“This material by Dr. Glen Newton is adapted with permission from the trombone family information on the Roseville Big Band web site, http://www.rosevillebigband.org.”
The four most common members of the slide trombone family have the same names as the members of a vocal quartet: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.
Concert band music and jazz band music for the tenor trombone is written in bass clef, notated in concert pitch. (For example, if you play the trombone parts on a piano, the pitches will be the same.) Orchestral and solo music for the tenor trombone, as well as trombone choir music, is written in a combination of bass and tenor clefs. British brass band music includes two tenor trombone parts, and they are written in treble clef, notated a ninth above the actual sound.
The bass trombone is the next most popular member of the trombone family. Senior high school and college bands and orchestras often include a bass trombone. Over the years, the bass trombone has evolved from an instrument pitched in G, F, or E-flat (a musical third, fourth, or fifth below the tenor trombone) to the modern bass trombone, which is a large-bore tenor trombone with one or two valves to enable the player to reach the lower notes. The historical bass trombone either had a double slide or a single slide that was so long that it required the player to use an extension device to reach 6th and 7th positions.
The term "bore size" refers to the inner diameter of the inner slide. Bass trombones typically have a bore size of 0.560" or larger and a bell size of 9 to 10.5 inches, both of which help the player produce low notes without sounding tinny. Interestingly, the bass trombone in G historically had a much smaller bore and a bell smaller than that of some modern tenor trombones.
Several factors influence the tone of a brass instrument, among them the shape of the bore (the inside of the tubing from the mouthpiece to the bell). The tenor trombone, bass trombone, and euphonium all have the same fundamental pitch when no valves or slide are used, and the trombones will sound very much alike because their bores are similar in shape, with a large portion being cylindrical (a tube that is the same size throughout), even though the bass trombone bore size is larger. In contrast, the euphonium sounds different - some say "deeper" or "mellower" or "less edgy" - primarily because a greater percentage of its bore is conical (a gently expanding tube shape).
Bass trombone parts are always written in bass clef in concert pitch.
Tenor and bass trombones are manufactured with several different valve configurations:
The valves on a slide trombone are rotary valves. In contrast, the valves on a tenor valve trombone are piston valves. One special model, the Superbone by Holton, has both a slide section and a valve section; the player's right hand manipulates the slide, and the left hand plays the valves. Maynard Ferguson was the first great artist to play the Superbone.
Typical jazz charts, such as those played by the Roseville Big Band, have four trombone parts. The first three are always tenor trombone parts written for instruments without a valve section, and the fourth is most often written for bass trombone, with some alternate notes that don't require a valve section in case the player doesn't have the equipment for the low notes.
Tenor and bass trombone mouthpieces are manufactured with two different shank sizes. Tenor trombones with a small or medium bore use a tenor trombone shank, the smaller of the two. Bass trombones and large-bore tenor trombones use mouthpieces with a bass trombone shank, which is larger and aids in the production of a full sound on medium and low notes. Within each shank size, there is a nearly limitless variety of cup depths, backbores, rims, and outer shapes to suit the player's needs and tastes. In general, players who need to reach very high notes will choose a mouthpiece with a shallow cup and small rim diameter; the opposite is true of those who must play very low notes.
The modern alto trombone is pitched a perfect fourth higher than the tenor trombone. It has very limited use, compared with the tenor and bass trombone, but it is used in the orchestra, where many composers, particularly Beethoven and his contemporaries, created the first trombone parts to be played on the alto trombone. The alto trombone also has a role in the Moravian trombone choir (where its traditional pitch is F more often than E-flat) and in the modern trombone choir. In addition, there is a large solo repertoire for alto trombone. To help alto trombone players cope with the solo literature (and cover both alto and tenor trombone parts without having to carry a second instrument), some makers offer an alto trombone with a valve section in which pressing the valve lowers the pitch a perfect fourth.
The alto trombone mouthpiece shank is the same as that of the tenor trombone. Players who double on alto and tenor trombones (which is virtually 100% of all alto trombone players) often choose alto and tenor trombone mouthpieces with matching rims but differing cups and backbores.
The soprano trombone is pitched an octave above the tenor trombone. Its uses are even more limited than those of the alto trombone, principally confined to the trombone choir.
The soprano trombone is played with a trumpet mouthpiece. Because adapting to the mouthpiece is a significant part of learning to be a brass player, a significant percentage of the soprano trombone players in trombone choirs are trumpeters who have learned to deal with the slide, rather than trombonists who have learned to cope with the smaller mouthpiece. Furthermore, music for soprano trombone is usually notated the same as trumpet music, in treble clef, written one whole step above its sounding pitch. This has a practical value for composers who write for trombone choir, because if no soprano trombonist can be found, the part can be immediately played on trumpet.
Adrian Fry a regular dep with many bands, but notably Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band, the Alan Barnes Octet, Andy Dickens Band, Keith Nichols' Blue Devils Orchestra, the Ken McCarthy Septet and the Ray Gelato Giants. Also a member of the Don Weller Electric Octet which can be seen occasionally at various UK jazz festivals. Big band - The award-winning Back to Basie can often be heard with Matt Ford recreating the Sinatra/Basie collaboration of the 1960s. As well as being a member of the trombone section Ade is also the band's chief transcriber/arranger. A regular member of the big bands of Don Weller, Michael Garrick and Stan Tracey, and lead trombonist with the rarely heard ED/GE and Johnny Keating Orchestra. I'm also a member of the fabulous contemporary big band the London Jazz Orchestra. Throughout the Autumn of 2006 toured with the Tony Hadley Big Band. In 2005 and toured Spain and France with Gillespiana and Lew Soloff, and can occasionally be seen with this and one of Pete Long's other bands 9.20 Deluxe. Occasional dep with the Bert Kaempfert Orchestra, Pete Cater Big Band and Willie Garnett Big Band.
Amos Miller - Trombones
Amos Miller studied the violin from an early age and took up the trombone at nine with John Berry proceeded through Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, learning with Eric Crees, Denis Wick and Ian Bousfield, and playing principal trombone for the National and European Youth Orchestras. Having gained the Dip.RAM, the Academy's highest award for performance, he completed the Jazz Course at the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, under artists such as Jim Hall and Kenny Wheeler. On leaving the RAM he was awarded the coveted Meaker fellowship. He now combines the post of principal trombone with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia (to which he was appointed in 2003) with a busy freelance career in which he has worked as guest principal trombone with all the major London orchestras, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as the English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin's, the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Abroad, he has worked with Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt and is guest principal with the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada in Spain. Amos also has many educational commitments: in addition to his positions as trombone teacher for the Royal Air Force and St. Paul's School, he works regularly for the outreach departments of the English Chamber and London Symphony orchestras, and Birmingham Royal Ballet. He is the co-author of "Time Pieces for Trombone" for the Associated Board, and is the author of "A New Tune a Day for Trombone", published by the Boston Music company. He is a trustee of the Clarence Myerscough and Christopher Horn charitable trusts and is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. He has played on a number of film recordings and for Onxy Brass.
In the field of education he was awarded a prestigious Meaker fellowship at the RAM, where he coached ensembles and sectionals, he teaches trombone for the RAF music services at Uxbridge, and at St. Paul's School. He has also coached the brass of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and the Lancashire Schools Training Orchestra.
from Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Gordon Campbell started playing the trombone in
Northumberland at the tender age of 12.
Robin Eubanks - Trombonist - Check out his Blues for Jimi
Martin Gladdish - Superb
Reader and Master of the Slide and plays for
The Jazz Warriors -
young professionals from the stable of the Pendulum Jazz Orchestra.
Mark Nightingale started playing trombone at the age of nine. At 15 he won the Don Lusher Award in the BBC Rehearsal Band Competition and became lead trombone with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra a year later. During six years with NYJO he also graduated from Trinity College of Music and formed the 5-trombone group Bonestructure.
He has appeared at international festivals alongside Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whigham, Urbie Green, Slide Hampton, Bart van Lier, Bert Boeren, and many others. Mark has been featured with artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Cleo Laine, London Brass, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sting and Shakatak. He has penned many compositions and big band arrangements, plus several books of trombone studies.
Andy Wood - Trombone &
Bobby Mickleburgh : trumpet player, trombone player, tuba player, band leader, mouthpiece-maker -
Bobby Mickleburgh - ‘The General’ - Bobby and his Bobcats and also the Temperence Seven - jazz recording artist and old school British jazz great who represented the UK in the very first Nice International Jazz festival after world war 2. Louis Armstrong played with him in London in 1961 – with Dill Jones on piano – Bobby is 89 and still playing – you don’t get much more hip when mentioning a British jazz artist (i.e. when Louis turned to the other band members and stating to them: ‘he sounds just like my boy Jack ‘ (Louis referring to Jack Teagarden the world’s greatest trombone player and a member of Louis’ Allstars)
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