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Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby eupho » Sun May 14, 2017 7:40 pm

Has anyone seccessfully used a valve trombone as a substitute for bass trumpet? Did the conductor approve?
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby bloke » Sun May 14, 2017 8:49 pm

King Flugabones sound better than ~many~ of the expensive bass trumpets.

I've had some people shout down this same comment, and then p.m. me later when I had one for sale.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby imperialbari » Sun May 14, 2017 8:50 pm

I have a very small bore Mahillon tenor valve trombone. Played with a Denis Wick 7C mouthpiece it still sounds like a small trombone. Maybe a very shallow mouthpiece might give it those higher formants and that bite associated with a bass trumpet, but I never had any very shallow mouthpieces.

According to Denis Wick’s 45 years old 1st edition of Trombone Technique, only the German rotary bass trumpets sound like bass trumpets- I think it has something to do with a narrow bell throat and a wide flare.

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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby Donn » Sun May 14, 2017 10:11 pm

Bass trumpet as a rule has a relatively narrow valve bore, for a Bb instrument, am I right?

Which is also true of some valve trombones. I'm sure there's a lot more to it, but just hoping it may help to point out that there are different valve trombone designs - and that the valve trombones favored by low brass players are not the ones that seem most similar to bass trumpet.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitute

Postby bloke » Sun May 21, 2017 4:32 pm

My King Flugabone, essentially, is a valve trombone (as valve trombones - nearly always - are smaller bore trombones) wrapped into the shape of a trumpet, and yes - it plays in the "bass" range.

The bore is .500". The bell diameter is 8.5".
Some expensive/European-made bass trumpets' bore sizes are around .485" and feature bells even smaller than 7" (as do a few trombones), whereas others are more similar in size to (though much more expensive than) my Flugabone. Unlike many of the very expensive (often: rotary) bass trumpets, my King Flugabone features a (very smooth-operating) #3 slide finger ring, which tunes the 1-3, and 1-2-3 pitches perfectly.

The Alexander bass trumpet (which I doubt that many would refute as being a "real" bass trumpet) features a .492" bore and a 6.3" final bell diameter. I strongly suspect that my Flugabone would sound very similar were 3/4" of the flare pancake trimmed away. The Alexander features 4 rotors, rather than a 3rd valve slide finger ring, but - as it also features a main slide trigger - I can't help but wonder (??) if the Alex's overall intonation is as good as is offered by my Flugabone.

King (particularly during the 70's) made some really great instruments, ref: fit/finish. (read: "not crummy...equal to western European quality")

The King flugabone is a 9' Bb instrument. As this picture demonstrates, it would be quite easy to shorten one to 8' C, though I have no idea whether the intonation would be as good.

I have nothing to "sell" here...but I believe that a King Flugabone functions as a fine bass trumpet and - if barely larger than some others - so are most modern-day trumpets/trombones/tubas compared to when a few more composers were writing (albeit, just as rare in the past as today) bass trumpet parts in orchestral music.

Image

I do NOT know this seller, but I suspect (??) this one (see link, below) may go cheap, and doesn't appear (??) to be all beat-up, other than the finish and a few dents. The case is there as well...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/KING-1130-FLUGABONE-MARCHING-TROMBONE-/122503266740
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitute

Postby Donn » Mon May 22, 2017 12:29 am

bloke wrote:The Alexander bass trumpet (which I doubt that many would refute as being a "real" bass trumpet) features a .492" bore and a 6.3" final bell diameter.


It would be interesting to see what bass trumpet players would say about that. Maybe in common with other rotaries, it seemed to me an especially conical looking member of the trumpet family, as I remember it from a picture I saw years ago. But that valve bore is close to the .485 bore of the Bach and Kanstul. [edit - whatever I was thinking of, the current Alexander bass trumpet isn't that, it looks like as much a trumpet profile as anything else. The one I remember looked more like the Miraphone.]

Just for another viewpoint, from whoever wrote the wikipedia page:
wikipedia wrote: Having valves and the same tubing length, the bass trumpet is quite similar to the valve trombone, although the bass trumpet has a harder, more metallic tone. Certain modern manufacturers offering 'valve trombones' and 'bass trumpets' use the same tubing, valves, and bell, in different configurations - in these cases the bass trumpet is virtually identical to the valve trombone.


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Last edited by Donn on Mon May 22, 2017 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby bloke » Mon May 22, 2017 12:43 am

yeah...

I have three or four different mouthpieces in the case with my Flugabone - the smallest of which is an ancient teeny-tiny Bronx, NY Bach (trombone) mouthpiece.

Per most more-cylindrical-"ish" brass instruments (at least: in my experience/observation), the mouthpiece cup depth changes its sound much more that various mouthpiece cup depths change the sound quality of flugelhorns, euphoniums, and tubas. (previous sentence: poorly-worded, but I'm too sleepy to fix it.)

Were I to ever be hired to actually cover a bass trumpet part in an orchestra concert (and that just ain't gonna happen; many-many-many trombone players ahead of me who would be called), I would absolutely use that teeny-tiny mouthpiece.

I don't think there was a King valve trombone "sister" instrument to the Flugabone. (I think...??, the King valve trombone actually features a SMALLER bore than the King Flugabone, as well as smaller diameter bell, but the F.E. Olds "Marching Trombone" ...there's one of those here as well... and my F.E. Olds valve trombone share many parts, and the bore sizes are the same.)

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Re: Bass Trumpet substitute

Postby T. J. Ricer » Mon May 22, 2017 2:32 am

bloke wrote:I strongly suspect that my Flugabone would sound very similar were 3/4" of the flare pancake trimmed away.


I have an old, beat-up flugabone that plays remarkably well despite its condition. I have often wondered if just trimming down the bell would give it a more "bass trumpet" sound (and look), rather than the somewhat wider mellophone-like (not unpleasant) sound and look.

Is trimming a bell something I could expect a "local repair guy" might know how to do? Might want to take an inch or two off an old King BBb flare also...

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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby imperialbari » Mon May 22, 2017 4:20 am

As I remember it, King sold 2B and 3B valve trombones with the same 0.484" valve section, but with 2B and 3B bells respectively. They also sold combined sets, where full 2B respectively 3B slide trombones were sold with the said valve section in cases that had compartments for all 3 sections.

Bought such combined 3B for a school, where I taught.

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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby pjv » Mon May 22, 2017 5:45 pm

Schagerl makes a bass trumpet with a .550 bore and a 9" bell. But who's really to say what the correct proportions should be for a modern bass trumpet?

Since almost nobody plays it, bass trumpet being mostly a "doublers" instrument, it's repertoire and development are underdeveloped as compared to whats being used on a regular basses.

Aesthetically if you walk into an orchestra with a "marching valved-trombone" or flugelbone no one will give a hoot except maybe some frustrated third trumpetist, because most people really don't know the difference. You might have problems selling a normal valved trombone for this function, but hey, if the group doesn't own a bass trumpet or isn't willing to rent one then they should be happy you even showed up with anything at all

because

really

if you lined up a conductor, a trumpet player and a trombone player and then played a bass trumpet, a valved-trombone and a flugelbone for them in a blind fold test,
would they hear the difference? Probably.
Would they know which was which? I doubt it.
Would they prefer a "real" bass trumpet for the job? I think they'd end up choosing the instrument that sounded best (well made, better intonation, etc)

I'm nuts about my Olds flugelbone, simply because it plays like a real music instrument for adults and not like some stiff student horn.

And if they hate the valved trombone you can always threaten to bring a contrabass trumpet (they call them cimbasso's I think).
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby bloke » Mon May 22, 2017 5:53 pm

:arrow:
pjv wrote:would they hear the difference? Probably.
Would they know which was which? I doubt it.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby Donn » Mon May 22, 2017 8:07 pm

pjv wrote:Would they prefer a "real" bass trumpet for the job? I think they'd end up choosing the instrument that sounded best (well made, better intonation, etc)


I don't know about asking a conductor, a trumpet player and a trombone player - that sounds like there's a joke coming - but if I had to acquire one and was prepared to spend real money, I'd listen to examples. Like Eric Westerlink linked above, on perhaps a Getzen bass trumpet, like Juan Tizol on whatever valve trombone that was, etc., and I'd decide what I want if I'm going to bother with bass trumpet. (While hoping to heaven I can manage to play anything like my model, within realistic limits.)

Then the question would be, given that I (say) am set on sounding like the guy with the bass trumpet, how much will it matter if I get a valve trombone? If I want to sound like the guy with the (say) .481 bore King 2B, how much will it matter if I get a marching trombone instead? Etc. Maybe I could get a chance to actually play these instruments and find out for myself? [ -- Whoa, crazy talk. ]

Once I had acquired the ability, if some director could be satisfied only with some other instrument, maybe he'd lend me one. The skill would transfer OK, unless maybe it's rotary vs. piston.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby TheGoyWonder » Mon May 22, 2017 8:30 pm

bass trumpets sound so bad...just use tiniest mouthpiece you can tolerate on Olds or King marching tbn.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby Donn » Mon May 22, 2017 10:02 pm

TheGoyWonder wrote:bass trumpets sound so bad


Really? If you hated the Westerlink video, there's

- Nick Drozdoff
- Girl from Ipanema, David Moore, mostly lower in the range than other examples
- James Morrison to me sounds more trombone-y, on a Schagerl
- Alexander Lapins pardon me, might ought to know who that is but apparently anyway a tuba player who, the text hints, has just taken it up, and sounding pretty fair on it.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby Eflatdoubler » Tue May 23, 2017 12:30 am

I have used a Getzen bass trumpet with a smaller mouthpiece (even a Bach 6 1/2 AL is pushing it) a handful of times. It played fairly well but is too big of a sound. Conductors do know a difference and will sometimes want something smaller and rotary valved. Wether they recognize what they see, they do know what they want to hear.
I would love to find a Thein or an Alexander if they weren't so pricey...
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby pjv » Tue May 23, 2017 2:36 am

Actually the "conductor, trumpetist, trombonist" remark was referring to the three people I deemed most likely to know at least something about a bass trumpet. But yes, I also see a joke coming....

I've also played on a Getzen, but if we are referring to the same instrument with an 8" bell then I can honestly say I found it to be very stuffy. Valved trombones fare a bit better, but not by much.

I play a fair amount of small shank tenor trombone, flügelbone and baritone so I'm not totally unfamiliar with these size instruments. My gut feeling says the instrument design in that bore size (.500") needs to be re-thought because they all play stuffy, at least to me. My Olds flügelbone sports a .515" bore and, wow, what a difference. Of coarse I can't guarantee that the difference is connected to this but, wow.

Yes others have played the valve trombone amazingly. Did they find it stuffy? Who knows. Would they have gone "wow" if they had had access to a flügelbone? Maybe.

Yes, the french horn is an even a smaller bore (just as long on the Bb side and longer on the F side), but seeing as they've been around since 1753 and with more or less one model it doesn't surprise me that they got a lot of design issues ironed out.

I might add that due to it's squat profile flügelbones are easier to hold and play for long periods (the Getzen was hell for me). Using a plunger or harmon (wha-wha) mute is also practical on these style horns. Not so for the Getzen and I'm 6' tall with a rather normal arm length.

I guess I'm actually doing an advertisement stunt for the Olds. Buy one. Have fun. They're not in production but come around often enough. Didn't Reynolds, Blessings and Bach continue these designs? I believe the King design is smaller. Never played one so I can't compare.

Or check out Schagerl.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby bloke » Tue May 23, 2017 8:15 am

re: Getzen

There's a extraordinarily fine trombone player near me that (to me) sounds not-as-good (if you'll trust my opinion...??) when playing it as I (well...can) sound when playing my King Flugabone.

As they are such a far-superior-to-me 9'-long-brass-instrument artist, I suspect one of two things:

- Getzen bass trumpets may be a bit lacking...(??)
- (Per something I've mentioned on TubeNet in many threads) they're not quite giving that particular instrument what IT needs in order to resonate as well as it possibly can (possibly, blowing into it in the same manner that they are accustomed to blowing their .547" bore equipment...??)
=========================
In the past, a friend of mine (an amazing virtuoso everything player) and I each owned HOLTON bass trumpets, they were elongated, and smaller bore. Typically, we would pull them out on a second or third chorus of a waltz (no-sheet-music polka band gigs) and harmonize. They played nice, and sounded nice together, but - if one tried to make them do more than they could do - they would "close down". I sold the Holton per the "bloke rule" (instruments of considerable cost/value not earning their keep). The last couple of years, we've only done one or two polka band gigs each Oktober, and my Olds valve trombone, euphonium, (gift-from-a-friend Jinbao-made) pocket trumpet, and (hundred-buck) Flugabone offer PLENTY of variety for those gigs.

bloke "yeah...The strong/reliable/correct-notes left hand of our accordion-playing colleague frees me up to play melody or harmony lines on various instruments, rather than being stuck - 100% of the time - on the tuba, but no - I don't believe anyone else will be exposed to the three choruses of the Clarinet Polka on the China-basso."
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby Donn » Tue May 23, 2017 9:52 am

Image
... from the Westerink video you all have been enjoying, Bastrompet | Eric Westerink | What a wonderful world

Getzen? One of the comments speculates so, no idea if one can determine that from this perspective.

pjv wrote:Yes others have played the valve trombone amazingly. Did they find it stuffy? Who knows. Would they have gone "wow" if they had had access to a flügelbone? Maybe.


My guess is, these players whose videos I listed, are not trying to play trombone with valves. They want a certain responsive balance that's more characteristic of the trumpet (and typically they're playing higher in the range, and touching the edge of a bright sound.) Maybe that makes it stuffy.

In contrast, Juan Tizol (valve trombone with Ellington) goes for a darker sound, but small, compact. Very different from the above, more like trombone but like a very small trombone. He would hate a bass trumpet, true?

I've heard guys sound "good" on a marching trombone. If that's the sound you want, it's the instrument to look for. If you want to spend a lot of time trying to sound like a good bass trumpet player, my guess? Bass trumpet.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby pjv » Tue May 23, 2017 9:56 am

OK, come to think of it, the Getzen was rather nice at lower volumes (like Bloke mentioned) but no fun at higher ones. I'm sure other players can work this. I didn't want to and sold it.

As I once mentioned in older thread, I had sold my Getzen to a band some years earlier. Later I was asked back and their it was, the Getzen. It hadn't been taken care of very well, specifically three braces were loose.
I braced it up with some rubber bands and it played much better then I remembered, to the point of me almost being sad I'd sold it.

I told the man with the coins that it needed to go to the shop and when it came back those braces were soldered up again.
And it played nice and stuffy; again.
Glad I sold it.
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Re: Bass Trumpet substitue

Postby imperialbari » Tue May 23, 2017 11:04 am

As I remember 40 or 45 years back, Getzen made two bass trumpets. I am not sure I ever tried the 900-series model, but I remember trying the 300-series model, which was absolutely useless because of bad intonation. As I remember it, the 4th partial Bb was way flat, so that I gave up on further testing.

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