Does it matter what horn you play?

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imsevimse
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Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:10 am

Does it matter what horn you play?

This is a subject that often turns up in threads that really discuss another subject. I think it deserves it's own thread.

My own view is it does (for me). What do you think? Can you hear a difference in your own playing, in some other guys playing if/when they switch gear?

/TomπŸ˜‰
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by BGuttman » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:24 am

I can certify that there are some horns I really sound bad on. Most seem to be made in China or India and are sold at ridiculously low prices.

I'm sure that among high end horns there are subtle differences that can affect my sound, but not in a large way.

But I'm not competing in a crowded field for a few well-paid musician jobs. Those guys are in a different area altogether.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by bigbandbone » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:41 am

In my youth I was a hardcore King guy. When I started playing again I put together Conn 4H clone based on a Conn 20H. Even after all the intervening years, I definitely heard a difference.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by JGordon » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:57 am

I am not a professional, so these thoughts should be evaluated with that in mind.

Maybe it does matter which horn you play -- to a limited extent.

First, it is easiest to play a horn that is appropriate for the kind of music I am playing and my role within that music. For example, trying to play a lead part in a big band on very large equipment is harder than playing the same part on smaller equipment.

Second, I don't want the horn to get in the way of my playing. I want the slide to work well, for example.

Third, there is a sound that I have in my head that I try to achieve. I have found that certain horns seem to make it easier or harder for me to achieve that sound. That sound (in my head) has changed a bit over the years. When that has happened, sometimes I changed mouthpieces and that seemed to help. But in one case, changing my horn helped.

Ultimately, I suppose that a great player sounds great on just about any horn. However, as an amateur musician I want a horn that is appropriate for the style of music I am playing. I want a "good" horn so that I can be confident that any deficits in my playing are due to my playing -- and are not being caused by some deficiency in the equipment I am using.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by hyperbolica » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:27 am

I didn't participate in the other thread because it was rehashing all the old notions - from both sides. Here's my take on the hardware issue.

I'm kind of a minor hardware junkie. I like to toy around with how hardware changes affect my playing, and I've learned something:

Of course all of this assumes the hardware is in good repair, professionally designed, properly adjusted, and played with a proper embouchure, air support, intonation, etc.

Beyond that, hardware mostly affects feel, which I define as experience behind the bell. For roughly equivalent horns, the experience 15 feet in front of the bell is mostly the same. The interior bore profile effects resonance, resistance, and articulation. 95% of what players talk about with relation to specific horns is behind the bell stuff. Some of this affects how the player plays (small bores articulate differently than large bores).

For example: http://butlertrombones.com/?page_id=100
Scroll down to the Brass Vs Carbon video. On Facebook, the listeners who voiced an opinion got it right about 50/50. So if you can't even tell the difference between materials as wildly different as brass and carbon fiber, can anything else (except geometry) make any difference in the sound of a horn at all?

Valve trombone and baritone sound different due to geometry, but yellow and red brass bells are really only different behind the bell - to the player. The sound difference in front does exist, but against other factors, it is comparatively so small that you can't hear it.

Each player has their own "accent" on the horn, mostly created by your slide technique, articulation inflections, and various playing habits. But if Joe Alessi and George Roberts each played a Bb scale on a 547 horn with precisely controlled articulations, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart.

Does hardware make a difference? Yes, the feel matters to the player. Geometry (mouthpiece inside shape, leadpipe inside shape, bore profile and bell taper) are what matters to the listener, but only so much. I don't think you could tell the difference between my 88h w/547 slide vs 525 slide if I were playing with an orchestra. You might be able to hear it if I play a solo. While the difference in feel behind the bell may be significant, the sound differences in front of the bell are subtle.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:03 am

I think it is true a professional sound good on almost any equipment.

It is however not clear what good actually means. It means obviously one thing to the listener and one thing to the player. The listener can naturally be divided into groups of listeners with different expectations. If we want to be covering everybody one is at his own. So nobody hears the result exactly as another person does.

I had an interesting dinner discussion this weekend about sound, with a professional tromboneplayer I met in the wind orchestra I played with this weekend. He had only owned two trombones through his carrer but had of course played many. I told him about my collection of horns and how I try to keep the character of each horn. We also discussed the fact some people (a lot) say you sooner or later sound the same on any equipment. I said I did not believe in that and that my goal is to really sound different if the horn has a different character. He replied sound did not matter to him as he listened, because it was the music he listened to and not the sounds. That had me really thinking, and I have to give him right on this. Musically everything I play is me and they who know me will probably hear it is me on any instrument, especially in jazz. I can not change who I am because music is a development and comes with skills, musicality and experience. I know there are great musicians who can switch on a second and play like Luis Armstrong, Miles Davis or Clark Terry. Joe Faddis is such person.
Joe Faddis prooves it is possible to sound like someone else even musically, but I know I'm not in that league.

When I'm talking sound I'm talking specifically about the timbre of what comes out the bell. It could be a whole note with different characters and attacks with different characters.

Last time we played trombone trios we had a blind test of mouthpieces. One of the players in that trombone group subs a lot in the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and she asked us to listen as she tried a new mouthpiece. She played a few long notes and we closed our eyes and said what mouthpiece we liked more. We did this repeatedly and every time we picked the new mouthpiece as more open and more clear. We agreed on every vote.. What is best? We could not say. I like clear open sounds and so does my friend. We also guessed the difference of the mouthpieces. We guessed the hole was wider but the cup more shallow of the piece we liked the most. When we examined the mouthpieces it turned out to be true.

I have also done blind tests with mouthpieces and people hear differences.

If mouthpiece change causes a different sound then why would not leadpipe, and the rest of the horn. To sound good on anything is one thing and this complies to any pro probably but there will be differences.

If such a good player want the horn to go in a direction they can make that happen at will. If they want to then the sound will change towards that. If they instead try to keep colours and character they have the skills to do that instead. This is what I believe.

Like everything else the approach to this is based on who you are, what you believe in and what you think you can do with your talent.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by PSJ » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:09 am

I think it does to a point. You are still going to sound like you. I have played 3 different bass bones in the regional Orchestra I am in over the last I guess almost 30 seasons. The instrument I play now, the section says still sounds like me but they like it better. Not really able to put why they like it better in words, they just do.

This is interesting because of your statements of what it sounds like behind the bell and out front. This is something I have been struggling with over the past couple of years dealing with hearing loss (mostly age and genetics). I can't always trust what I hear behind the bell. So, rhetorically, how does one deal with that? :idk:

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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by norbie2018 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:59 am

A great instrument can lead you to becoming a better player and musician, if you put the time into it. An ok instrument, not so much.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by tbonesullivan » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:16 pm

Yes, of course it does. Different horns have different characteristics that will affect the sound. However the human body also has things that affect the sound. It's a feedback loop, and what you hear affects the sound.

The ideal equipment is one that allows you to make the sound desired at the volume level required, with the least effort.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Burgerbob » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:19 pm

Yes.

The vast majority of the sound someone makes comes from the player.

But there's a significant amount that comes from the combination of equipment they play.

My former teacher, a top orchestra professional, uses a really stellar '90s Bach 42T for almost all his playing. Once, in a lesson, he brought a Courtois AC280. He sounded like himself, but a duller, smaller, less colorful version. And this is a player with tens of thousands of hours on the horn, one of the top tenor players I have ever heard. It was a DRASTIC difference. Could he use that horn in the orchestra? He could, but he would never make the decision to.

Personally, for me, that's that. It's constantly said on here that so-and-so top player would sound great on a hose and a funnel. That's probably true to an extent, but that's ignoring all the details that make up the rest of someone's sound.

If you want to only think in generalities, the big picture, then yes, equipment is not a huge deal.

If you care about details, then equipment is how you dial in the last few percent, which could be a really significant change.

I feel like people here need to hear some really top players in person, a few feet away in a recital hall, to REALLY hear someone's sound. Not on a recording, not on LP, not on a cell phone speaker. To feel their sound, not just hear 50% of it.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by GabeLangfur » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:11 pm

Yes.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by WGWTR180 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:15 pm

It matters to me. Does it matter to anyone else? That's the real question.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Finetales » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:16 pm

GabeLangfur wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:11 pm
Yes.
/thread
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by GabeLangfur » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:18 pm

At least until you have tenure in your job.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by sf105 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:10 pm

I once asked my teacher at the time to play for me on a Bach and a Conn I was trying out. There was a difference, both valuable, but I definitely preferred one of them.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Posaunus » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:55 pm

Of course it matters. I have several trombones of different vintages and sizes. They play differently (to me) and sound different (to me, my colleagues, and my audience). Some are just "better." But some work better on certain repertoire and playing circumstance than others. That's why I have this mini collection. :good:
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by paulyg » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:38 pm

hyperbolica wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:27 am

...
Each player has their own "accent" on the horn, mostly created by your slide technique, articulation inflections, and various playing habits. But if Joe Alessi and George Roberts each played a Bb scale on a 547 horn with precisely controlled articulations, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart.
...
Harrison, you may have gotten carried away here. Joe Alessi has one of the most distinctive sounds I can think of- he's not hard to pick out of a recording lineup. In addition, George Roberts didn't play a .547 horn... doesn't that kinda prove the point?
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Kdanielsen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:42 pm

GabeLangfur wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:11 pm
Yes.
You beat me to it
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:58 pm

paulyg wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:38 pm
hyperbolica wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:27 am

...
Each player has their own "accent" on the horn, mostly created by your slide technique, articulation inflections, and various playing habits. But if Joe Alessi and George Roberts each played a Bb scale on a 547 horn with precisely controlled articulations, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart.
...
Harrison, you may have gotten carried away here. Joe Alessi has one of the most distinctive sounds I can think of- he's not hard to pick out of a recording lineup. In addition, George Roberts didn't play a .547 horn... doesn't that kinda prove the point?
Whoa whoa whoa. Harrison who? I can pretty much pick Joe's sound out of a crowd.

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Last edited by harrisonreed on Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:00 pm

Also, yes it matters what horn you play. There are some horns that help you, and some horns that hinder you. Surely anyone can relate to that?

Also, why are people bringing .547 horns to a small bore gig? I keep seeing that weirdness from time to time. Gear does matter.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by paulyg » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:42 pm

Oof, my forum handle/name association has let me down... my apologies!
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by lauriet » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:21 pm

I'm a relative newbie with trombone, but have been involved in music and engineering all my life. When I took up trombone it became very seductive to want to try out different makes and learn all about them.
From an engineering/physics point of view......its just a brass tube with a flair on the end. The air mass is caused to resonant to produce the sound. I would think that the brass resonates also and COULD produce overtones/harmonics.
Maybe different makes produce different harmonics which make them sound subtly different. The pBone sounds dull to me and I put that down to, no brass resonating.
I own a 0.5 bore and a 0.525 bore and I THINK they sound a bit different, which kind of makes sense since they have different geometries.
You could record a single tone for a variety of instruments and analyze the frequency spectrum. That should reveal any varying harmonics between them. But once again I think that would be subtle.

However you can never underestimate the power of suggestion with human beings: A $5000 instrument HAS to be better than a $500 one right ? Maybe it is engineered to tighter tolerances and has better grade materials and has more man hours spent on it BUT does that mean it MUST sound better ? A Rolls Royce is way better than an old volkswagon beatle but they both get you from A to B ok.

I am reasonable convinced that different instruments do sound subtly different, but I believe the human factor is what counts.
Do you like nice and shiney or road worn
Does it feel good when you hold it, is it well balanced.
Did your favourite player use this brand/model.
Is the slide smooth.
All these things (and many others) probably affect the way you feel and play and hear. So it does matter, to you, what horn you play, otherwise we would all drive volkwagon beatles.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Bach5G » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:32 pm

Does Placido sound the same as Pavarotti? Is one β€œbetter”?
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by hyperbolica » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:57 pm

paulyg wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:38 pm
hyperbolica wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:27 am

...
Each player has their own "accent" on the horn, mostly created by your slide technique, articulation inflections, and various playing habits. But if Joe Alessi and George Roberts each played a Bb scale on a 547 horn with precisely controlled articulations, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart.
...
Harrison, you may have gotten carried away here. Joe Alessi has one of the most distinctive sounds I can think of- he's not hard to pick out of a recording lineup. In addition, George Roberts didn't play a .547 horn... doesn't that kinda prove the point?
If you strip it all away, the basic sound is made by the shape of the air in the horn, and of course the lips. Joe and George have/had very different sounds in the course of playing, but I believe the underlying basic sound is very similar. Its very romantic to believe its more unique. I think what's unique about players is more in the articulation and other mechanics, stuff you wouldn't hear in long tones.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by whitbey » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:49 pm

Yes it does.
If you cannot afford much of a horn, it matters less.
If you want to chat about your horn and how much you like it, it matters more.
If you play on a horn that has been customized, we want to know.
If you are going to criticize a person for talking about there horn, you do not matter.
Be polite and let the rest of us enjoy our horns.

I have been considering posting about one of my horns.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Doubler » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:10 pm

For me timbre, intonation, articulation, and feedback are what matter the most - in that order. Finding the horn that best provides these can be a challenge. One has to use an instrument that becomes an extension of their will, rather than a tool that must be manipulated in order to communicate. The less obstacle between you and your audience the better.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:59 pm

hyperbolica wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:57 pm
paulyg wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:38 pm


Harrison, you may have gotten carried away here. Joe Alessi has one of the most distinctive sounds I can think of- he's not hard to pick out of a recording lineup. In addition, George Roberts didn't play a .547 horn... doesn't that kinda prove the point?
If you strip it all away, the basic sound is made by the shape of the air in the horn, and of course the lips. Joe and George have/had very different sounds in the course of playing, but I believe the underlying basic sound is very similar. Its very romantic to believe its more unique. I think what's unique about players is more in the articulation and other mechanics, stuff you wouldn't hear in long tones.
Are you talking about hearing them in person, standing next to each other playing long tones in front of you? I'm pretty sure they would sound very different, but that's not an event I've ever been a part of. If you're talking about their recordings, then I guarantee they sound very different. The sound we all love from our favorite trombonists owes a lot to their sound engineer and the mic chain they use.

Even still, Alessi's sound has some pretty incredible high overtones that I think make his sound unique, and like you say, when combined with articulations and his phrasing make his playing unmistakable.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by paulyg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:02 am

I'd hardly call it "Romantic"- just objective. George Roberts and Joe Alessi don't sound the same, recorded or live. You can definitely hear differences in long tones played by different players, too.

To me, it does matter what horn I play- I want a horn that complements the aspects of my sound I like, and tempers the aspects I don't particularly like or strive for. I tend to play on the very bright side of the spectrum, and I want a horn/equipment that turns that into brilliance, not edge, and doesn't dull it, and gives me a little more core than normal.

I can still tell that it's me playing on an alto, tenor, bass, or contra- and not just because I have the inside track!

I think the choice of horn can be compared to a window through which we view the musician/artist, and through which the musician views the world. Some windows are foggy and need to be wiped for clarity. Some are reflective, and the musician can see themselves- some are not, and the musician must judge the quality of their product only by the reactions of those outside! Terrible for someone trying to develop a personal identity... Some are crazed and will never be clear. Some have a tint, some have a filter, ect., but changing the window doesn't change the musician, and it doesn't change the listeners. Windows are better than a wall, of course... and in some cases, better than nothing.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by GBP » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 am

I remember hearing of study done where recordings of various instruments were played that had the articulations removed and the subjects had a difficult time time being able to accurately telling instruments apart.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by imsevimse » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:30 am

GBP wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 am
I remember hearing of study done where recordings of various instruments were played that had the articulations removed and the subjects had a difficult time time being able to accurately telling instruments apart.
Yes, this was one lesson at the academy about 1984? We listened to a sound on tape with the initial attack removed. We who were the students guessed trombone or bassoon, but it was a violin. The attack is very important to the sound.

/Tom
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Savio » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:21 am

It matters what horn you play but it matters much more what you do with your horn.

Well that was a lecture. :clever: :biggrin:

I think I stay out from here all of you, no harm but it's just not worth it. Im not a professional, but I begin to see why many off them stay out or leave.... It's really not worth it.

Tom, when I go to Sweden I let you know! Want to meet Sven also. And we have a little laugh...do you remember when your friend Lindberg told he didn't buzz? It's amazing how much waves it made. :D

Goodbye all.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by bigbandbone » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:45 am

whitbey wrote: ↑
Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:49 pm
Yes it does.
If you cannot afford much of a horn, it matters less.
If you want to chat about your horn and how much you like it, it matters more.
If you play on a horn that has been customized, we want to know.
If you are going to criticize a person for talking about there horn, you do not matter.
Be polite and let the rest of us enjoy our horns.

I have been considering posting about one of my horns.
πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by JGordon » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:31 am

A trumpet playing friend once told me that the best way to improve one's playing is to purchase a new piece of equipment. I immediately objected that it is the player rather than the horn that matters most. He responded, "Yes, that is correct. However, when you purchase a new piece of equipment you are so enchanted with it that you practice more for a while. That increased practicing is what improves your playing!"
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by sf105 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:41 am

JGordon wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:31 am
"Yes, that is correct. However, when you purchase a new piece of equipment you are so enchanted with it that you practice more for a while. That increased practicing is what improves your playing!"
I can confirm this (time for a new horn?). And I find that playing a new horn helps to get me out of any ruts I might have fallen into.
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by imsevimse » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:00 am

JGordon wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:31 am
A trumpet playing friend once told me that the best way to improve one's playing is to purchase a new piece of equipment. I immediately objected that it is the player rather than the horn that matters most. He responded, "Yes, that is correct. However, when you purchase a new piece of equipment you are so enchanted with it that you practice more for a while. That increased practicing is what improves your playing!"
Oh, this is sooo true :good: :good: :good: I agree and that is also one reason I have my collection. It gives a lot of good energy every time I do a change, and it does not need to be a new instrument. I switch a lot between my instruments to keep that high energy level and it has really helped me to become a better player. Fun, fun and fun is what's it all about (for me).... and music of course.

/Tom
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by GBP » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:29 am

imsevimse wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:30 am
GBP wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 am
I remember hearing of study done where recordings of various instruments were played that had the articulations removed and the subjects had a difficult time time being able to accurately telling instruments apart.
Yes, this was one lesson at the academy about 1984? We listened to a sound on tape with the initial attack removed. We who were the students guessed trombone or bassoon, but it was a violin. The attack is very important to the sound.

/Tom
I am pretty sure I read about that here, so that might be the study I heard about.
GBP
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by GBP » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:38 am

I like the horns I have. The groups I play in would be fine with any horn that I showed up with, as long as I sounded fine. It is fun to have a horn optimized for jazz and one for classical, a single for lighter playing.
cmcslide
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by cmcslide » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:54 am

A trumpet playing friend of mine went through a phase of trying new horns, mouthpieces, etc. Every time tried something new, he loved it for a month, saying "this (horn, mouthpiece, whatever) changed my life!," then sent it back and went back to what he was playing before!

In all seriousness, the right horn for you is the horn that makes it the least work for you to create the sound that you hear. For some, that can be a stock 42B or 88H or 3b; for others, it takes some experimentation to find the right equipment for your situation.
ryanpsmith
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by ryanpsmith » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Iv'e played on an Olds Ambassador since High School and only recently started looking into a new horn, but I always come back to the Olds as it feels solid to me even though it's considered a student level horn.
Bach5G
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by Bach5G » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:30 pm

does it matter what horn you play?

To whom?
imsevimse
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by imsevimse » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:59 pm

Bach5G wrote: ↑
Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:30 pm
does it matter what horn you play?

To whom?
I'm the OP.

Actually, does it matter to you?

...and if you want: Does it matter what gear others use to you?

Maybe you could then add "Why?"

Can you hear a difference in your own playing when you change equipmnent? Can you hear a difference in some other guys playing if/when they switch gear?

Some say, you sooner or later will sound just as before, no matter equipment. What's your experience?

Do you actually know your own true sound? πŸ€” This is something I'm not sure of when it comes to my own sound? I know what I hear, but is that the same as everybody else hear? No, probably not. (what I think).

It was my intention to have a discussion about this, but you could share anything you want if you think it fits the title or brings anything forward. :hi:

Someone said: The gear that is closest to the player is what effects the sound the most. I have thought about that and believe it is true The closer to the player the bigger the change. I think this is true as long as it is an instrument of the same size. Since the brain (mind & body) is closest it is what makes the biggest change of the sound, then mouthpiece and leadpipe. I don't have much experience of playing different slides and bells of different materials still of same size so I can't tell there, but the order brain, mouthpiece, mouthpiece and rest of the instrument is an interesting thought.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic
harrisonreed
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:49 am

The importance of gear from brain to MP to leadpipe to horn doesn't make all that much sense.

Arthur Pryor's brain wouldn't be able to produce a trombone sound if it were by itself, sat in a jar on a shelf thinking about music. It's a full system, and if you want to just talk about gear, and leave the brain out of it, let's go!

The mouthpiece is extremely important, but only when it's connected to the rest of the trombone. The mouthpiece focuses and begins the compression of the pressure wave that is sound, but take away the trombone and the mouthpiece will not buzz without the player needing to change the way they play just to create a buzz -- not to mention the lack of a horn to add resistance and further shape the sound wave. That's the big reason why I don't buzz.

But the horn is important too. Things like bore size, slide crooks, valves, and the thickness of the brass all affect the way the pressure wave acts in the trombone, which provides feedback to the player. That feedback can dictate mouthpiece choice.

But the mouthpiece is important too, because the size and shape of the backbore will affect the speed and resistance of the air into the horn, and the shape and depth of the cup affects how and where you can aim the air to achieve the right amount of resistance to get the register you are trying to play.

But, since we're on the subject of air direction, perhaps the tongue shape and position should feature prominently as a critical component, since it is what actually shapes the direction and speed of the air flow by how high or low it is in the mouth, how closer it starts to the teeth, and how it shapes the channel between the tongue and the roof of the mouth (think overtone singing).

But it beggars the question of how important the shape of the tongue is when it is all dependant on the resistance and feedback being offered to the player but the mouthpiece/trombone system. Play a .547 and play an .495 alto, and see how much your tongue position will change, even in the same register.

But ...

[Abrupt ending, depart stage with haste!]
imsevimse
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by imsevimse » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:39 am

harrisonreed wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:49 am
The importance of gear from brain to MP to leadpipe to horn doesn't make all that much sense.

Arthur Pryor's brain wouldn't be able to produce a trombone sound if it were by itself, sat in a jar on a shelf thinking about music. It's a full system, and if you want to just talk about gear, and leave the brain out of it, let's go!

The mouthpiece is extremely important, but only when it's connected to the rest of the trombone. The mouthpiece focuses and begins the compression of the pressure wave that is sound, but take away the trombone and the mouthpiece will not buzz without the player needing to change the way they play just to create a buzz -- not to mention the lack of a horn to add resistance and further shape the sound wave. That's the big reason why I don't buzz.

But the horn is important too. Things like bore size, slide crooks, valves, and the thickness of the brass all affect the way the pressure wave acts in the trombone, which provides feedback to the player.
Lol :D Yes, of course it is a full system and you are right changes in size naturally are important. Every change of equipment causes something in the playing to change, sometimes subtle and sometimes a lot. This is just something I heard and thought about. A brain (mind & body) can do a lot with the sound. Why practice every day to improve sound if it doesent matter a lot? Two players on the same equipment sound totally different. That is unquestionably facts for all I think (I hope). Let's compare Alessi and a student teenager on the very same equipment. Then brain (mind & body) is the only difference. No, I think everything matters. A change of brain (mind & bodyparts) could be fun but not possible. As long as slide and bell is not changed by size my experience is mouthpiece is what can change an instrument very much, then the leadpipe. As I said I have not much experience in playing slides and bell with different materials but KEEPING the size. A dual bore change does naturally a lot to the sound and a change to Thayers insted of old style valves too. My point is gear is important to the sound and therefore the often heard expression "sooner or later you find out you sound the same once again". It is not what I believe.

I think it is a simplified expression that apply to the very common thought that you could go up in size (often mouthpiece but could be bore size too) to overcome problems in your playing. It COULD be what you need, but it could mask the real problem and then the problems is still there. In this case "sooner or later you sound the same fits". It depends on what causes the problem.

I think it was a student of Chris Stearn who had the theory: The closer the gear change is to the body the bigger the change. I think it is an interesting theory and I'm prepared to agree (my experience)

/Tom.
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic
brassmedic
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by brassmedic » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:02 am

" Beggars the question". LOL.
Brad Close Brass Instruments - brassmedic.com
harrisonreed
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by harrisonreed » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:52 am

It might catch on.

Anyways, for all the talk about bore size and eventually winding up sounding like yourself again, I sound like me, but can do very different things on my 3B compared to my .547.

Gear matters
GBP
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by GBP » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:37 am

Part of the difficulty of this question is music is difficult to impossible to measure in a meaningful way. In racing, we absolutely know equipment matters. Guys are faster on some setups then others. It provable with a stop watch. No arguments. Music is more like food. How much spice is too much? Ten people, ten different opinions.
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JohnL
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by JohnL » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:11 am

GBP wrote: ↑
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:37 am
Part of the difficulty of this question is music is difficult to impossible to measure in a meaningful way. In racing, we absolutely know equipment matters. Guys are faster on some setups then others. It provable with a stop watch. No arguments.
Maybe that's why there are those who get obsessed with high range (or, for bass trombonists, low range). There's still the question of how well one plays the note, but being able to play it at all is pretty much a yes or no proposition.
lauriet
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by lauriet » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:09 pm

I did get around to checking a few tBones with a oscilloscope/spectrum analyser. I would post the pictures but it seemed too hard for me, so there are a few apps for android that do this if you want to see it.

Anyhow: I tried a Bach 36, a King 3B, and a pbone. The frequency spectrum of each of them was very similar as you would expect, but there were differences. Not suprisingly the pbone had fewer high harmonics which correlates with it sounding a bit dead. The 3B probably had the most high harmonics and it does sound a bit brighter, so I guess it does matter (to you) which instrument you play. But the differences were subtle and my guess is it gets drowned out in a full band situation.
I think the question really is: 'Does it matter which human is playing the trombone" because I don't think I play beautiful music (yet).
harrisonreed
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:55 am

The human playing the trombone matters most
davebb
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Re: Does it matter what horn you play?

Post by davebb » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:45 pm

In our house we have a King 607F (for my 14 year old kid) and a King 3B+/F (supposed to be for me). These are geometrically identical as far as I can tell (both 0.525 bore, slides are interchangeable, 1980s build) but some parts are made from different materials.
We both prefer playing the 3B+/F , mainly because it has a richer sound, and requires less effort to make the articulations sound the way you want.

I made the mistake of letting him use the 3B+/F for a solo performance - now I have a constant battle to get it back from him.
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