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Author Topic: Large bore obsession  (Read 2407 times)
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BGuttman
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 08, 2018, 08:55AM »

This thread reminds me of one a few years ago where the BD was a trumpet player who figured since a 1C was a nice large trumpet mouthpiece, a 1G... ;-)
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 08, 2018, 08:58AM »


This forum can be so hypocritical. In one breath someone preaches that the hardware hardly matters at all, and in another you hear this unequivocal bias for large tenors. I like to use equipment that I have that I feel helps me fit the gig.

Iím at a rehearsal of Planets. Iím going to need a bigger horn (than my .525).

 Don't know
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« Reply #22 on: Feb 08, 2018, 09:08AM »

Jaws.

Sheriff Brody, seeing the shark pass beneath the boat: "You're going to need a bigger boat".


Quint: No, this boat is big enough.


We know how that turned out.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #23 on: Feb 08, 2018, 09:19AM »

The large bore with F rationale dates from two generations ago.  In those days most trombone students had ONE instrument.  Emory Remington figured if they could only afford one horn, it should be capable of playing all the parts in the orchestra (the 4th part in a Jazz Band was still considered a tenor part).

Nowadays most kids going to college have two or more trombones and don't need a "one size fits all" instrument.  Also, we don't usually ask a tenor player to play the bass chair any more.  So a kid will either specialize in bass trombone or tenor trombone.  To cover the tenor trombone an F-attachment is a convenience, but hardly a necessity.  And for some genres a small bore is actually better.

Plus, some kids can't fill a large bore trombone (or a Euphonium or a tuba) and they should be playing a horn of a size they can fill.

More and more I'm discovering that the 0.525" horn is a real chameleon and might be a better choice for High Schoolers.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #24 on: Feb 08, 2018, 10:02AM »

99.99% of music is not The Planets. Or Mahler. Or organ and trombone music. 547 is one size of horn, which is appropriate for some stuff, but not everything. Bolero on smaller bore is totally appropriate. Symphony Fantastique. American in Paris. Any march. Any music not performed in a tux on a big stage in a huge hall. We had a thread here not that long ago about classical pros using smaller bore horns in real orchestral performance. I'm not saying scrap your 547s, I'm saying open your mind a little. You can't paint everything with the same brush.
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« Reply #25 on: Feb 08, 2018, 10:07AM »

It does do nicely in VW's Folk Song Suite. Was this originally for band, and then adapted for orchestra or the other way around? I love this piece.

The band version is the original.  Gordon Jacob adapted it for orchestra.  I've found playing the orchestral version to be pretty dull.  Trombone seems to have lost some good parts.  Either way, I've played in on a .547, 'cuz it's what I have.  
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« Reply #26 on: Feb 08, 2018, 10:34AM »

.508 is a good size for many things as well (I think the 3B/F is an ideal concert band horn, for example), but, for me, I find .547 useful for parts that exist largely within the staff like you find in many orchestral second trombone parts.

There also may be some mouthpiece considerations with regard to the wall thickness and throat/backbore of large and small shank mouthpieces (yes, there are large-shank medium bore leadpipes made now, but that wasn't always the case), but I'm not sure about that.
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« Reply #27 on: Feb 08, 2018, 12:39PM »

99.99% of music is not The Planets. Or Mahler. Or organ and trombone music. 547 is one size of horn, which is appropriate for some stuff, but not everything. Bolero on smaller bore is totally appropriate. Symphony Fantastique. American in Paris. Any march. Any music not performed in a tux on a big stage in a huge hall. We had a thread here not that long ago about classical pros using smaller bore horns in real orchestral performance. I'm not saying scrap your 547s, I'm saying open your mind a little. You can't paint everything with the same brush.

I have been on the forum for awhile now and I canít really remember anybody saying large bore horns for everything. In the orchestra that I play in the expectation is the tenors will show up with large bores unless it is a piece that is traditionally on something else. That is the way it is in the orchestral world. 98% of my playing is in the orchestra
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« Reply #28 on: Feb 08, 2018, 12:47PM »

I have been on the forum for awhile now and I canít really remember anybody saying large bore horns for everything.

If you're putting 547s in the hands of jr high students, they are playing everything on large bore, regardless of propriety. That's what this whole post is about.
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« Reply #29 on: Feb 08, 2018, 03:00PM »

Holst played trombone (a little, skinny one probably) and knew exactly what it could do. You can hear/see/feel it in some of the parts he wrote. Ultra-trombonistic. F-G, a little triplet turn on A, back down. We noodle this stuff all the time.
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I wonder. I bet Holst would have loved some big dark horns in this piece. There are so many moments that call for weight, that are ponderous and dark. (so he wrote in an extra bassoon, plus contrabassoon, plus euph. Think of Mars.) Edgy and dark (at the same time). Probably raised a few eyebrows first time out.
The lick in Uranus makes me think he was thinking of a small bore instrument. That's a hell of a thing to have to play on a .547 bore.
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« Reply #30 on: Feb 08, 2018, 03:14PM »

If you're putting 547s in the hands of jr high students, they are playing everything on large bore, regardless of propriety. That's what this whole post is about.

As with most posts, it started in one place and ended up in another. You got to keep up. In reference to you believing that there is a push here to use large bores for everything, I believe you are wrong. I read more posts about which horn to use than posts about how a teacher is putting all their band kids on a particular horn.
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« Reply #31 on: Feb 08, 2018, 03:41PM »

Thank you for all the answers! I think I can see some larger picture now.

To be clear, I don't have any problem with "graduating" grade 9 or even grade 8 students to a .547". I myself also graduated at grade 9 (beaten-up 36B to a nice-looking 42C, then spiraled down toward bass). I am just not sure about shoving a .547", sometimes with F-attachment, into 6th graders' hands.

To be fair, those 6th-graders having .547" horns bought them. So it is partly understandable under the reason of "if you have to buy one horn it should be able to do everything". But is having 6th-grader newcomer buy a .547" Bb/F full-sized horn a good idea? I'm not so sure and that's why I asked. (They are quite sloppy Bach student horns, though, but I have already said about that in previous thread so I would not repeat it.) Back when I was in the band some of my friends also used .547" horns from 7th grade, one even used it from the start in 6th grade!

Mouthpiece is not a problem. We have many more Yamaha 48s than we need. They came with marching baritones. The bass trombone girl, though, uses a Yeo ( Amazed), but that can be because there was no smaller bass mouthpiece in good shape lying around: all the 1 1/2 G lost their plating so long ago, and no one bother about buying new ones. I did gave her a Yamaha 59 last time I flew back, but not sure whether she is using it or not. I am also looking for small used bass mouthpieces to donate.

The band do classics almost only in competition (which is once a year). Normal literatures are mostly film music and pop music. The trombone section is quite large (6-8 veterans, plus 8+ newcomers), so I doubt cutting-through is a problem. It goes without saying that a student uses ony one horn for all kind of music.

For me, euphonium and trombone use quite different concept of air. The resistance is also much different. I can easily fill a euphonium or marching baritone without much effort, but clearly must use more force, energy and focus to control the air with my bass trombone. I think bends in the tubing have obvious effect on the resistance and the air needed.

Though you mentioned 525/547 and I'm not aware of any stock Bach horns with that coniguration so it must be a... Conn 52H maybe?

The dual-bore horns are Getzens of some sort.

By the start of band class, all eight of the trombone players in the band had double trigger bass trombones!

That's a ridiculously rich school you got there.

As with most posts, it started in one place and ended up in another. You got to keep up. In reference to you believing that there is a push here to use large bores for everything, I believe you are wrong. I read more posts about which horn to use than posts about how a teacher is putting all their band kids on a particular horn.

That's no problem for me :D. I like reading discussions.
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Chaichan Wiriyaswat

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« Reply #32 on: Feb 08, 2018, 03:52PM »

Does no one remember that Holst was a trombonist and likely knew exactly what sound he wanted from them?
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« Reply #33 on: Feb 08, 2018, 03:55PM »

To be fair, those 6th-graders having .547" horns bought them. So it is partly understandable under the reason of "if you have to buy one horn it should be able to do everything". But is having 6th-grader newcomer buy a .547" Bb/F full-sized horn a good idea? I'm not so sure. (They are quite sloppy Bach student horns, though, but I have already said about that in previous thread so I would not repeat it.) Back when I was in the band some of my friends also used .547" horns from 7th grade, one even used it from the start!

'Good idea' is relative.  The big problem I see is that ergonomically it can be uncomfortable.  It's uncomfortable to me an I'm older. But just about the only horns that are - out of the box - with F attachments and ergonomic are 3BFs/3BF+.  But even then not everybody likes those.  With a Neotech or similar it is probably reasonable to some degree.  Again, that isn't specific to large bores, that's any horn with an F attachment. So the benefit you get by having a student by one horn is in some ways negated by the lack of ergonomic options. As I am prone to say: There isn't really a solution, only a compromise. Either way.

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Mouthpiece is not a problem. We have many more Yamaha 48s than we need. They came with marching baritones. The bass trombone girl, though, uses a Yeo (Amazed), but that can be because there was no smaller bass mouthpiece in good shape lying around: all the 1 1/2 G lost their plating so long ago, and no one bother about buying new ones. I did gave her a Yamaha 59 last time I flew back, but not sure whether she is using it or not. I am also looking for small used bass mouthpieces to donate.


If this is the girl you were talking about earlier, I would suggest that the bass might not be the problem, but possibly the Yeo.  That's a big mouthpiece not just in diameter of rim but in every aspect.  I'm not surprised she is having trouble filling the horn up.  I have trouble filling a Yeo up and the rim size works well for me.

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The dual-bore horns are Getzens of some sort.

Those are good horns. Probably the Eterna series (700s?)  I've yet to try one that I don't like. They're pretty easy to play too as they tend to be built well and the 525 upper really gives it a light blow.  At least all the ones I've tried.  Maybe not as light as a small bore but I suspect that if you were to put it in the hands of someone without telling them what it is they might not know it was as big as it is.
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« Reply #34 on: Feb 08, 2018, 05:37PM »

If this is the girl you were talking about earlier, I would suggest that the bass might not be the problem, but possibly the Yeo.  That's a big mouthpiece not just in diameter of rim but in every aspect.  I'm not surprised she is having trouble filling the horn up.  I have trouble filling a Yeo up and the rim size works well for me.

Can well be. I switched to Yeo from a Yamaha 59 recently and can immediately feel the difference in openness and air necessary. The Bach 50B in question, though, also needs much air, more than my YBL-830 double trigger. I suspect, however, that it is due to some maintenance issue. The 50B is at least 20 years at the band and must have seen much abuse with almost non-existent maintenance.


Those are good horns. Probably the Eterna series (700s?)  I've yet to try one that I don't like. They're pretty easy to play too as they tend to be built well and the 525 upper really gives it a light blow.  At least all the ones I've tried.  Maybe not as light as a small bore but I suspect that if you were to put it in the hands of someone without telling them what it is they might not know it was as big as it is.

I have never played the horns, so I cannot say much.
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Chaichan Wiriyaswat

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« Reply #35 on: Feb 08, 2018, 05:50PM »

Does no one remember that Holst was a trombonist and likely knew exactly what sound he wanted from them?


Ellrod beat you to it
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« Reply #36 on: Feb 08, 2018, 05:51PM »

99.99% of music is not The Planets. Or Mahler. Or organ and trombone music. 547 is one size of horn, which is appropriate for some stuff, but not everything. Bolero on smaller bore is totally appropriate. Symphony Fantastique. American in Paris. Any march. Any music not performed in a tux on a big stage in a huge hall. We had a thread here not that long ago about classical pros using smaller bore horns in real orchestral performance. I'm not saying scrap your 547s, I'm saying open your mind a little. You can't paint everything with the same brush.

I think I mentioned it briefly in my last post, but I confused as to why you think large bore trombones are only capable of one specific sound?
You are of course correct, you could play all those pieces you mentioned on smaller instruments, but one of the attractions of symphony players to large bore trombones is that they are easy to colour and manipulate. I have played Bolero and American in paris in professional settings and not thought the guys on the top part were doing a dis service to the music by playing on large bores..... because they were good musicians and capable of adjusting their sound to make the music sound appropriate.
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« Reply #37 on: Feb 08, 2018, 06:06PM »

I think I mentioned it briefly in my last post, but I confused as to why you think large bore trombones are only capable of one specific sound?
You are of course correct, you could play all those pieces you mentioned on smaller instruments, but one of the attractions of symphony players to large bore trombones is that they are easy to colour and manipulate. I have played Bolero and American in paris in professional settings and not thought the guys on the top part were doing a dis service to the music by playing on large bores..... because they were good musicians and capable of adjusting their sound to make the music sound appropriate.

I doubt 6th-7th graders can "color" that much.

Then, why is large bore horn easier to colour and manipulate than small bore horn? If I remember correctly I have read someone's comment that "making a bright horn sound dark is easier than making a dark horn sound bright". Sorry if misquote or the other way around. And if a musician is really good, it doesn't matter if he use a small bore, isn't it?
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« Reply #38 on: Feb 08, 2018, 06:17PM »

I doubt 6th-7th graders can "color" that much.

Then, why is large bore horn easier to colour and manipulate than small bore horn? If I remember correctly I have read someone's comment that "making a bright horn sound dark is easier than making a dark horn sound bright". Sorry if misquote or the other way around. And if a musician is really good, it doesn't matter if he use a small bore, isn't it?


Absolutely. A good musician will make anything sound good, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I think the sound and style is easier to manipulate and blend on a small bore horn in a setting with other small bores and vice versa for large bores. Outside of their respective "homes" i dont think one is easier or harder to play. Your memory of someone's quote sounds pretty subjective..... but then so are my thoughts  :D

I would think that there are plenty of other things 6th graders should worry about before "colouring" their sound in a stylistic manner. My thought is just that it really isnt a big deal to have them playing large bores. The only real deciding factor I can think of at that point is that cheap student trombones tend to only come in small bore.
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« Reply #39 on: Feb 08, 2018, 06:19PM »

These are all very subjective words and to a large degree I find it to be influenced by your physiology.  I'm a naturally bright player.  Like, brighter than the sun bright.  So for me, coloring a large bore is waaaaaay easier than going the other way.  I think a lot of that is due to my mouthpiece placement, which is similar to Alessi's setup.  The rim almost touches my nose.

Other players tend to be the other way around.  Look at JJ Johnson for example.  Ridiculously rich, 'dark' sound on relatively tiny equipment.  He had a special King made at one point that was in between the 3B and 2B because the 3B was too dark.  

It seems that there is a tendency to see the world through the lens that your own physiology interprets the response of an instrument. I think that in reality that experiences like this are highly personal so there isn't really a one-size-fits-all indication you can give beyond generalities for which there are many exceptions.
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