Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

walldaja
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Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by walldaja » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:25 pm

I have never been around bass trombones much at all. Recently that changed and I play routinely with folks whose primary instrument is the bass trombone. I'm impressed with the range and flexibility it has in their hands. I've played a straight horn for over 50 years and only moved up to a Bb/F a couple of years ago. I often wonder why it took so long other than I really liked playing left-handed (started on purpose to be different). Once I got the Bb/F I was committed, at least on that horn. Playing right-handed stopped feeling strange within days of getting the new horn and I haven't looked back.

That said, when I got my Bb/F it was the first and only horn I played (got a really good deal on a trade at a music store I taught brass at). Until last week I never tried any other horns. Since getting my horn I've tried to master the lower end of the horn's range with mixed results with D being a safe limit. I have no similar difficulty with my euphonium, I can get them quite solidly. Last week I played a Yamaha 421 and the low note spoke easily and solidly. Not sure if it was a result of the larger bore and or bigger bell than my current horn--my euphonium has a .590 bore.

I'm seriously thinking of going with a single valve bass for the sound and solid low notes. I had no difficulty with the upper end of its range. Single valve to keep the weight down.

Is my thinking seriously flawed? I would appreciate your thoughts on it, thanks in advance.
Dave

Antoine Courtois AC280BO with Stork 4
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by hyperbolica » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:58 pm

No one can fault you. If you like the low notes, that's your decision. Sometimes just a change of pace is a good thing. You might eventually miss the action and timbre of the smaller instrument, so don't get rid of your small horns.
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BGuttman
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by BGuttman » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:02 pm

It really depends on what you want to accomplish.

In a Community Band or Community Orchestra nobody's going to really care as long as you can play the notes in time and in tune. If you use a bass trombone sized mouthpiece you may find you will have problems covering a 1st Trombone part.

The single valve bass will have a different sound from a tenor (straight or single valved) even if you use the same mouthpiece in each. This may or may not turn out to be a problem.

If you plan to audition for a picky group the single valve bass may limit your acceptance. Not "big enough" for bass, and too big for tenor.
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Kingfan
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:19 pm

What size Bb/F horn are you playing now? If a small bore, maybe a concert tenor with a .547 bore would be a horn to try.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Posaunus » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:51 pm

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:02 pm

... the single valve bass may limit your acceptance. Not "big enough" for bass, and too big for tenor.
Bruce,

I think you are misinformed by your preconceptions. What makes you say that a single valve bass is "not 'big enough' for bass?" The Yamaha 421 (AKA YBL-421G) does indeed have only a single rotary valve, but has a bore size of 0.563" - probably a bit larger than whatever bass trombone many TromboneChatters (including you) play. As far as I know, adding a second valve does not make a trombone play any "bigger" - in fact the extra resistance of a second valve could actually restrict air flow, thus decreasing the sound out of the bell! The Yamaha 421 seems to produce a fine "big" sound, when played by a player who can produce such a sound. I believe that the mouthpiece used (and the player behind it) have much more influence on the sound than the number of valves.

{Mouthpiece size is another discussion. I'm on the side of Chris Stearn (Blast) on this topic - bigger is not necessarily better. In any case, if you are so inclined, you can use a mouthpiece the size of a toilet bowl on any single-valve bass - they all have the same large shank receivers as their double-valve counterparts.}

In my view, a second valve is added to a trombone to facilitate the playing of certain (especially low) passages, with a few ancillary side effects:
• It's trendy, and looks cool (shows a lot of brass) - could impress your friends and those who don't know any better;
• It may help get you an audition for certain ensembles (e.g., a major symphony orchestra);
• You won't get laughed at or scorned by double-valve bigots;
• You may suffer health consequences from hefting the extra weight of a double-valve trombone (see the recent thread started by Doug Yeo), which are lessened by playing a lighter-weight single valve instrument.

But back to Walldaja's original query: A single-valve bass, such as the Yamaha 421-G is a real bass trombone, and as such is not interchangeable with a tenor trombone in most situations for most players. As Kingfan has suggested, a "concert tenor" with an F-attachment and a 0.547" bore would be a better fit. With it, he could play all the low notes he can play on his single-valve bass (with a nice full sound) and the high notes would be easier to play (and probably sound better).

Good luck with the experiment, Walldaja!
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Savio » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:00 am

BGuttman wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:02 pm


the single valve bass may limit your acceptance. Not "big enough" for bass, and too big for tenor.
As I see it, this is a little wrong put Bruce? A single has the same bore and bell as an double. The sound can even be bigger on a single. So big enough is not a problem. The problem is technically around low B. So if you often need that note especially in fast runs...double is easier.

The Yamaha 421 is a very good sounding horn. It's as big and nice as any other bass trombone. Only needs some practice....like everything else.

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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by sirisobhakya » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:11 am

In my opinion, and I am only an amateur, a single valve bass can be an only instrument for you, especially if you are not serious with blending or color. A bass will generally be harder to color (subject to many additional factors however) and might overpower tenors around you while trying to get the same “edge” or “sparkle” in the sound.

You can, however, adjust your color, at least partially, with mouthpiece. It may still sound like a bass with shallow/small/tight mouthpiece rather than a tenorbass with appropriate mouthpiece, but at least it is closer.

That is the tonal issue. But like many before me said, there is also “visual” or “credibility” factor if you want to get into some high(er) level bands.

Personally, I use my double valve bass for everything, changing only the mouthpiece of different diameter and depth. But that is partially because I don’t really have to care about color (the school band I am helping teach and sometimes sub doesn’t care), and I also love my sound on it than on my tenorbass.

Lastly, the YBL-421G is a good horn. It also plays like a large tenor in feelings. I used it in my high school years and thought it was a tenor at first.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Jgittleson » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:57 am

Nothing wrong with a single valve bass. I know a handful of people that use them often, and i enjoy them myself. With a large amount of technical now passages, the 2 valves in an independent configuration can be extremely beneficial, but by no means required. As is was just put to me by a good friend, " A good player can do the job on a tin can!"
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by walldaja » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:41 am

Kingfan, my trombone is a .547. Maybe I should try a few more tenors as well. Thanks.
Dave

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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by BGuttman » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:05 am

Please note: I was talking about groups that would listen with their eyes and not their ears. A single valve bass is a great instrument.

This may be moot since walldaja apparently is playing a large bore tenor. Lots of folks use this as their only instrument. More now since kids are being moved to these in schools.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:02 am

walldaja wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:41 am
Kingfan, my trombone is a .547. Maybe I should try a few more tenors as well. Thanks.
My primary horn for many years was my .547. I also have small bore tenors with and without F valves which is why I asked what bore yours was. I played a single valve Conn 72H in high school as my first exposure to bass and loved it. Yes, since you already have a large bore tenor, by all means look for a suitable bass. No need for a double valve unless you plan on regulary playing literature that requires one. My bass is a dependent double valve Holton TR180 I lucked into at a pawn shop for cheap. I have played in community orchestras and big bands and never use my second valve.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by imsevimse » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:49 am

Savio wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:00 am
BGuttman wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:02 pm


the single valve bass may limit your acceptance. Not "big enough" for bass, and too big for tenor.
As I see it, this is a little wrong put Bruce? A single has the same bore and bell as an double. The sound can even be bigger on a single. So big enough is not a problem. The problem is technically around low B. So if you often need that note especially in fast runs...double is easier.
A double is faster for most mortals, that is true, but to some the single can actually be faster because you do not need to switch between two valves. You need to be a master of the "fake-notes" first, that's the catch.

/Tom
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by greenbean » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:33 am

I would say my old single Bach 50B is “big” enough!...
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Matt K » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:45 pm

I think Bruce's comment would be potentially applicable even if the 4xx series bass was a double. It has the same bore as a bass but when you say, compare it to other basses, the 400 series one plays a little on the brighter side of things at least for my tastes. Though it is a very easy instrument to play nontheless and is obviously lighterweight. If I had the funds and was looking to expand my arsenal I could see it being a very useful instrument to have for particular applications.

I would hate to give up the second valve and certainly wouldn't have my only instrument as one, although I briefly tried it. Especially for a guy with short arms, that's a no go for me!
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Posaunus » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:59 pm

greenbean wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:33 am
I would say my old single Bach 50B is “big” enough!...
But, as Bruce said, not for those who "listen with their eyes instead of their ears."

"What's that little thing he's playing? Where's the second valve? Couldn't be a 'real' bass trombone without two valves."
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by greenbean » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:46 pm

Posaunus wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:59 pm

But, as Bruce said, not for those who "listen with their eyes instead of their ears."
...
I just tell 'em to sod off! That usually quiets them down (or leaves them scratching their heads).
Last edited by greenbean on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by greenbean » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:47 pm

walldaja wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:25 pm
...
I'm seriously thinking of going with a single valve bass for the sound and solid low notes. I had no difficulty with the upper end of its range. Single valve to keep the weight down.

Is my thinking seriously flawed? I would appreciate your thoughts on it, thanks in advance.
I think you are right on. Except you should keep your AC280 in addition to getting a bass. A single would be fine. You could get a double-valve bass someday if you decide you need it and your body can handle it. (There are some ergonomic and injury considerations with doubles.) Have fun!
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Posaunus » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:19 pm

greenbean wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:47 pm
I think you are right on. Except you should keep your AC280 in addition to getting a bass. A single would be fine. You could get a double-valve bass someday if you decide you need it and your body can handle it. (There are some ergonomic and injury considerations with doubles.) Have fun!
:good:
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:33 pm

What mouthpiece are you playing on your .547 horn? You may be able to achieve the sound you like with a different MP. Lots cheaper than a new trombone, too!
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by walldaja » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:01 pm

Thanks Greenbean!

Kingfan, I'm using a Stork 4. I had been using a Wedge 5G but the sound was breaking up and I can get a greater dynamic range with the Stork.
Dave

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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:18 pm

walldaja wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:01 pm
Thanks Greenbean!

Kingfan, I'm using a Stork 4. I had been using a Wedge 5G but the sound was breaking up and I can get a greater dynamic range with the Stork.
If I read my trombone mouthpiece comparison chart right, a Stork BT4 is similar to a Bach 1 1/4G. I am out of ideas/suggestions at this point. I hope you find the horn you are looking for. Good luck!
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by greenbean » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:47 pm

Kingfan wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:18 pm
...
If I read my trombone mouthpiece comparison chart right, a Stork BT4 is similar to a Bach 1 1/4G. I am out of ideas/suggestions at this point. I hope you find the horn you are looking for. Good luck!
The Stork BT4 is similar to a 4G in size...

(Must your that vision problem you mentioned in the other thread! :biggrin: )
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:30 pm

greenbean wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:47 pm
Kingfan wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:18 pm
...
If I read my trombone mouthpiece comparison chart right, a Stork BT4 is similar to a Bach 1 1/4G. I am out of ideas/suggestions at this point. I hope you find the horn you are looking for. Good luck!
The Stork BT4 is similar to a 4G in size...

(Must your that vision problem you mentioned in the other thread! :biggrin: )
Maybe I need a new chart!

http://www.dannychesnut.com/Music/Tromb ... rison.html

Yep, found a Stork chart, and a BT4 is like a 4G.
https://storkcustom.com/trombone-mouthpieces/

Everything on the internet is true, right? OK, my head is now exploding.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Posaunus » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:14 am

Life is indeed full of ironies. Tonight I was asked to sub in a (very good) Big Band on bass trombone. Feeling up to the challenge, I showed up with my trusty (single-valve) Yamaha YBL 421-G bass. Only to encounter another bass trombonist already sitting in the 4th Trombone chair - with his double-valve bass. (The lead trombonist, knowing the regular bass trombonist would be absent, had asked him to sub.) But the regular 3rd trombonist was not there, and would show up late. So I stayed, and played 3rd Trombone for 2½ hours on my single-valve full-sized bass trombone. I used the smallest mouthpiece in my case (a Yamaha 58L), which actually worked pretty well. (I only had to hit a couple of high B-flats.) I did my best to blend in, and was told that I sounded fine. So I guess I've found the answer to walldaja's query. You can indeed play a bass trombone within an otherwise tenor trombone section, without sticking out like a sore thumb. (Though I still wish I had a tenor trombone with me tonight - even a 0.547" bore with F-attachment!)
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by RConrad » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:19 am

I've been looking at a lot of horns lately as I plan to buy a bass trombone next month. Being a student with only about $1000 to spend I've been seriously looking at used single and dependent valve basses. Having spent a bit of time with an independent set up I've come to realize that I don't actually use the second valve all that much for the music I'm playing and now that I'm doing a bit of pep band I could really use something a bit lighter. I'm hoping I can find a good deal on a dependent but if not a single should allow me to play everything I need to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is we all have reasons for why we choose the things that we do. If you like the weight and sound while being able to play the range that's required then there's nothing wrong with your thinking. That being said give some other basses a try and see what you think.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Trav1s » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:17 am

I appreciate this read and find myself reflecting on some time about 10 years ago where I played on a borrowed 1963 Conn 72H bass. With a Bach 1.5G it sounded like a bass -a light bass when compared to the Edwards monster the owner of the 72H also had in his possession but still a bass. Swapped in my tenor mp preference at the time (Schilke 51B) and I was pleasantly surprised how much it played like a large tenor. I think the Yamaha mentioned by the original poster comes from a similar mold. I say play what works for you and find joy in it all.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kbiggs » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:27 pm

For the dedicated bass trombonist, I believe that a double-valved instrument is now the standard, whether it’s necessary/deserved or not. For an avocational or amateur player or even a student, I don’t think anyone will fault you for having a single valve bass as a main horn. Some people will, as Bruce noted, “hear with their eyes.” That’s their problem.

I would suggest, however, that the bass be used for bass parts, and your tenor be used for tenor parts. It’s easier to play tenor parts on a tenor, and it will have a more characteristic sound. It will also be easier to blend in a section. My 2 cents: keep the tenor for the tenor parts, and play as much as you want on the bass.

On a personal note, I’m saving up to buy a valve and other parts so my Bach bass can convert from an independent setup to a single. I’ve played a few singles, and I’m always amazed at the difference in sound and response. That and at least 50% of the performances I’ve done in the last 10 years could have been easily played on a single, and another 20-30% with a little forethought and planning. There really haven’t been that many performances where I’ve need the second valve. The additional weight is a factor, too: see Doug Yeo’s thread on his Butler-Yamaha bass trombone. It adds up over time.

Practicing, though, is another matter for the dedicated bass trombonist. A second valve is essential, if not required.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Savio » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:44 pm

I have a student playing a Yamaha bass single these days. He have a regular Bach 1 1/2g and sounds amazing. Big centred core with colours around. I nearly dont dear to play because that sound is so good. I dont know the number on that horn but it has a yellow bell. Maybe 322?

Anyway, how instruments sounds, depends mostly on the player!

Leif
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by imsevimse » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:58 pm

Savio wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:44 pm
I have a student playing a Yamaha bass single these days. He have a regular Bach 1 1/2g and sounds amazing. Big centred core with colours around. I nearly dont dear to play because that sound is so good. I dont know the number on that horn but it has a yellow bell. Maybe 322?

Anyway, how instruments sounds, depends mostly on the player!

Leif
If it is yellow brass it is the 322. The 321 is red brass. Two very good bass trombones. Nice to hear you have such a good sounding student, but he has heard you, maybe that's why he has such a good sound :good:

/Tom
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Savio » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:44 am

You are too kind Tom, but he don't like my 60h. Not the 70h either. But even he is young (15)he like to listen George Roberts. And the "Kraken" with Premru and Phillip Jones brass ensemble. I listen he always warm up with those F. I don't say no because he sounds amazing.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by GBP » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:21 am

I have an Edwards 427 single bass. I use it when play the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven 9 and similar music where a less heavy sound is needed. I don’t play it often, sticking with doubles for most of the playing I do.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by blast » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:32 am

How is a single bass essentially smaller than a double ??????
I have single and double Hagmanns for my Rath.... does it shrink when I put the single valve on ??????
Any attempt at downsizing needs careful thought... and the ditching of a bucket mouthpiece first of all.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Tbarh » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:41 am

I play a Holton E185 with a customized slide-on D valve which means i can compared single and double valve under otherwise equal condition.. I find the sound of the horn with single F better! Not neccesarily brighter or lighter, simply better and i choose it as much as i can.. I find it very Nice that i have the opportunity to choose both versions without changing the Basic horn set - up..
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:28 am

blast wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:32 am
How is a single bass essentially smaller than a double ??????
I have single and double Hagmanns for my Rath.... does it shrink when I put the single valve on ??????
Any attempt at downsizing needs careful thought... and the ditching of a bucket mouthpiece first of all.
Chris
Smaller in length and width? No. Lighter in weight due to not having the second valve, linkage, and tubing which what Walldaja wanted in the post that started this thread? Yes.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Bach5G » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:46 pm

So much trouble for one note that you don’t use very often.

I wish I’d kept that 50B I bought from J Stanko. I’d offer to buy it back if I could remember who I sold it to.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Pre59 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:02 pm

Kbiggs wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:27 pm

For the dedicated bass trombonist, I believe that a double-valved instrument is now the standard, whether it’s necessary/deserved or not. For an avocational or amateur player or even a student, I don’t think anyone will fault you for having a single valve bass as a main horn. Some people will, as Bruce noted, “hear with their eyes.” That’s their problem.

How about a lightweight plastic metallic looking fake second section, that could be easily clipped on to satisfy those who need to see a double valve even when it's not required. It would only have to be convincing from a distance and could live in the mute bag when not required. :wink:
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kbiggs » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:18 pm

Pre59 wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:02 pm
How about a lightweight plastic metallic looking fake second section, that could be easily clipped on to satisfy those who need to see a double valve even when it's not required. It would only have to be convincing from a distance and could live in the mute bag when not required. :wink:
Whatever works. :wink:
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Kingfan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:37 pm

[/quote]

How about a lightweight plastic metallic looking fake second section, that could be easily clipped on to satisfy those who need to see a double valve even when it's not required. It would only have to be convincing from a distance and could live in the mute bag when not required. :wink:
[/quote]

I like the way you think! :good:
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Posaunus » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:16 pm

blast wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:32 am
How is a single bass essentially smaller than a double ??????
I have single and double Hagmanns for my Rath.... does it shrink when I put the single valve on ??????
Chris
:good:

Unfortunately, Chris, there seems to be a widespread misconception that double-valve bass trombones are "bigger' than single-valve basses (they are not) or that they produce an inherently "larger" sound (they do not). Single-valve basses typically have the same bore size as double-valve basses, usually similar bell sizes, and accommodate the same mouthpieces. What they do have is simply an extra (often infrequently used) valve, more tubing, and a heavier weight to lift. (Great for muscle development; not so meaningful for making music.)
blast wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:32 am
Any attempt at downsizing needs careful thought... and the ditching of a bucket mouthpiece first of all.
Chris
:good:

What is the purported advantage of the increasingly-popular toilet-bowl-size mouthpieces?
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by Posaunus » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:25 pm

GBP wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:21 am
I have an Edwards 427 single bass. I use it when play the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven 9 and similar music where a less heavy sound is needed. I don’t play it often, sticking with doubles for most of the playing I do.
Good grief. A full-size bass trombone (yes, even single-valve bass trombones are typically the same size as double-valve basses) for Mozart (or even Beethoven)? This seems to me to be overkill. In some circles, even blasphemy! These composers couldn't have even imagined these monster instruments - or their huge sound. Time to lighten up, methinks!
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by imsevimse » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:44 am

For the first time I brought a single bass to a payed gig with a big band. Encouraged by the other trombonists in the section on the rehearsal this monday I used the Holton 169 I bought last week. It worked very well. It was decided we should play swing all night but it was obvious from the start the guest liked the modern repertoire better. That lead to a change in rep and I had to play all the heavy stuff too, something I had not planned for.

Most of the time the swing repertoire can be played on a large tenor. I know the parts since I've subbed and played the whole book before. There are a few C's and B's but they can be handled with "fake notes" or there is time enough to pull the tuning slide to e. Not the same with the modern repertoire. There are some heavy low valve work that defensively require a double, if you can not play fake notes.

I had to scan the part just in a few seconds and decide weather I should pull the tuningslide and play a larger bit with e-tuning or if I should stay on the f tuning and fake the C's or B. I had to scan for two bar rests where I had enough time to retune.

In this repertoire there is no time to do a pull just before any low C or B instead you have to retune from the start. The modern rep even has a few loud sustained loud B's. This is absolutely the repertoire for which I would have picked my double. It was even some occations I had to fake a few B's on the T2 while on e-tuning.

In all the gig went okay and the others kept telling me I was doing well and this Holton 169 is the bass trombone I should use. The 2:nd player said she could hear me very well. I know it can be difficult to hear the bass trombone from the second chair so I guess this Holton 169 is good and I now know I will use it a lot.

I have another gig on bass trombone this evening and will bring the single to this gig too. I've played most of that book before, and the parts is not as difficult as the modern bass trombone parts I played yesterday.

/Tom
Last edited by imsevimse on Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by DougHulme » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:18 am

Chris Stearn gave a succint and comprehensive assessement of the discussion but it seems to me that there is a reluctance to accept what he says amongst some. There are those who have clearly identified that the choice is often a cosmetic not musical one or should I say psychological not musical?

The father of all bass trombonist today (whether they know it or not) is of course The late great George Roberts. Let no one criticise his sound as anything other than that which gave birth to whatever it is we hear today. He never ever at any point played a double valved horn. He did try a few though, so he had an authoritive opinion but was never paid to play one. He decided the advantages of a single horn outweighed those an added valve gave.

Which brings me to another point which I think Chris put very well but nonetheless - why do people talk about 1 and 2 valves as if they were different horns... they are the same horn. If you get two horns of the same make one with 2 valves one with 1 they are the same horn - identical. As someone pointed out earlier on, the addition of a second valve can make a very slight difference in sound but so too can soldering a lump of brass on as some have experimented on in the past.

Those of us over 40 almost certainly spent many years with nothing but single valve horns to play on. Some of those horns, particularly the old Conns are superb instruments much sought after because many still want to play them for their (sometimes) superior playing qualities.

All the early double horns were simply modified single horns and I suspect if you talked to the like of Mick Rath, Steve Shires, the late Ziggy Kanstul all their double horns that they designed probably had a single horn prototype that was worked up to a double 'finished' article, its the same 'chassis' that is modified to accomodate all the variations dependent, independent, rotary, Hagmann, open wrap, closed wrap etc etc.

Those who are over 60 and British may well have also started life on the old G-D single bass but thats another story altogether.

When I was in my late teens and a poor student (in both senses of the word!) I had to rely on the band I played in to buy me a trombone. They couldnt afford either the prized Old George Roberts model or the much liked Conn 62H that I really fancied. They bought me one of the very first Yamaha 321's to be imported into the UK. It was of course a copy of the said Conn and a very good copy it was. I used that horn for about 25 years before buying my own. It was excellent. A year or two ago one of lifes co-incidences happened and came across the very same horn again and for nostalgic reasons I bought it back. It was in a sorry state so Adrian Jarvis a trulyn excellent technician over here completely renovated it and it plays as well as ever and as well as any mosern horn you could find today. The 322 had a yellow brass bell but let me assure you this horn of mine is no second best or 'lighter' alternative it is all but the equal of the Conns it was copied from.

My last point is about the need in a musical sense for two valves. In the last 6 months (which have been very very busy) all my playing has been done in Brass Bands and small ensembles, this might account for what I am about to say but I speak as I find - I have only found about 6 B naturals to play and all have given me enough time to pull the F slide before arriving. Thats a lot more than 99% of all the notes perfectly well playable on the lighter more comfortable, more pleasant to play single valve. Most of the better bass trombonist that I know are all saying the same thing, whenever they can they play the single and that includes some very well known names, I think once again Chris Stearn is amongst them.

I've said all that and I have to ackowledge my own hypocrisy... I had a sub job on Sunday with a band I havent played for in a very long time and I took the double just to make sure I didnt frighten anyone about my competency to play! (I'm the one that gets frightened by my competency and strangely it doesent vary between one or two valves!)....

My advice?.... get that single and it will do everything, change the mouthpiece for what your playing not the horn and listen to what Chris says about the size of your mouthpiece - dont go too big.... Doug
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by GBP » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:22 am

If a single works for the type of playing you do and the kind of player you are, play a single. If not, play a double. You’re welcome.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by GBP » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:25 am

Posaunus wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:25 pm
GBP wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:21 am
I have an Edwards 427 single bass. I use it when play the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven 9 and similar music where a less heavy sound is needed. I don’t play it often, sticking with doubles for most of the playing I do.
Good grief. A full-size bass trombone (yes, even single-valve bass trombones are typically the same size as double-valve basses) for Mozart (or even Beethoven)? This seems to me to be overkill. In some circles, even blasphemy! These composers couldn't have even imagined these monster instruments - or their huge sound. Time to lighten up, methinks!
Since you have never heard my play the horn, do not know who I play the horn with, do not know where I play the horn, do not know what the others in the section are playing, maybe your opinion lacks a level of credibility? Talk about hearing with your eyes.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by DougHulme » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:47 am

GBP... I think you missed the point in my post and to a certain extent from Posaunus as well. Sound wise your single Edwards is the same as your double (if that is an Edwards too). The difference is a technical one, the choice of alternative shifts which might make a smoother transition between notes - but the sound will be the same, it wont make a difference whether you play your double for the Mozart Requiem or your single. Note I am not getting caught up in your reply to posaunus I dont know enough about the works of Mozart and Beethoven though I guess the point Posaunus was making was that they originally wrote with very small bore instruments in mind and if you were trying to re-create that sound your Edwards would be a long way removed from that sound. However as you say if the rest of the section have gone big it might sound good anyway!... Doug
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by GBP » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:17 am

I didn’t miss his point. You however, missed mine.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by JohnL » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:00 pm

I suspect a lot of community players are in the same situation in which I find myself. There always seems to be a measure or two on one piece that I'd rather not fight a single on. Tonight is a prime example. Everything on the concert is easily playable on a single except one spot on one piece where there's a quick pedal Bb-low Cb-pedal Bb sequence. Playing it as a false tone is an option, but it's a spot where the note really needs to speak.
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by DougHulme » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:35 pm

GBP... I apologise then!... Doug
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by blast » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:04 pm

If you are a professional player, you should be able to make pretty much any equipment sound right in pretty much any situation.....
Years ago I worked in an orchestra from time to time that had a well known conductor who always asked for 'small bore' trombones. To save myself the bother of downsizing in an orchestra where none of the other instruments were changed,I used an unlacquered Bach 50B that looked 100 years old.... and that conductor took the trouble thank me for using a 'small bore' and said that it made so much difference.... tee tee.
Today I was helping out at school concert and found that I was having to cover 1st and 2nd trombone parts on the bass....at one point I turned to the kid next to me and said that I wished that I had brought a tenor with me.... she said 'oh, is that a bass ? '.....
Actually, looking at the above,perhaps I just make small sound.....

Chris
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Re: Single Valve Bass Trombone for Primary Instrument

Post by DougHulme » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:47 pm

Hi Chris... well I think my problem is not small sound but small mind! Its too much trouble to work out all these alternative positions and I find everything on a single comes second nature to me from learning in my youth. Its a case of 'keep it simple stupid' for me!!! I had the reverse experience of you recently, the young lady playing principal in a youth band I help to manage has for several years insisted on playing an old Boosey Imperial bass trombone (one of the later ones so a full size bore). I tried t persuade her to get a proper tenor but she liked the bass and played it with a suitable mouthpiece... shes quite a competent player and I have to say I have been impressed with the sound and her playing and it fitted well with the rest of the section and when I have mentioned it to others they have said 'oh is that a bass she plays then?'... just shows what I know!!... Doug
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