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Thread: Instrument doubling

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by enhite View Post
    This thread reminded me of a recital by Dr. Ben Pierce (professor of low brass at the University of Arkansas) followed by discussion at Ball State University a few years ago. Dr. Pierce certainly proved he is a virtuoso on both euphonium and tuba. After the recital, someone asked Dr. Pierce how he managed his practice on both instruments. He responded that he played euphonium until his lips grew tired then picked up the tuba.
    Perhaps Dr. Pierce’s practice method of playing the smaller instrument first might work for you if you choose to add trumpet to your instruments.
    Beware of a basic difference in Dr. Pierce's experience. I have also doubled on tuba and found it quite compatible with euphonium. Both are conical, both need "warm air," and both require chops that can vibrate in a relaxed manner. Now, within the trumpet world I'm sure relaxed vibration is taught to warm the tone, but it is relaxation within a much different overall context. I'm a believer that the BEST euphonium double is tuba (and vice versa). I also play trombone and did so in the CG jazz band. It was less compatible, even though I used the same mouthpiece, because of the cylindrical nature of the trombone.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    I know many euphoniumists double on tuba or trombone, but how about trumpet? I started on trumpet in Jr high and switched to baritone horn in the 9th grade and stayed with it. I'm 74 now and playing euph, but am thinking about picking up a trumpet just for my own enjoyment. Will playing that small mouthpiece from time to time negatively affect my euph embouchure?
    I can't speak to the age factor, but I will say that playing trumpet only occasionally is more likely to be frustrating than fun. As someone who has doubled on both regularly for the past decade or so (after playing trumpet full-time for a number of years), I will say that I can't go more than 2 days without playing trumpet without my playing losing something. On euphonium, for me that window is closer to 5 days.

    With all that said, one nice thing about being in an area that's sheltering in place because of Coronavirus is that I'm spending less time commuting to the office and more time practicing.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist
    www.adrianquince.com

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    ... I'm a believer that the BEST euphonium double is tuba (and vice versa). I also play trombone and did so in the CG jazz band. It was less compatible, even though I used the same mouthpiece, because of the cylindrical nature of the trombone.
    What you said about the best euphonium double being a tuba is a comment I would not have agreed with in the past. I play euphonium as my main instrument (after starting on trumpet in my early years). I also play trombone a lot in a couple of orchestras and tuba in some church ensembles and a brass quintet. It certainly wasn't intuitive to me that tuba and euphonium were better doublers than euphonium and trombone. But they are for me, too. And I don't think I realized why until I read your last sentence above. Duh, trombone is more cylindrical!!! That is the key. I use the same mouthpiece on both horns, yet I find the euphonium so much easier to play than the trombone (some of that is I spend a lot of time on the euphonium, not as much on the trombone). But the trombone is definitely harder to play well for me than the euphonium. The tuba, even though the mouthpiece is bigger (I use a Wick 3XL on the recommendation of Gary Merrill), is easier for me in some respects than the trombone, which I play much more.
    Last edited by John Morgan; 03-17-2020 at 09:23 PM.
    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. After experimenting with a cheap trumpet and a cheap flugelhorn I resold both of those and got a really good flugelhorn a few months ago, and am enjoying playing it. It is a slightly used Adams F1, which I think I got a really good deal on, on Ebay. It is challenging and sometimes frustrating, but not significantly more so than it was a few years ago when I was trying to get my euphonium chops back after decades of not playing. I have the same problem now as then, i.e. range and endurance, only more so. I do see improvement though when I keep at it with multiple short sessions each day. i have a long way to go, but I do think I am close to trying to do a special music in church on flugel. I have been neglecting my euphonium at times, purposely so as to make progress on flugelhorn. Then when I go back to euphonium, it "feels funny" at first, and I would say tone and accuracy are a little off...but if I stick with euphonium for a day or two it all comes back. I don't know if there will be long term problems, but so far it doesn't seem like it.

  5. #15
    Join Date
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    351
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    [snip]The British artist James Morrison covers the whole realm of brass instruments. Somewhere on YouTube is a video of him playing every instrument in a brass band...all during the same piece. That's pretty fast switching! But I'm not sure his euphonium sound is ideal.
    I adore his trumpet playing, and while the music he plays on trombone is stellar, I'm not enamored of his tone on trombone, either.

    I pick up my trumpet once in a blue moon (usually to add a part to a home recording). I accept the fact that I will not be able to play higher than concert D5, and that I may have to use Melodyne (similar to AutoTune) to help my intonation. I did once use Melodyne to raise a passage up an octave (I was trying to record a big band chart I had written) and the results were, um, interesting.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1, Kadja, and DE 101XTG9 mouthpieces
    Bach 36B trombone; pBone; Vincent Bach (from 1971) 6.5AL mouthpiece
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo) and Delilah (the cavapoo puppy) keep me company while practicing

  6. All very helpful and some amusing comments. I think for now I'll stick to guitar and autoharp as my additional instruments. My embouchure shouldn't be negatively affected by either.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    All very helpful and some amusing comments. I think for now I'll stick to guitar and autoharp as my additional instruments. My embouchure shouldn't be negatively affected by either.
    Have you tried recorder? I learned how to play (barely) while in the CG Band - just something to relax with while on tours and killing time between travel and concerts. It really was relaxing! There is not much chance of conflict with your chops of course. But the most interesting thing is how air works. Basically, if you crescendo with your air you will also go sharp. I believe recorder players often stop notes with their tongue so pitch won't droop. That might be a place to be careful, so the habit doesn't sneak into your euphonium playing. Anyway, a recorder is easy to learn (and hard to master) and very, very portable!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  8. Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    Beware of a basic difference in Dr. Pierce's experience. I have also doubled on tuba and found it quite compatible with euphonium. Both are conical, both need "warm air," and both require chops that can vibrate in a relaxed manner. Now, within the trumpet world I'm sure relaxed vibration is taught to warm the tone, but it is relaxation within a much different overall context. I'm a believer that the BEST euphonium double is tuba (and vice versa). I also play trombone and did so in the CG jazz band. It was less compatible, even though I used the same mouthpiece, because of the cylindrical nature of the trombone.
    So do you think doubling on a tuba can benefit your euphonium playing due to the amount of air that is required ?

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    So do you think doubling on a tuba can benefit your euphonium playing due to the amount of air that is required ?
    You betcha! I started learning tuba for 2 reasons: increase my air and warm my sound.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    What you said about the best euphonium double being a tuba is a comment I would not have agreed with in the past. I play euphonium as my main instrument (after starting on trumpet in my early years). I also play trombone a lot in a couple of orchestras and tuba in some church ensembles and a brass quintet. It certainly wasn't intuitive to me that tuba and euphonium were better doublers than euphonium and trombone. But they are for me, too. And I don't think I realized why until I read your last sentence above. Duh, trombone is more cylindrical!!! That is the key. I use the same mouthpiece on both horns, yet I find the euphonium so much easier to play than the trombone (some of that is I spend a lot of time on the euphonium, not as much on the trombone). But the trombone is definitely harder to play well for me than the euphonium. The tuba, even though the mouthpiece is bigger (I use a Wick 3XL on the recommendation of Gary Merrill), is easier for me in some respects than the trombone, which I play much more.
    While I agree that the airstream similarities make tuba and euphonium a good double, I found that playing too much tuba tended to make my euphonium sound too dark and dull. I’ve actually found that the optimum double for me is bass trombone. Very similar blow to euphonium, and the unforgiving nature of the bass trombone gives me discipline in articulation and makes me sound better on Euphonium.

    Don

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