Valve trombone suggestions?

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Gary
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Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Gary » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:45 pm

Could anyone who knows valve trombones recommend a/some valve trombones, please? I am not looking for a valve/slide combination, just a valves-alone horn. I was a multi-instrumentalist who has had several strokes and can't really use my left hand effectively.

After a couple of years of practice on trumpet, I am still at a beginner's level and am wondering if I would have any more success with 'bone. I know trumpet well and the valves on the trombone are much less an impediment than learning a slide, which I have also tried.

I am much more of a jazz/pop player, so the horn should reflect that as apposed to looking for something that's going to play Mahler. If I ever got there, the most "legit" I would be playing would be sectional playing in a community wind ensemble. Otherwise, section in a community big band and some combo work.

Any suggestions? Thanks
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BGuttman
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by BGuttman » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:35 am

Biggest problem with valve trombones is relatively small bore through the valves. This may be less of an issue for you as a trumpet player.

You might want to look at the valve version of the Yamaha 354 (354V?). There are the "classic" King 3B and 2B valve versions. Olds and Reynolds made valve trombones with much larger bore through the valves and are prized among trombone players wanting to play a valve trombone.

Given the awful ergonomics of valve trombones, you might also want to look into a Trombonium. Trombonium was a trade name used by King, but similar instruments were made by Reynolds and Conn (among others). It's something akin to a British Baritone Horn.
Bruce Guttman
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Chatname
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Chatname » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:58 am

We have a whole section of Bach valve trombones that we use for the Italian repertoire. We tried some other brands but chose the Bachs. I like them very much. However, as mentioned above, they could be awkward to hold if one would play for really long stretches. Never been a problem for us, since there are so many breaks for trombone in most pieces...
The trombones have a Bach 16 bell section. Really nice playing characteristics; bright and clear. Intonation is good, but takes some work of course.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by harrisonreed » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:47 am

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JohnL
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by JohnL » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:55 am

Looks interesting. The tubing layout brings more of the mass closer to the player, which might make it a bit easier to hold over a long period of time. Unfortunately, it's not an option if the OP is looking to purchase soon.
Sorry, this item is currently sold out.
An unfortunate side-effect of Wessex's direct marketing approach. If they're out, they're out - you're not going to find one on a dealer's shelf somewhere.

Given the OP's mention of left-hand issues, I'd second Bruce's recommendation of looking at a trombonium. Valve 'bones usually require strength in the left hand to hold the horn up so the right hand is free to work the valves.
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Chatname » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:07 am

True. Even a bass trumpet could be an option. It can be supported to take the weight of. I have a colleague who plays a contra bass trumpet with support.
johntarr
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by johntarr » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:56 pm

I’ve taught several students who’ve had a stroke. One of the problems of a valve trombone, and a bass trumpet for that matter, is not only the weight but that your arms are farther away from your body. Your arms are more extended and the weight has more leverage against your arms. Some sort of support such as an ergo bone could make things much easier.
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by johntarr » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:59 pm

You might also try an ergo brass with your trumpet. Why is it that you think the valve trombone will be easier than a trumpet? Just curious.
hyperbolica
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by hyperbolica » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:05 pm

If you're interested in valved instruments for ergonomic reasons, I'd encourage you to look at front-valve euphoniums or old school American baritones. These are similar to the Trombonium.

I have had problems with my left arm, and the front valve wessex festivo allows me to play without pain, in any position.

For big bands, the Trombonium is really the only option, and that's a bit of a stretch. Bass bone might be covered by cimbasso, but that's also a stretch.
Gary
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Gary » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:45 pm

@John Tarr.

John, I'm considering the trombone for range. I think I have more luck playing in an average range on trombone than on trumpet.

Regarding Ergobone, I have used that on slide trombone and it worked well.
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greenbean
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by greenbean » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:25 pm

I have played many valve trombones. The King 3B’s consistently come out on top.
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by johntarr » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:25 pm

Gary wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:45 pm
@John Tarr.

John, I'm considering the trombone for range. I think I have more luck playing in an average range on trombone than on trumpet.

Regarding Ergobone, I have used that on slide trombone and it worked well.
I see, for the range, that makes sense.

I had a student who had been and avid amateur sax player before his stroke. He took up the trombone thinking that because his right side had been unaffected, he could work the slide. However, sometimes the role of the left arm in holding the instrument is under appreciated. I tried to get him to switch to a baritone because he could actually work the valves fairly well and the weight of the instrument could rest in his lap. It sounded much better than when he played the trombone. He wouldn’t do it because he was afraid that his “friends” in the big band would make fun of him. And yes, I know that a baritone doesn’t blend well but this was the kind of band in which that wasn’t the biggest concern.

Some other ideas that might be helpful are to experiment with a pad or firm pillow between your left arm/elbow and chest. I did this with a trumpet player and reducing the tension in his arm helped with the trebling and to blow better in general. Another thing we looked into was forming some kind of hand grip on the trumpet to make it easier to hold.

You might look into something like a neo grip or Yamaha hand strap so that your left hand doesn’t have to squeeze the instrument to hold it, which can lead to increased spasticity in your left arm/side. Maybe that, in combination with some kind of ergo brass type support would allow you to feel comfortable with a valve trombone. I think there is much we could do to improve the ergonomics of a trombone but it would mean rethinking much of what we just take for granted. Be sure to take these suggestions with a grain of salt because I haven’t seen how you play and don’t know the struggles you’re facing. I do know it’s hard and wish you all the best.
Gary
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Gary » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:02 am

Very helpful, John . . . and selfless to take the time. Thanks
johntarr
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by johntarr » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:08 am

Gary wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:02 am
Very helpful, John . . . and selfless to take the time. Thanks
I get a good deal of help from others on mouthpieces and choosing horns so it feels good to be able to give back a bit. And, this is a topic that is dear to my heart. For twenty years I worked as a Feldenkrais practitioner and saw many who had suffered a stroke. Now my main job is teaching brass but I’m still very interested in the interaction of body and instrument.

You’re most welcome!
johntarr
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by johntarr » Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:22 pm

Gary wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:45 pm
Could anyone who knows valve trombones recommend a/some valve trombones, please? I am not looking for a valve/slide combination, just a valves-alone horn. I was a multi-instrumentalist who has had several strokes and can't really use my left hand effectively.

After a couple of years of practice on trumpet, I am still at a beginner's level and am wondering if I would have any more success with 'bone. I know trumpet well and the valves on the trombone are much less an impediment than learning a slide, which I have also tried.

I am much more of a jazz/pop player, so the horn should reflect that as apposed to looking for something that's going to play Mahler. If I ever got there, the most "legit" I would be playing would be sectional playing in a community wind ensemble. Otherwise, section in a community big band and some combo work.

Any suggestions? Thanks
Hello Gary,

I just saw that Brass Ark has two trombonums (or would that be trombonist?) for sale. I have never seen or heard one but from the description, that might be a more ergonomic and trombone sounding solution to your query.

Best, John
Model34
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Model34 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:31 pm

After listening to the Wessex double belled euphonium, I believe it has the best trombone sound I’ve heard on valves.
Last edited by Model34 on Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gary
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Re: Valve trombone suggestions?

Post by Gary » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:42 pm

I have already bought a new Yamaha valve bone. Thanks, folks.
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