[Dixielandjazz] Looking for a decent solo trombone

Graham Martin grahmartin at bigpond.com
Sat Dec 3 15:41:58 PST 2005

Steve Pendleton said:

[I play trad jazz, very unprofessionally, and have, infrequently, for 35 years.  The only trombone I own is my Selmer Signet  from 1965, but have been wondering if a large-bore model in higher quality materials might sound better.  I am getting to a stage in my life where I would like to get more serious about my playing, and maybe a more serious horn might give me a confidence boost more than anything else.    I figure I am past learning to play a trigger.  Is the Bach Stradivarius the way to go?  Any suggestions from this group are welcome.]

G'day Steve,

I am a fellow trombone player. The first thing I would recommend is that you visit http://forum.trombone.org/index.php  , which is the top trombone forum in the world and where you will find the right kind of expertise. Not to say that you won't find some of that expertise here also.

I am not familiar with your old instrument and so I am unable to comment on its suitability for the task ahead. But I do play a Bach Stradivarius 16LT (That's basically a 16M with a lightweight slide) and can attest to its suitability. However, you will probably find that volume-wise, if you try to push it, it starts to break up on you. It is really much more suitable for up-close-to-the-mike playing. Most of the pros say the same thing. It absolutely sings in the upper register! It does have a few Bach quirks such as the fact that I cannot produce a high Bb (equivalent of trumpet top 'C') in third position, where I badly need it for vibrato, and the upper positions have been compromised slightly in the design by trying to keep first position notes more in tune. But you soon get used to these quirks and learn to love it, as I do!

Don't get rid of your old horn. Your never know when you might need a spare while you get something repaired or modified. I still have my early 1960s Conn 6H which has become a prized collectors item and which I have recently had rebuilt. But, although I love the old 6H dearly, because of the memories of a misspent youth during the Trad Boom back in Pommyland, I love the Bach even more.

I was also one of those that had a lay-off for about 25 years and then decided I wanted to play more serious horn - perhaps when I should have been old enough to know better. I have been back now for a good ten years and that dream is approaching a reality playing both 'trad jazz' and big band jazz. A lot of this is due to the new love affair with the Bach Strad 16. On the other hand, I also believe that provided you choose the right type of horn for the job at hand, it really does not matter which brand. The jazz output is really from the player, not the horn.



Graham Martin
Email: grahmartin at bigpond.com
Website: http://tromjazz.netfirms.com
6 Portland Parade
Queensland 4165

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