trombone gliss

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevecritchlow, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Not sure if Im having a mental block! Just been looking through the score of a newly delivered PLC piece, and the tenor trombone has a gliss from first space F to bottom C, how would a trombone player do this as a genuine gliss? sorry if Im being slow!:oops:
  2. Coverhead

    Coverhead Member

    I don't think this can be played as a genuine gliss! It would have to be 'faked'... don't ask me how though, I'm just a simple valve presser!
    Maybe a trom player can enlighten us both...
  3. AMbrass1

    AMbrass1 New Member

    Can't be done even with a trigger. Could gliss down to 7th+ and get sort of near a C (lip it down for the rest). I'm sure there are folks out there that could do that. Lack of planning me thinks on the composers behalf.
  4. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    No, that won't really work. Gliss down from 3rd position, draw the air away for a fraction of a second, come back to 1st position (or long 3rd + trigger). I happens quite often and many composers have long since given up trying to write 'proper' glissandos as many experienced players can fake it quite well. However, if the composer wanted a genuine unbroken glissando, he's asking the impossible (unless you're using an Alto trombone, when the positions would be 1 to 6).
  5. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    @AMbrass1, I've just re-read the above post and realise that my answer might sound a little dismissive of yours. I apologise for the clumsy wording. Of course, a 'fake' 8th position is possible, but I think it's a little impractical as the note would not sound very well centred. :)
  6. AMbrass1

    AMbrass1 New Member

    NP Duncan. One other thought and it would depend on how much time there is before and after the gliss and that would be to flatten the trombone a little to get the "8th" position in tune. Not knowing the piece I would not know if there is time. I shall bow to you knowledge as I'm from the other side a French hornest LOL. Had more years than I care to mention teaching all manner of brass players however.

  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    A slightly left-field alternative - split it between two players. Can be a good solution sometimes. Almost always better to fake it though.
  8. Richard N.

    Richard N. New Member

    Why not contact the composer and ask how he thinks it should be played ?
  9. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    A competent, wise, and skilled muso can get away with "Working" most things and make it sound good !

    ~ Mr Wilx
  10. Gazabone

    Gazabone Member

    I agree with the other posts here - unless you have an alto available, not possible to do on a standard Bb or Bb/F 'bone. However, there are a couple of options;
    Fake it -
    1. gliss down as far as you can go and bring the slide sharply up for the bottom C (or trigger and 3rd if you're using a Bb/F)
    2. gliss as far as you can go an get another 'bone to play the C smack on the beat (or whereve the Cshould sound.

    Unless the gliss is in an exposed section of the piece you should get away with it no problem.

    Without knowing what the piece is, it's difficult to be sure, but I suspect that the most importat note will be the C, perhaps closely followed by the F; (I'm sure someone will contradict me here but...) a gliss is all about the effect and you don't need to get hung up about it being a perfect gliss. I'm sure PLC knows enough to know what is and isn't possible and would not write something that was not possible that had to be "perfect" - you will have a good idea about how it should sound - think that when you play it and something remarkably similar will almost certainly come out.

    Good luck
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I bought a trombone slide position chart when I started writing glisses and avoided presenting the issue altogether......

    I do consider it my duty as a composer to consider the practicalities of playing what I've written. ie: make sure a player has a bar or so to get a mute in - or a couple of bars if it's a tuba, consider how quickly it's practical to have a percussionist pedal timps to different notes, make sure they have time to get from one piece of equipment to another, and yes, ensuring if I want a proper gliss, that it can be played as a gliss.

    I'm guessing if PLC has considered it and just wants the effect, knowing a true gliss can't be played, he may have have written a 'fall' line in stead of a proper glissando line?

    (That said if it actually says 'gliss' he may not have realised the implication.)
  12. AMbrass1

    AMbrass1 New Member

    Putting all this into perspective. Will the winning band be the one who's trombones get it!!! I think we should take comfort that the adjudicator (one hopes) will know that it can't be done. An extra rehearsal for bones to get that bit perfect will be just the ticket don't you think? :tongue:
  13. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Indeed! The trombones feature in adjudicators' remarks almost as regularly as the percussion section do.
  14. wagger-g

    wagger-g Member

    Impossible glissandi are not that unusual and the advice above seems spot on to me. In my experience glissandi usually fall into 2 types: the one where the effect is all important in which case the 'go down as far as you can' solution is usually fine or the one where the note you're arriving at has greatest importance in which case it's go as far as you can then effect a lightening flick to the position of the note you need to arrive at. In the second case you might even be able to split the glissando without many people noticing.

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