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Danger of a Gig Bag

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  • davewerden
    Administrator
    • Nov 2005
    • 11138

    Danger of a Gig Bag

    I'm very fond of carrying my horn in a gig bag, but I wonder if I should reconsider.

    Steven Mead uses a nicely-padded leather gig bag for his horn. On the way to a rehearsal in Battle Creek, things did not go well. Here is his story:

    terrible accident with my euphonium. So sad. Fell out the back of a car on arrival at hotel in Battle Creek. Unplayable. 4v stuck , trigger jammed. This is my voice, it’s part of me. Deep shock.

    Thanks everyone for the very kind words. We have some solutions in place for the next days. My good friend and student Evagene K Wellman has kindly agreed to lend me her new Besson Prestige 2051 for the weekend. McQueens Musical Instruments in Manchester will fix up the bell and sort out the trigger and 4th valve on Monday afternoon. I fly to Spain on Wednesday for concerts, so the schedule is tight!

    It was a tragic accident, the very kind couple who took Misa and I from Detroit airport to our hotel in Battle Creek just flicked up the rear door of the car without realising my instrument was in a rather precarious position. It fell a couple of feet to the ground, enough to do this damage in a gig bag. I’m slowly getting over the shock and trying to be positive. Accidents do happen in the world, and it’s how we deal with them that really counts. Thank you to all of you for your suggestions and very kind words, it means a lot xx
    Click image for larger version

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    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium
  • djwpe
    Senior Member
    • Dec 2008
    • 263

    #2
    I had exactly the same incident with my Miraphone 5050 a month or so ago. It shifted in transit, and unthinking, I hit the buttons to open the rear hatch of of my SUV, and the horn tumbled to the pavement.

    Bell li was ok, but the 3rd valve slide brace caved in the outer branch, and the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th slides were immovable, and the trigger slide was compromised.

    Matt Walters worked his magic, and while not good as new, it was playable. The instrument has since been replaced, and sold to a friend in need at a very steep discount.

    Ive taken this as a very expensive lesson to not open the hatch without standing right there.


    Don Winston

    Comment

    • RickF
      Moderator
      • Jan 2006
      • 3871

      #3
      Oh man! That’s very sad to hear. I know Steven Mead likes to use his leather gig bag because he USUALLY can put it in overhead storage when flying. Besides, a gig bag is more portable to carry. I use the blue Miraphone gig bag - which offers pretty good protection - but my horn would still get damaged if dropped 3’.

      The brass tech I take my horn to for scheduled cleanings says he calls people who use gig bags “repeat customers”. I should maybe rethink my choice of bags too.
      Last edited by RickF; 05-17-2018, 08:58 AM.
      Rick Floyd
      Miraphone 5050 - Warburton BJ / RF mpc

      "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
      Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches

      El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandez, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
      The Cowboys (John Williams, arr. James Curnow)
      Festive Overture (Dmitri Shostakovich)

      Comment

      • John Morgan
        Moderator
        • Apr 2014
        • 1885

        #4
        To me, the only thing really good about a gig bag, is that perhaps you have a gig to go to. Would love to have less weight, but do not trust gig bags whatsoever. Call me over protective.
        John Morgan
        The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
        Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium,
        1973 F. E. Olds & Son Studio Model T-31 Baritone
        Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
        Year Round Except Summer:
        Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
        KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)
        Summer Only:
        Rapid City Municipal Band, Rapid City, SD (Euphonium)
        Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

        Comment

        • ghmerrill
          Senior Member
          • Dec 2011
          • 2385

          #5
          Gig bags are pretty much a practical necessity for normal to large size tubas -- unless you have a very expensive lightweight, not overly bulky, and wheeled case; or unless you're willing to also cart around some sort of hand truck. But even then, they're really good only when you have total control of the instrument and are just putting it into and getting it out of your car.

          Eons ago when I had my Yamaha 321-S Eb tuba, I used the factory case for it since it wasn't overly bulky and could be carried without too much effort. With the Wessex (19" bell), this isn't feasible -- and a good hard case for it would likely cost more than the instrument. My Mack Brass euphonium came with one of those (now classically Chinese?) "semi-hard" cases which is wonderfully protective, but just a bit bulky to tolerate in situations where risk is low. So I use a Protec -- and am VERY careful. For my Wessex tuba, I use a Gard -- and am very careful. The case the Wessex originally came with is one of the semi-hard ones, but seems to occupy about twice the volume as the tuba itself.

          For the bass trombone, I just don't have a problem. The stock Schiller (Jin Bao?) case -- again, one of those semi-hard cases -- is well proportioned, well-fitted, and extremely protective -- as well as being light and having a good back strap arrangement. But of course, I have only about $700 into that horn -- even though it's now my primary (almost sole) instrument.

          I wonder if somewhere there isn't a median ground between the bulky "older" Chinese cases (like my ones from Mack and Wessex), and a "gig" bag. In the trombone (at least bass trombone) community, these cases like the Schiller (and there are others available as well) have a significant following because they're relatively inexpensive (from somewhere around $80 to somewhere under $150), very protective, light, easy to use, and surprisingly robust. I don't know what Wessex is providing nowadays, but it seems to me that just taking something like the Mack case and reducing the thickness of the foam (maybe by 30% or so) would yield a very viable product. Not fancy, attractive, and chic like leather; but just really effective.

          I guess what I'm thinking of is a kind of cost-reduced Marcus Bonna euphonium case (say, also without the fiberglass shell). I don't see the need for anything near a $1,000 cost (list price) to achieve a similar level of protection. But this does raise the question of what sort of gig bag Steven Mead was using. If it was a Marcus Bonna, that raises questions about that case. Looking at pictures of it (e.g., on the Horn Guys site), it does appear to me that it actually offers LESS protection than my Mack Brass case!
          Last edited by ghmerrill; 05-17-2018, 08:32 AM.
          Gary Merrill
          Wessex EEb Bass tuba (DW 3XL or 2XL)
          Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
          Amati Oval Euph (DE 104, Euph J, J6 euph)
          1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba (with std US receiver), Kelly 25
          Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K10/112/14 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
          1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

          Comment

          • Eupher6
            Senior Member
            • Mar 2009
            • 452

            #6
            Very unfortunate for Steven, but somewhere along the line with as much travel as he's done over the years, something like this is bound to happen.
            U.S. Army, Retired (built mid-1950s)
            Adams E2 Euph (built 2017)
            Boosey & Co. Imperial Euph (built 1941)
            Edwards B454 Bass Trombone (built 2012)
            Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Eb tuba (built 1958)
            Kanstul 33-T lBBb tuba (built 2010)

            Comment

            • John Morgan
              Moderator
              • Apr 2014
              • 1885

              #7
              Originally posted by ghmerrill View Post
              Gig bags are pretty much a practical necessity for normal to large size tubas -- unless you have a very expensive lightweight, not overly bulky, and wheeled case; or unless you're willing to also cart around some sort of hand truck. But even then, they're really good only when you have total control of the instrument and are just putting it into and getting it out of your car....
              I see the point for gig bags, but will never use one for my Adams E3. I must confess, however, that I actually DO have a gig bag. I have my 1950's model B&H Imperial Euphonium in that. When I bought it, the horn was in great shape, the case was ancient, well-used, smelly and ugly. So, an Altieri gig bag for Christmas replaced the shabby case. I only use this horn locally when I don't want my Adams to get banged into or rained/snowed on (same for my Wessex euphonium as a stand in horn - it has the hugely, fluffy, way too big case - works good, just unwieldy). I don't want any bad stuff to happen to either the B&H or Wessex euphoniums, but I could deal with harm to them much better than having to deal with something awful happening to my Adams, which cost more than my first house (I'm old, I know, I really did buy a house in Albuquerque in 1970 for $10K).
              John Morgan
              The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
              Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium,
              1973 F. E. Olds & Son Studio Model T-31 Baritone
              Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
              Year Round Except Summer:
              Kingdom of the Sun (KOS) Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)
              KOS Brass Quintet (Trombone, Euphonium)
              Summer Only:
              Rapid City Municipal Band, Rapid City, SD (Euphonium)
              Rapid City New Horizons Band (Euphonium)

              Comment

              • highpitch
                Senior Member
                • Mar 2006
                • 1034

                #8
                Bag or case, it's linda' like underwear;

                You run what feels best and try not to ruin what's in them.

                DDG

                Comment

                • RickF
                  Moderator
                  • Jan 2006
                  • 3871

                  #9
                  Originally posted by highpitch View Post
                  Bag or case, it's kinda' like underwear;

                  You run what feels best and try not to ruin what's in them.

                  DDG
                  Oh, too funny!
                  Rick Floyd
                  Miraphone 5050 - Warburton BJ / RF mpc

                  "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
                  Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches

                  El Cumbanchero (Raphael Hernandez, arr. Naohiro Iwai)
                  The Cowboys (John Williams, arr. James Curnow)
                  Festive Overture (Dmitri Shostakovich)

                  Comment

                  • jkircoff
                    Senior Member
                    • Jan 2013
                    • 213

                    #10
                    I have a lesson with Steven Mead tomorrow, and I’m friends with Evagene, who is the lady who is lending Steven her Besson during his stay in Battle Creek. Tomorrow’s conversation and session with Steven should be more interesting than usual!
                    James Kircoff
                    Genesee Wind Symphony - principal euphonium (Adams E3 Custom .60mm yellow brass bell w/ K&G 3.5)
                    Capital City Brass Band (2019 NABBA 2nd section champions) - 1st baritone (Besson BE956 w/ Denis Wick 6BY)

                    Comment

                    • tonewheeler
                      Senior Member
                      • Dec 2010
                      • 460

                      #11
                      My 5050 has a hard case (w/wheels), but I've been using the Cronkite case for years and love the convenience because the 5050 is such a heavy horn. I try and remind myself each time that although its pretty good protection--IT IS NOT a hard case. I've been lucky so far.
                      Euphs:
                      Miraphone 5050 Ambassador
                      Wessex Travel (Tornister) Euphonium 'Maly' ER154
                      Yamaha 201 Baritone
                      Mp: Wick SM4 Ultra X
                      Groups:
                      The San Diego Concert Band

                      Comment

                      • anadmai
                        Senior Member
                        • Mar 2022
                        • 266

                        #12
                        We don't call them 'Dent Bags' for nothing. One of the biggest dents on my 967 was from the Dent Bag. Sigh... My new Soundwear Professional Bag is a beast.
                        DANA


                        Meet the Family
                        Junior - Euphonium - 1906 - Henry Distin Mfg.
                        Hastings - Trombone - 1952 - Boosey and Hawkes
                        Bramwell - Euphonium - 1988 - Besson/Boosey and Hawkes (BE967)
                        Margaret - Baritone - 2015 - Sterling1050HS
                        Albert - Eb Bass - 2023 - Dillon 981S


                        New York Staff Band - 2nd Baritone - 1991-1994
                        Philadelphia Freedom Band - Euphonium
                        Lancaster British Brass Band (all hail the 2nd baritone) - 2022-

                        Comment

                        • bayoung36
                          Member
                          • Feb 2022
                          • 55

                          #13
                          Originally posted by anadmai View Post
                          My new Soundwear Professional Bag is a beast.
                          I used a soundwear bag to replace my old Yamaha case. I loved the gig bag, and I have definitely left dents in some walls on accident cause of it. However it is super bulky, I hated having to travel or walk long distances with it. Thankfully the Marcus Bonna case I use with my Adam’s is more compact and similar in protection!
                          Adams E1 Gold Brass Bell and SS Leadpipe
                          Undergrad at Angelo State
                          Future TA at University of Oklahoma

                          Comment

                          • anadmai
                            Senior Member
                            • Mar 2022
                            • 266

                            #14
                            You are so right. I think I knocked some dude over when I ran into him with it. I'm a big girl who walks very quickly. LOL. I like that the backpack allows you to carry it BELL UP!

                            I've never seen the Marcus Gonna before. What I have sure beats the Cordora Reunion Blues bag I had back in the day.


                            Originally posted by bayoung36 View Post
                            I used a soundwear bag to replace my old Yamaha case. I loved the gig bag, and I have definitely left dents in some walls on accident cause of it. However it is super bulky, I hated having to travel or walk long distances with it. Thankfully the Marcus Bonna case I use with my Adam’s is more compact and similar in protection!
                            DANA


                            Meet the Family
                            Junior - Euphonium - 1906 - Henry Distin Mfg.
                            Hastings - Trombone - 1952 - Boosey and Hawkes
                            Bramwell - Euphonium - 1988 - Besson/Boosey and Hawkes (BE967)
                            Margaret - Baritone - 2015 - Sterling1050HS
                            Albert - Eb Bass - 2023 - Dillon 981S


                            New York Staff Band - 2nd Baritone - 1991-1994
                            Philadelphia Freedom Band - Euphonium
                            Lancaster British Brass Band (all hail the 2nd baritone) - 2022-

                            Comment

                            • davewerden
                              Administrator
                              • Nov 2005
                              • 11138

                              #15
                              Originally posted by anadmai View Post
                              You are so right. I think I knocked some dude over when I ran into him with it. I'm a big girl who walks very quickly. LOL. I like that the backpack allows you to carry it BELL UP!

                              I've never seen the Marcus Gonna before. What I have sure beats the Cordora Reunion Blues bag I had back in the day.
                              Here is my overview of the Bonna Case that came with my Adams euphonium (plenty of pictures!):

                              http://www.dwerden.com/forum/showthr...ium-Bonna-Case
                              Dave Werden (ASCAP)
                              Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
                              Adams Artist (Adams E3)
                              Alliance Mouthpiece DC3, Wick 4AL, Wick 4ABL
                              YouTube: dwerden
                              Facebook: davewerden
                              Twitter: davewerden
                              Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

                              Comment

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