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Thread: Where have all the Bb bass players gone?

  1. #151
    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen Ball View Post
    Sorry, I mightn't have made myself clear. I meant that even without the additional resistance built in by piston valves, a bass still has a lot more natural curavture and therefore resistance than a trombone. As such, the advantage a thayer valve has - in not affecting tone by diverting the airflow less - is somewhat minimised by the very nature of the instrument.

    It would be interesting to have a go on a prototype though. As I say I'm not sure that thayers on the main three valves would make much of a difference, as the air has to go through 360 degrees whatever happens - but I'm pretty sure one could improve the 4th valve response greatly as that's notorious for back-pressure on Sovs, Imps and Courtois.

    A 4-thayer tuba would need a mighty strange wrap though.... :S
    It's not the total bend of the tubing that's the issue, it's the tightness of the tightest bends. A Thayer tuba would have much less of a change in resistance between the open tube and the all-valves-engaged tube; piston and rotary designs find it hard to avoid bends that are tight enough to matter, whereas the Thayer layout makes it easy. What I was suggesting is that a Thayer tuba would blow much more consistently, not that it would blow more openly (which is not simply an advantage, in any case).

    Quote Originally Posted by cornyandy View Post
    Can I be thick, what is a thayer valve (I thought leo thayer wath a thinger, with appologies to those with lisp)
    It's a trombone thing:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_flow_valve
    Dave Taylor
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  2. #152
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    Thanks Dave
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  3. #153
    tMP Friend for Life Thirteen Ball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoominDave View Post
    It's not the total bend of the tubing that's the issue, it's the tightness of the tightest bends. A Thayer tuba would have much less of a change in resistance between the open tube and the all-valves-engaged tube; piston and rotary designs find it hard to avoid bends that are tight enough to matter, whereas the Thayer layout makes it easy. What I was suggesting is that a Thayer tuba would blow much more consistently, not that it would blow more openly (which is not simply an advantage, in any case).
    Ah I see - Right I'm with you.

    As I say, since the Thayer sends the air off at a very shallow angle, you'd likely end up with a rather strange wrap - but it could produce very different playing characteristics if done properly. I've always found a pedal C-sharp on 1+2+3+4 to be a horrible note. 32ft of tubing and all those right-angle corners makes the back-pressure a real issue. I suppose Thayers could improve things in that respect if used to smooth out the air passage.

    On a side-note, I still reckon we're onto a loser with cylindrical piston valves. It'd be much easier to shorten the action and speed up the movement if they were oval, like the pistons on a honda NR750.....
    Andi Cook: BBb Bass - Hebden Bridge
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    Find me at www.penninemusic.com and www.kirkleesmusic.co.uk
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  4. #154
    tMP Prime Friend GJG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen Ball View Post
    It'd be much easier to shorten the action and speed up the movement if they were oval, like the pistons on a honda NR750.....
    Or like this: http://www.deniswedgwood.com/ovoids.html
    Gareth J. Green
    MD The Egham Band

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  5. #155
    tMP Prime Friend Bayerd's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Thirteen Ball;807709]Ah I see - Right I'm with you.

    As I say, since the Thayer sends the air off at a very shallow angle, you'd likely end up with a rather strange wrap - but it could produce very different playing characteristics if done properly. I've always found a pedal C-sharp on 1+2+3+4 to be a horrible note. 32ft of tubing and all those right-angle corners makes the back-pressure a real issue. I suppose Thayers could improve things in that respect if used to smooth out the air passage.

    On a side-note, I still reckon we're onto a loser with cylindrical piston valves. It'd be much easier to shorten the action and speed up the movement if they were oval, like the pistons on a honda NR750.....[/QUOTE]

    but then you'd be in danger of getting nearer the sound of the bass trombone...

  6. #156
    tMP Senior Friend JDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thirteen Ball View Post
    On a side-note, I still reckon we're onto a loser with cylindrical piston valves. It'd be much easier to shorten the action and speed up the movement if they were oval, like the pistons on a honda NR750.....
    I played an old Conn BBb while visiting friend in the USA and that had oval ports. Was a pleasure to play with half the movement. I can supply sousaphones from China with oval port valves and have wondered about trying to get a compensated BBb tuba with the same produced - so may happen eventually - watch this space

    I doubt if any Thayer valve currently produced is large enough bore which would mean tooling for new one specially, making expensive. Then there is player resistance to something so different and the very different routing of tubing required which might change the sound. I don't think it will happen.
    Wessex Tubas - Nice playing brass at reasonable prices!

  7. #157
    tMP Friend for Life Thirteen Ball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JDH View Post
    I played an old Conn BBb while visiting friend in the USA and that had oval ports. Was a pleasure to play with half the movement. I can supply sousaphones from China with oval port valves and have wondered about trying to get a compensated BBb tuba with the same produced - so may happen eventually - watch this space
    Gentlemen, I fear you misunderstand. I'm not suggesting sending the air through a cylindrical piston offcentre to create an oval pathway, which is already well-established practice. I'm suggesting an actual oval valve-piston. It's been done on motorcycle engines as I say (see pic) when WSB rules meant only four cylinders were allowed, and honda wanted to build a V8. So they basically built a V8 but filled in the gaps between some of the pistons and gave it a v4 firing order. 32 valves, 8 conrods and oval pistons = 23,000rpm.... from a four-stroke 750!

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3429/...28a8b8a096.jpg

    In the context of brass valves, oval pistons would have the advantage that they'd run without a valve-guide (not being able to turn in the bore) therefore being faster and smoother, and if positioned with their longest edges side by side, could sit closer together on large instruments and solve the problem where bass valves are often ludicrously far apart. plus the extra surface-area available to pass the airflow through could allow a shorter action than is typically the case.

    There's no doubt they'd be more difficult to manufacture, but I think the advantages are there.
    Andi Cook: BBb Bass - Hebden Bridge
    Composer in Residence - Skelmanthorpe

    Find me at www.penninemusic.com and www.kirkleesmusic.co.uk
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  8. #158
    tMP Senior Friend BassBlaster's Avatar
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    Oh My God, I have lost the thread of this conversation, I just blow the ****** thing, keep the valves, My pedals sound fine, don`t change much, if your to weak to make a good sound on a BBb Bass go play something smaller, if your to weak to carry it, play something smaller, If your mentally weak, carry on, join the BBb bass section.

  9. #159
    tMP Prime Friend Laserbeam bass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassBlaster View Post
    Oh My God, I have lost the thread of this conversation, I just blow the ****** thing, keep the valves, My pedals sound fine, don`t change much, if your to weak to make a good sound on a BBb Bass go play something smaller, if your to weak to carry it, play something smaller, If your mentally weak, carry on, join the BBb bass section.

    Spot on.
    Nothing to see

  10. #160
    tMP Friend for Life Thirteen Ball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassBlaster View Post
    Oh My God, I have lost the thread of this conversation, I just blow the ****** thing, keep the valves, My pedals sound fine, don`t change much, if your to weak to make a good sound on a BBb Bass go play something smaller, if your to weak to carry it, play something smaller, If your mentally weak, carry on, join the BBb bass section.
    What's to lose? We started on Why it's difficult to persuade people to play BBb bass, then got onto the particular skills needed to play BBb bass, and then onto ways to negate some of the less necessary difficulties by mechanical solutions without spoiling the particular brass band sound.

    Currently there is a shortage. If nothing changes there will remain a shortage. So forgive us for trying to think of ways to cure an existing problem.....
    Andi Cook: BBb Bass - Hebden Bridge
    Composer in Residence - Skelmanthorpe

    Find me at www.penninemusic.com and www.kirkleesmusic.co.uk
    Got a piece you want arranging? Email thirteen_ball_music@yahoo.co.uk or tweet @13BallMusic to discuss...

  11. #161
    tMP Senior Friend Sop_Or_Bass?'s Avatar
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    Stuart Haigh is looking for a band, but only if it has a new Yamaha Neo available http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/show...oking-for-band
    Neil Crowe

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  12. #162
    tMP Friend Neillyboy's Avatar
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    I have just read 11 pages of valid points that certainly got me inclined to chip in.

    When I started playing brass at 8 years old, I started on a baritone, within a year was on a euph, and after2 years on that I was on a half sized Bb. After a year on that I played an imperial and at the grand age of 12 and approximately 4 ft 5 in heights was playing a 3+1 sov. I still play BBb and I have tried rotaries, euros, etc and the reason why British bands don't use them is because the sound is far too thin.

    If you think about a European tuba for a second,what's its main purpose? To cut over a 60 piece orchestra, whereas a top loaded valve sov is designed to provide a foundation on which the rest of the band sits on. For that to happen it needs to be a British style bass as they are specifically designed to resonate and provide a deep sonorous noise.

    In regards to playing, the Bb is possibly the hardest instrument due to several factors;

    1. It requires gallons of air, especially at fortissimo and beyond
    2. The articulation has to be exaggerated through the mouthpiece.
    3. It's heavy and bulky on the march therefore tricky to play.

    However, the argument that Bb players get all the tricky stuff taken off them and out onto Eb is a lot of nonsense.im going to take this years second section test piece as a prime example of a bass section working as a team. In cross patonce, the principal Eb and Bb both have some tricky wee solos, a bass quartet is there, a lot of harmony work. It is clear that a bass section works well by encouraging weaker players to play out and giving hints and tips and as a result, the players start to enjoy it and want to play it because they enjoy the challenge.

    As a result, size and air required for these instruments are put to the back of minds, and players challenge the self to master the king tuba!

    As for bass players being in short demand, I feel there is no encouragement to entice players to play them. Yes instruments can be battered or falling apart but get the players on the seats and invest in them. Youth bands are great for building players at grass roots level and there is funding available to buy good new instruments.


    Sorry it's long, I feel the need to say my bit!
    Whats the definition of a barline? A bass section down the local.
    BBb Powerhouse at Johnstone Silver band.
    Musical director of Dumfries Town Band.

  13. #163
    tMP Friend in Training derekdawson's Avatar
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    Having played with Barnsley Chronicle Band on Sat. last, 50 yrs. after first going on stage at SGH with Grimethorpe, and also playing with the Grimethorpe all stars at Butlins, it would seem to me to be a good time to call it a day, I am in my 75th. year and all good things come to an end.
    grimeydirk

  14. #164
    tMP Friend in Training skiosbod's Avatar
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    I've played the BBb Bass since my School Brass Teacher saw I could lift and blow a note out of it. Unfortunately, my present shift job only allows me to play occasionally and can't commit fully to any Band. Interestingly, my Nephew wanted to play Bass in School but was told to learn on a Trombone even though they had brand new 3 valve Basses available. When the School concert came round the Brass Band Teacher had invited his fellow Band players to play the Basses. I wonder if this is common in other places?
    Ta Butt

  15. #165
    tMP Prime Friend iancwilx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekdawson View Post
    Having played with Barnsley Chronicle Band on Sat. last, 50 yrs. after first going on stage at SGH with Grimethorpe, and also playing with the Grimethorpe all stars at Butlins, it would seem to me to be a good time to call it a day, I am in my 75th. year and all good things come to an end.
    I don't believe it Dirk, you're just having a low moment.
    As As I've said before, "Old bandsmen don't retire they simply blow away" ~ I'd bet on you being back passing on your considerable font of banding/playing knowledge to some youngsters before long !

    ~ Mr Wilx
    - Mr Wilx

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