Trombone Hand Support.

Discussion in ' User Reviews' started by 2nd tenor, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    WARNING. THIS IS AN EQUIPMENT POST FOR TROMBONISTS, please look at something else if this topic is not one that interests you.

    Trombones are, in my experience, typically difficult to comfortably hold for long periods of time (in the position required for playing). That difficulty is due to their weight, balance and available hand holds; all three factors vary between models and types of trombone.

    I have a Bb/F Trombone that is not much used these days. I find myself reaching for a Bb (only) which is slightly lighter (7 oz less), has a better hand hold (the brace is better positioned than on the Bb/F and lack of a trigger lever allows that brace to be used by my thumb), and it feels better balanced as it twists less in my left hand – many of my muscles really appreciate that relative ease of control.

    At roughly 3lb 13 oz my Bb/F Trombone isn’t that heavy; I’d use it much more if I had some help managing to hold it better and wonder what 'aid' might work. A Rath hand support comes to my mind but what experience do other players have of that device and are there other supports or ‘aids’ that have proved helpful to other trombonists too?
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  2. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    I am not a trombonist but have you considered tying some helium balloons to your trombone.

    These are available from specialist party shops I believe.

    Or maybe small birds. Budgies might work if you trained them up.

    For a really heavy bass trom you might be better off with a few tame falcons.

    But as I said I am not a trombonist and haven't tested this out.

    If it works then Dragon's Den here I come...
  3. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    What an imagination; the world is richer for your thoughts and all that you ask in return is a nice cup of Coco most evenings and a fresh blanket when life's become too exciting.

    I look forward to seeing you on 'Dragons Den' - your most unexpected ballon suggestion works a treat - and if it helps I'd be happy to push your Wheel Chair into it.

    All the best, 2T.
  4. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I should imagine that this problem is common across many band rooms.
    With regards to helium balloons as a possible solution; an average trombone weighs 4pounds. To lift 1 pound, 4 average sized balloons would be required. So in theory 16 balloons would be needed. However, the overall aim is not to lift the entire instrument, just the front end. So you could probably achieve the desired result with 12 balloons.
    However, as gravity is your current enemy, the balloons would create an upward force that you would have to resist, maybe some sort of counterweight/tethering system would work?
    The idea of the use of avian assistance would be limited to birds that are able to hover, so budgies and falcons would be of little use. A strong kestrel may be more preferable. Another option could be the use of a drone, which are becoming cheaper and more readily available.
  5. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I've used a Rath support for over a year, found it a great help
  6. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much for your response :).

    If you have time to post them then any additional details and why you picked the Rath instead of an other aid, etc., would be much appreciated.
  7. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    Perhaps you are blowing it a bit too hard Stevetrom if you have given yourself a hernia.

    But back on topic...

    Who knew that Bbmad went to the university of ornithology and helium balloons ?

    I actually have every faith in budgies' ability to hover if given a bit of incentive.

    Surely all it would require is some small mirrors and bells (perhaps a bit of cuttlefish) positioned a foot or so above the trombone. These could easily be attached to a hat of some sort worn by the trombonist.

    I can't believe that no-one has thought of this before.
  8. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Ornithology is not my primary field of expertise, but I have done a little bit of research. According to the Budgerigar Breeding Club, there have been reports of certain instances of the birds hovering, so the budgie solution could work at least in theory. But in comparison to the helium balloon solution, I still think the are a couple of problems to be overcome. For instance, animal rights are in the spotlight more than ever. Would a player, or indeed a band, want to expose themselves to possible action from PETA? Furthermore, there is the very unwelcome problem of mess being caused by the birds. And budgies like to talk and repeat. Would the noise not cause a problem to the performance?
    Whilst the budgie idea looks good, I think it is far less practical that the balloons idea and for that reason, I won't be investing in this opportunity.
  9. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    The contributions of Messers (Bob) Sheruncle and BbMad to this thread are invaluable and I hope that the constructiveness of their comments is in some way rewarded. Their suggestions have been discussed with my MD who felt that whilst they (the suggestions) might be cutting edge a more traditional solution would be best as otherwise some feathers could be ruffled (whatever that means).

    Given that I’m restricted to conventional solutions I wonder whether some experienced Trombonists might now like to comment on what they have found helpful (in supporting their trombone).
  10. bumper-euph

    bumper-euph Member

    look up ergobone.............
  11. Feel My Rath

    Feel My Rath Member

    Doug Yeo has some excelent idea on alternative grips here. Alternativly, what about a Neotech grip which seems a cheaper solution?
  12. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Think this thread needs a bump as the early suggestions were rejected by the OP's MD.
    Has the OP managed to find a solution to his weak wrist/grip problem? Has anyone else got any other ideas that might be acceptable to him and his MD?
    Please do keep us up to date with your progress and let us know if you find a solution. i said a couple of days ago that this must be common across many bandrooms, so there must be other people with the same issue?
  13. mattthebass

    mattthebass Member

    There is a flaw in the balloon theory, taking into consideration the weight of the rubber forming the balloon and the necessary standard length of ribbon, say one metre, to attached the balloon to said trombone the average 275mm diameter helium balloon can lift 4.8 grams. Therefore to lift a trombone of 3lb 13oz you would require 361 balloons. For indoor performances space will be our governing factor, however for outdoor performances we will need to consider atmosperic pressure and wind speed acting upon the surface area of the massed balloons, although this could be seen as a negative force, I like to see things from the positive and with a positive wind force acting in the right direct this would boost the 'lift' of the balloons and you could actually reduce the number of balloons, of course the wind force and direction would have to remain constant our you could end up with a mouthful of trombone!

    But fear not I have the solution and pending patent! i have constructed a light weight A frame similiar to that used to lift engines out of cars. With this configuration you have the benefit of being able to wheel the frame under your chair and achieve maximum stability. The trombone is then suspended at the correct height from the A frame for the particular user. Perfect!

    I am willing to sell the patent for a package of Haribo Tantastics!
  14. Feel My Rath

    Feel My Rath Member

    I'll give you three one-legged Jellybabies and nothing more
  15. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    I am interested in buying the patent from you. However, I have neither money nor Haribo Tangfastics. I do have a proposal though. I am willing to trade my nearly brand new and hardly used bright pink Pbone, approximate value, £100. You could then trade the Pbone with someone I know who may be willing to swap for a R9 Rath Bone, value approx £4000.
    With the resale of the said Rath R9 you would be able to afford 1606 drums of Haribo Tangfastics, retailing at £2.49 a drum.
    How about it? Deal?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  16. mattthebass

    mattthebass Member

    You had me at "I am interested"!

    This hunk of junk, sorry state of the art, highly technical, high tensile steel structure is clogging my house up!

    I love google! I found out that tesco is doing 215g bags for 97p, that's 43.8p per 100g (slightly better than tubs at 55.3p/100g). That means for £4,000 I could buy 0.886 tonnes, that's metric tonnes of course. I'd need 184,583 balloons to lift them up to my mouth!

  17. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Thanks, that is a done deal. The bright pink Pbone is now off the market. I should expect the patent for the frame will come through soon. I am now looking for investors in this enterprise. I am looking for an investment totalling £225,000 for 40% equity in my company. Please pm, or respond if interested.
  18. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    I have had great success with the Neotech grip. It lets part of the trombone rest on the back of your left hand, and then you are not tempted to grip the bone too hard using the F attachment paddle.

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