Fingers and Valves

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Vickitorious, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    Can the way you push down your valves damage them?

    I've had a lot of trouble with my valves in the last year, and I was wondering wether this was caused by the way that i push them down, or just a fault in the horn? They are working fine now, although sometimes they still stick occasionally!


  2. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    yes... a lot of people have a "bad valve technique" and then blame the instrument when the valves stick :) it comes from pushing the valves down lop-siding (ie. not directly straight down, but at a slight angle) causing the valve to rub against the casing, wearing away one side.
    ... i think ;)
    but I blame the instrument anyway
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    If your pushing-down motion isn't quite vertical, you're creating extra friction between the side of the valve and its casing. Doing this over a period of time results in valves that are worn on the rubbed side, exposing less smooth material. Once this wear is present, depressing the valves in the way which originally caused the damage causes the rough material on the valve to rub, and so causes the valve to stick, hence why depressing valves that have been worn in this way correctly doesn't cause them to stick.

  4. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    Sure, I notice that if I get lazy and don't position my first valve/finger squarely, the valve tends to bind. Part of it may be the 100s of players who've come before me on this horn (i.e. blame the horn) but I can definitely understand the improper wear.

    Coincidentally, we have a Euph player who plays left handed, imagine his valve problems.
  5. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    ye've struck the valve on the head!

    Lost count of the times a youngster has whined "my vaaalves are stickkey!" at me, and I've whipped the instument off them and played moto perpetuoto at d=270*

    anyway - it's way important to bang the valves down hard and as straight as possible. Depending on the tolerances, the instrument will take a fraction off centre, but not a whole heap. For the smaller instruments, it's often a case of readjusting the way you hold your instrument. E.g. I hold my cornet at an angle of close to 45 degrees off the vertical. This helps me gain close to my optimum angle of attack, while keeping my finger-tendon movement ratio as high as possible.
    (Yes, Kepps can spout terminology with the best of them)

    For the larger instruments, you may have to move your hands on the valves, instead of moving the valves to your hands.

    I've found that heavily curved fingers tend to slip off to the sides at times, resulting in a hand angle off the perpendicular, leading to pushing the valves into the side of the casing - generating friction, and a slower valve action. With straight fingers, it's much easier to see, and you also don't have to move your fingers as far!

    Anyway - fingers straight, and perpendicular to the valve casings, will give you a good chance on pushing the valves stright.

    * may be a slight exaggeration
  6. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    I don't think that I actually push sideways down on my valves, but when I get tired and stop concentrating, I probably lapse to playing with the tips of my fingers rather then the pads :?

    I also hold my horn with my right hand more than my left had. Can that make a difference as well?
  7. MattB

    MattB Member

    Which hand do you play with then? I think it's common knowledge that if you aren't pressing the valves straight down this does cause extra friction on the casing. Like has already been said, "sticky valves" are sometimes only in the eye of the beholder!!
  8. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Has anyone got an excuse for a trombone slide!!!!!!
  9. Kernewek Den

    Kernewek Den Member

    Tromgod has - he blames a broken arm last year on not being able to reach 7th position!
  10. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    i blame cigarette smoke... don't know where it comes from since i don't smoke... hmmm, any ideas steve?
  11. Tromgod

    Tromgod Member

    How rude!!

    Making a cheap joke at the expense of an injured man is unfunny. :(

    Just because I may have to buy a kiddies extension handle in order to reach the "no man's land" of 7th position is not a laughing matter. If the band had supplied me with a decent trombone with a trigger we could have avoided this problem anyway (and before you say it, there is no way that I will degrade myself by playing one of those Sovereigns).

  12. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    Is that anyhting like Moto Perpetuo. I know that one!!

    As regards sticky valves, I dont know what other think but the valves on Yamaha Maestro cornets are rubbish. Constantly oiling them. They get sluggish after playing twice. Not always the individual.

    Course the other problem is when you get a hand me down instrument where somebody has worn the valves into the way that they press them down. When the next person plays it they cant get them to move.

  13. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    something like it - call it a personal interpretation..
  14. Tromgod

    Tromgod Member

    hmmmmmmmm........flaming valve users excuses yet again!

    Is that why we always see you hastily fumbling with your instrument :? before attempting to play F & G March then Igg?

  15. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I've had it especially transposed to being the D & E march. I cant get the high notes like I used to.

    I'd like to see you with a little hand extender thingbob. Great for entertainment contests- you'd get my vote without even playing.

    Keppler- I too do a good version of Moto Perpetuo that nobody can match, (even me the second time round- different splits, same result).

    (able to cope with 3 valves as opposed to simply one slide)
  16. Tromgod

    Tromgod Member

    I'm sure you would like to see me with a little hand extender thingbob but I'm not that type of man and this is not the right forum for that sort of thing so submit your bizarre perversions elsewhere please:!:

    (able to cope with a slide and a trigger, if allocated one)