Small bore eureka moment

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Burgerbob
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Small bore eureka moment

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:11 pm

I, like many other mostly "classical" players, don't practice my small horn nearly enough.

I have owned an Elkhart 6H my whole career. I had a pretty good '65 that I used through undergrad, which was traded away. I had a backup '67 which I have used since then. It has many gigs and many notes under its belt. I've used it in many settings and done quite well. In the last few months, I have finally settled on a Bach 3 mouthpiece for it- a rim I can use, with a cup that's not too big and a proper size throat compared to something like a Yamaha 48.

However, I recently prepared for an audition with it. I spent more time on it over a long period than I have in a long time. I started to run into issues with high range and sound. No matter what I did, the sound just lost the core above an F above the staff, and anything from G and up was just unsure. A high Bb was a 50/50 chance. Could I play and sound great on lead? Sure, but not consistently, and I was never happy about it.

As I usually do, I assumed it was me. I don't practice tenor, much less the small horn often enough to really know how I play it... so I buckled down and kept putting in time, trying to iron out these issues.

Then I played a friend's LT16M. I was instantly blown away. This horn had an amazing sound, from the get go. Flexibility. Core and playability above high Bb. I bought that one!

I then played a dozen or so horns at a friend's place. I was blown away again by the variance in blows, sounds, response, between horns of ostensibly the same size. Should I have known this? Of course! I have played dozens of basses and many large tenors.

The point I'm trying to make is that I feel like I have been missing out on an entire galaxy of instruments by not really looking at small bores. I apologize to you out there that mainly play the small horn and have known this the whole time.
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:30 pm

Well yeah...
Apology accepted.

In the other direction, when I try large bore horns at the ITF or other exhibit, I know full well that I am in no position to judge them since I don't really stay in shape for .547 all the time. But I feel totally comfortable anytime on my own K&H .547, which is why I bought it.
cozzagiorgi
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by cozzagiorgi » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:28 am

What is special about the k&h that makes you feel at home with it?

Anybody feel the variances on small bore horns are bigger than on large bore or on bass?
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BGuttman
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by BGuttman » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:20 am

Remember that what we lump into "small bore" is a variety of sizes ranging from 0.485" to 0.t08" (sorry, I can't convert into metric in my head). The feel of each size is different. Also, many small bores have wide varieties in bell size and thickness. All have an effect. I never felt at home on the 6H variants (including the Directors) which seemd to need a long warmup to stop sounding raw. But I have other small bores that fit me a lot better. Even a Conn -- a 40H Ballroom TIS.

The difference I found between large bore/bass and small bore is that the large horns need a lot of air and the small ones need finesse.
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imsevimse
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by imsevimse » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:23 am

There are a lot of good horns of all size. All horns are different except maybe for Yamaha's that seems to be very consistent. I have blown Yamaha's that look, feel and sound identical. Conn's and Bach's, King's, Kanstul's, Olds, Holton's are more different but still terrific horns. Its rare to find a really bad horn. I guess it's as rare as to find a really exceptionally good horn. I don't think I have tried a horn that plays itself. Most I've played are nice. That's my experience.

/Tom
Last edited by imsevimse on Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Pre59
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by Pre59 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:57 am

cozzagiorgi wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:28 am

Anybody feel the variances on small bore horns are bigger than on large bore or on bass?
I think that there's a greater range of useful "commercial" tones available on small bore horns. But I don't think that making certain models ever lighter to be more "mic" friendly" has helped make them versatile enough for many players.

(K+H 480/88 x2 user.)
cozzagiorgi
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by cozzagiorgi » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:21 pm

Pre59 wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:57 am
...making certain models ever lighter to be more "mic" friendly" has helped make them versatile enough for many players.

(K+H 480/88 x2 user.)
Is that a general tendency in small bore land?
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Burgerbob
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:28 pm

I did just play a '40s Selmer with Williams slide that was the loudest trombone I have ever heard. I think that just isn't needed as much today with amplification, though I wouldn't say all horns are getting lighter.
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Pre59
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by Pre59 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:35 pm

cozzagiorgi wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:21 pm
Pre59 wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:57 am
...making certain models ever lighter to be more "mic" friendly" has helped make them versatile enough for many players.

(K+H 480/88 x2 user.)
Is that a general tendency in small bore land?
I've owned a Conn 5H which is a lighter version of the 6H and and a light weight King 2B and didn't think (at the time) that they were as versatile as the standard versions. YMMV...
Pre59
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Re: Small bore eureka moment

Post by Pre59 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:40 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:28 pm
I think that just isn't needed as much today with amplification, though I wouldn't say all horns are getting lighter.
It's not just about volume, as in the sound pressure level, but loudness, as in having differing tone qualities at the extremes of volume and range. An interesting tonal palette?
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