How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

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Harpcat
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How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by Harpcat » Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:51 pm

As the pandemic keeps us home....or, at least, off of stages I decided I'd like to learn to play trombone-like instruments with valves. Hoping that others can share their experiences about the best (fastest & easiest) way to learn how to use those valves. I'm an older player who just never got around to this so probably the best advice would be to start younger so I'll just say I'm already hip to that.
Thanks in advance!!
Jay
Doug Elliott
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:06 pm

The "best" way is to get a horn and figure out the association between the valves and slide positions. I think you will learn it better AND faster if you figure it out yourself instead of having somebody tell you.
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robcat2075
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by robcat2075 » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:42 pm

Get a beginner Euphonium method book (bass clef) and start playing at Lesson 1.

That will ease you in slowly without demanding fast finger work at the outset..

I don't think you will find it baffling.


two free method books on IMSLP...

https://imslp.org/wiki/Melodic_School_f ... C_Thomas_H.)

https://imslp.org/wiki/White's_Elementa ... ean_White)
>>Robert Holmén<<

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deanmccarty
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by deanmccarty » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:48 pm

What Doug said is true... but to answer your question in a simple way:

assuming your valved instrument is in the same key as your trombone...

Open = 1st position
2 = 2nd position
1 = 3rd position
1&2 = 4th position
2&3 = 5th position
1&3 = 6th position
1,2&3 = 7th position

That is a VERY simplified explanation... tuning is a whole new world on those instruments... and you will find that experimentation with alternate fingerings will help considerably with intonation.

If your valved instrument is in a different key from trombone... you have a whole different thing... you will have to work on your transposition skills... Bb instruments are relatively easy... read them in tenor clef and change the key to concert key.
Dean McCarty
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olivegreenink
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by olivegreenink » Sat Apr 10, 2021 10:20 pm

30 years of playing trombone off and on. 25 of those also playing valves. All that time later, still mentally convert every single note I play first to a slide position then to fingering equivalent as Dean lists above. I personally think just learning the “conversion table” is the easiest way to start. Hopefully you’ll have the ability to eventually remove the mental step I still do :)

Cheers

PS, would also add that if you play something Bb with a fourth valve, that should come somewhat easily as it’s that same as your F trigger if you’ve been playing a Bb/F trombone (6th position).
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MagnumH
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by MagnumH » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:44 pm

One issue with simply remembering a conversion chart (and I’m as guilty as anyone when I play sousa) is adjusting for tunings. For example, that whole 7th partial, which we learn automatically as G in sharp 2, F# in sharp 3, etc...you can’t do that anymore. Sharp and flat positions aren’t reached so easily, if at all, and the physics of the horn is obviously different.

My best advice, similar to Doug’s, is just to get one and play. Try a euphonium, flugabone or valve trombone for a 1-1 translation and without requiring too much in the way of embouchure changes. Play scales - always scales - and warmups you know on trombone already. The Remington long tones are, as always, excellent, because they give you plenty of time to focus on tuning and air, but also force you to make larger jumps. Also, play things you know, easy ballads, simple short tunes, etc. Play a bunch of diatonic things in B♭ so you can really learn those notes before you move on. Things like that.

For me, don’t worry too much about the theoretical learning, beyond quick glances so you’re not stabbing wildly and getting frustrated. Mostly, grab a horn and play. Similar to using a gps in your car - if you just follow the gps you won’t really know how you got there, but if you figure it out yourself you’ll remember it forever.
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imsevimse
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by imsevimse » Sun Apr 11, 2021 1:46 am

Harpcat wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:51 pm
As the pandemic keeps us home....or, at least, off of stages I decided I'd like to learn to play trombone-like instruments with valves. Hoping that others can share their experiences about the best (fastest & easiest) way to learn how to use those valves. I'm an older player who just never got around to this so probably the best advice would be to start younger so I'll just say I'm already hip to that.
Thanks in advance!!
Jay
I have done something similar. If you are interested this is the link to my progression.
https://trombonechat.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16335

/Tom
My profile on facebook with new videos from concerts: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.hillerbrant

My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic

"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
timothy42b
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by timothy42b » Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:27 am

Some years back the community band I wanted to play in was short of a euphonium player. The trombone section was filled and this was an invitation only band; the director asked if I could play euph and i said yes, which was an exaggeration.

I was working the night shift and had a fair amount of free time as long as i stayed alert. So I cut the scale section out of the Arban and built myself a 3 valve practice keyboard out of hinges, springs, and a block of wood, sort of an imitation rotary valve linkage, and played scales every night. I've shared the photo here a couple of times, it might still be around.

The first season playing marches was right at the ragged edge of my technique, the second year well within.
hyperbolica
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by hyperbolica » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:21 am

I've been learning valves as well. It's a different world. Intonation is a different deal. More valves = more alternate fingerings = more intonation options. You can read in other places about compensation, that's another intonation option, usually only available on more expensive euphoniums.

To actually learn valves, I started with scales, moved to Rochut, real book stuff in simple keys, then graduated to more sharps and flats. Eventually reading in other clefs helped me tie everything together.

There are some traps trombone players tend to fall into when playing valves. One is our tendency to tongue every thing. Remember the valves are like a natural break on every note, so slurring is easy.

Second, trombone players always go for the shortest position. Intonation on a note like middle C might require 1 or 1+3 or 4 - all slightly different intonation wise. Trombone player would rarely play middle C in 6th position, but in valves you might play 1+3 (sharper) or 4 (flatter) .

Third the more valves, the more out of tune the note is. On trombone when you use the trigger, the positions get longer. Valve instruments don't have a way to deal with this (unless you get a compensating horn).

Whatever instrument you get, run through it early on with a tuner to understand the tendencies and try to get the valves close relative to one another. Then figure out the best alternates where available. If the instrument has tuning slides you can move while playing, try to get in the habit of using them. It is easy to practice your ear into bad habits.

I'd recommend the flugabone form factor over the traditional valve trombone. You'll also hear those called compact marching valve trombones. They're a lot of fun.
Harpcat
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by Harpcat » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:04 pm

Thanks to everyone for the experience and hope! I scored a flugabone in our classifieds and I'll start practicing when it arrives. All the best!
Jay
Mikebmiller
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:07 pm

I had to bust out my euphonium for a wedding gig (long story) a couple of weeks ago and the carpal tunnel was really painful as I haven't played it for more than a few minutes at a time for over a year.

Also, you can use 3rd valve as a sub for 1+2, which makes some passages easier, especially going from C in the staff to G.
Doug Elliott
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:15 pm

Yeah, I'm playing Urinetown now - bass trb and euph double - and my carpal tunnel issues mean my fingers frequently slip off the valves and I can't feel it. Very frustrating.
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BGuttman
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by BGuttman » Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:46 pm

Doug Elliott wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:15 pm
Yeah, I'm playing Urinetown now - bass trb and euph double - and my carpal tunnel issues mean my fingers frequently slip off the valves and I can't feel it. Very frustrating.
Urinetown definitely has an odd orchestra: Reed (mostly bass clarinet), Bass trombone doubling Euphonium and Tenor (for one number only), Piano, Drums, and Bass. I covered the Euphonium number on bass trombone (request of the Music Director) and used the bass for the one Tenor number (which required a MegaMute anyway).

When I learned valves I used the position chart described above. After a while it became automatic. First on Baritone Horn, later on Eb tuba. Note that using a 4th valve requires a different set of valves for the lower notes unless you have a compensating horn (which I don't). Here is a sort of extended position/valve chart for an F-attachment:

Trigger Position Valve combination

V1 .....................4
V2 .....................2,4
V3 .....................1,4
V4 .....................1,2,4 (or 3,4)
V5 .....................1,3,4
V6 .....................1,2,3,4 (and an extended tuning slide)
Bruce Guttman
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SimmonsTrombone
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by SimmonsTrombone » Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:37 am

I just got a fingering chart and pulled out Arbans. After a few days I had the basic fingerings down. After a few weeks, I started on alternate fingerings, slide pulling, etc.
griffinben
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Re: How to learn valves for flugabone, valve trombone et al

Post by griffinben » Sat May 01, 2021 2:12 pm

As everyone said above...

The nice thing about valves is that (once you have a basic understanding of them) you can practice them almost anywhere. On your knee, on the steering wheel of a car, on your desk, waiting in line somewhere...

Run scales, patterns, arpeggios. THINK the valves. RUN the scales. It's how I keep my fingers in shape on my doubles despite picking them up only every few weeks.
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