Marching Slide Trombone

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JoelKelley
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Marching Slide Trombone

Post by JoelKelley » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:20 am

Should Slide Trombones be Marched?

Ive heard many arguments against however very few people argue for them. personally Im biased because I love marching slide, its traditional, powerful, and just awesome to march the overlord of all instruments.

Anyone else have an opinion to support?
Joel Kelley
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BGuttman
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:14 am

Handled properly you should have few problems. I don't like marching an instrument where you can't hold it firmly, though and that's why I don't recommend marching with most trombones with triggers.

There are some maneuvers that are hazardous and you have to be careful. Also watch for the ditzy flag and rifle tossers.

I used to march with a slide trombone, but mostly straight line in an American Legion band.
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by ghmerrill » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:42 am

In the days when men were men (e.g., when I was in high school marching band shortly after the Civil War), no trombone player marched with anything BUT a slide trombone. Our 1st trombone (who went on to a combined performance/composition degree at Eastman and then to a master's at Cornell) marched with his 3B/F. This included intricate marching half-time programs at our football games. Never had an unfortunate incident involving one of the trombones -- although we didn't do the totally crazy "athletic/dance" stuff a lot of bands do today.

We all know that a marching band without slide trombones just isn't right -- kind of like a percussion section that doesn't have drums and just claps their hands. Lame.
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by Tromboned » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:54 pm

In my experience nothing compares to the tone and brilliance of a slide trombone. The sound carries well outside and can add a little edge over baritones/ euphoniums. It does take some additional work to keep the end of the slide steady marching at fast tempos and learning the instrument can take longer if switching from a valved instrument. In my opinion the sound of marching brass instruments don't add the color to the sound the way traditional trombones do. If they did, I think you would see more of them used in brass band or concert band groups.
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Finetales
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by Finetales » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:06 pm

I marched baritone (bugle style, not the ugly upright bell-front kind) in marching band, and the biggest difference I noticed when attempting marching maneuvers with a slide trombone is that I really don't feel comfortable doing instant horn snaps (e.g. horn at attention (upright) to playing position, over 90 degrees up from attention) with one. It's dead easy with a marching baritone where all the weight is right where your hands are gripping, but it seems like the inertia of having all that weight hanging off on either side of your grip would cause issues, both for the execution of the snap and the integrity of the trombone. I tried a couple times...it was not pleasant. But I know many people do it without issue.

Recently DCI drum and bugle corps' baritone sections have begun doubling trombones for certain moments in their shows after a recent rule change de-restricted trombones, and it's a cool sound to add to DCI. Personally I think drum and bugle corps are just fine without trombones and they shouldn't overdo it, but that just makes their occasional use that much more effective.
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JohnL
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by JohnL » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:14 am

To the broader question ("Should slide trombones be marched?"): Yes, the slide trombone is an integral part of the sound of a modern wind band (whether marching or stationary). You take the trombones out and you lose a part of the sound palette. Valve trombones simply don't sound the same.

But the OP is in a specific situation, marching in a band that's modeling itself after a drum and bugle corps, which would normally include a sound concept that is decidedly not the same as that of a modern wind band. Yes, DCI allows trombones now, but they're not really part of the fundamental drum corps sound concept. For those circumstances, the OP's question is harder to answer. All too often, someone in authority (director, technician, section coach, whatever) will be trying to get the trombones to sound like baritones and/or euphoniums. If that's what's going on, a trombone player is in a no-win situation. If you play trombone sounding like a trombone, you'll receive a constant stream of criticism. If you try to sound like a baritone/euphonium, you'll end up with a sound that's neither a good trombone sound nor a good baritone/euphonium sound AND you'll still have to deal with an ongoing stream of criticism (though possibly less voluminous than if you stuck to a true "trombone" sound). The final option is to just give in and play a baritone or euphonium. You'll take a lot less cr*p from the "leaders", but you have to make sure you put in time on trombone, otherwise you'll lose chops, technique, and maybe even basic sound concept.

As an aside: I've never have really understood how people think they're going to get a "DCI Sound" out a band, anyway. Unless they're willing to tell the woodwinds something like: "learn to play brass or get lost", the sound will never even be close.
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by afugate » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:03 am

JohnL wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:14 am
[snip]
Yes, DCI allows trombones now, but they're not really part of the fundamental drum corps sound concept. [snip]
As a trombone player, I detest what DCI is doing with trombones on the field. They're nothing more than novelty items with no real purpose. Might as well march kazoos. :roll:

--Andy in OKC
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Finetales
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by Finetales » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:14 pm

afugate wrote: As a trombone player, I detest what DCI is doing with trombones on the field. They're nothing more than novelty items with no real purpose. Might as well march kazoos. :roll:

--Andy in OKC
I think it's a cool effect, with emphasis on "effect". Not something that should become standard instrumentation, but some corps have done neat things with them IMO. I was at the World Finals in Indianapolis the year that the Bluecoats won, and that show had a good bit of trombone material that was really effective and didnt taint the DCI brassline sound. I'm as traditionalist in DCI as they come (I miss the G bugles), but I couldn't help but cheer my eyes out when multiple bass trombones blasted pedals into solo microphones from an elevated platform.
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Re: Marching Slide Trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:04 am

As someone who teaches bands and corps for months a year...

It all works. Baritones, euphs, trombones, large bore trombones ( :eek: ), you name it. If you can get a section to play up to each other then it will be fine.

And it's apples and oranges. Until you've heard a good euphonium section push you back in your seat with sound you can feel, not just hear... you don't get it. Just like with people that haven't heard a good trombone section, etc.
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