[Dixielandjazz] Looking for a new solo trombone (cont.)

Jim O'Briant jobriant at garlic.com
Sat Dec 3 08:58:33 PST 2005

Mike wrote:

> You need to go to a good music store and try 
> out a bunch of horns and find out which one 
> works for you. There isn't any one trombone 
> that will work for everyone. 

Excellent advice.

Depending on your own level of playing and the amount of breath support you
can muster, you may or may not want to go to a much larger bore instrument.
Larger bore means less resistance and more air needed to support the tone.

For example, I've been playing tuba since 1959, generally on medium-bore
instruments.  When Howard Miyata got his new Kanstul Tuba (which is a
beautiful instrument in both sound and appearance), he let me try it out.
It has something like an .860 or .890 bore, while I'm used to something more
in the .750 range.  I didn't have the air to fill the tuba.  So I'm sticking
to my Conn 24-J for trad jazz work, and to my Mirafone BBb, Mirafone CC and
Alexander F for orchestra and the Yamaha Eb for Brass Band playing.  Those
horns I can fill.

To reiterate what Mike wrote, you need to find one or more music retailers
who will allow you to spend several hours in the store, preferably in an
acoustically-insulated teaching studio, playing every model of trombone they
have in stock.  If possible take a knowledgeable trombonist with you, to
assist in the playing comparisons and to help evaluate your sound on each

Brands I'd consider if I were in your position are King (especially the 3B),
Conn, Kanstul and Bach.  There may be others that I'm forgetting.

Jim O'Briant
Gilroy, CA

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