Bows and Arrows...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by BrianT, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    I went with my family on a day out where we made bows and arrows out of tree branches and string and feathers. Then we all lined up to take pot shots at a twig which was our "target". I've never done any sort of archery before, and needless to say my arrows were nowhere near the mark. Then I handed my homemade rubbish bow and bendy rubbish arrow to the chap who was running the day, and he hit the target on the first attempt. There was I all to ready to blame the tools when it was actually my skill that was deficient.

    So whenever I'm tempted by a shiny new instrument I just remember the above incident and put my wallet away.

    How do others overcome the urge to spend money on new instruments that we don't really need?
  2. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I just have a look at my bank statement and that usually stops me!
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    This is a HUGE can of worms you have opened ... ;) The technology vs. the essential build of anything still relies on the user knowing how to control the basic functions of the equipment. Development of any tool is essentially meant to make things easier for the user but, for example, any top of the range car which has all the latest safety and ergonomic designs included doesn't stop the driver from being able to lose control and crash it!
  4. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    In music, as in golf, people can justify spending a couple of grand on equipment but consider twenty quid for a professional lesson too expensive.
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Or spending large amounts on a new instrument, but still never picking it up except when at band rehearsal or performance. A bit of home practice is often the most important investment you can make as a player.
  6. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I would love a new instrument but as said before I have no money!! What I do want to do is get mine refurbed (much cheaper than a new one!) and will feel like a new instrument - maybe even motivate me to practice more. Anyone agree? I don't want to steer this thread away but if anyone can give me a recommendation in North West I would be pleased to hear it.
  7. hellyfrost

    hellyfrost Member

    Sent you a pm with some details.

    If anyone else wants them drop me a line!:D
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Err nope not me...:eek:

    But my justification is that I was in the fortunate situation to be able to afford one so why not? It was either that or a nice watch and the flugel won out. But you are dead right about bad workmen and their tools.

    Its been said here many times that the best players will make a hose pipe sound reasonable, but they still choose to play on the best that suits them. Fair do's - it probably makes their job easier even if they have the talent to make the latest piece of chinese plumbing sound fantastic. Asafa Powell doesn't run in Dunlop Greenflash trainers, but if he did he'd still probably beat 95% of us to 100 meters.

    Anyway - my opinion (for what its worth) is that you are only here once so if you're in the position to buy a nice instrument then there is no shame in doing so, provided you buy the one which genuinely suits you rather than waste your money on the one everyone else plays / looks prettiest / has your favourite player endosing it, and you don't suddently expect to be able to play like a god just because you are holding a couple of grands worth of bent brass.

    But in answer to your question - for me the only way I could've overcome the urge to splsh out on a flugel was if there was a nice 1960's Heuer Carrera Automatic in the right condition about at the time - which there wasn't so I bought a flugel instead. :)
  9. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Now, I am going to try not to have a rant here lol.

    One thing among trombone players at the moment is a sudden Rath Rage.
    everywhere you look, bands are appearing with Raths.
    Don't get me wrong, Rath's are fantastic! I play one myself.
    The thing with Raths as opposed to Conn or King is that a bad player on a Conn might sound ok, maybe even good.
    A bad player on a Rath will sound awful. The instruments themselves are so hard to play right there is no point in getting one unless you are dedicated to being a good trombonist.
    It also means that there are some people out there with Raths that should not have Raths. I have turned up for depping gigs and overheard people saying "He's got a Rath, bet you he is all money no talent."
    A Rath trombone takes no prisoners. If your technique isn't spot on, you will not be able to do what you can do on a Conn, King, Yamaha, Besson, Holton or Courtois.
    The upside to this on a Rath is that if you can do it on a Rath, you know your technique is spot on!
  10. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    You can't win an F1 race in a mini... no matter how good a driver you are!. Similarly whilst I agree that a shiny new top of the range instrument won't make a bad player good it does make a good player better ( if only in things like reliable valves, an easier blow, better tone, etc ). For beginners there is no greater motivation to practicing ( especially with kids ) than a nice shiny instrument, however it doesn't last long ( novelty value ).

    For me resisting the urge to buy a new instrument is easy.... I have a wife! :)
  11. Robhibberd29

    Robhibberd29 Active Member

    Well put that man! It's almost a fashion accessory amongst trom players, a Rath. Don't get me wrong, I'd love one, I think I'm a decent enough player to do it justice, but I've heard young uns playin em fresh out of school with that "look at my new Rath" gaze about em and seasoned players who know what they're doing and it backs up my mates argument.
  12. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    I agree you can pay silly money for a new instrument and not automatically be able to play it very well. But I can tell the time with my £30 wrist-watch just as well as someone who paid £2000 for theirs. So it's even easier for me to resist buying a new wrist-watch! :)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  13. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    You're obviously not a sad engineer like me then!! ;)

    For the record I'm currently wearing a 60 quid swatch (which admittedly does look a bit like a Carrera!!)
  14. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    My trombone is 37 years old. I wouldn't trade it in for anything new and shiny, even if I could afford it!

    By the way, nobody used Raths in the business, it's just banders with too much money to spend!
  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    [I take it 'used' should be 'uses']

    Why is that? Their stock instruments don't do a lot for me (bass worse than tenor - although the contra is magic), but the results on being 'fitted up' can be spectacularly good, albeit pricey.

    Is it just Conn conservatism? Don't get me wrong, I play an 88H myself for most tenor occasions, but it sometimes strikes me that the Conn monopoly on the pro scene is a bit of a pity from the point of view of tonal variety.

    Thinking about it though, Andy Flaxman used to play on a Rath R4F, but then moved to an old 88H. Perhaps it simply is that the Elkhart 88Hs really are that much better than the competition...
  16. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    A bit of both, Dave. I think it's just the instrument which does a good job of everything with as little fuss as possible. It's a shame that Conn don't seem to realise they have the monopoly and limits the numbers of new instruments that they send over here.

    The reason most pros play Conns is that they need to be able to blend with the section around them. If a trombone section makes a uniform sound, then the freelancer who comes in to cover sickness or bump, needs to be able to fit into the established sound. It's a bit like the old PC vs. Mac debate. The PC is simply the industry standard, as it has the most software written for it and is compatible with everything else. There is nothing wrong with a Mac, and it may perform some tasks quicker and more efficiently than a PC, but it then struggles with compatibility issues, has less software and is also hampered by cost.

    I'm not going off on a PC vs Mac rant here, just using it as an analogy!

    The general consensus among pros is that the Edwards and Rath trombones have a slightly different timbre to their sound and therefore require everybody else to make slight adjustments in order to blend as a section.

    Off the top of my head, I can count on one hand the pro players I know who don't play on a Conn 8/88H. Bass trombone players tend to have a bit more leeway in their instrument choice, but most of them either use a Conn, Bach or a Holton. Some use Edwards and even fewer use Rath, but I've noticed recently that a few bass trombone players have 'come back' to the Conn/Bach they played on before they started dabbling!

    Sorry, mods, we were talking about shiny new instruments. It's not my fault. Dave started it!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The shiny new instrument debate was resolved with the obvious answer - give in to the temptation, you know it makes sense.
  18. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    It is true that Orchestra players steer clear of the Rath, (Though this might change, last time I was they they were fitting up one of the Liverpool Phil players) My teacher plays a Rath, so it is probably no coincidence that two of his students either have one (Me) or is in the middle of getting one. His Rath was one of the first R4s to go, his serial number is something R428. But the first 11 or 12 models were scrapped so his is something like the 15th R4 to be sold.

    The thing with Stock instruments is that how many people have played a stock trombone in Forsyths? (Manchester) Each person with a slightly different place for each position, which means that the trombone is blown in irratically and won't resonate properly when your playing in tune. And so the intonation and tone suffers. My teacher always gets his students who are on new trombones to spend time playing long notes, each one exactly in tune just so that the instrument is blown in properly and will resonate properly. I was the first person to play my R4, two other people other than me have played it (My teacher and Brett Baker)

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