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Thread: Draining Slides

  1. #1

    Draining Slides

    Hi all,

    I have noticed that I have made a habit of pulling the slides out to drain the spit/condensation, even when the slide has a water key. I feel like I donít clear it as well, otherwise. Is this a bad habit? The other euph player in my community band only pulls slides that donít have the water key.

    What do you do? What is recommended?
    Clayton M.
    Musician for Fun
    ē Euphonium Newbie - XO 1270S
    ē Trumpet Novice - XO 1602RS

  2. I'm a "slide puller" too. Been playing for 58 years. Haven't destroyed any horns yet.
    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,156
    I normally only pull my 2nd and 4th slide that don't have water keys. I used to pull my 1st slide to empty water but heard that over doing it could prematurely wear out the legs of the slide. Usually just tipping my horn some to the right, opening the key, and lightly blowing air to break surface tension. I said 'lightly blow' cause that's all that's really needed usually. We have a trumpet player who blows so hard to clear water the audience can hear it at times.
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank


    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    When the Saints Go Marching In (arr. Mashima) at ACB Conference Ft. Lauderdale
    Cell phone video of : El Cumbanchero:

  4. #4
    I use my water keys, except maybe at the end of a practice session when I'll dump slides (only if I'm feeling ambitious).

    If I empty a slide with the water key and immediately pull it and dump it, I get just a bit of extra moisture out. That's assuming I have the right angle when I use the key, so the water can find the hole. I figure that little bit of water is no more than I'll have after 15 seconds of playing anyway.

    I don't worry about wearing out the slides, except for 2nd. Mostly I use the water keys because:
    - it is quicker
    - it is quieter (unless you are really careful, but that would take a bit longer)
    - it is less obvious to the audience. On a couple occasions (when I was only dumping the 2nd slide) I heard that audience members found it gross.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #5
    I mostly pull the slides out, but only the 2nd valve slide at all times because it fills up quite rapidly. 3rd valve slide depending on if I have enough time and on which instrument (My Sovereign doesn't have a 3rd valve slide water key, my Willson does). First valve slide only when I have a lot of time, otherwise just using the water key. My 4th valve slide collects close to no water so I'm never too worried about that. Main tuning slide is mainly the water key.

  6. #6
    Pretty much what Dave does. Sometimes if I just lean my horn a little for the right angle and open the 1st valve key, I don't get much, then if I pull the slide I get more. I think the hole just sort of stops up or doesn't flow out easily sometimes without blowing a little (as Rick says to relieve the surface tension). The slides and their amount of "emptying attention" on my horn from most to least would be main and 2nd valve about a tie for most, then 1st valve, 3rd valve and 4th valve. I never empty the 3rd valve compensating slide unless I am just extremely bored (once I did get a drop out). Ditto with the 1st valve compensating slide. But I do pull the 1st valve compensating slide once in a while to check valve alignment. I do tend to pull most of the slides out after a rehearsal (except rarely the 3rd valve slide).

    Thought/question for the day: On virtually ALL of the euphoniums I have owned, the 2nd valve slide fills faster and more than the other valves, usually by multiple amounts. Why would the 2nd valve slide fill more than the others?
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  7. #7
    The 2nd slide was always the water collector on my compensating horns...until I got my E3. For some reason I don't get that much for #2 anymore. I still empty it when I do the others and get a few drops from 2, but I probably could ignore it for quite a while if I wanted to. No clue what has changed! Certainly the tubing and port runs in my horn are the same as John's E3.

    However, in the past I had always figured that 2 collected water because it is used so often. In addition, I think the very tight curve at the bottom, where the water collects, means it will gurgle sooner that if the same amount of water sat in the 1st valve slide.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post

    Thought/question for the day: On virtually ALL of the euphoniums I have owned, the 2nd valve slide fills faster and more than the other valves, usually by multiple amounts. Why would the 2nd valve slide fill more than the others?
    I suspect it has to do with the radius of the crook, being tighter on the 2nd valve, less water will cause more gurgling than on the first valve.

    Interestingly, the Miraphone 5050 fills the 2nd valve slide slower than other horns that I’ve played.

    Don

  9. #9
    My E3 2nd valve slide does in fact not fill quite as fast as other horns, but I am using the Wessex at the moment, and it really fills fast, as have most of my others. Not sure about the gurgling thing and the short slide being the culprit, I seem to clearly have "more" moisture coming out of most 2nd valve slides. And I also remember that my M5050 Miraphone wasn't so fast to fill with the 2nd valve slide, same as Don above. So, restating everything, all my horns (10-15) have experienced faster filling with the 2nd valve slide than the other valve slides, except perhaps my Miraphone M5050 and Adams E3. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Until tomorrow...
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  10. #10
    Thanks for the input. I was worried I was forming a bad habit. It seems like there wouldn’t be any reason not to continue except for being discreet during a performance.

    To add to the current conversation: the main tuning slide collects quite a bit more than any other slides for me. During a rehearsal, I tend to empty the tuning slide, the 1st valve, and the 2nd valve. (In that order, and in that order of frequency) I think the amount of condensation forming has a lot to do with the rehearsal space being air conditioned, while my horn does not enjoy that normally.
    Clayton M.
    Musician for Fun
    ē Euphonium Newbie - XO 1270S
    ē Trumpet Novice - XO 1602RS

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