How Can He Do This?

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Leisesturm
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How Can He Do This?

Post by Leisesturm » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:25 pm

I've just discovered this piece. It is scored for Bass Trombone. It goes down to a written Bb below the Bass Clef. It goes up to a D above Middle C. Doug Yeo plays it on a dual rotor bass of course but this chap is using a single rotor Tenor? How is that accomplished?

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LeTromboniste
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by LeTromboniste » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:38 pm

Well, a few things here. It's not scored for Bass trombone, merely for "Trombone". The range is also a bit wider than you have written, it actually goes up to G above middle C. All the notes are playable on a single rotor Bb/F instrument, and that is what it was written for. The second rotor on bass trombones is a 20th century thing, they didn't have them in the 1860's when Liszt wrote this piece.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:40 pm

It was also recorded by Lindberg on tenor. The piece is completely playable on a tenor with F attachment.
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LeTromboniste
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by LeTromboniste » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:59 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:40 pm
It was also recorded by Lindberg on tenor. The piece is completely playable on a tenor with F attachment.
Yes true, also Alain Trudel and I'm sure others as well.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Posaunus » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:15 pm

The trombone and organ parts are available on the Petrucci Music Library site:
https://imslp.org/

Make a contribution and download it for yourself.

And don't be afraid of the long reach to the low C! :horror:
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Leisesturm » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:27 pm

Posaunus wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:15 pm
The trombone and organ parts are available on the Petrucci Music Library site:
https://imslp.org/

Make a contribution and download it for yourself.

And don't be afraid of the long reach to the low C! :horror:
I wondered about IMSLP. I did some looking around yesterday when I first heard the piece. It retails anywhere from $17 to $20 USD from various sources. I did see a .pdf of the first page of the complete score and the entire trombone part on one site. I haven't been playing Trombone for very long, but aside from sheer endurance being lacking, I could probably play the piece right now. I only have the straight tenor though. Should I assume that the very low notes below C are being played as pedal harmonics of notes that are in the range of the slide and F attachment? I don't have much problem with reach. Second space C on my tenor is a note I play very frequently and in the average quarter notes tempo of the chorale that was played at the beginning of that piece I could go from 6th or 7th position straight to 1st and back without much difficulty. I've not tried to pull the slide off completely in playing position, but I think I could. I noticed the performer using the rim of the bell as a reference for 3rd position a few times. A beginners instruction video I saw on YouTube when I was starting out said never, ever, ever do that. As habits go, where does this one fall in the grand scheme of things? I doubt that guy really needs to refer to anything to check his intonation! Probably a left over (bad?) habit from his formative years.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:17 pm

Imslp has reprints/edits of the original piece. The one published by Schott is copyright and contains the Hymn that inspired the piece as an intro. The hymn is probably also public domain, but good luck finding it.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by BGuttman » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:40 pm

Leisesturm wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:27 pm
...I noticed the performer using the rim of the bell as a reference for 3rd position a few times. A beginners instruction video I saw on YouTube when I was starting out said never, ever, ever do that. As habits go, where does this one fall in the grand scheme of things? I doubt that guy really needs to refer to anything to check his intonation! Probably a left over (bad?) habit from his formative years.
Part of the reason we don't (or shouldn't) use the bell as a reference to 3rd position is because 3rd position is rarely exactly at the bell.

You may notice that he's using a finger to gauge a particular distance from the bell for 3rd. He knows his instrument well enough to know where 3rd is relative to his bell. When you know that distance you can try using the bell for reference. But remember that a note in 3rd position may need to be adjusted depending on where in the chord you are. Also, 3rd position is in slightly different places depending on which partial you are playing.
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LeTromboniste
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by LeTromboniste » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:27 pm

Leisesturm wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:27 pm
I only have the straight tenor though. Should I assume that the very low notes below C are being played as pedal harmonics of notes that are in the range of the slide and F attachment? I don't have much problem with reach. Second space C on my tenor is a note I play very frequently and in the average quarter notes tempo of the chorale that was played at the beginning of that piece I could go from 6th or 7th position straight to 1st and back without much difficulty.
Not sure what you mean, but you need an F attachment, won't work on straight tenor. Low C, D, Eb can only be played with the F attachment (they are not "pedal harmonics" though, they are the second partial or mode of their respective fundamentals another octave below). The low Bb is indeed a pedal note, being the fundamental of the instrument.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:45 pm

Leisesturm wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:27 pm
Posaunus wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:15 pm
The trombone and organ parts are available on the Petrucci Music Library site:
https://imslp.org/

Make a contribution and download it for yourself.

And don't be afraid of the long reach to the low C! :horror:
I noticed the performer using the rim of the bell as a reference for 3rd position a few times. A beginners instruction video I saw on YouTube when I was starting out said never, ever, ever do that. As habits go, where does this one fall in the grand scheme of things? I doubt that guy really needs to refer to anything to check his intonation! Probably a left over (bad?) habit from his formative years.
Referencing the bell for Ab and the notes around it is perfectly fine to do. If a manufacturer gives you a true third position, why wouldn't you tune that way? But make sure you know where tuning to the bell actually puts your Bb (hint, not with the slide all the way closed).

Did you hear how good that guy sounded? Who cares if he touched the bell? Certain famous conducting composing trombone soloists have given students crap about it in masterclasses even though they they themselves touched the bell for reference like crazy in their own performances.
LeTromboniste wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:59 pm
harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:40 pm
It was also recorded by Lindberg on tenor. The piece is completely playable on a tenor with F attachment.
Yes true, also Alain Trudel and I'm sure others as well.
FWIW, Alain's recording was on a Yamaha Bass. It's a great recording, I think!
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Jnoxon » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:16 pm

I have to laugh at the finger and 3rd position thing. Find a video of Dick Nash playing! If he can do that I guess I can too.. LOL
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by CalgaryTbone » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:08 am

One small correction - I have the Alain Trudel CD where he plays this piece, and he plays it on a Bass Trombone (it's in the liner notes). It is playable on a tenor w/F attachment, but a double trigger instrument does make it easier to get a properly in-tune low C.

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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by timothy42b » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:21 pm

I wasn't familiar with this piece. Thanks for posting it.

This video gets my vote for a classic example of how to make very simple mid range parts sound great. We don't need a lot range or speed to sound really good (and Alex Iles in his master class last year mentioned that he'd probably made most of the money in his career by making very simple stuff sound very very good.)

Touching the bell is a sure fire method of getting criticized by everybody who knows you shouldn't do it. I don't do it myself, because at least I can check one box of correct playing, and some days that might be the only box. <humor> However, the risk with it is that you rely on it and play out of tune. Did you notice the first time he played F above middle C, he was sharp to the organ? and that he adjusted immediately? He uses his ears to play in tune, not his eyes and fingers.

One thing I'll never be able to do. He must be eight feet back from the stand, and still reading the print. Pretty awesome eyesight.

As far as the notes, they all seemed to me to be doable on trigger tenor, not having checked the score for that notorious low B. It is possible to play those as falsets on a straight tenor, and there are a couple here like svenne who can make them sound just as good, but that skill takes a lot of work. You play them one position out from the octave above. I suspect if you put a lot of work into that at too early a stage in your playing, you might arrive at some kind of weird embouchure down there though.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Namibiantrombone » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:44 am

Anybody knows where to watch Alex Iles videos? Tried to search but seems scarce.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by timothy42b » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:34 am

Namibiantrombone wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:44 am
Anybody knows where to watch Alex Iles videos? Tried to search but seems scarce.
Super bowl commercials, probably.

Or try here:



Not quite the simple stuff, but entertaining for sure.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:00 am



It is OK to touch the bell. Like, a lot. At least it was back before people cared about things that don't really matter.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by norbie2018 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:37 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:00 am


It is OK to touch the bell. Like, a lot. At least it was back before people cared about things that don't really matter.
:good:
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by ghmerrill » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:00 am

Wait. Are some of you guys saying that it's better to develop techniques that are successful/useful/harmless as a matter of practice rather than ones that are ideologically pure? That's really revolutionary. Ideological purity is what separates us from the lower forms of life. Look at what's happened to tennis since people started using two-handed backhands. A complete disaster.
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timothy42b
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by timothy42b » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:13 am

If you touch the bell during a fast movement from first to sixth position, you can lose a thumbnail. DAMHIKT.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by cozzagiorgi » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:32 am

timothy42b wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:13 am
If you touch the bell during a fast movement from first to sixth position, you can lose a thumbnail. DAMHIKT.
Show me even one trombonist to whom that happened. Please.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by hyperbolica » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:04 am

The worst thing that happens to bell touchers is that they get that embarrassing ping as a fingernail touches the bell on the way out. It's not as charming as squeeking your fingers on the strings on a guitar.

I was taught not to touch the bell, but I still do it sometimes, especially on bass bone. Bass just has so many variations of positions with single and double triggers, that it's nice to get a real point of reference other than first position.

Tuning with your ears is of course necessary, but I try to make it an emergency or fine adjustment issue. I prefer to play on a familiar instrument that I've taken the time to practice and tune to some good reference. I prefer to use muscle memory to get notes in the right spot. Tuning with your ears is always reactive, and so you have to play out of tune first, and then adjust, which is a little distracting to the music. Muscle memory on a familiar instrument on which you've played a lot is the best intonation tool there is. Ears are a necessary backup.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by timothy42b » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:11 am

hyperbolica wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:04 am
Tuning with your ears is always reactive, and so you have to play out of tune first, and then adjust, which is a little distracting to the music. Muscle memory on a familiar instrument on which you've played a lot is the best intonation tool there is. Ears are a necessary backup.
In theory I agree. But sometimes I find myself making a fine adjustment before my note sounds. Perhaps it's just muscle memory kicking in, but I wonder if maybe the ambient sound field is resonating within the trombone, and I hear just enough of it to adjust. Possible, you think? Kind of like a piano does if you hold the damper pedal down.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Leisesturm » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:33 am

timothy42b wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:11 am
In theory I agree. But sometimes I find myself making a fine adjustment before my note sounds. Perhaps it's just muscle memory kicking in, but I wonder if maybe the ambient sound field is resonating within the trombone, and I hear just enough of it to adjust. Possible, you think? Kind of like a piano does if you hold the damper pedal down.
No, not possible. You are going entirely on muscle memory if you have not made any sound yet.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by BGuttman » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:44 am

The issue is really using the bell rim as an absolute indicator of 3rd position. Many of us are just a bit before or just a bit after the bell and it's no crime using the bell to quickly find this location.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:16 am

If you play different brands and models the distance to the bell varies. My question to them who think they need to touch the bell for reference is; Why the need of a reference for 3:rd position if you can find 4th, 5th and 6th pos without a reference? I think touching the bell is just a habit. If you decide to find 3rd without a reference you will probably learn that as well. (Notice I did not say bad habit)

/Tom
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Leisesturm » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:57 am

harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:17 pm
Imslp has reprints/edits of the original piece. The one published by Schott is copyright and contains the Hymn that inspired the piece as an intro. The hymn is probably also public domain, but good luck finding it.
Is this [Schott] the version you think is being used in the video above? In this performance and others I have seen, the Trombone plays the initial Chorale with the organ. In some, just the organ plays it. What I notice is that the Trombone is not just reading off the organ part in the Chorale Tune, there are points at the cadences where the Chorale Tune stops but the organ part continues. I want a version like that. The one on IMSLP does not have the Chorale at all (or its just written for organ, I can't remember). One I've seen online claims to have the Chorale but I don't know if its just for the organ to play or not.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:12 pm

Leisesturm wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:57 am
harrisonreed wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:17 pm
Imslp has reprints/edits of the original piece. The one published by Schott is copyright and contains the Hymn that inspired the piece as an intro. The hymn is probably also public domain, but good luck finding it.
Is this [Schott] the version you think is being used in the video above? In this performance and others I have seen, the Trombone plays the initial Chorale with the organ. In some, just the organ plays it. What I notice is that the Trombone is not just reading off the organ part in the Chorale Tune, there are points at the cadences where the Chorale Tune stops but the organ part continues. I want a version like that. The one on IMSLP does not have the Chorale at all (or its just written for organ, I can't remember). One I've seen online claims to have the Chorale but I don't know if its just for the organ to play or not.
It is absolutely the Schott edition being played here, or a 100% copy. The hymn definitely was not an intro to the original piece as published by Liszt. Schott has copyright on it, because it is their own arrangement of the hymn, and it is the editors novel idea to add the two together.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by harrisonreed » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:27 pm

imsevimse wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:16 am
If you play different brands and models the distance to the bell varies. My question to them who think they need to touch the bell for reference is; Why the need of a reference for 3:rd position if you can find 4th, 5th and 6th pos without a reference? I think touching the bell is just a habit. If you decide to find 3rd without a reference you will probably learn that as well. (Notice I did not say bad habit)

/Tom
I do it occasionally, and here is why:

Every trombone I own plays better when tuned to Ab, exactly in line with the bell. Not all trombones are this way, but all of mine are, even the 3B. On the 3B, this tuning puts Bb in 1st a long way out from the bumpers, but it allows for slide vibrato and Ab in 1st, and still allows for B in 7th. It was designed that way. Likewise on the 88H and Edwards, this tuning feels much more "normal" and puts Bb out about an inch or so from the bumpers. Tuning this way leaves the tuning slide mostly all the way in, which seems to let the horn play better.

So, why touch the bell?
1. My reference point for my tuning is something that can move in relationship to the bell, and that is usually about the width of a finger of wiggle room. If the reference is Bb with a closed slide, you can't move it, nor can you really feel that wiggle room. There is no possibility of tactile response in 1st.

2. Of course the ears are what is used to tune each pitch, but in 3rd position, you can have a definitive and tactile sense of where the pitch tendency is going by referencing the bell. You will play in tune using your ears and instantly know how far sharp the group has gone, and that adjustment uses the finger like a ruler to help with the same adjustment needed for every other position. Heaven forbid, but you would know exactly when to pull the tuning slide and how far because your finger would tell you to do it.

The issue is when you are using your finger just to put the slide in line with the bell no matter what. I do it to give me an exact picture of where I've moved or where the group has moved since I tuned. But I don't touch the tuning slide, and instead I just use that "ruler" to help know where to shift all my "positions".
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by Leisesturm » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:32 pm

The only Trombone I have ever played is the (new) King 606 I had on rental for two months over the summer. I watched a beginner video on YT that outlined the location of the positions thus: 1st: slide closed; 6th, slide out as far as comfortable, 3rd, 1st upright of the slide in line with the bell, as determined by sight only! The remaining positions located in between the reference positions. The King played just fine using those ideals until I got the Tonal Energy app and saw how sharp all my notes were! It was bugging me madly that to play 'in tune' 1st position Bb indeed had to be like an inch out from the stop (a 606 has no 'bumpers', home is 'chunk', home). I thought something was wrong with either me, or the horn. The tuning slide was of no help. Almost falling out the instrument was still very sharp. If I ever get another Trombone (thinking strongly about a Euphonium instead) at least I know that some people do indeed play them with 'long positions' and that this is alright, maybe even necessary.
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Re: How Can He Do This?

Post by imsevimse » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:32 pm

Leisesturm wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:32 pm
The only Trombone I have ever played is the (new) King 606 I had on rental for two months over the summer. I watched a beginner video on YT that outlined the location of the positions thus: 1st: slide closed; 6th, slide out as far as comfortable, 3rd, 1st upright of the slide in line with the bell, as determined by sight only! The remaining positions located in between the reference positions. The King played just fine using those ideals until I got the Tonal Energy app and saw how sharp all my notes were! It was bugging me madly that to play 'in tune' 1st position Bb indeed had to be like an inch out from the stop (a 606 has no 'bumpers', home is 'chunk', home). I thought something was wrong with either me, or the horn. The tuning slide was of no help. Almost falling out the instrument was still very sharp. If I ever get another Trombone (thinking strongly about a Euphonium instead) at least I know that some people do indeed play them with 'long positions' and that this is alright, maybe even necessary.
The truth is there is no "right" position if we are talking about a fixed position for a note with a certain name.

A position chart is like a sketch. It's like saying Sweden is in Europe, Brazil is in South America and China is in Asia and so on. What about borders? Well it depends? If we study more we will know there are more countries in Europe and many special conditions. We might learn borders are not agreed on by everyone. The same with slide positions.

The position of a note depends on your physiology inside your mouth, your techniqe, what you do with your lips and air, the size of your mouthpiece, the condition of your chops, the function a particular note has in a particular chord, the current key, the modus you are playing, the style you are playing (contemporary music, old music or jazz & blues or folk music), the brand of the instrument, the current instance of the particular model you are playing, the other players (might have a bad day), the temperature in the room and so on.

The right position for a note is the position that gives the sound you want at the pitch you want. If you are gifted with good ears they are allways right. Since this is so complicated the best we can do in the beginning is to refer to a simple scetch, like the position chart and tell every student to use the ears. When they get better we tell them about the small changes that are on every position, and also that there are some principles on how the overtones line up on each position. After this most students are on their own.

The complex picture above is what you have to deal with in reality. Who is playing in tune? If two players are playing in tune, then both are playing in tune. If two players are playing out of tune, then both are playing out of tune. This is the reality, because this is what it sounds like to an audience. The best you can do is to use your ears and be as accurate as possible when you study at home. Record yourself with "play-along records". Never accept a bad result. Then when you play with others it is important to know when to adjust and when to NOT adjust a slide position. It is a collaboration/give and take.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
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