2B or not 2B?

Ah, yeah. This is a play on the King trombone nomenclature. A “2B” is a small note, tenor trombone that was (and still is) quite popular with jazz musicians. Vintage (and new) versions can go for a couple grand. That’s a lot of dough-re-mi for some basic brass tubing.

Anyway, the point of this is that I’m sort of looking at eBay for used trombones. Again. I still love rescuing vintage horns and giving them new playing life. my last euphonium is a rescue. And my main trombone is a rescue as well.

Vintage horns are awesome. They have history. They’re usually better made than new horns, but not always. They have a patina of age to them, which I think makes them look cool. I’m a firm believer that a horn doesn’t have to be shiny and pristine to sound good.

Vintage horns come with their own problems though. Tuning slides that don’t move the best. Sticky valves. Extra dents. Scratches. Worn cases. Corrosion. Etc. So you have to be willing to take on a project.

The reason I’m looking at trombones is that in my concert band, I’ve recently switched back to trombone after playing euphonium. I jumped to playing euph when the band didn’t have any. And it has been marvelous fun! I have also gotten better at valves and sight reading technical passages. So win-win there. But now the band has two other euph players— and I was kind of having issues with one of them grating in my nerves.

So- back to bone it is. And I LOVE it. It is my primary instrument, after all. BUT. Playing euphonium spoiled me from an ease of playability standpoint. The air just falls into the horn and with little effort, the horn just plays. Not so much with the trombone. It’s a stuffier instrument with more back pressure. More fatigue.

My current trombone is a King 4B (semi rare). I generally like it, but coming back to it after a few years has given me new perspective on the horn. I am not sure it should feel so as stuffy as it does. I’m not sure if this is the mouthpiece, the horn design, a combo, or what. Or it could be me, although playing the euph I get good clear sound.

So I’m sort of looking at bass trombones on eBay. Larger bore. Bigger sound. Easier to play low notes. Etc. (I have a vintage Conn small bore tenor that plays well if I need that style. And it’s cool- I did a post several years back about it).

My criteria of course is to find an older horn, with a bit of wear, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Slightly used, newer bass trombones can fetch $2000-$4000 or more. Yowza. Too rich for my blood. I may have found a couple options, but we’ll see.

I’m also exploring mouthpiece options which may work better with my current 4B. I have a question in to my mouthpiece manufacturer about design and shank size. So, we’ll see where that goes.

About cb

Nickname: Munt Measurements: 45 B, 34, 38(?) Ambition: to be the best human ever! Turn ons: long walks on the beach, romantic dinners, porn, rainbows, cock Turn offs: bad smell face, men who are full of themselves, dead puppies, popcorn, sadness
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