OK, it’s time to get your feedback on a subject important to all of us trombone players; Instrument upkeep and accessories. I’d like to hear your preferences on slide lubricants, mutes, practice and otherwise, valve oils, tuners, metronomes, cases, gig bags, cleaning tools and all things we use in playing.
I will report the findings as soon as I get a representative response from my readers. If you have an interesting combination setup on your instrument, submit that too. For example, concerning slide lubricant, years ago I was told the best way to apply slide cream is to first coat the inner slide, then work the outer slide over the inner slide rapidly, coating the inside of the outer slide. Then completely wipe clean the inner slide, add water to the inner slide and replace the outer slide. This way there is slide cream on the inside of the outer slide, a layer of water in-between the inner and outer slide, and no build up on the inner slide. This seems like a lot of work since the advent of liquid lubricants, but an interesting method none the less. I’d like to hear of any labor intensive ways of lubricating slides that folks hang on to for old times sake.
A bit of news. I was thinking one morning about tuning slides on bells and the critical function they serve. I wondered; if the tuning slide determines how well a bell plays, it follows that the slide crook could determine how well a slide blows, since it would function as a tuning slide for the slide, although not moveable. I shared this theory with Noah Gladstone of Brassark, he started to investigate and had some prototypes made which are still in the test stage but look very promising. His leadpipes are the standard of the industry as far as custom made accessories are concerned. More on this as testing progresses.
Even though I only had 3 responses, (what’s wrong with you people!) they were valuable. (Names are anonymous to protect the innocent.)
Retort No. 1-
Slide lube: Superslick cream & Plus oil (applied in a manner similar to what you describe in your article. I’ve tested this approach and other products, perhaps not in robust scientific quantifiable slide after using Great Slide.
Mutes: Wallace (plus others for jazz), these are heavy mutes but the sound quality and control is great. Metronome/tuner: Korg TM-40 (the small buttons are difficult; apps for phone work well)
Gig bag: I would not touch one, my slide works well and I’ll keep it that way.
Trombone stand: K&M.
Retort No. 2-
1. Neotech Trombone Grip.
2. H.W. Brass Saver Trombone brush. The grip provides left hand comfort and the brush is effective and non-abrasive.
Retort No. 3-
Slide Lubricants – Yamaha Slide Lubricant, nothing better, long-lasting, ease of application.
Mutes – Wallace PERIOD! Straight, Cup, Practice, Harmon style no other mutes compare with these in quality, sound quality, intonation.
Valve Oils – Al Cass for rotor valves, Hetman synthetic no. 12 for all other valve types.
Tuning Slide Lube – Ultra-Pure Oils – Regular – Great stuff makes even the most difficult tuning slide move with ease.
Tuners – Peterson IStrobosoft – available at the app store. Works on iphones and ipads Well worth the $9.99. For Androids gstrings app is great for FREE!
Metronomes – Dr Beat PERIOD.
Cases – Hard Shell Marcus Bonna, expensive but it’s lightweight and strong as can be made.
Gig Bags – Reunion Blues single, Cronkhite Double – holds 2 tenors or tenor and alto. Superb!
Cleaning Tools – Aluminum Slide Cleaning Rod, Mouthpiece brush, Flexible snake with brush, Yamaha Lacquer Polish, Wrights Brass Cleaner, A small sized ultrasonic cleaner used to clean mouthpieces, valve parts. Cheese cloth, microfiber car cleaning towels, Roche-Thomas Mi-T-Mist mouthpiece sanitizer.
Mouthpiece buzzer – David O’Neill’s BuzzzMaster – gives the correct amount of resistance.
PS – I tried the Great Slide products, and I have to report they radically improved the action of my slides. I am not a spokesman for these products but the results were impressive. Check out their website, www.greatslide.com.