#1
well im writing an 8 part psychedelic progressive post-hardcore ska-jazz funky salsa-ish epic, and now my band has a trombone player (making us a 6-part band, crazy haha). im writing ALL the songs myself, for all the instruments except violin and trombone (and i let the lead guitar improv a lot). and i dont know how to play the trombone, and i would take the time to learn except i dont own a trombone and cant afford one.
i hear all the time that trombone doesnt work well in some keys and that the best key is Bb (B flat...). Can you guys give me some tips for writing with a trombone player? Like what keys should I stay away from? Thanks.
#2
Stay away from keys with sharps. Your trombone player will appreciate it . Bb, F, and Eb are great keys for trombones.
Gear:

Fender Jazz
Spector Legend Custom 5
Yamaha BB415

Fender Bassman 400 Pro
#3
Quote by kamayzing
Stay away from keys with sharps. Your trombone player will appreciate it . Bb, F, and Eb are great keys for trombones.

C and G are too right?
#4
Quote by TMVATDI
C and G are too right?


Actually not so much, at least not the way I was taught, and I think that was the standard way. Most of the flat keys are better than C and G, at least in my mind. Your trombone player might have learned differently, but who knows.
Gear:

Fender Jazz
Spector Legend Custom 5
Yamaha BB415

Fender Bassman 400 Pro
#5
Quote by kamayzing
Actually not so much, at least not the way I was taught, and I think that was the standard way. Most of the flat keys are better than C and G, at least in my mind. Your trombone player might have learned differently, but who knows.

oh ok, and do the modes make a difference? i tend to write progressions that are modal, like not resolving to the I chord
#6
Hm. Like I said, as long as there are flats instead of sharps, your trombone player will have a much easier time wrapping their head around the music. Starting trombone as a kid, I didn't even encounter a sharp in my music until over a year after I started playing. Your trombone player was most likely taught on trombone as a Bb instrument, which is why keys like F, Bb, and Eb are really attractive. It's certainly possible to write however you want, and your trombone player can handle it, it's just more natural and familiar with flats.
Gear:

Fender Jazz
Spector Legend Custom 5
Yamaha BB415

Fender Bassman 400 Pro
#7
Quote by kamayzing
Hm. Like I said, as long as there are flats instead of sharps, your trombone player will have a much easier time wrapping their head around the music. Starting trombone as a kid, I didn't even encounter a sharp in my music until over a year after I started playing. Your trombone player was most likely taught on trombone as a Bb instrument, which is why keys like F, Bb, and Eb are really attractive. It's certainly possible to write however you want, and your trombone player can handle it, it's just more natural and familiar with flats.

but sharps and flats are really the same thing right? just in a different direction? like up a half step from A would be A#, and down from B would be Bb, so whats the difference?
#8
honestly, if your trombone player knows what their doing keys arent a big deal.
teach the part by ear or write it out in Bass Clef. read wikipedia to find out the range (most of the low end of the guitar is comfortable--the Bb on the middle of the treble clef is the beginning of the high range but many players can play well above that).
Last edited by tehREALcaptain at Jul 26, 2010,
#9
Let's put it this way, any key a violin player likes ... a trombone player hates. String players like keys such as E and A, trombone players like Eb, Bb.
#10
The only difference is the way they have been taught and the way they process the notes. I don't know their experience level or level of competence, so I can't answer this that well, I can only say that flats make more sense to me as a trombone player. I hope this helps.
Gear:

Fender Jazz
Spector Legend Custom 5
Yamaha BB415

Fender Bassman 400 Pro
#11
Quote by kamayzing
The only difference is the way they have been taught and the way they process the notes. I don't know their experience level or level of competence, so I can't answer this that well, I can only say that flats make more sense to me as a trombone player. I hope this helps.

oh actually that does. so like i could tell the guitarist what to play in sharps, and have the trombonist play the same things but explain it in flats so its easier for him?
#12
Depending on your trombone player's skill level, yes, this could help a lot, or it could not help at all. Ask them what they'd prefer
Gear:

Fender Jazz
Spector Legend Custom 5
Yamaha BB415

Fender Bassman 400 Pro
#13
Quote by kamayzing
Depending on your trombone player's skill level, yes, this could help a lot, or it could not help at all. Ask them what they'd prefer

alright, ill do that
#15
Quote by WishfulShredder
This idea sounds decent, post recordings or something

what idea?
#17
Quote by WishfulShredder
your psychedelic progressive post-hardcore ska-jazz funky salsa-ish epic, when its finished, please post recordings or whatever

oh haha sure, if i can. the problem is i dont have anything to record with, its more of a set-list idea than an album.
but if i can get it recorded itll definitely be up here, and on myspace, and on youtube.
its kinda like an rx bandits mars volta fall of troy de facto pink floyd rush king crimon mix...damn, there is no way to describe it that isnt a mouthfull...
#18
If your trombone player is in 7th grade, F Bb and Eb are the only keys you can rely on him to play in. If hes any good, hell be comfortable in all 12 keys. Same goes for the violin. Any competent musician can play music comfortably in all 12 keys on their instrument
Last edited by tubatom868686 at Jul 26, 2010,
#19
ya, most beginning to intermediate trombone players aren't comfortable in keys with alot of sharps. It stems from most high school concert band music being written in keys like Bb, Eb, etc.

But don't let one player compromise your music. If someone can't adapt, maybe he's not a good fit for the band.
"Swords, nature's hell sticks."- Trip Fisk
#20
Quote by WishfulShredder
your psychedelic progressive post-hardcore ska-jazz funky salsa-ish epic, when its finished, please post recordings or whatever

Yeah this sounds like the type of stuff I'd love to write when I get a better grip on things.
#22
There you go, try not to make him slide back and forth between 1st and 5th position.
There is a mistake on the chart, that D in 1st position is a D and not a C.
Last edited by pwrmax at Jul 26, 2010,
#24
Any chance you're name is Omar?
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#25
Quote by Baroque_and_Rol
Any chance you're name is Omar?

as in omar rodriguez? nope but he's totally my hero my name's justin
#26
oh ya, some good minor keys for trombone would be Bb and G (even though G is the natural minor of Bb), if youre having some trouble, the flat (major) keys are F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb (although Gb is very bad idea for beginners). You can use any mode you like without much difficulty, but under nearly all circumstances with a beginner trombonist, avoid his low E natural and low B natural, that is, unless he has a trigger trombone, in which case he would do fine. But if you cant live without him being in a key other than those, try to persuade him to get a bass trombone, which is at home in every key. You should always ask if there is any trouble with the part, but never let him dictate what he plays and does not play (unless its an improv). He is a trombonist, not the star, but still a very important part.

EDIT: I also highly suggest detuning the guitar/bass a half step for flat keys, especially on a 5 or 7 string. If the violinist is having trouble, maybe he can change his tuning to something easier, although it is doubtfully a good idea.
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Last edited by limegut at Jul 29, 2010,
#27
Quote by TMVATDI
well im writing an 8 part psychedelic progressive post-hardcore ska-jazz funky salsa-ish epic, and now my band has a trombone player (making us a 6-part band, crazy haha). im writing ALL the songs myself, for all the instruments except violin and trombone (and i let the lead guitar improv a lot). and i dont know how to play the trombone, and i would take the time to learn except i dont own a trombone and cant afford one.
i hear all the time that trombone doesnt work well in some keys and that the best key is Bb (B flat...). Can you guys give me some tips for writing with a trombone player? Like what keys should I stay away from? Thanks.


What is this I don't even....

Anyways...any instrument is able to play in any key technically. Some players of certain instruments like reading some keys as opposed to others. I was trained on Clarinet, and I was most comfortable in keys like Bb, Eb, Ab, and F, and I was decent in C. Trombone is a C instrument, like the guitar, so you don't have to worry about transposing like you do on clarinet or trumpet. Just ask the trombone player what keys he's most comfortable in.

And what keys you prefer depend on how you were taught; I was taught on clarinet, so whenever I read music for guitar, I prefer keys like F, Bb, C, and G. Eb throws me off a bit because I played with three flats on clarinet once throughout all of middle/high school. However, most of the songs I write are in sharp keys when it's guitar...
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#28
Quote by TMVATDI
well im writing an 8 part psychedelic progressive post-hardcore ska-jazz funky salsa-ish epic, and now my band has a trombone player ...



I stopped reading here because my head exploded