Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post Reply
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:30 am

Background:
I am the section leader of the low brass, fun as that is, we have a large responsibility. The 6 trombones that we have are heavily outnumbered by the 90 other people on the field; this means we must be loud. We have a DCI technician who helps us and gets us to achieve that loud and good quality sound. As section leader I must set the example for volume and tone.

Problem:
I feel as though my tone, which was good last year, has become bad and playing the trombone has become uncomfortable. My best friend, whom plays trombone at a higher level than I do has talked with me and we believe it may be because I am on a student (Bach) instrument (using a 51D schilke mouthpiece) and I am simply using more air than the instrument can handle. I also wondered if perhaps a Higher grade intermediate (like a King 606) would assist in creating that better tone and volume.

Question:
Does anyone believe the problem might be a different issue?
Does anyone have a better solution?
Does anyone have tips?
Would marching an F-attachment Trombone advisable?


My band is a small town, rural, high school band that is just starting to seriously compete and our brass sound has become extremely high quality and very intense in the three years that I have marched. It greatly frustrates me to have this issue and I would love some good quality advice.
Attachments
img-8268-copy_1_orig.jpg
New Prairie High School Marching Cougars
img-8268-copy_1_orig.jpg (338.75 KiB) Viewed 811 times
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:18 pm

Let's see if I understand you.

You are playing a slide trombone in a marching band, not a Marching Trombone (an instrument the same size as a slide trombone but has 3 valves and is shaped like an oversize trumpet).

You are using a Schilke 51D on a Bach TB-300 trombone. You say your tone is not good.

I agree with your friend that the 51D is not a good fit for a Bach TB-300. It's really a Euphonium mouthpiece and if you try to push too much air through you may find the TB-300 "backs up". A TB-300 is most at home with a 12C or 7C mouthpiece and will take a lot less air.

I would think that if you want to use the larger mouthpiece, you should look at a somewhat larger trombone. Maybe the Bach TB-200.

You asked about marching with an F-attachment. I generally don't recommend this, especially an F-attachment where you don't wrap your thumb around the bell brace. These will tire you out quicker on the field. A TB-200 with F DOES have the bell brace where you can hold the trombone with it. There are several other instruments that may work as well. I would hesitate to go large bore, since the sound gets rounder as the instrument gets larger. This is the wrong direction for Corps, where a degree of brilliance is admired.

As I understand it, DCI usually requires valved instruments. Have you considered the "Marching Trombone" I mentioned above?
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
User avatar
JohnL
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:01 am
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JohnL » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:53 pm

JoelKelley wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:30 am
I feel as though my tone, which was good last year, has become bad and playing the trombone has become uncomfortable.
OK, let's focus on that statement for a moment. You had a good tone last year, but now your tone has gone bad and playing is uncomfortable.

Something has caused this change. It may be the way you play, it may be what you play, or it may be some combination of the two. What is different this year from last year?

As far as being outnumbered? That's 90 in your band, counting drum line, pit, guard, drum majors and everything? Six trombones isn't that unbalanced,
User avatar
Zandit75
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by Zandit75 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:34 pm

JohnL wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:53 pm
JoelKelley wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:30 am
I feel as though my tone, which was good last year, has become bad and playing the trombone has become uncomfortable.
As far as being outnumbered? That's 90 in your band, counting drum line, pit, guard, drum majors and everything? Six trombones isn't that unbalanced,
Yep, my thought exactly, 6 vs 90 seems like a fair fight!! :cool: :cool:
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:29 pm

@BGuttman A rounder or "darker" sound is what we are going for as a rich sound is admirable in Indiana. Our band marches fundamentally corps style but maintains that "band" instrumentation and a 12c I know is too small however the 6.5 worked well. I had just felt that the 6.5 had become too small. I suppose I will try again with the 6.5 Faxx again.

@JohnL Yes I do understand that something must have caused the change and according to the sources that I have consulted and they say that just the quality of my playing has improved and I know that I have become accustomed to the Denis Wick 5AL on a large bore. That was 3 Trombones vs. 90 bandsmen. I more wondered if anyone knew a solution... I kind of assumed that I had just outgrown the instrument.

@Zandit75 And yes, in our case 6 vs 90 isnt bad because we have one of the better Trombone lines in the state (and that says a lot considering who we have to go up against.) And its not that easy in our situation just because of the instrumentation. There are more saxophones or trumpets and we have a smaller battery. But we are still relatively outnumbered.

My band is just in a really interesting situation, we are a small band for our school size, most band in our class are around 130-150. And we are a small traditional, rural, school that honestly hasnt had support for the band since before the merger, back when New Carlisle Tiger Marching Band was the best band in the state ( yeah... I dont know what happened). The fact that we have six trombones at all was amazing.
Last edited by JoelKelley on Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:51 pm

Large bore is rounder and richer, but also doesn't carry as well outdoors. If you were to march with a large bore, you would have to play blastissimo to be heard.

I'm still thinking that a medium bore might be the answer. Lots of choices out there; not just the TB-200 (which I am not terribly fond of).
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:53 pm

@BGuttman medium bore?
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
User avatar
Kingfan
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:32 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by Kingfan » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:13 pm

First, a King 606 is a student horn, not an intermediate. Medium bore horns have a .525 bore, in the mieels between between the .500 bore horns like your Bach and a .547 bore large bore tenor, like a Conn 88H, King 4B, or Bach 42B. Medium bore horns include the Bach 36 and TB200, Blessing B78, King 3b+. Yamaha has a few models, as do other makers.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:18 pm

@Kingfan I thought so, but i saw it advertised as an intermediate. Hm, Ill look into those models.
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
cozzagiorgi
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:40 pm

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by cozzagiorgi » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:48 pm

Easy fix: stop marching and blasting around and you'll get a better sound.

(ducking for cover)
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:01 am

@Cozzagiorgi haha hahahaha haaaaa-nope (haha sorry kidding) Bur in all reality Marching band is my favorite band which is why this issue frustrates me so much. I practice for marching all winter.

@Kingfan I did find a 3b+ now, I've never had an intermediate... does the mouthpiece shank have a different size from what I have?
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
timothy42b
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by timothy42b » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:11 am

You've probably considered this idea already, but I'll put it out there just in case.

Some DCI style bands are very rigid about uniformity in how the instruments are held. If you are forced to hold the trombone exactly horizontal, but that is not a good match for your embouchure, your tone will suffer. The only cure I can think of is to carefully adjust your head angle for best response. That might have a second order effect, that you have to fit your cap differently, and that you suffer from neck pain.
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:25 am

@timothy42b
Yes our band is very strict about horn angles, though ive never had that problem before. our horn angle is at least 10-15 degrees above parallel... which for trombones that means between 15-20 degrees.
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
timothy42b
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by timothy42b » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:29 am

Joel,
My horn angle is straight out from my face, for the note that is the center of my range. For notes above that note, I have a small motion up and to the left; for notes below I move down and to the right. By move I don't mean the mouthpiece moves across the lips, but that the mouthpiece sticks to the lips and the lips are pulled slightly in those directions, and that is reflected in the angle of the slide because my teeth are a rounded surface. Caution: that is for my chops and my chops only - everybody is different and it is not easy to self diagnose.

If I were forced to play without moving my horn, I would move my head instead, like horn and tuba players have to.
User avatar
JoelKelley
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:05 am
Location: New Carlisle, In.
Contact:

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by JoelKelley » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:45 am

I do get that and personally i dont know if i notice a difference in the angle so much as i do when my horn is rotated outward 45 degrees it becomes easier.
Joel Kelley
New Prairie Marching Cougars
timothy42b
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by timothy42b » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:52 am

We're talking past each other, I think. I recommend you visit Dave Wilkins's site.

http://www.wilktone.com/?page_id=371

He explains it better than I can. If we were in the same room I could show you what I mean, but not by typing.
Tromboned
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:36 am
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by Tromboned » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:07 am

Greetings Trombone Chat Board. I've been a long time reader of this site and TTF but never really had anything I felt was worthy of reading until this topic came up. I marched in my college marching band which is also in the Midwest and fairly well regarded. The main difference is we did march only military style when I was there. In high school I played a King 606 but to be honest we just wanted loud and musicality took a back seat. I had a director describe the sound as a chainsaw through sheet metal at a rehearsal. In college, when I first started we played straight Bach 36's with a 7C mouthpiece. Later that year the school bought new horns and we transitioned to straight King 4B's with a 6 1/2AL equivalent. At first there was a noticeable drop in volume but after a year of getting accustomed to the instruments, the sound and volume improved over the Bach horns. We did have to do a lot of horn flashes when we marched so to this day I will not play an f-attachment on the field as the thumb brace is key in keeping control of the horn. (we have have a fairly active alumni program). I really feel like I can project very well with a 0.547 horn but also play subtle dynamics better with a quicker response. As I said the school owned our horns so once I graduated, I went out and found a 0.547 straight horn to use. I know when I was in high school that wouldn't be an option but if it is something you are passionate about you may be able to find something used at a manageable price.
BurckhardtS
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:57 pm

Re: Advise for Marching Trombone (Corps Style)

Post by BurckhardtS » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:26 pm

I would like to point out that a Schilke 51D is a very deep cup and really not at all a trombone mouthpiece. I had one at one point and I felt like I couldn't get any clarity.
Post Reply

Return to “Performance”