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Thread: Valve trombone advice, please!

  1. #11
    Here's a great example of valve trombone as a solo instrument, the jazz player Bob Brookmeyer, playing "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." In his time he was famous as a valve trombonist.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    NYC metro area
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltycookie View Post
    I play the euphonium in a concert band. There is a shortage of trombone players in a local big band and currently I am in the band as a third trombone player with my euphonium. I am thinking of purchasing a valve trombone but I know nothing about trombone. I looked online stores but there are so many different kinds... Any advice what to look or any recommendation for the instrument?
    My experience may be relevant. I joined a local orchestra, playing in the trombone section, on my euphonium. When I first joined, they had no trombone players, so I was the entire section. Then we recruited two more trombone players, and I agreed to play the bass trombone parts (since I have a compensating four-valve horn). More personnel changes, and I was playing first trombone again. The tuba player had picked up a Conn trombonium, which he loaned to me. This definitely helped the tonal blend (particularly since I was leading the section).

    I found an open-box p-Bone at a good price. I bought it to see if I could handle the slide positions. I admit that I was mostly worried about my intonation (my main instrument for most of my life has been piano, and if there's an intonation problem I call the tuner). I switched off between p-Bone and trombonium, depending upon the difficulty of the piece. Eventually I found a used Bach 36B trombone, bought that, and now play that exclusively in the orchestra.

    For concert bands, I continue to sit in the euphonium section. But I absolutely think that the trombone suits the orchestra better. Oh yeah, I played a solo on euphonium once in one of the orchestra concerts, but that was a Barat composition intended for trombone or euphonium. My granddaughter is currently using the p-Bone.
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1 (DE 101XTG9 mouthpiece in the drawer)
    Bach 36B trombone; Bach 6.5AL mouthpiece (pBone on loan to granddaughter)
    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) keep me company while practicing

  3. #13
    OK, here is one from left field! How about a Wessex Superbone? It has 3 valves plus a slide, and it's a dual-bore (.500-.525) which might help a little.

    In its normal use, the valves are operated with the left hand so the right hand is free to work the slide. However, I ASSUME one could lock the slide (most trombone slides have a rotating lock to hold it in first position) and then play with the right hand. Then you would have 2 nice advantages:

    1. you could learn the slide as you go, with an easy fall-back to valves.

    2. you could also play parts that would normally require 4 valves if you worked the valves with your left hand and used the slide to find intonation on notes below low E concert. You should be able to get down to a C or C# concert this way.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. The super bone would be an interesting compromise. I've played 3rd in big band on 525 bore, and this is 500/525. Both the valves and slide are "kinda funky". The slide is short and positioned a bit further out than normal slides. And if you are using the slide, I assume the valves are played left handed. Maynard Ferguson made the Holton version famous, if not exactly popular. These are potentially really cool. But they're just oddball enough that they could also be borderline unplayable as either slide or valve instrument. The reviews for the Wessex aren't bad. If you go that direction, please let us know how it goes. Best of luck.

  5. #15
    the wessex superbone is not a bad idea! you could always have the valves to fall back on, and the bore and bell is not out of the realm of appropriate for 3rd seat in a big band. The original Holton was kind of an odd mix with a super small bore and a really big 9" bell, but they seem to have come to a good compromise with the wessex version.

  6. #16
    Another option is the trombonium :

    I just remembered it today.
    Cerveny BBb Kaiser Tuba
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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