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Author Topic: Large bore obsession  (Read 2406 times)
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FlamingRain
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« Reply #40 on: Feb 13, 2018, 12:02AM »

(snip)
The orchestras were smaller; the venues were more resonant...more wood, less plastic and far less college-trained physicist...err ahhh, I mean"acousticians...screwing up centuries of successful trial-and-error-developed musical hall design.

Thank you so much Sam...
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« Reply #41 on: Feb 13, 2018, 02:52AM »

My school band director/teacher, whom I am looking forward to help in advising trombone students after I go back to my home country, has quite an obsession with large-bore trombone, or at least he seems to have. So now we have 6th-graders walking around with .547" horns, 1st trombone (8th- and 9th-graders) also with .547" horns, and a 9th-grade girl with a Bach 50B, which she has been using since 8th grade at least. He also prefer large bore when looking for a new (used) horn, so almost all the newer horns in the band are .547", and a few .525"/.547" dual.

Is there any reason to justify this? Conversely, is there any harm this can do to the students? If the latter is the case, I would like some strong arguement to convince him, because he might still see me as a student of him.

The students didn't say much (except the bass girl who sometimes says she has not enough air for the 50B, of which I'm not surprised), but maybe they just don't know if something's wrong or how to express it. I was like that when I was in the band in middle school.
Interesting thread. There was a large bore obsession in Swedesh school years ago. Today the Yammaha 500 bore is much in ues. I must say that those horns work much better for kids to be the first horn. The bass comes much latter, the first "bass" could be a 547 bore.
"kids play the 547 bore horns very good" well I sertainly have not seen that very much. Often the 500 bore was a big relife to yong persons after struggling with the 547 bore horn.

Whe it comes the grown ups the playing sitation is what makes the choise of horns. In an big band the blend in the section is important.
I remember years ago when a young player subbed i a bigband that was big in Sweden, the guy brought his 547 as that was his only horn. The lead player said after the gig "You are a good player, but next time you better bring a smaller horn". After that he play only 500 bore horns, Yammaha. Red with Yammaha in white letters in the bell.
In a symphony orchestra you play what the leader or conducter tell you to play. The composer have no say, the conductore desides and you may think it is right or wrong, you play what you are suposed to play.

Years ago I was aked to play Mozart´s Requiem on modern instruments. I know that this happens sometimes, but I absolutely refuse to participate in that, I been asked to several times, but I think modern horns absolutely destrys the beauti of that music.

In big bands I do have the oldfashion idea that the bass should sound like a trombone, I often hear (amature) bigband where the bass does not blend with the tenor bones, but sound like it is trying very hard to sound like a contrabass trombone.
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« Reply #42 on: Feb 16, 2018, 09:44AM »

Bore aside, I feel it's important for young trombonists to develop technique on a straight tenor, no trigger.  Most band directors steer students to buying larger trigger horns for two reasons, avoiding extended positions and fearing the parents won't buy another horn down the road.
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« Reply #43 on: Feb 16, 2018, 10:57AM »

Bore aside, I feel it's important for young trombonists to develop technique on a straight tenor, no trigger.  Most band directors steer students to buying larger trigger horns for two reasons, avoiding extended positions and fearing the parents won't buy another horn down the road.

I don't mind this too much. Having young kids try to play 6th and 7th only forms bad habits, with most of them shortchanging those positions or contorting the body/embouchure to compensate.

If I had my way everyone would start on baritone or euphonium and switch to trombone when they are large enough to play trombone properly.
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« Reply #44 on: Feb 16, 2018, 02:17PM »

I went that route (played a straight horn for a lot of my development and even in college) and really wish I'd have just used the F attachment.  I'm so short that I legitimately can't even play a 7th position B natural without contorting my body.  The F attachment just makes it so much easier.
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« Reply #45 on: Feb 16, 2018, 03:14PM »

I went that route (played a straight horn for a lot of my development and even in college) and really wish I'd have just used the F attachment.  I'm so short that I legitimately can't even play a 7th position B natural without contorting my body.  The F attachment just makes it so much easier.

Sometimes the F-attachment becomes a crutch.  John Coffey, who taught nearly everybody in New England from after World War II until his death in 1981, used to disable the F-attachment on his student's trombone until the student demonstrated proficiency on the straight horn.  That may be a bit extreme, but you get the idea.
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« Reply #46 on: Feb 16, 2018, 03:20PM »

I don't mind this too much. Having young kids try to play 6th and 7th only forms bad habits, with most of them shortchanging those positions or contorting the body/embouchure to compensate.

If I had my way everyone would start on baritone or euphonium and switch to trombone when they are large enough to play trombone properly.

A bit off-topic (but it is my thread anyway): how do you learn/teach euphonium/any valved brass instrument fingerings from scratch? I started with trombone, and then mapped trombone positions to fingerings. With trombone you can see why the pitch lowers and how far; the relation between increasing tube length and lowered pitch. One cannot directly see that with valved ones. Is it pure memory,, or you do the math in your head? Like Gb = Bb minus 4 semitones = 1+3 -> valve 2 & 3, etc.?

I went that route (played a straight horn for a lot of my development and even in college) and really wish I'd have just used the F attachment.  I'm so short that I legitimately can't even play a 7th position B natural without contorting my body.  The F attachment just makes it so much easier.

I remember when I was in 6th grade playing One Moment in Time on a straight. Low C, B, Bb, A, Ab and reverse in rapid successtion at the bridge. I literally wanted the arranger to “give me more moment in time” to move the slide! (And the slide was infernal from lack of proper maintenance. I guess I had strong arm as a kid...)
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« Reply #47 on: Feb 16, 2018, 03:31PM »

I learned valves by comparing to positions:

1st position = no valves
2nd position = 2nd valve
3rd position = 1st valve
4th position = 1st + 2nd valves
5th position = 2nd + 3rd valves
6th position = 1st + 3rd valves
7th position = all valves

Note that this results in some rather off-pitch notes, especially with combinations.  But the other valved instruments have the same problems so it sorta fits.

Later I started analyzing and the combinations began to make more sense.

I'd play exercises I knew well on slide using the valves SLOWlY to get used to them.  Eventually I was able to speed up.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #48 on: Feb 16, 2018, 03:43PM »

Weird, I've never tried to mentally map slide positions to valve combinations.

A few years after learning trombone, I picked up tuba. I learned Bb tuba fingerings out of a method book, and then reinforced them by doing scales. Once I got a 4 valve tuba my teacher taught me how to use the extra valve to correct tuning issues with 1+3.

I would really have to think about what slide position a given fingering is, even though I can play a note on either instrument without thinking about where to put slide/fingers.
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« Reply #49 on: Feb 16, 2018, 03:45PM »

I learned valves by comparing to positions:

1st position = no valves
2nd position = 2nd valve
3rd position = 1st valve
4th position = 1st + 2nd valves
5th position = 2nd + 3rd valves
6th position = 1st + 3rd valves
7th position = all valves

Note that this results in some rather off-pitch notes, especially with combinations.  But the other valved instruments have the same problems so it sorta fits.

Later I started analyzing and the combinations began to make more sense.

I'd play exercises I knew well on slide using the valves SLOWlY to get used to them.  Eventually I was able to speed up.

What he said.  A euphonium player in jr. high kept borrowing my trombone to practice, and his horn was just laying there, so  translated slide positions to valve combos and there I went.
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« Reply #50 on: Feb 16, 2018, 04:53PM »

Perhaps a better way of putting it is that the F attachment provides you many alternatives in the register one would use it in so I see no advantage to not using it in general perhaps even most of the time.  Sure, if you have like Db -> C -> Db or something by all means, you'd probably want to use 5 6 5.  But the F attachment isn't a crutch anymore than someone not used to an F attachment playing Bb -> C -> Bb in 1 -> 6 -> 1.  Or similarly, the opening to the Organ Symphony with the Bb not in first.  In those cases, it's more of a crutch to NOT use the F attachment.
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« Reply #51 on: Feb 16, 2018, 06:36PM »

I learned valves by comparing to positions:

1st position = no valves
2nd position = 2nd valve
3rd position = 1st valve
4th position = 1st + 2nd valves
5th position = 2nd + 3rd valves
6th position = 1st + 3rd valves
7th position = all valves

Note that this results in some rather off-pitch notes, especially with combinations.  But the other valved instruments have the same problems so it sorta fits.

Later I started analyzing and the combinations began to make more sense.

I'd play exercises I knew well on slide using the valves SLOWlY to get used to them.  Eventually I was able to speed up.

I did that too. On the first times only, though. It has become sort of muscle memory.

What I really mean with my question is: how one, with no past experience on trombone, learn the valves? Or to put it another way: how to teach someone new to brass instrument to play valve? They cannot compare it to slide position (since they don’t know what slide is), and likely have little knowledge of semitones and something like that.

Sorry if my question was poorly phrased.
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« Reply #52 on: Feb 16, 2018, 07:16PM »

Like so many discussions on TTF --- very interesting !
    I would like to suggest that one important perspective is being ignored in this discussion --- BALANCE ! 
    We have all seen small individuals playing large instruments and large individuals playing small instruments. Whether it is a matter of personal obsession, ["I've always wanted to play the tuba"!] or a matter of circumstance, [This is the last instrument available if you want to be in the band !] there is no reason that persons of small stature can't excel at playing large instruments and vice versa !  Whether it be Wycliffe Gordon making a small bore tenor cry for mercy or B.B. McCollough making a bass trombone bend the walls of the Pittsburgh Symphony Hall slightly outwards, the same principal applies --- BALANCE.  Wycliff is a BIG man on a small horn and B.B. was a small man on a big horn.  The list could go on, but I'll leave it for everyone to reflect on players they've known that fit the description.  Male, female, short,tall, fat, skinny ---- you name it ---- and you will find an example that fits, and they all will have one thing in common ---- BALANCE !  Combining the tools of the trade to achieve a desired result is BALANCE.  It can be done and is being done every day all around us.  Bore sizes and mouthpiece dimensions be damned ---- WE are the greatest variable in the equation and progress will be more satisfactory in every way once we address this reality.  Just sayin' ----------   Cheers to all -----  Bob
« Last Edit: Feb 17, 2018, 06:37PM by Terraplane8Bob » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: Feb 16, 2018, 07:17PM »

I did that too. On the first times only, though. It has become sort of muscle memory.

What I really mean with my question is: how one, with no past experience on trombone, learn the valves? Or to put it another way: how to teach someone new to brass instrument to play valve? They cannot compare it to slide position (since they don’t know what slide is), and likely have little knowledge of semitones and something like that.

Sorry if my question was poorly phrased.
If they have no idea of brass, it becomes a rule.  

(bass clef):

Bb, F, D are all with no valves.

A, E, C# are all with 2nd valve.

Ab, Eb, C are all with 1st valve.

G, D, and B are all with 1-2

Gb, Db are with 2-3

F, C are with 1-3

E, B are with 1-2-3

You learn do this to get that and leave the logics for another day.
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« Reply #54 on: Feb 17, 2018, 08:24AM »

Not wanting to derail the original thread too much but I cam across this recording of Gustav Holst conduct the LSO in The Planets recorded in 1926  :-0

Makes Interesting listening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5lPMRCTJAs


Enjoy!


BellEnd
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« Reply #55 on: Feb 17, 2018, 12:19PM »

Not wanting to derail the original thread too much but I cam across this recording of Gustav Holst conduct the LSO in The Planets recorded in 1926  :-0

Makes Interesting listening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5lPMRCTJAs


Enjoy!


BellEnd

I had little time to listen, but initially? Sounds like small bores played big. Big trumpets rather than "Germanic"trombones. (Whatever that term really means...)

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« Reply #56 on: Feb 17, 2018, 02:06PM »

Hmmmm ... maybe I won’t take my .508 to the dress...
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« Reply #57 on: Feb 17, 2018, 02:21PM »

I do believe that a large bore tenor or bass great for someone willing to take on.  I used a single valve Bach 50B in the beginning of 9th grade (freshmen year) at age 15.  Before, I used a Gen II. Conn 88H which I used throughout all of junior high (7-9) starting at 7th grade at age 13.  After a year using the 50B, I started high school in 10th grade aged 16 with the school's Benge 290 before getting my own when turning 17 second semester.  I've been using bigger equipment for almost six years and the entirety of trombone for about two years short of a decade.

I've been pretty much using bigger horns all of my trombone playing, and overtime I had gotten well used to it and has really worked well for me from junior high to the end of high school, I even started on a 6.5AL which is bigger compared to others around me whom had used 12C's which is usually ideal for beginners.  

FWIW, people aren't the same and sometimes large bores are better for certain players, at least in my experience.  I don't believe in the large equipment and mouthpiece craze, I just found that they personally worked better for me.  That's my take on the topic.        
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« Reply #58 on: Feb 17, 2018, 04:29PM »

I do believe that a large bore tenor or bass great for someone willing to take on.  I used a single valve Bach 50B in the beginning of 9th grade (freshmen year) at age 15.  Before, I used a Gen II. Conn 88H which I used throughout all of junior high (7-9) starting at 7th grade at age 13.  After a year using the 50B, I started high school in 10th grade aged 16 with the school's Benge 290 before getting my own when turning 17 second semester.  I've been using bigger equipment for almost six years and the entirety of trombone for about two years short of a decade.

I've been pretty much using bigger horns all of my trombone playing, and overtime I had gotten well used to it and has really worked well for me from junior high to the end of high school, I even started on a 6.5AL which is bigger compared to others around me whom had used 12C's which is usually ideal for beginners.  

FWIW, people aren't the same and sometimes large bores are better for certain players, at least in my experience.  I don't believe in the large equipment and mouthpiece craze, I just found that they personally worked better for me.  That's my take on the topic.        

Reminds me that I played the school's 72H while a sophomore (three year school) having played only a student small bore before that.   Can't tell you what MP it had, but that was about 45 years ago... Got an award for bass bone at a jazz festival, so must have been doing something right!
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« Reply #59 on: Feb 18, 2018, 02:18AM »

Not wanting to derail the original thread too much but I cam across this recording of Gustav Holst conduct the LSO in The Planets recorded in 1926  :-0

Makes Interesting listening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5lPMRCTJAs


Enjoy!


BellEnd

Excellent find. Mars is fast! Rocketing along - not to my personal taste to be so fast. And the whole recording is not very accurate in many places... The LSO of today would not be happy releasing such a performance...! Amazing how professional standards have risen. Agree with Sam - little trombones played big - which was after all the local style - showing how to use that equipment to work in this piece - projection rather than heft. Note that there are various places where the trombone sound adds pleasing things to the mix that large bores just can't do the same way - e.g. much of Jupiter and the big opening of Uranus. I wonder who the tenor tuba player was? A euph pulled in from the brass band world? Was Alex Mortimer the usual suspect for the LSO? Doesn't sound anywhere near enough polished enough playing for the stellar reputation he's left to history, though, and I thought he'd headed north before 1926.
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