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A Q for bRass players that read.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Downunderwonder, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. I don't know what they mean when they say some trombone reads regular bass clef in C. Afaik all their instruments are transposing Bb Eb etc. Their part is written in a different keys from the C instruments so it all sounds the same.

    We used to have a trombone player from a orchestral background who was having to transpose in his head to play the written big band parts.

    Why do I care? We are short of trombonists and long on bassists and I always had a hankering to play one. But the idea of reading in a different key leaves me cold as I have been progressing in my limited ability to sight sing my bass parts. I wouldn't like to stuff that up.

    How's that working for all the tuba doublers?
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    Trombones and tubas read bass clef in C. It's when you get to trumpet, winds and reeds that you get into Bb and Eb instruments, requiring notation written in different keys.

    There are exceptions for sure (an Eb trumpet for instance), but generally the above is what you'll encounter.
  3. Okay
    That's what I understood but trombones for sale are mostly Bb and then there was the old trombone player transposing so there has to be more to it.
  4. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    That's the standard. Your best bet is to talk to an actual trombone teacher or player and get the specifics.
  5. I talked with the other trombone player some time back over some beers. At that stage we had a full set. I am reminded he was a trad coal mine brass band exponent.

    Some more from Google still has me wondering what big band charts do. If the trombone reads same as we play from it's all good.
  6. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Some of you guys who post stuff about transposing instruments need to get a book on orchestration to learn about this. It's not complicated. A good bit of information in these posts are over complicated or incorrect. Most well trained professionals can deal with their instruments needs without any problem. This is one of the best orchestration books I've read. Even though its about a hundred years old, it covers all the information you'll need if you don't have training and are writting parts for different instruments. Well written and extremely informative. Worth every penny.

    Orchestration (Dover Books on Music): Cecil Forsyth: 9780486243832: Amazon.com: Books
  7. Cowboy in Latvia

    Cowboy in Latvia

    Mar 1, 2015
    Well, that depends on whether you are dealing with a regular orchestral trombone player or a British brass band trombone player. Standard orchestral instrumentation is such that the tenor trombone reads in concert pitch using either bass or tenor clef. However, some older British brass band arrangements had the tenor trombone as a transposing instrument that read the same music/transposition as the trumpet, baritone T.C. and the tubas (which read in transposing treble clef as well).

    Modern standard instrumentation for both bands (excl. British brass bands) and orchestras has trombones reading concert pitch in bass clef. No transposition necessary.

    Hope that helped.
  8. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    The Bb means that when the slide is all the way in, it pays Bb.

    ...which is weird since those trombones play music written for C instruments. Trombone is kind of a special case that was touched on in this recent, highly convoluted thread.

    Why are brass instruments tuned in Bb? | TalkBass.com

    Bottom line is Bb trombones read in C.
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  9. Thanks, ''British'' Brass Banding is very popular in provincial NZ.

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