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   Post reply ( Re: sackbut tone/technique vs. trombone tone/technique )
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Topic Summary
Posted by: berto Posted on: Oct 2nd, 2003, 1:52pm
What are the differences between the sackbut tone or "sound" versus the trombone tone or "sound"?
Also, what are the differences between sackbut playing technique versus trombone playing technique?
I do not have a true sackbut (can't afford it at the moment) and must make do with an antique, small-bore and small-bell "peashooter" trombone. What adjustments can I make, both to my playing technique and the instrument itself, in order to produce a more "authentic" sackbut sound?
Please don't tell me to cut down the bell--6-1/2 inches in diameter on my instrument. For one thing, the results would be uncertain. For another, it's kind of a sacrilege to deform antique instruments in that sort of way.
Note that I use a smallish mouthpiece close to what I have seen described in print about "true" sackbut mouthpieces. (I have another mouthpiece that appears to match perfectly the description of a "true" sackbut mouthpiece, but it extends too far out from the lead pipe and for some reason is really tough on my embouchure.)
Posted by: berto Posted on: Oct 21st, 2003, 2:50pm
Borrowing from a separate message thread on this Forum ("Sackbut vs. Trombone," started by Ray Avery and quoting Doug Yeo, Bass Trombonist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra), I'll answer my own post:  Wink
... You have to blow a sackbut differently as well - it will not take "modern symphonic" air flow, the style of playing is rather antithetical to the "concrete" kind of playing we often do in modern orchestras. Rather, it is all about soft blowing, easing into notes, a certain diffuseness of articulation, swells of notes, and such...
... I realized that the work I had done on the sackbut in terms of having to deliver incredibly focused air (since the bore is so small and the mouthpiece very large, you need a very clear focus in order to hit notes on the sackbut square on - if you don't do this, you have a high risk of over or undershooting the note)...
Thanks, Mr. Yeo (and Ray)! These comments are helpful.

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