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Thread: Trombone

  1. Trombone

    I know this is a Euphonium-Tuba forum but I see the sigs ... lots of you play Trombone as well. I just returned a rental horn and I don't know what possessed me I exchanged it for a new (rental) student level Trombone. It will be here in a few days. I understand valves, I can play Euphonium and Horn. I have watched some YouTube videos explaining the Trombone slide. What I simply cannot find online is a source of scales, Major and Minor Diatonic Scales WITH the slide positions underneath the notes. All the slide position charts I can find are either chromatic, or they cluster all the notes in a given position in a stack above the corresponding slide position. I don't know, seems to me it would be helpful to have something like what I am looking for. No? How then does one get from organizing the notes they learn at the various slide positions into scales or better yet, into recognizable melodies????

  2. #2
    I always thought that the slide positions directly corresponded to a specific valve combination. 1st position - open, 2nd - 2, 3rd - 1, etc. I’ve never attempted to play trombone, so I’m not certain. If it does work out that way, I suppose one could associate in that manner.
    Clayton M.
    Musician for Fun
    Euphonium Newbie - XO 1270S
    Trumpet Novice - XO 1602RS

  3. #3
    I started on trumpet, switched to baritone/euphonium in 8th grade, and learned trombone many years later. The trombone slide positions correspond to the euphonium valve selections, that is:

    trombone euphonium
    1st position open
    2nd position 2nd valve
    3rd position 1st valve
    4th position 1st & 2nd valves
    5th position 2nd and 3rd valves
    6th position 1st and 3rd valves
    7th position 1st, 2nd and 3rd valves

    Of course there are many alternate positions you can play for notes (on both horns), and on the trombone there are things known as sharp 2nd position and other positions that can be played sharp or flat for alternate positions for notes. Pretty much these line up with the euphonium as well, although much harder to play a sharp 2nd valve than a sharp 2nd position.

    I simply learned the correlation between valves and slide positions, then went about playing things that I could play or knew on euphonium on the trombone. Later on, the little nuances and tricks and other things worked themselves in, and it is always good to have a competent teacher show you these more advanced things.

    You can surely find a book or document that will list all the scales with trombone positions (simple google search did it for me just now), but I suggest to you to just learn the correlation and start playing the trombone using your euphonium music (and scales, etc.) and in very short time you will have the connection. Now it may take much longer to be able to play the trombone appropriately and learn how to change notes without playing unwanted glissandos, learning how to deal with trills, speed, alternate positions for better speed or note connectivity, and other things.

    Good luck, take the plunge.
    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
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    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    I strongly recommend that you DON'T try to learn trombone by "translating" to valve combinations. That will really just slow you down.

    But I'm not sure what you're asking for -- or rather, I guess, WHY you're asking for it. Slide position charts aren't any different from valve combination charts: they're ALL chromatic. Except for VERY elementary method books, I don't recall seeing scales or exercises with the positions/fingerings anywhere, for any instrument I've ever played.

    Your ultimate question is "How then does one get from organizing the notes they learn at the various slide positions into scales or better yet, into recognizable melodies????" But we can as easily ask about euphonium: "How then does one get from organizing the notes they learn with various valve combinations into scales or better yet, into recognizable melodies???? It's exactly the same. You LEARN by PRACTICING to associate the position or valve combination with the note. Or am I missing something?
    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)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    Here's another suggestion: You can typically buy a perfectly good used Olds Ambassador straight tenor online for what the rental will cost you -- and it will almost certainly be a better horn. And generally Craigslist will have a huge number of used student instruments (used one year or less :-)). But you often can get an Olds Ambassador for $100 or less. My Olds Standard (Olds' 2nd most expensive pro horn in 1947) cost me $125 off Ebay. In 1947 the cost was equivalent to $2000 in 2017 dollars.
    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)

  6. #6
    No shame to start with the basics.

    • Go ahead and get a typical beginner lesson book for trombone like Rubank's, and most have a slide position chart in the book, and lots of simple tunes for practice. You might speed through it, good, but some books have an intro on a new note and position and an exercise that focuses on that new note.
    • To get started, you might write a couple of positions on your music as reminder, but you shouldn't need that beyond a week or so. Play the simple melodies and exercises. I like my students to photocopy the page that their working on and mark up that. Keeps the book pristine so after you have the positions down you can play the clean original music without position numbers.
    • You can copy the scales and arpeggio pages and mark those up yourself. Good mental exercise to look at the notation and check the chart. But then memorize, so you are not dependent on the written positions.
    • Hint 1 for trombone alternate positions. Try to keep notes a half-step apart on the same partial. If I have a F in the staff going to Gb, I try playing that F in 6 to see if that fits better for the overall passage. Like a Db scale starting on Db in the staff, I would play that F in 6. Db (5) Eb (3) F (6) Gb (5) etc...
    • Hint 2 for trombone alternate positions. For arpeggiated passages, I think the first alternative position that I really worked on first was playing D above the staff (usually 1st position) in the 4th position. Great for G B D arpeggio. G(4) B(#4 slightly sharp 4) D(b4 flat 4)
    • When you get to positions like F above the staff or G above the staff, you might mark b1 (flat 1) or #2 (sharp 2) respectively to remember those positions are a bit lower or higher than the position of other notes. Working on octave exercises and such are also important to truly check with your ear.
    • Also, go through your regular warmup routine for euphonium like long tones and slurs but on trombone. That will help you get used to the same relationships but on slide. Otherwise, I would not get hung up on associating a valve combination with a slide position. Seems like an unnecessary mental step.
    • To help get note to position automatic, I also have my students work with flash cards: Make them yourself. Write the music notation (nice and big) on the front of a 3X5, and the position and note name on the back. That works. You can run through them when resting your chops or when you don't have a horn in your hand.
    • Find a pal and play duets. This is social and motivates you to tune your slide positions.
    • If you don't have a pal. Record one duet part on your euphonium, and then play along with yourself on trombone.
    • Doug Yeo has slide position charts (by other authors) on his site. I like the one that he lists all the notes for the same position vertically, but choose the version that makes sense to you. Also has the positions for if you have the F trigger on your horn: http://www.yeodoug.com/resources/faq...lidechart.html
    • Check this link and scroll down this web page a bit, https://www.digitaltrombone.com/the-...-trombone.html This slide position chart is a bit funny to read but it shows you relatively which notes are in slightly sharp or flat positions on the trombone. Reading from the bottom, starting at low Bb, F, B, then D. D is on a very typically flat partial on euphonium (you have to lip up) and trombone (you have to bring your slide in a bit). When you tune trombone to F or Bb and adjust your tuning slide, be sure your main hand slide is NOT all the way in as far as it goes. You should have a little room so you you can pull in further for the D.


    Check out Trombone Chat for a trombone community. A lot of pro talk, which is fun. And I think they treat novices fine: https://www.trombonechat.com/index.php

    Best to you.
    Last edited by BrassedOn; 09-07-2018 at 10:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    I strongly recommend that you DON'T try to learn trombone by "translating" to valve combinations. That will really just slow you down...
    Didn't slow me down one whit. I don't think of notes on a trombone now, and didn't for very long when I started trombone, with any relation to valves. I did that "initially" to just learn the positions. I associated the slide position with the valve choices for less than a week. As soon as I knew what slide position a note was each and every time, I totally disregarded any notion of valve choice. Not sure how this slows you down. It sped me up.
    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)

  8. Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    Here's another suggestion: You can typically buy a perfectly good used Olds Ambassador straight tenor online for what the rental will cost you -- and it will almost certainly be a better horn. And generally Craigslist will have a huge number of used student instruments (used one year or less :-)). But you often can get an Olds Ambassador for $100 or less. My Olds Standard (Olds' 2nd most expensive pro horn in 1947) cost me $125 off Ebay. In 1947 the cost was equivalent to $2000 in 2017 dollars.
    You are correct. However, I really don't want a straight tenor bone. I've got my sights set more on something like what you have. At least with an F attachment for sure. I just got the straight tenor because that is all they rent and I was already just into the month of September on the double horn I returned and this horn is just to finish out the month with. Another poster on another forum mentioned this link: http://trombonetips.com/lessons/scales/. This is exactly what I was looking for. Maybe it isn't necessary, maybe it is, but I figured something like it must exist. Have tracking number for the bone. Arrives tomorrow. I don't know. I've taught myself how to play a bunch of different instruments and have never been intimidated by the process but Trombone is a whole different beast. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. But in a good way ...

  9. #9
    My suggestion to associate valve combinations with slide positions was proposed as a method to translating scales. I didn’t mean to imply that as a method to on-the-fly music playing.
    Clayton M.
    Musician for Fun
    Euphonium Newbie - XO 1270S
    Trumpet Novice - XO 1602RS

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by leisesturm View Post
    I've got my sights set more on something like what you have. At least with an F attachment for sure. I just got the straight tenor because that is all they rent.
    Yeah, I get that -- and in fact would encourage just going straight to the F-attachment horn (though people taught in the "classic" way may be horrified at this). I'm self-taught in every brass instrument I play, and I knew that what I wanted to play was bass trombone. There are advantages to starting in this way because you learn to use the valves as an integral part of the instrument and not as something "added" to your instrument and the positions you learned on the straight horn. But as I say, there is some debate about this. In my case, I also have some significant shoulder arthritis and using 6th and 7th can be extremely uncomfortable.

    I can tell you that I play the horn quite a bit differently (in terms of positions) than anyone else in my current section. I NEVER use 7th position and rarely use 6th. I use the Gb valve a LOT -- getting to the point where I use it more than the F. For a while this resulted in the player sitting next to me telling me that I was playing Gb instead of F in some passages -- he wasn't listening, obviously, but noticing that I was playing the Gb in 1st position. Now he just ignores me because my positions are often different from his.

    But a few weeks ago there was a thread on Trombone Chat where a number of players were saying that they did the same -- either because it was just easier to play the horn that way, that their arm's (or slides) weren't long enough to play those 7th position notes in tune, or because their particular instrument was just in tune better by using the valves (violating the old injunction that the valve note isn't as "good" as the straight one).

    Everyone else in the section was taught in the "old way" and they're virtually always reaching for those 6th position Cs or 7th position Bs -- using he attachment only below the staff. But what do I do when I play my Olds straight horn (which I got some time after I started on bass)? Well, then I use 6th and 7th when necessary -- and that was easy to learn. But usually I'm playing in a register where that necessity doesn't present itself much.
    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)

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