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Thread: What should I do?

  1. What should I do?

    Hello I'm in the 7th grade and started beginner band this year. I've some experience with music from piano and guitar. My band director is making a new jazz band in the spring and I'd like to join FYI I'm coming along real fast. I asked him about it and he said he never had a euphonium in a jazz band. So I thought about trying trombone to get in but I didn't want to have to have to learn slide positions I wanted to keep the valves. I also wanted to stay in the bass clef and didn't want to play tuba. So I'm wondering if there's any instrument I could play that sounds like a trombone but has valves?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Hi Gus. Welcome to the forum. You should know that there are valve trombones available. Search online and you'll find more information on these. For serious jazz players though I think having a slide it necessary. You can't hardly gliss with valves.

    Read this discussion thread on the Trombone forum:

    Valve Trombone vs. Slide Trombone
    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
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Relicario (Jose Padilla; arr. R. Longfield)

  3. #3
    A valve trombone is fun, but for a jazz band section that are accepted well enough in younger grades and more frowned on as you get older. Your held notes will sound like the slide trombones, mostly, but as you play moving passages you will sound different. A couple well-regarded professional jazz soloists specialize in valve trombone, but they are unusual and don't typically play in a section.

    Having said that...

    You have a range of options.

    1. Just buy a valve trombone. They are all over eBay, although most of the ones you see are of unknown quality. There are some used/refurbished American horns for sale, but they usually start around $1500 if they are in good shape.
    2. Buy a horn with swap-able valve/slide sections. Think of them as valve trombones with an extra slide section. Then you can gradually learn the slide and still keep the valve section around for solos or novelty.
    3. Buy a slide trombone and tough it out for a while. This is what I recommend. It doesn't take that long to learn to manage it. I taught myself in high school (i.e. without a single lesson from anhone). And your section partners can give you tips. The slide positions equate to valve fingerings:
      1. 1st position = open
      2. 2nd position, about halfway out toward the bell = 2
      3. 3rd position, just a little short of the bell = 1
      4. 4th position, just a little past the bell = 12
      5. 5th position... right in between 4th and 6th = 23
      6. 6th position, just before reaching the slide stockings (the thicker part of the inner slide near the end) = 13 or 4
      7. 7th position, a couple inches short of coming off the end = 123 or 24

    Another help is to get a trombone with an F attachment (the rotary valve, called a trigger, you work with your left hand). It's heavier, but then you can use the trigger instead of 6th position, and the trigger plus a little slide instead of 7th position.

    You can do it!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. #4
    learn the slide.

  5. Thanks so much. The band director has a yamaha he let me take home over christmas break. My cousin plays trombone and he's really good so he got me going. I know my Bb scale and up to #47 in Essential Elements For Band Trombone Book 1. Thanks alot for your suggestions and I might be able to get in the jazz band!


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