bass bone embouchure.

So all that for 2 things: tuba and Azaroni kor whatever that name is). Good luck.
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 13, 2018, 01:02PM »

hyperbolica are you thinking of the Eliezer Aharoni New Method for Bass Trombone?
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 13, 2018, 01:20PM »

A useful question that probably should have been asked earlier...

How long have you been working on this?

How long have you been on bass trombone? How long on this mouthpiece? How long have you been working on this note?

A week? A  month? A year?
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #19 on: Jan 13, 2018, 02:26PM »

hyperbolica are you thinking of the Eliezer Aharoni New Method for Bass Trombone?

Yeah, that one. Love that book.
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