Switching between bass and small tenor

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trombinstharry
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Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by trombinstharry » Sun May 12, 2019 9:19 am

Hello all, I have been playing only bass for several months now, and have completely lost my small tenor chops. What can I do to get a good sound again on small tenor? How can I switch between the two effectively?
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Sun May 12, 2019 9:52 am

When I spend a lot of time on bass and have to switch to a smaller bore, the first thing that gets me is the air. I wind up exhaling at the end of a phrase. There's a balance between overblowing and over breathing. Tenor takes less air, breathe accordingly.

The next thing for me was the mouthpiece. Keeping the rim size big on tenor has been the best option for me. Doug Elliott mouthpieces enabled me to switch bore sizes more easily. I use a 104 rim on all tenors, and about a 110 for bass.

To me, aside from the different sound and the triggers, the air and the mouthpiece are the big mechanical hurdles (well, also the weight and ergonomics).
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by AndrewMeronek » Sun May 12, 2019 9:55 am

Make sure you have the same physical setup between horns. It's pretty easy, when horns have different feels, to play one horn at a slightly different angle or on a different spot on the chops.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Doug Elliott » Sun May 12, 2019 11:22 am

This is one of the main reasons I designed my mouthpiece system - to allow you to play on a rim size that suits your needs.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by BGuttman » Sun May 12, 2019 11:35 am

I find it's important to realize that larger bore instruments take air, but smaller bore instruments take finesse. It's very easy to overblow a small bore when you are accustomed to a big horn, and conversely when you have acclimated to a small horn the large one feels like an air hog.

If you need to switch off a lot, practice some time on each.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by harrisonreed » Sun May 12, 2019 12:11 pm

trombinstharry wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:19 am
Hello all, I have been playing only bass for several months now, and 1. have completely lost my small tenor chops. 2. What can I do to get a good sound again on small tenor? 3. How can I switch between the two effectively?
1. You stopped practicing

2. Practice small tenor again.

3. Practice switching between both horns, or at the very least practice both horns on a regular basis. Rims are a sorta fix, but after you do that, it's not like you magically don't have to practice on the horns you want to use.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Burgerbob » Sun May 12, 2019 12:12 pm

harrisonreed wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 12:11 pm
trombinstharry wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:19 am
Hello all, I have been playing only bass for several months now, and 1. have completely lost my small tenor chops. 2. What can I do to get a good sound again on small tenor? 3. How can I switch between the two effectively?
1. You stopped practicing

2. Practice small tenor again.

3. Practice switching between both horns, or at the very least practice both horns on a regular basis. Rims are a sorta fix, but after you do that, it's not like you magically don't have to practice on the horns you want to use.
Yup. There's no shortcut. Play both often.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Doug Elliott » Sun May 12, 2019 1:33 pm

The right size rim can be a huge shortcut.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brassmedic » Sun May 12, 2019 1:36 pm

There's no shortcut for practice. I don't need to use the same rim size on everything. I just play the mouthpiece that's appropriate for the instrument. Some players like to keep the same rim size. That's fine if you have to do that; it's an individual preference, but using screw rims isn't a panacea that will magically make you able to play any size horn without practice. You can't just stop playing a horn for several months and expect to pick it up again and have everything be fine.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Doug Elliott » Sun May 12, 2019 4:42 pm

Most doublers don't use "the same" rim size but it can be a huge help to use something larger than someone who doesn't double might use.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brassmedic » Sun May 12, 2019 4:57 pm

The principle is the same, though, whether you are making the rim sizes the same or trying to make the rim sizes closer to each other. It's not a substitute for actual face time on the horn you're going to be playing. The issue isn't really that he played bass for several months; it's that he STOPPED playing small tenor for several months.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Doug Elliott » Sun May 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Or that his tenor piece was too small for him in the first place, and he was just making it work. That situation is extremely common.

Ultimately, anyone will become a better player if they're not having to struggle to make equipment work, or spend extra hours of practice time just to keep it working.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Kingfan » Sun May 12, 2019 5:42 pm

Doug has good advice. I played larger bore tenors starting in 1973, added bass about 25 years ago and small bores about ten years ago. I use a DE LT 101 rim/LT D cup/D3 shank on my small bores including my King 2B. My spare is a Bach 5. Most people said I should use standard Bach 7s and 11s, or 12s of various modelson the small bores, but it felt like they were choking me off. YMMV. Don't be afraid to think out of the box!
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Redthunder » Sun May 12, 2019 7:58 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 1:36 pm
There's no shortcut for practice. I don't need to use the same rim size on everything. I just play the mouthpiece that's appropriate for the instrument. Some players like to keep the same rim size. That's fine if you have to do that; it's an individual preference, but using screw rims isn't a panacea that will magically make you able to play any size horn without practice. You can't just stop playing a horn for several months and expect to pick it up again and have everything be fine.


Since adopting Doug's suggestions, including but not limited to switching to larger rims, I've pretty much done what you say isn't reasonable to expect, on several occasions. I think people often misunderstand why keeping rim sizes fairly consistent works so well to begin with. Yes, it maintains a more consistent feeling on your face size wize, but certain rim sizes simply allow you to develop more correct technique than others depending on how you play. I am able to leave one horn for months and pick it up months later with little to no loss of abilities, because more importantly than maintaining a common rim size, I am maintaining a common technique from horn to horn that doesn't require hours of daily maintenance just to keep up my chops on. This is the other half of OPs question. Yes, obviously practice matters, but "practice" alone is not enough of an answer. Practice what? Practice how? Too many discussions on doubling miss this.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Burgerbob » Sun May 12, 2019 8:14 pm

Redthunder wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:58 pm
Yes, obviously practice matters, but "practice" alone is not enough of an answer. Practice what? Practice how? Too many discussions on doubling miss this.
The same thing you practice on anything else. Fundamentals, scales, slurs, etudes, melodies.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Redthunder » Sun May 12, 2019 8:32 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:14 pm

The same thing you practice on anything else. Fundamentals, scales, slurs, etudes, melodies.
So in other words... practice the same stuff from horn to horn... so if all of this stuff is shared across the
different horns, why is keeping the same or closely related rim sizes considered a less important factor or a less valid solution to the equation?
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by TheBoneRanger » Sun May 12, 2019 8:56 pm

Many great doublers recommend starting your day on the smallest horn, and working your way up to the bigger horns. Even 10 minutes at the start of your day will keep you in touch with the smaller rim, and then it won't be as hard to rediscover your form when your focus returns to the smaller horn again.

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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Matt K » Sun May 12, 2019 9:06 pm

Indeed, I tried to use smaller rims for almost a year when I did my masters degree. I seem to recall a NY 11C... or maybe it was a 7C? It was a few years ago. It was basically my primary piece and yet I'd take one day off and lose ground whereas I could go a week w/o playing the 104N and be totally fine. Ended up switching to that full time then. Now, I can go weeks without playing one or the other and I'm always exactly where I left the other one. It obviously doesn't work for everyone but ti's been a real game changer for me.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Burgerbob » Sun May 12, 2019 9:36 pm

Redthunder wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:32 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:14 pm

The same thing you practice on anything else. Fundamentals, scales, slurs, etudes, melodies.
So in other words... practice the same stuff from horn to horn... so if all of this stuff is shared across the
different horns, why is keeping the same or closely related rim sizes considered a less important factor or a less valid solution to the equation?
The rim size isn't the only thing that's different about a horn.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Redthunder » Sun May 12, 2019 9:40 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:36 pm
The rim size isn't the only thing that's different about a horn.
I never said that it was, so I'm not sure what your point is.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Burgerbob » Sun May 12, 2019 9:44 pm

Redthunder wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:40 pm
Burgerbob wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:36 pm
The rim size isn't the only thing that's different about a horn.
I never said that it was, so I'm not sure what your point is.
And I'm not sure what yours is. Yes, you need to practice the things you play on any other instrument, because it's slightly different in size and sound concept.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Redthunder » Sun May 12, 2019 9:54 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 9:44 pm

And I'm not sure what yours is. Yes, you need to practice the things you play on any other instrument, because it's slightly different in size and sound concept.
It kind of seems as though you're deliberately only responding to small individual parts of my comments while ignoring most of the context for what I said and why, so you're right, this discussion seems moot.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Burgerbob » Sun May 12, 2019 9:58 pm

:idk: I guess.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by mrdeacon » Mon May 13, 2019 12:30 am

TheBoneRanger wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Many great doublers recommend starting your day on the smallest horn, and working your way up to the bigger horns. Even 10 minutes at the start of your day will keep you in touch with the smaller rim, and then it won't be as hard to rediscover your form when your focus returns to the smaller horn again.

Andrew
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way. I much prefer to start on small bore and play large tenor or bass later in the day.

A number of players in LA preach the opposite... start on your largest instrument and go smaller later in the day if needed. The idea is you start the day using lots of air.

I always felt this was a good way to "blow out" your chops and use too larger an aperture when you downsize later in the day. Staying focused IMO is one of the hardest things to do on bass... why not always practice being focused and efficient?
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brassmedic » Mon May 13, 2019 8:37 am

Hey kids - buy these magic beans and you can play any instrument without practicing. Yay!
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Mon May 13, 2019 9:00 am

Brad,
I don't think anyone is saying you can play without practice, just that rim size can decrease the transition time between horns. I know I couldn't pick up a 5G and then pick up a 1.5G and play. It took me a week to make that kind of transition. But now that I use Doug's system (mostly) I can move back and forth between bass and small tenor. I still have to practice to keep things working, but my chops don't have to adjust. Some people can change between mouthpieces, even between trumpet and trombone, but I know I can't. The only way I can switch like that is if I plan my mouthpiece rims properly.

It's not magic, not an illusion, and I didn't really believe it at first, but it works. I'm not a particularly gifted player, and not a remedial case either. I've seen other people do crazy switching that I know I couldn't do without Doug's approach. I'm able to put together DE mouthpieces that work great with my 508, 525, 547, 562 bore horns. I do switch to a Ferguson L (or V, depending) for bass, which is easy from my 104 tenor rim, but I couldn't do it from a 5G (approx 100).
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Redthunder » Mon May 13, 2019 9:32 am

brassmedic wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:37 am
Hey kids - buy these magic beans and you can play any instrument without practicing. Yay!
Way to ignore every single point that was made and rely on a straw man argument to belittle everyone in this thread. You must have figured out more than everyone.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brassmedic » Mon May 13, 2019 1:14 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:00 am
Brad,
I don't think anyone is saying you can play without practice
Actually, that is EXACTLY what he said:
Redthunder wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 7:58 pm
I am able to leave one horn for months and pick it up months later with little to no loss of abilities
I'm just trying to say that maybe, just maybe, not every trombone player on the planet has to invest in an expensive modular mouthpiece system. That perhaps some of us can use different mouthpieces on the different size horns that we play by actually practicing that horn. I have no problem whatsoever transitioning between different mouthpiece sizes, and I sit next to players every day who also have no problem doing it. But none of us would even dream of showing up to a gig with an axe that we haven't touched for several months.

But I guess the other side is going to shout louder than us. I think Aidan had a pretty good point, but got bullied out of the thread by Redthunder. Whatever. Tired of arguing. I'll just leave you with this:
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Redthunder » Mon May 13, 2019 1:27 pm

First of all, I never said you don’t need to practice AT ALL. What I said was I DONT NEED TO PRACTICE EVERY HORN ALL THE TIME TO EFFECTIVELY PLAY THEM. I said I practice TECHNIQUE that carries over from horn to horn. You’re grossly misunderstanding my words.

brassmedic wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:14 pm
I'm just trying to say that maybe, just maybe, not every trombone player on the planet has to invest in an expensive modular mouthpiece system.
Another strawman - While Doug's pieces are one option, the point was about the rim size, not who makes the rim. I only use Doug's pieces on one of my horns, the others are stock, used, well worn Bach mouthpieces with rim sizes that fit my face.
That perhaps some of us can use different mouthpieces on the different size horns that we play by actually practicing that horn. I have no problem whatsoever transitioning between different mouthpiece sizes, and I sit next to players every day who also have no problem doing it. But none of us would even dream of showing up to a gig with an axe that we haven't touched for several months.


Good for you! Glad it works. I went down that path and it absolutely didn't for me. Nobody said you had to do it Doug's way, so I don't know why you're acting like that's the narrative here. More so contesting the idea that it really just is that simple for everyone as it was for you. I wasted 5 years trying to make a 12C, 11C, and 7C work on small bore tenor because I thought it was "appropriate". Just because it works for one person doesn't mean it will work for another. And yes, this goes both ways. Never said that OP or others HAD to do it this way. But there are tons of people that absolutely believe that the only way to get the "right" sound on each horn is to use an 11C, 5G, and 1 1/2G respectively and just "practice through it", and that's all they teach. All Doug, myself and others were doing was disputing that you had to spend hours and hours just to maintain your chops. You're not really acknowledging that for every player that has no problem doing what you do, there are just as many that can't and need a different route. I speak from my own experience, but maybe I just didn't practice enough according to you...
But I guess the other side is going to shout louder than us. I think Aidan had a pretty good point, but got bullied out of the thread by Redthunder. Whatever. Tired of arguing. I'll just leave you with this:
For someone accusing me of being a bully, you're pretty rude yourself. All I did was respond, you brought the snark. You seem to be way more bothered by my thoughts than I am of yours. I never said that people shouldn't do it your way, all I did, along with Doug and SEVERAL others was mention that there are other routes.

I'm glad you have hours and hours in your day to practice as much as you like on all of your horns. I don't. So I'm going to focus on the similarities between the horns as much as I can, and yes, it works. I've yet to hear a complaint about my small bore playing when all I practice these days is large bore.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brassmedic » Mon May 13, 2019 1:51 pm

Redthunder wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 1:27 pm
First of all, I never said you don’t need to practice AT ALL.
I never claimed that you did.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Mon May 13, 2019 2:18 pm

Just in case the OP is a young impressionable player, there are aspects of small, medium, large bore instruments that are different from one another, and aspects of bass that are also different. You have to practice each of these separately. Bass bone serves a different function. You have to practice bass lines, laying a foundation without overpowering, the use of multiple valves, the use of massive amounts of air, etc. With small bore, you have to practice that sound, the articulation, lip slurs are different, playing 6th and 7th positions, you might have to shift differently for low notes, intonation can be different on each horn. Each setup requires different practice. Yes, some practice will cross over between sizes, like reading, rhythm, time, listening, slide technique, etc.

My point is that I would have to practice for a few days just to get used to a different rim (some can just switch, some can't). Planning out rim size between horns is expensive, but it eliminates the handicap of not being able to switch naturally. You still have to practice all of those aspects listed above. I'm not trying to join any side of the argument, just talking about my personal experience. In a quartet rehearsal I usually play bass, but I might also have to pull out my 508, and if I haven't practiced playing 508, everybody is going to know, but at least the rim transition isn't going to be the issue that trips me up.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brassmedic » Mon May 13, 2019 4:32 pm

Well said. You have to do what works for you. One size does not fit all. (That is meant figuratively).
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brtnats » Mon May 13, 2019 7:24 pm

Yo Red, whether or not it’s intentional, you’re coming off as extremely aggressive and contentious in this thread. Take a breather.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brtnats » Mon May 13, 2019 7:30 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:00 am

It's not magic, not an illusion, and I didn't really believe it at first, but it works. I'm not a particularly gifted player, and not a remedial case either. I've seen other people do crazy switching that I know I couldn't do without Doug's approach. I'm able to put together DE mouthpieces that work great with my 508, 525, 547, 562 bore horns. I do switch to a Ferguson L (or V, depending) for bass, which is easy from my 104 tenor rim, but I couldn't do it from a 5G (approx 100).
I think that’s interesting; I’m in the other camp, and I’m curious why you use the Ferguson L on bass. I wanted to like similar rim sizes, but I just can’t make my small horn sound like I want it to sound with a large rim, or my bass sound like I want it to sound with a small rim. For me, the different sizes initiate an instant change in approach that I just didn’t get using the same rims.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by BurckhardtS » Tue May 14, 2019 12:05 am

I think I'd be frustrated too if people were only looking at 1 small portion of my post and basing their entire responses on that instead of the whole picture of what he was trying to say.

For what it's worth, I don't really play that much bass and prefer not to if I can, but the few times I've played bass on a consistent basis, I almost never practiced it and was able to play fine without it once I got reading double valve notes (positions) ingrained in my head. The same goes for alto, I more often then not need to re train my ears and brain to read the slide positions, otherwise, I don't really have to do any 'maintenance'. It's a trombone.

I use the same rim size on alto and tenor which is pretty large, and I use a comparably large bass trombone mouthpiece.

I also think that it's funny that we seem to have gravitated towards dissing each other's opinions on equipment when the point of the topic was to give suggestions on how to switch between small tenor and bass.

A bigger rim might help, spending time on it too regularly too might help. It's actually great that you've got a wide variety of opinions here to try out. At the end of the day addressing personally what is causing YOU to have difficulties is what is going to help the most, and the best person for that job is someone who knows your playing well (a private teacher). No one here can give you a real answer without seeing you play.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by blast » Tue May 14, 2019 1:34 am

To answer the OP.... yes you can swap between the two as long as you stay in contact with both.
Health Warning.... I feel that if you are a young developing player, it is important to keep equipment stable and tend to recommend that you play one instrument or another and not double. Confusion can easily set in and wreck a young player. As always, there are exceptions, but they are few in number.
As to how you do it, that depends on how important sound quality is to you and the level you play at. At a sub professional level, use what is easiest... and that can often be a common rim. At a top professional level you have to play everything perfectly with the correct sound for the task in hand, and more often than not, that means the correct instrument with the mouthpiece that best suits that instrument, regardless of how it feels on the face. You get on with it and take the money. Been there.
It's funny, I remember that years ago, on the old forum, Doug Elliott posted sound clips of himself playing a small conventional mouthpiece and the larger rim model he generally uses, to show how he sounded better on the bigger rim. Most people agreed that he did indeed sound better on the big rim.... I preferred him on the small mouthpiece..... so most of you can disregard what I say.

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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Basbasun » Tue May 14, 2019 2:59 am

Chris, thank you very much.
Just how it is.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Tue May 14, 2019 4:45 am

brtnats wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:30 pm
I think that’s interesting; I’m in the other camp, and I’m curious why you use the Ferguson L on bass. I wanted to like similar rim sizes, but I just can’t make my small horn sound like I want it to sound with a large rim, or my bass sound like I want it to sound with a small rim. For me, the different sizes initiate an instant change in approach that I just didn’t get using the same rims.
What is it about the L that you don't like? Do you consider it to be small? It's the largest thing I use. The L has a wide rim. Wide or narrow doesn't seem to bother me, although I've read that other people are sensitive to that difference. My 1.25G has a narrow rim. I like both, but the L has a better sound to me. .

It must be a V-ish cup or the smaller throat that gives it nice low notes yet a decent upper range. The Ferguson V is tougher in the low range, but sounds very tromboney everywhere else. I use the L to avoid struggling in the low range.

I think the secret with small bore and large rim is rhe cup and shank used. On 508 I use 104C3. To me it sounds a little bright, as the Shires Michael Davis Plus has a tendency to sound. As I use larger bores, the cup and shank size increase appropriately.

I played a little tuba for a short time, and the tuba embouchure seemed to come naturally to me and didn't screw up my trombone embouchure too much . Maybe my face is just telling me it needs larger rims.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brtnats » Tue May 14, 2019 12:59 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:45 am
What is it about the L that you don't like? Do you consider it to be small? It's the largest thing I use. The L has a wide rim. Wide or narrow doesn't seem to bother me, although I've read that other people are sensitive to that difference. My 1.25G has a narrow rim. I like both, but the L has a better sound to me. .
You misunderstood; my apologies. I thought it was interesting you were using the same rim for all tenor but a different one for bass.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Tue May 14, 2019 3:10 pm

brtnats wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 12:59 pm

You misunderstood; my apologies. I thought it was interesting you were using the same rim for all tenor but a different one for bass.
OH, yeah, I did misunderstand, sorry. I haven't really solidified my bass piece yet, I've only been playing the L for a month, and keep bouncing between the L and the V. I'm not sure myself why bass mouthpieces don't throw me the way tenor pieces do. I've been a tenor player for 40 years and bass for 3. Must just be more set in my ways on the tenor. Eventually I'll get a DE rig for bass, but there's less need for it there since I don't really distinguish between different types of bass playing.

I tried to use exactly the same rim on bass as on tenor, and it was a disaster. I've been gradually getting larger bass pieces, and realized there's a limit where bigger is not better. That limit for me is about a Yamaha 60. The Yeo is definitely too big.

Unfortunately this is all experimental on bass for me. I'm a reluctant bass player trying to maintain tenor chops.
brtnats
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by brtnats » Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 am

I do this switch all the time the hard way: I practice it.

I play bass in a big concert band, sub in big bands, play with chamber groups.
I play a .508 tenor in a ska band, Dixieland band, pit orchestras, church gigs.

I tried the one-rim-for-all approach, and for me that didn’t do it. I can’t play an hour-long ska or Dixieland gig on a 5 (or larger) sized rim. I can’t play the bass line in an ensemble with that rim size either. So, I’ve picked mouthpieces that make those horns easier to play in context, and I just make sure I practice both of them every day. For me, that’s good practice, as it really makes me think about focus, airflow, posture, and technique across both horns. YMMV.

I will admit, though, that I think the switch is easier because I have 2 horns from the same manufacturer and they line up really well. Ron Wilkins keyed me into that idea, and I think it does help. My small tenor feels like an upwards extension of my bass, and my bass feels like a juiced up version of my small tenor. Again, YMMV.
cozzagiorgi
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by cozzagiorgi » Fri May 17, 2019 5:37 am

brtnats wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 5:02 am
I will admit, though, that I think the switch is easier because I have 2 horns from the same manufacturer and they line up really well. Ron Wilkins keyed me into that idea, and I think it does help. My small tenor feels like an upwards extension of my bass, and my bass feels like a juiced up version of my small tenor. Again, YMMV.
Yep, very important for me to! My tenor and my bass are both Hagmann customs with a really similar feel. It was also important to me to have a similar feeling mouthpiece, event if the rim is not the same.

I LOVE to try other horns and do have 4 different tenor trombones right now. But I keep getting back to the Hagmann custom for this very reason.

Although I could also live with my MV Bach 42... :-)
imsevimse
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by imsevimse » Fri May 17, 2019 9:43 am

TheBoneRanger wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Many great doublers recommend starting your day on the smallest horn, and working your way up to the bigger horns. Even 10 minutes at the start of your day will keep you in touch with the smaller rim, and then it won't be as hard to rediscover your form when your focus returns to the smaller horn again.

Andrew
This is the way I learned. It was much easier to start on the small mouthpiece and then go bigger. I often started on alto, then tenor and finished on bass. I did that for several years. Then I started to change back an forth on the same practice session. Now I have no problem to change at all. This is something you can learn.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic
hyperbolica
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by hyperbolica » Fri May 17, 2019 9:56 am

I agree it's easier to move from small to large, but in rehearsals and performances, it doesn't work that way. You have to switch, and then you have to switch back. Even though it's easier, I think it's important to practice the switch both ways. In quartet, I have both horns set up, and we may alternate tunes where I play 562/508. When I switch to a small horn, it's usually to do something in the "above high Bb" range. To me, that's the part that's tricky, especially if you're also practicing the "below pedal Bb" range on bass. If you practice in the tendency to only go one direction, it may prove a liability when you have to go the other direction. Just be careful to maintain the flexibility to do both.

The weird thing to me is that switching to tuba doesn't mess anything up - tuba seems like a neutral embouchure to me. Not that I'm a good tuba player, I'm not, but the embouchure doesn't seem to mess up either tenor or bass playing for me.
TheBoneRanger
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by TheBoneRanger » Fri May 17, 2019 6:13 pm

hyperbolica wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:56 am
I agree it's easier to move from small to large, but in rehearsals and performances, it doesn't work that way. You have to switch, and then you have to switch back. Even though it's easier, I think it's important to practice the switch both ways.
Beginning your day on a smaller mouthpiece places a premium on a smaller, more efficient aperture. Efficiency, of course, should be a goal on any instrument, but a problem for many doublers early in their doubling lives is creating too wide/large of an aperture on their large equipment (bass/tuba) and not being able to return to a more compact setting when they pick up the smaller equipment once again.

Ultimately, finding a more efficient approach to the bass trombone/tuba will narrow the help to narrow the differences between each horn.

Doug's approach to rims is another way of narrowing the gap between instruments. Some argue there is a deficit in sound when keeping identical rims across multiple horns, or playing large rims on small horns. Others not so much. But it sure does make it simple picking up a small tenor after playing large tenor.

Andrew
imsevimse
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by imsevimse » Sat May 18, 2019 1:53 am

The smallest aperture that makes the result I want is the goal (my goal) on any mouthpiece. I think a to wide aperture is a problem that push players towards larger rims. In that case going larger is not going to help. On all sizes, even bass I strive for the smallest aperture for any note in any dynamic that still makes it possible to get the sound, articulation, dynamics and flexibility I want. The result is what tells me when this is right. Playing both small and wide rims has helped me keep the aperture from the smaller rim to the wider and changed me to be more efficient with my playing on any mouthpiece. This was not planned, it is just what happened when I started switching. It also helped me control the aperture and mouth corners better and make my technique more independent from size and brand of both instruments and mouthpieces.

Some with larger lips might not like small rims and need larger, but in some cases (my experiense) a wider rim than the current rim shades the real problem.

I use a Bach 12E on alto, a Bach 6 3/4C on small tenor and K. Hammond 12M on .525 and .547 horns on bass I use a K. Hammond 20BL. If I need more volume on .525 and .547 I use a K. Hammond 12 MXL.

/Tom
"Do your best and then do better" ttf_watermailonman
My webbpage: https://sites.google.com/site/brazzmusic
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat May 18, 2019 10:47 am

A different approach that can work is to start your day on the larger equipment, but in the range of the smaller so you're starting with a more compact aperture.
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Re: Switching between bass and small tenor

Post by TheBoneRanger » Sat May 18, 2019 7:55 pm

Doug Elliott wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:47 am
A different approach that can work is to start your day on the larger equipment, but in the range of the smaller so you're starting with a more compact aperture.
Agreed! This has been my approach on bass the last few years.

Andrew
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