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Brass Plastic Trombones?

Connor Lee

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I've branched out from the piano and saxophone to try a brass instrument, since they're not QUITE as foreign as string instruments and I figure I have some of the 'abdominal power' necessary to play. (didn't really know what else to call it.) I've hit up the trombone and I'm very pleased with the results. It's not quite as versatile as the saxophone, but it's definitely worth trying. The high notes are fairly difficult but they're out there, if you don't break a blood vessel in the process. :p
I chose the trombone because it, like the saxophone, can be a very, dare I say, sexy instrument.;} I do love how unique the experience has been, from using a slide to hit notes to just playing a brass for the first time, it's been fun. I'm looking into buying myself a plastic trombone so I could practice independently and I was wondering if they're worth it. I'm not sure if I want to become a serious player, but it's only about 160 dollars. Advice please?
Thanks,
Connor
 

Young Col

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OG should be able to give you some feedback as he has just returned to trombone with a plastic one. I think he's progressing OK and I've told hime he can play my funeral if I go first. However, he has to do accurate reproductions of Ory's Creole Trombone and Teagarden's Knockin' a Jug solo.
YC
 

TomMapfumo

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No problem with playing trombone! the slide positions are easy enough to learn and they are great fun. The Plastic version has a generally good reputation and is very good for the price - serious trombone, not just a gimmick. Below is a post from a trombone newbie on www.themouthpiece.com : " tMP Newbie saltyboy's Avatar

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I am the proud owner of a pbone! Some observations;

1. It doesnt have the same sound as a traditionally built instrument, but it isnt a million miles away - it still sounds like a trombone!
2. The slide was a nightmare to 'fix'. The outer slide is made of carbon fibre, as is the inner stocking. The inner stocking has metal ends (this and the counterbalance weight are the only parts of the instrument that are metal as far as I can see) and the friction noise was unbearable at first. However after cleaning it 6 or 7 times with cleaning rods et al, it is now perfectly usable with the friction noise almost eliminated. (soap and water didnt clean it!). I don't know if the carbon fibre residue in the manufacturing process was the problem, but a lot of muck did come out the instrument.
3. It plays remarkably well, and is very well in tune through all registers.
4. It is an easy blow, and moving between the partials is astonishingly good.
5. It is very light - much lighter than the manufacturers claim. I think my standard VB metal mouthpiece is heavier than the fully assembled pbone!
6. My guess is that the bell section is almost indestructable, as it is a big chunk of 'plastic'. Not so sure about the carbon fibre slide, but I tried a few 'experimental drops' and my guess is it will cope with even the roughest treatment.
7. It came with a red plastic mouthpiece and a polybone gig bag.
8. It is a medium bore instrument and takes 'normal' mouthpieces as well as mutes.

In summary, I think it is a work of genius! I'm no teacher, but I think kids would love it because it has the features of a real instrument, but is really light in weight and looks really cool. For the money I think it is great value. I bought it with the intention of using it on the many Christmas caroling jobs on the horizon. Great for cold weather I hope!"

I play trombone and enjoy playing Ska & Latin music amongst other things.
Go for it.

The range is the same as a Baritone sax.

Regarding the slide nonsense above you do have to regularly moisten the inner slide - I clean it by spraying it with glass cleaner, wipe with clean cotton cloth. Then rub small amount of "Trombotine" on the inner slide and moisten that with a small spray of distilled water - result is a very fast moving slide.
 
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old git

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Damn! Been doing it other way round.

Enjoying the Tromba but trying to find out about the Pbone and what the problem was between them. Also see that Conn-Selmer are supposed to be reproducing the Rudy Mück trombone mouthpiece that I preferred half a century ago. Any information om UK suppliers appreciated.
 

TomMapfumo

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The 23, 25 or 26?

Unlikely to find it in UK - I get most of mine from the USA.
 

rhysonsax

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A professional trombonist friend of mine and a very good amateur both have the pbone and love it. I heard it in person for the first time last week and am very impressed. Quite tempted too !

Rhys
 
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Sue

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I was intrigued by these plastic trombones (have been hankering after trying a 'bone for a while) and was talking to himself about them. He's only gone and ordered one in green for himself!! Well at least i'll get a go and realise I can't play it and that will be the end of my hankerings.
 

rhysonsax

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The red one my friend has, comes with a red plastic mouthpiece. Normal trombone mouthpieces also fit.

Rhys
 

Sue

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This one comes with a plastic mouthpiece too. He's been watching You Tube and going about the house 'practising' his embouchure making 'trombone' sounds. Don't think I'll get a look in - lol
 

TomMapfumo

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The red one my friend has, comes with a red plastic mouthpiece. Normal trombone mouthpieces also fit.

Rhys

I wonder if it is a Kelly mouthpiece - made of plastic, but made for many brass instruments, and considered "normal". They are often preferred for outdoor work as they are warmer in cold weather than their metal counterparts. I have one on cornet and they are actually pretty good: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kelly-Mou...usicalInstr_Brass_RL&var=&hash=item4846050c48 .Is it a 12C?
 

old git

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The Tromba mouthpiece is not a standard Kelly as it has a swelling to prevent it being pushed too far into the lead pipe.

Actually feeling guilty as the pbone was the original, developed here in the UK and the Tromba is a copy. My socialist/public school principles are forcing me to get a pbone from Phil Parker so that the guys with the idea and who developed it are compensated.

Might be a Tromba, instrument, mouthpiece and gig bag only up for sale soon with proceeds to Pete's charity. Pick up only.
 

TomMapfumo

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I was intrigued by these plastic trombones (have been hankering after trying a 'bone for a while) and was talking to himself about them. He's only gone and ordered one in green for himself!! Well at least i'll get a go and realise I can't play it and that will be the end of my hankerings.

It won't be long and you'll be making some beautiful music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMIBEpWD1Mg Saw him play this live in Brecon a couple of years ago - brilliant.
 

Sue

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Oh yes we like a bit of Bad Bone and Dennis Rollins around these parts. He's practically a local - well from Doncaster anyway. Apparently the beast arrives today so we all know what I'll be doing this afternoon, wasting more time that could be spent on more 'important' but less enjoyable things than making music!! I'll keep you posted Tom and no doubt be calling upon your and OG's 'bone expertise. Been watching Lucien Barbarin and Trombone Shorty on You Tube too.

BTW I found a clip of someone playing a soprano trombone - who knew there was such a thing? It's like a little slide trumpet - cute too.
 

TomMapfumo

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Have a look at Samuel Blaser - brilliant trombonist, who produced a solo trombone CD, called "Solo Bone", unsurprisingly:

http://samuelblaser.bandcamp.com/album/solo-bone .

I've just got one of his latest CD's - "As The Sea".

My teacher also does some decent stuff: http://www.garethtrombone.co.uk/

Kind regards
Tom :thumb:

By the way Dennis Rollins currently plays a Schilke 47B trombone mouthpiece, and used to play a Marcinkiewicz ET3 Charles Loper trombone mouthpiece!
 
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Sue

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Had a listen to both of your recommendations Tom and enjoyed them very much, thanks. The little plastic 'bone arrived and I I've just spent about an hour trying to get the F - lol Watched loads of Youtube videos bout embouchure and slide positions etc. John (him indoors) loves it and has managed a few notes. I think for me it will remain a bit of fun but John might learn to play, having packed up sax playing 3 or 4 years ago. Such fun ....
 

Sue

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Yes thanks for that - David Pearce is a freelance muso who does some work at the school where my sister works but I think he's moving in the summer. My friend Kate plays a pretty mean trombone and she's offered a few lessons in return for vino so all good. I can't remember him ever getting so enthusiastic over his baritone or bass clarinet :)
 

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