Tales from Band Camp I

Time for an update on my venture back into the world of music! It’s been almost 8 months (!!?) since my last post, so several things have changed. I’ve been back playing the trombone now for over a year and things are starting to come together. I am probably not where I wish I was at, but I cannot complain about the progress I have made so far.

My range has improved over the last year. I cannot remember what my range was a year ago, but back then I would normally struggle getting high Gb and above, and my pedal tones were non-existent. Currently using my “symphonic” mouthpiece (a Denis Wick 5BS) I can get up to double high D and down to Ab pedal tone. Using my “edgy” mouthpiece (Denis Wick 7CS or Bach 12C) I can get several notes higher, but I my lower range suffers. My F-Attachment range is still rather stuffy, but I just recently got my Bb/F trombone, so that will hopefully clean up soon with more practice.

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Speaking of F-Attachments, yes I did get my new horn. I spent several months (if not many months) researching trombones. Although I would have loved to get a nice professional horn. I just could not see spending that much money on a trombone at this time. Maybe in 5 years if I am still playing I will look into getting a pro horn. Until then I concentrated on finding a good intermediate horn. I was looking at several different models, but decided on a Getzen 725 horn. It is a dual bore horn (.525/.542) with an open wrap F-attachment. It’s a beautiful horn and sounds great. Like I said my trigger notes are a bit stuffy, but they will work out with more practice. I still plan to use the King 606 horn that my Father in Law Art is letting me use. It’s a student horn, but because it is smaller bore, it has a brighter sound/tone, where as the Getzen is a mellow sound. And I still have my original blue P-Bone.

I am playing with the church band usually every other week. And that is a bit more stressful on me than a normal concert band situation would be. I am the only brass instrument playing with the band and therefore my parts tend to stand out a bit more than if I am playing with a full section of trombones. But, I think it has helped my “stage fright” a bit. Since I got the new Getzen trombone, I have been playing it, but I am

With some help from my Father In Law, Art Ratley, I now have a seat in the Mcallen Symphonic Band and have recently started attending rehearsals. That first rehearsal was really a nervous time for me, but I made it through. But that’s a another blog post by itself. thinking about switching back to the King for the church band since it seems to sound better in a “solo” environment. Maybe someday I’ll get a better “straight” trombone.