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Thread: Euphonium to Trombone

  1. Euphonium to Trombone

    So I know this forum is mainly for Euphonium/Tuba players but I figured I could still get help. I am a Junior High Euphonium player who recently took an audition for High School band placement(we have three ensembles) and was placed in the top band on trombone. They asked me if I would switch and I said yes because I have had a trombone for a few months and had played on it some. Having not expected to be switching I never took it very seriously and my slide positions were not learned and I have had lots of trouble staying in tune. I have a few months before I begin to play with this band so what should I be working on to improve my slide technique? I have mainly been working in the Arban book on articulation excersizes and scales. I also have problems cracking notes on trombone whereas I almost never crack my notes on Euphonium. Why am I having problems cracking notes and what can I work on to fix this issue?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackr_34 View Post
    Why am I having problems cracking notes and what can I work on to fix this issue?
    It most likely has to do with the slide positions. If you try to buzz a particular note and the instrument isn't the right length to make that note, the note will crack as the instrument forces your lips to resonate at the nearest frequency that corresponds to the length of the instrument. Scales very slowly with a tuner are probably your best bet to start.

    If you can manage a few lessons with a trombone teacher, you really should consider that. Getting a sound set of fundamentals will help you play trombone like a trombonist and not a euphoniumist.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist
    www.adrianquince.com

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  3. #3
    Agree with Adrian above. I play both euphonium and trombone, and there are a different set of skills for each and a different sound for each. It might not be bad to play some of the euphonium music you are familiar with on trombone. Then you know what it should sound like. I learned trombone after euphonium and thought of the slide positions to corellate with the fingerings on the euphonium. Others may do that differently. There is a lot of learning to master the trombone slide technique.

    Looking at this from another angle, do you really want to play trombone over euphonium? I know some band directors try to switch people around to balance their groups and perhaps for other reasons, but if euphonium is the instrument you prefer, I don't know why you would want to switch to trombone.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 03-18-2019 at 11:05 AM.
    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)

  4. #4
    Get some lessons from a qualified teacher immediately. There's a lot of nuance to good slide technique, and you also have to worry about developing and coordinating a legato tongue. There are so many ways you can get bad habits started, it would be well worth your while to spend some time with someone who can guide you in the right direction. Some of the best trombone players were originally euphonium players, and it opens a huge world of musical possibilities up to you that you wouldn't have as a euphonium-only player.
    --
    Barry

  5. #5
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    Wonderful to be able to double! NOW- seek out a qualified teacher.

  6. #6
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    One of my teachers in college, Henry Charles Smith III, started on euphonium and then learned trombone in order to play in his school orchestra. It worked out for him, as he later became principal trombonist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. When I studied with him (many years ago), he was equally wonderful on both instruments.
    I think that Adrian Quince's advice to practice trombone with a tuner is spot on. You will need to learn to adjust your slide to bring your notes in tune.
    Good luck!

  7. Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Looking at this from another angle, do you really want to play trombone over euphonium? I know some band directors try to switch people around to balance their groups and perhaps for other reasons, but if euphonium is the instrument you prefer, I don't know why you would want to switch to trombone.
    This!!! When I was in high school, I picked up trombone just so I could audition for all-region orchestra, which didn't have euphonium (stupid buttfaces). I made it and attended the clinic, but then didn't enjoy it. When I stopped playing completely, it was never once the trombone that made me feel wistful. It certainly wasn't the trombone that compelled me to return to music many years later, despite 100 reasons against it. If you love the 'bone or think you might learn to, then do your best and enjoy having more instruments to love. If you don't, then I encourage you to be honest with yourself and your band director. You want to love this thing to which you devote so much time!
    Wessex Dolce

    "Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones." - Puddleglum in "The Silver Chair"

  8. One of the bigger challenges I faced learning trombone after learning euphonium was the role of the embouchure. Playing euphonium requires embouchure adjustments depending on valve combination and role in chord structure. Those adjustments on trombone are to be done on the slide, so the embouchure is much more static.
    James Kircoff
    Genesee Wind Symphony - principal euphonium (Adams E3 Custom .60mm yellow brass bell w/ Parker 4G Houser)
    Capital City Brass Band (2019 NABBA 2nd section champions) - 1st baritone (Besson BE956 w/ Denis Wick 6BY) and 10 piece ensemble (Getzen 1052FD bass trombone w/ Bach 1G)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkircoff View Post
    Playing euphonium requires embouchure adjustments depending on valve combination and role in chord structure. Those adjustments on trombone are to be done on the slide, so the embouchure is much more static.
    This is not my experience, and seems to be incompatible with enumerable discussions among trombonists on such topics as the "pivot" (Reinhardt) and "embouchure motion" (Doug Elliott). I find that I change my embouchure much more frequently on trombone than on euphonium or tuba.

    We agree at least that the embouchures for these instruments are different.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  10. Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    This is not my experience, and seems to be incompatible with enumerable discussions among trombonists on such topics as the "pivot" (Reinhardt) and "embouchure motion" (Doug Elliott). I find that I change my embouchure much more frequently on trombone than on euphonium or tuba.

    We agree at least that the embouchures for these instruments are different.
    I think we are in more agreement than initially thought. I still adjust my embouchure as I go into upper and lower registers on the trombone, but I use the slide for intonation adjustments instead of the jaw on euphonium.
    James Kircoff
    Genesee Wind Symphony - principal euphonium (Adams E3 Custom .60mm yellow brass bell w/ Parker 4G Houser)
    Capital City Brass Band (2019 NABBA 2nd section champions) - 1st baritone (Besson BE956 w/ Denis Wick 6BY) and 10 piece ensemble (Getzen 1052FD bass trombone w/ Bach 1G)

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