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Topic: Trombone - can this be played?

  1. #1

    Trombone - can this be played?

    Can any trombonists out there (or anyone who knows their capability well enough) please listen to this segment and tell me if this is realistic? The part in question comes in at 28 seconds, right after the long trombone blare. I like the sound of the trombones doing this, but it seems quite fast to me, and I typically think of trombones as playing more held notes and bouncy jazz phrases, so I\'m not sure if even top notch trombone players would be capable of that kind of phrasing. If so, then I\'m impressed! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] But I figured I better ask about this before going any further.


  2. #2

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    You ask a good question. (Really nice passage, btw.)

    The speed of the passage itself probably isn\'t as much of a problem as the particular notes may be. The speed of a trombone passage becomes difficult when the player has to rapidly switch between distant slide positions and probably the only way to answer your question is to know the specific pitches.

    Since it\'s high in the trombone range, your excerpt might well be possible for trombone, but to my ears, it does sound more typical of a French Horn part.

  3. #3

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    This would be challenging, but well within the ability of any pro symphony player.

    My only suggestion is that you find places where the player would naturally take a breath and put in small breaks. I don\'t think there are many players that could do this line all on one breath [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    Oh definitely! I know a guy right here in Blasdell who can perform at that level on TBone. He has played excerpts from Sheharazade (forgive me for my spelling) for me in the past and even “The flight of the Bumblebee\" although around half tempo. Hard to believe but it’s true. I will say it is quite a bashing on the …what’s the word I’m thinking of? And by the way, nice recording!
    I agree on the breaths as well though.
    And yes, he is a pro symphony player.

    John Stewart is his name. I know he played fill for the Buffalo a number of times. However, I don\'t know what he has been up to presently.

  5. #5

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    Absolutely could be played on trombone. Especially in the higher register where the slide movement is minimal. Does sound like a french horn part, but better yet how about a Euphonium. Tons of fun for the low brass guys to get their chance to play the lead. Keep arranging the low brass parts this way and you\'re sure to make some friends. Ever heard of Rich Matteson? Maybe somebody from the Sawgrass FL area can back me up on this. I\'ve got an insane recording of Rich Matteson playing Donna Lee at full tempo plus. Never underestimate a low brass player.

  6. #6

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    I\'m not a trombone player, but I think for a good player this would be a piece of cake. I would not hesitate in writing the part. You also could say it was written for valve trombone. A little portamento between a couple of notes might help if you\'re worried about realism, but I can tell you a good player could play it dead on. Now watch someone tell me I\'m full of valve spit. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I once wrote what I thought was a hard piece for a viola player. Before giving it to her I asked her questions over and over again, not about the instrument\'s capabilities, but about the difficulty in playing certain passages. She finally told me, \"Just shut up and write the damn piece. I\'ll either play it or die trying.\" After all the agony and sweat, I finally gave it to her with several apologies. She played through the piece the first time flawlessly, like a chain saw through a 2x4. That taught me to just write what I feel. Someone out there will play it, and if they can\'t, now there\'s always GPO. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    I knew Rich M. reasonably well, and even \"ghosted\" for him in a rehearsal. I studied with Harvey Phillips, the other founder of the Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort. I still remember their performance at a Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago with Louis Bellson on drums--they blew the Jazz Showcase audience totally away! Unfortunately, Rich and Ashley are no longer around and Harvey doesn\'t touch the tuba much anymore. Dan Perantoni took his place at IU.

    Shazbot--nice to see you here as well as on the BIAB list. The part in question really is a horn-type part. It could also be done by a good euphonium player, which would give it some more \"presence.\" In fact, I play the horn parts on euphonium in a brass quintet that works a lot playing pop and jazz. Opens up a lot of tonal color possibililty and replaces a horn player who usually can\'t swing.
    Keep on...Jim

  8. #8

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    Originally posted by tylerwbennett:
    Absolutely could be played on trombone. Keep arranging the low brass parts this way and you\'re sure to make some friends.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">This is so true. The reason you assumed the trombones only played sustained pads is that\'s what\'s typically been written. We\'re tired of the trumpet players having all the fun! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    I do agree that this line has French horn sound to it but I think it would sound different with a real trombone. You might try playing with different patches in GPO (especially the overlays) to put a little more \'bite\' into it.

    By the way, did I mention I liked your piece?

  9. #9

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    So what you\'re saying is that this could definitely be played by trombone (preferably with a couple of breath stops), but a part like this would be more likely to be played by french horn or euphonium?

    I didn\'t try it with french horns, but would it have that same sharp \"brassiness\" on some of the notes that the trombones does? I really like that sound (mostly comes through on the t-bone overlay track). The french horns just seem softer in terms of the attack, but then again, I haven\'t tried them with that fast kind of phrasing. As far as euphonium... we\'d need that added in a GPO update, eh? Or would one of the tubas substitute? A euphonium is a type of tuba, right?

    Take it away, Robert Preston...

    \"There were double-bell euphoniums and big bassoons
    Each bassoon having his big fat say!\"

  10. #10

    Re: Trombone - can this be played?

    No, Euphoniums are not Tubas. Interestingly, I owned a double-belled Euphonium for quite someime (it was stolen a few years ago). The first bell was the traditional Euphonium bell pointed toward the ceiling. There was a fifth valve that routed the air through a separate but intertwined Trombonium tubing and out of a little bell that faced the front. Sorry off the subject. But seriously, a Euphonium is to a Tuba as a Cello is to a Double Bass. Similar? Yes. But completely different.

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