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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformancePerformance(Moderator: BGuttman) How do you tune a bass trombone?
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brassblower
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« on: Nov 19, 2008, 10:58AM »

I'm a long-time tenor player, and I recently got a Duo Gravis bass trombone for some doubling work.  How do you tune it?  Is the idea to tune the "F" slide to an F and the "D" slide to a D, or what?  Also, I see that the "F" slide has 2 spots where you can adjust the tuning slide... does one spot stay closed or what?
Thanks!!!!!!!
ps This thing makes my left hand hurt, but otherwise it's kinda fun.
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 19, 2008, 11:24AM »

I'm a long-time tenor player, and I recently got a Duo Gravis bass trombone for some doubling work.  How do you tune it?  Is the idea to tune the "F" slide to an F and the "D" slide to a D, or what?  Also, I see that the "F" slide has 2 spots where you can adjust the tuning slide... does one spot stay closed or what?
Thanks!!!!!!!
ps This thing makes my left hand hurt, but otherwise it's kinda fun.
Tune the F slide to G and the D slide to Db.   Amazed  Once you've done that, you can do whatever you want!   Evil

Seriously, though, you probably want to tune them exactly as you would expect: the F should be an in-tune F and the D should be an in-tune D.  If you have some particular reason or special situation for which you find a different tuning works better for you, then go for it.  You gotta make it work best for you and what works best for someone else isn't necessarily going to be your best alternative.  It's been a while since I've seen a Duo Gravis (and I'm too lazy to go find a photo right now), but I'm guessing the design is such that you don't have enough pull on one slide to get the section down to E, so they gave you two slides that could be pulled and between the two of them, you can get E.
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 19, 2008, 11:38AM »

hmm, a bass is a type of fish, right

is this really a question about how to tuna fish - I think they use long lines or a net, but I don't know for sure.

sorry, (not really), about that.
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Allen
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 19, 2008, 12:06PM »

Are you certain about the "F" side having two slides? My Duo Gravis has one slide for the F tuning, then a second for the second valve.  My "F" slide looks like a valve crook from a french horn.  My "D" slide is an extension that slips into the second slide socket and allows the shorter "flat E" slide to be inserted way back.

If the tubing for the second slide does NOT stick out past the end of the main tuning slide you probably do not have a D slide.

Maybe post a quick photo?

Once we know which configuration you have we can tell you your tuning options.  I find the handiest is what Norman describes: 1st position low f in tune with one rotor engaged; 1st position d below that in tune with both engaged.

If your horn supports that I can probably post a chart I'm working out on the theoretical relationship of positions based on cylindrical tubing.  I'm still going through the references to see if the sequence of positions might change dependent on amount of bell flare, number of bends in currently engaged valves, etc.  Even if the sequence doesn't change, the exact positions WILL.  The chart will be good for "probably closer to the regular 4th than 3rd" but not for "3.35 cm past 2nd."

Photo would be nice... :)

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Dave Adams
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 19, 2008, 12:16PM »

I think that he might be confusing the F and D slides- My 6B was the same as above. It would be easy to think one is the other.
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 19, 2008, 01:07PM »

Good point.

In the off chance that the second slide IS for the second valve, I've posted a chart you can use to figure out where the positions are if you can take Norman's advice.


Yup. It's sideways.  The gallery allows taller than wider pictures, so sideways gives the best chart resolution.

enjoy!
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 19, 2008, 01:26PM »

The title of this thread is in contention for World's Greatest Straight Line. :D
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 19, 2008, 01:30PM »

The title of this thread is in contention for World's Greatest Straight Line. :D

what ever do you mean
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Allen
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 19, 2008, 03:11PM »

The Duo Gravis has dependants.

Tune the 1st trigger to F.

When you use the extension for the 2nd trigger, tune that to a D.
When you do NOT use the extension for the 2nd trigger, tune that to a E.

And, if you do not have one, try using a Duo Gravis with a Bach 1 1/2G.  It will make the horn come alive!  Idea! Good! Evil Evil Evil Evil

Woe be unto them that sit in an Orchestra Pit with you honking on that (
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 19, 2008, 03:54PM »

I'm a long-time tenor player, and I recently got a Duo Gravis bass trombone for some doubling work.  How do you tune it?  Is the idea to tune the "F" slide to an F and the "D" slide to a D, or what?

I was taught to actually tune the F-attachment so that I get a nice C on 1st, which purportedly makes the F on 1st a bit flat, so I was taught to avoid using that low F except in fast passages where people don't notice.

The 2nd Valve to be tuned to give a nice D on 1st.

Also mind that if you want to play other valve notes, they have different valve positions, starting from 2nd they are a bit further out than on the open horn, and using both valves, even more. On the F.-side you only have 6 positions left, where the 6th coincides with the open 7th.

The other positions still come in highly useful though, like Bb on low 3rd, although on that horn you will have to put in some work to make them sound like open notes.

Quote
ps This thing makes my left hand hurt

Get used to it.

Quote
but otherwise it's kinda fun.

Do you use a real wide bass mouthpiece anyway?

That's where the fun REALLY starts.

Len'or go try a Tuba sometime'ze
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 19, 2008, 04:12PM »

I have too been taught to tune the F to C- but with a bass, the F is much more important (relatively) and it's much easier to tune out than in. I always tune the F side to a good F in first.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 19, 2008, 06:01PM »

At least you didn't ask how to tune two bass trombones....  I think you have to shoot one.

All areas of my horn are tuned sharp.  Against the bumpers my Bb is sharp, my F is sharp, and my D is sharp.  Lets you raise a pitch when you have to.

Put the slides wherever they look pretty and use your ears, it really doesn't matter.

Cheers,
Andy
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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 19, 2008, 06:03PM »

The "sharp F" tuning is a single valve legacy tuning.  If you make that F in tune with a single valve you have much less chance of lipping the C below the staff into tune.  

With two valves the second valve should at LEAST give an easy to reach (and tune) C, so the long position isn't needed, and the in-tune F in 1st is very useful.


BTW Brassblower, check out some of the "Duo Gravis" pictures in the posts here.  Many folks (including me) have had a repairman switch the triggers so one stays on the thumb and one goes under the middle finger as a paddle.  Combining that with the "thumb around the bell brace" I can play for hours.  
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 20, 2008, 12:28PM »

I was taught to actually tune the F-attachment so that I get a nice C on 1st, which purportedly makes the F on 1st a bit flat, so I was taught to avoid using that low F except in fast passages where people don't notice.
But if the F is in tune, the C is slightly sharp and, for me anyway, that's the better alternative.  It's easier to lip down than up and if you don't want to lip it into tune, it's easier to go out a little for the C than it is to come in for the F (unless you play your first positions out a bit to begin with - there are some players who will do that so that when they have a note in first that's playing a bit flat, they can adjust).  If one is concerned about playing the low C with just one valve, why have the second valve to begin with???  Who wants to play that low C hanging on the end of the slide with one trigger when it can be brought up to a more comfortable (and less risky) spot using both triggers?
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 20, 2008, 12:35PM »

But if the F is in tune, the C is slightly sharp and, for me anyway, that's the better alternative.  It's easier to lip down than up and if you don't want to lip it into tune, it's easier to go out a little for the C than it is to come in for the F (unless you play your first positions out a bit to begin with - there are some players who will do that so that when they have a note in first that's playing a bit flat, they can adjust).  If one is concerned about playing the low C with just one valve, why have the second valve to begin with???  Who wants to play that low C hanging on the end of the slide with one trigger when it can be brought up to a more comfortable (and less risky) spot using both triggers?

I'm actually agreeing with you, if you read the rest of my post. Someone before me suggested tuning to the C in first. I don't when playing bass.
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 20, 2008, 12:39PM »

what ever do you mean

I think that it reads like a set-up to a joke.

Q: How do you tune a bass trombone?
A: Play louder.

Something like that.

 Way cool
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 20, 2008, 01:22PM »

I avoided reading this topic because I knew my head would hurt.  Well now I'm at work, and because I am bored, I decided to read this thread - not only am I still at work but now my head hurts.

There ARE some nice wise cracks however.  But seriously folks...

I like the idea of tuning both valves so that they play sharp in 1st position when the slide is against the bumpers.  It makes sense.  It is logical.  Problem is, I immediately forget they're tuned that way so when I am playing with an emsemble and play a note in first position, it will invariably be sharp.  As a result I end up letting out on the slide and end up pulling out the MAIN tuning slide the first chance I get.  I am a first-position-against-the-bumpers kind of guy.  It's not that big of a deal - I live with it.

This stuff about your hand hurting while playing the horn.  You do NOT have to get used to it.  After all, we have the technology.  It will depend on the horn (I've never held a Duo-Gravis but they look painful) but try a bullet or Greenhoe brace or something that works on the horn.  You could even split the triggers. 

Pick the right tuning system that works for you.  You certainly don't lack for suggestions. :/

Finally, did I mention you do NOT have to put up with bad ergonomics?
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sly fox
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 20, 2008, 01:27PM »

I think that it reads like a set-up to a joke.

Q: How do you tune a bass trombone?
A: Play louder.

Something like that.

 Way cool

or:

you can tune a bass trombone (or piano) but you can't tuna fish

something like that?
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Allen
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 20, 2008, 02:32PM »

This is how I tune

F-Valve on F ( )
Then Gb valve so that I have low C ( down one octave) in 4th
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 23, 2008, 08:53AM »

If one is concerned about playing the low C with just one valve, why have the second valve to begin with??? 

I was talking about C in the second space.

Note that back when, I didn't spend too much time arguing but simply followed my teacher's orders.

I had a lot of love and respect for that man.

It's only in recent years that I started thinking for myself as regards the trombone, and I'm not sure I necessarily get any further with that. Only he's dead now.
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