Trombones out of sync.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Brian Bowen, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    While listening to the finals of Radio 2’s Young Brass Soloist competition I was reminded of a problem that sometimes afflicts brass bands: trombones out of sync with the rest of the band. It doesn't only affect lower grade bands but I was surprised on this occasion to hear it marr the performance of the mighty Black Dyke band at times.

    I’m not sure there’s just one reason for it. Could it be due to the extra physical effort required in changing notes with a slide rather than valves?:sup Do trombone players have more difficulty than others from seeing the conductor’s beat?;) Could the size of a trombone bell fractionally delay the sound of the cornets sitting opposite reaching the players' ears?:rolleyes: Are trombone players mentally in another room?:eek:

    Does anyone have any ideas? Serious if possible!
  2. Nuke

    Nuke Active Member

    I think if ure a trombone or bass or lower instrument player there is always a danger of getting out of sync with the band.
    Just producing the note takes longer so anticipating the beat seems to be what conductors have asked me to do on several occasions (i know im slow so...). I wouldnt say its difficult to change notes with a slide as long as you are precise about it.
    Or just maybe the rest of the band were out of sync with the trombones.
  3. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I'm quite surprised, although I haven't heard the recording. Brett Baker has one of the fastest slide arms I've seen! Can't really think of a good reason for it, but maybe they had only got the parts on the day. Obviously sightreading on a trombone can lead to being slightly behind because we have to move 10 times further than anyone else!
  4. kiwiposaune

    kiwiposaune New Member

    (a) most of us are so in love with the sound of the instrument that we struggle to hear what's going on around us

    (b) many of us are frustrated conductors (just consider the number of low brass players who go on to be conductors) and think we know better than the idiot in the middle

    (c) did I mention that many of are so in love with the sound.......

    (d) we are probably not just mentally on another room - in some cases it's another country or planet

    (e) some bass trombone players tend to hyper ventilate towards the end of My Comfort and Strength and hyper ventilation can lead to being out of sync
  5. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Well I think you looking in the wrong place! The rest of the band was out of sync with the trombones!

    On a valved instrument one doesn't have further to go, etc when one is playing so runs etc should not be any more difficult regardless of which note the start on (in theory). If one has fast runs on the trom and they are moving from 1st to 7th position quickly understandably this is harder to keep in time than 1st to second. I'm sure even the top players like Brett would have a bit of a bad day every now and then if sight reading might be a little out of sync with the band.

    Also, the trombone has a very directional and pronounced sound (even more so than the cornet) and this may lead to odd effects in the concert hall. I remember a professional trombonist telling me that he had to play half a beat ahead of the rest of the orchestra so his sound was in the right place when it entered the auditorium.

    Sometimes though I think it is a bit much for composers to expect trombonists to execute some fast passages with the same fluidity as their valved counterparts. Playing very fast very accurately on the trombone is incredibly difficult and often a sign of vitruosity.
  6. Fridge

    Fridge Member

    There is no excuse for it, i'm a trombonist, if i cant play in time with who ever i'm playing for i think i need to practise more, getting the parts and sight reading is also no excuse!! Players of that standard should have no problems with accompanying soloists!!
  7. ray_ed

    ray_ed Member

    youve just gotta feel sorry for them ! hehe.
  8. Sharpy

    Sharpy Member

    One other possibility could be the way in which the band was recorded and the acoustic of the venue. Unlike other brass instruments, the sound of a trombone tends to come straight out as there are no curly bits of tubing to add resistance. Having been a euph player before a trombonist I can honestly say its harder for me to play longer phrases on a trombone than on a euph asthe air doesn't seem to resonate as much in a trombone. So I find myself working harder to produce a nice sound.

    Because the Troms sound comes straight out of the bell as opposed to up in the air like euphs, basses etc then it can also tend to bounce off walls, giving a delayed sound when being recorded.

    Does any of that waffle make sense?!!! :confused:
  9. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Kind of! Microphone placement can make huge differences to the sound. Having said that the BBC are usually pretty good at recording bands.
    Odd it should be the troms though, it's not something I've ever noticed playing or listening, usually it's bass and horn sounds that get lost or delayed due to pointing upwards (huge curtains at the top of a stage are good for this!).

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