Categories
Artist Company News Trombone

Lightning Can Indeed Strike Twice

First came the Getzen Custom Series trombone line in 1992. Born of five years of success with the Edwards Instruments line of trombones, the new Custom Series trombones took the industry by storm. They quickly became some of the most sought after trombones in the world and fully cemented the Getzen Company’s place in the professional trombone market.

For nearly two decades, the full line of Custom Series trombones set the standard for what a professional grade trombone should be. Minor improvements over the years like all metal linkages, improved valve designs, and the addition of Griego mouthpieces kept the Custom Series fresh and at the top of the list, but it wasn’t until the introduction of the Custom Reserve line and the 4047DS in 2011 that a brand new model was added to the line.

The 4047DS Custom Reserve was unlike anything previously offered under the Custom Series banner. More than two years in the making, it featured an all new rotor design, wrap, bell, and handslide complimented with a Getzen exclusive fiberglass case. It quickly caught the attention of trombone players everywhere. Rave reviews showed that the Getzen Custom Series trombones were once more setting the standard of what a truly upper level trombone could be. We are extremely proud and excited to say we’ve done it again!

4147IB PowerBore Rotor and Harmonic Pillar

Introducing the all new, Getzen 4147IB “Ian Bousfield” Custom Reserve tenor trombone. Designed by Christan Griego in partnership with world renowned trombone artist Ian Bousfield, this new trombone marks another leap forward for the Getzen Company. While it may look similar to the 4047DS, the 4147IB is a completely different animal. The handslide, leadpipe, neckpipe, tuning slides, and bell are all exclusive to the 4147IB. It is Getzen’s first premium, professional trombone model built around a narrow handslide configuration. Other Getzen firsts include a single version of the Edwards trombone patented Harmonic Pillar system and a revolutionary handslide cross brace. This new cross brace is not only more comfortable in the player’s hand, but its design, material, and position dramatically improve the trombone’s resonance and response. The 4147IB is a truly premium, professional trombone worthy of the name “Ian Bousfield”.

The 4147IB Custom Reserve comes standard with the same Getzen fiberglass case as the 4047DS and a Getzen Custom Griego CS5 mouthpiece. Due to the nature of the 4147IB, initial supplies are expected to be extremely limited. Because of that, we are making the 4147IB available for pre-order now with anticipated delivery beginning in June of 2013 on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. For more model information, availability, or to pre-order visit your local Getzen dealer or www.getzen.com today.

Categories
Company News Trombone

A Peek Behind the Curtain

by Christan Griego

Last March I traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to visit with distributors and dealers at the annual Music Messe. While there I had my night of fun with an old friend, who happens to be a trombone player (yeah, we run in packs). At some point in the evening, he mentioned that he had a friend who was not happy on his current equipment. He knew if there was anyone that could make this player happy it was…. me. Flattery sank in and I was immediately intrigued. As we talked about how to solve all of life’s problems, the conversation continued circle back around to this friend and what he needed. During this conversation the performer’s name was never mentioned, it was like classified information that would be unlocked when the time was right.

Fast-forward a month when I received a call from one Mr. Ian Bousfield. The mystery man was finally revealed. I knew Ian professionally as one of the world’s top trombone players and personally from a trip to the UK 15 years ago when I had scheduled a lesson with him. I still remember his Eb arpeggio and him helping me through the issues I was struggling with at the time. After talking a bit about everything from brewing beer, cycling, and trombones, Ian mentioned that he was not only in the States, but that he was only three hours away from Elkhorn and that he wanted to work with me. Not some distant time in the future, but in a couple of days. It was off to the races for me to get something together that could satisfy one of the most incredibly gifted and equipment sensitive individuals I had ever met. It was a monumental challenge I just couldn’t say no to.

4147IB Bracing

With an understanding of Ian’s playing preferences, I first started with the basic body of the 4047DS trombone and added a narrow slide to it. This setup played okay, but it had some issues. Taking a narrow slide and just throwing it on a wide slide bell section caused the intonation to go sky high. Once we identified this issue, I immediately knew we had to add length not only to the slide, but to the bell section as well. Messing with tapers scares me to no end because it’s the balance within the tapers that makes or breaks a concept. It can turn a wonderful trombone into an out of tune mess if you’re not careful. The slide became longer first and from there I focused not only on the tapers of the neckpipe and tuning slide, but also on the treatments and construction of the bell. Ian tried some higher copper content bells and decided that was the direction of “color” within the sound that was needed for his demanding work. Once the bell choice was made, we needed a bit more “width” in the sound. Through what seemed like divine intervention, I realized that the outer handslide cross brace was the place to go. By changing the material, location, and removing excess weight we had exactly what we needed to move forward.

After working with Ian and watching many of his performances on Youtube, I knew that this trombone needed to be as nimble as a ballet dancer, yet as powerful as a bulldozer, and all while remaining sensitive to the player. Giving him the feedback needed to know that what is going into the instrument while on stage, is what’s coming out equally in the hall. This is very hard to explain to listeners and the focus on near feel versus hall feedback is one area that I do concentrate on. When this subject is talked about it always ends up with people shaking their heads at me like I’m the crazy one, but to a player it is known immediately from the moment the instrument resonates against their lips, through their bodies, and out into the hall.

The comfort a trombonist feels by playing this style of instrument is also understood as “relaxed”, “more musical” with “less tension” in the sound compared to other styles of trombones made for the masses. Every day of my job I focus on the individual performer and this attention to personal details has helped me better understand what players want and need. This is what first lead me to develop the patented Edwards Harmonic Pillar system which allows a trombone to be acoustically tuned. I quickly realized that a singular version of that system was exactly what was needed to take this new trombone from great to a world class. It was the perfect design aspect to create a more intimate relationship between the instrument and the musician. Setting the trombone apart from any other on the market and at the same time broadening it’s appeal to all trombonists. It was the final piece of the puzzle.

When I designed the 4047DS trombone, time was not an issue. I had years to trial and error every design concept that came to mind. It became as much an education into what does not work in trombone design as what does. The process with this new trombone was the exact opposite. Instead, it was a relatively short time frame filled with very intense and focused work. Ian knew exactly what he wanted and, thanks to my experience with the 4047DS, I knew how to get there. Miraculously, there were very few bumps in the road and somehow everything seemed to fall into place.

It is my sincerest hope that this new trombone, the 4147IB Custom Reserve, will not only bring Ian Bousfield and his demanding playing schedule closer to his musical ideas, but that it will do the same for you and your career goals, performances, and beyond.

Categories
Artist Trombone

Introducing Ian Bousfield

Ian Bousfield has been at the top of his profession for more than a quarter of a century, excelling in more facets of the music business than perhaps any other trombonist of his generation. His stellar career has included playing in two of the top-four orchestras in the world, one of which is recognized as perhaps the greatest opera orchestra anywhere. In addition, Ian has performed as a soloist with orchestras, brass bands, and on period instruments. His extensive resume also includes recording on top labels, playing the theme tracks for blockbuster Hollywood films, and teaching at the Royal Academy in London, England. It is easy to see why the name Ian Bousfield has become synonymous with the trombone.

Ian Bousfield and the 4147IB

Born in York, in 1964, Ian is a product of the famous brass band tradition in the north of England. His trombone career began at the ripe old age of seven with his earliest teaching coming from his father and later from Dudley Bright. In a strange twist, Mr. Bright would later replace Ian when he left the London Symphony Orchestra in 2000. The longest spell that Ian enjoyed in the brass band movement was with the Yorkshire Imperial Band between the ages of 14 and 18. During that short four year time with the band, he was fortunate to win the National Championships in 1978, the British Open in 1981, and the Yorkshire Championships on two separate occasions in 1980 and 1981.

In 1979, at the age of fifteen, Ian won the Shell London Symphony Orchestra scholarship. At that point, his carrier began to move undeniably in the direction of orchestras. He joined the European Youth Orchestra at age sixteen under Claudio Abbado and made a brief stop at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before becoming Principal Trombone of the Halle Orchestra in 1983. During his time in Manchester, Ian was lucky enough to perform the United Kingdom premiere of Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik by Gunter Schuller, under the conduction of the composer himself. In 1988, after five years with the Halle, Ian replaced one of his life-long mentors, Denis Wick, as the Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra at only 24 years of age. There he enjoyed a twelve year career. While with the LSO, Ian was featured as a soloist with the orchestra on several occasions, and recorded the soundtracks to many films, including Star Wars: Episode 1 and Braveheart. In 2000, following a successful audition in Vienna, Ian achieved the honor of becoming the Principal Trombone of the Vienna Philharmonic/Vienna State Opera. Ian was the first, and to date only, British member in the orchestra’s storied, 150 plus year history. This appointment was followed by his membership in the Vienna Hofkapelle Orchestra.

As a soloist, Ian has performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Halle Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony, and Austin Symphony to name a few. He has worked with countless conductors including Riccardo Muti, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Neville Marriner, Kent Nagano, Ion Marin, and Matthias Bamert. Over the years, Ian has also made several solo recordings for labels such as EMI, Camerata, Chandos, and Doyen. Perhaps the greatest highlights of Ian’s solo career to date have been performing the Nina Rota Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti three times in Vienna, as well as at The Lucerne Festival and in Tokyo, Japan. Another highlight for Ian was performing the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Stargazer, written for and dedicated to Ian, with the London Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas in 2007. He has performed with all of the world’s major brass bands, recording with many of them. Ian has appeared as a soloist and as a clinician pretty much everywhere in the world. In fact, it’s probably easier to mention the conservatories and festivals at which he has not appeared than to list all of those he has!Ian is currently Professor of Trombone at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern, Switzerland, a position he has held since September 2011. Having had a relationship with the Royal Academy of Music in London since 1992, where he has been awarded an Honorary Membership, he will be returning as a member of staff as of September 2012.

Ian is also currently an International Fellow of Brass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His list of former students includes some of the most successful players in orchestras around the world and that list continues to grow.

Categories
Company News

Getzen Remains a Family Business

Dear Getzen Customer,

The musical instrument industry has changed a lot over the last few decades. Consolidation and economic hardship have changed the face of the industry. Historic companies are no longer with us and long standing traditions have faded away. Change is inevitable, but it is not always a negative.

My grandfather founded the Getzen Company in a converted barn behind the family home in 1939. He had no customers and a dream. His hard work paid off as the Getzen Company grew. Not only did he start a company that year, but he also started what would become a tradition of the Getzen family in the brass musical instrument industry.

I am very proud to announce that tradition is carrying on today and growing even stronger. A life long goal of my brother, Adam, and I was achieved on February 13 when we purchased the Getzen Company, Inc. from our father Tom Getzen. Adam and I are the fourth generation of Getzens in the industry and could not be more excited to carry on our family heritage at the helm of the Getzen Company. Following the purchase, I was named President and Adam Vice President. We have some very big shoes to fill, but we feel very confident that, with our experience and your support, the Getzen Company will continue to thrive and grow.


Adam, Tom, and Brett Getzen

The passing of the torch will forever mark 2013 as an important date in the 74 year history of the Getzen Company. We are excited for the challenges ahead.

On behalf of myself, Adam, and the entire Getzen family thank you for the continued support and patronage. We look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,
Brett Getzen
President,
The Getzen Company, Inc.

Categories
Company News

Elkhorn, Wisconsin No Longer a Part of the United States!

OK, not really.  However, recently one of our competitors sent out a mass mailing to all of their dealers stating that they are “the only brass instrument maker producing all its horns in the United States”.  Apparently, in their world, Elkhorn, Wisconsin is no longer a part of these United States.  Believe me, that was a shock to all of us here at Getzen.

That’s the only explanation for their statements.  After all, every Getzen instrument is manufactured at our factory in Elkhorn.  In fact, our current production facilities are less than a mile away from the converted barn where the Getzen Company built its very first trumpet.  So obviously they either think Elkhorn is located outside the borders of the United States or they are grossly misleading their customers.  And we all know the later never happens right?  Right?

The fact is we pride ourselves on the fact that all Getzen instruments are manufactured in the US.  In an industry riding the wave of outsourcing, it is a badge of honor to be part of a very small group of manufacturers holding strong to our roots.

We take the standard of “Made in America” very seriously.  It is a little known fact that the requirements for using that term are pretty loose and liberally enforced.  Basically, in order for a product to be marketed as “Made in America” a significant change has to be done to any parts in the US.  For example, Brand X could import bells, valve sections, pistons, etc… from Trumpetland to the US.  Once here, those parts could then be soldered together, silver plated, and polished and the resulting trumpet could be sold as “Made in America”.  Since the imported pieces were just that, pieces, a significant amount of work was required to turn them into a finished trumpet.  So even though the term “Assembled in America” would be a better definition, Brand X can legally claim their horns were “Made in America”.  While technically and legally true, this practice profits greatly on the market place’s lack of knowledge about the fair use of the term.  It may not be dishonest, but it is definitely misleading.

At Getzen, we take an entirely different approach.  Take our 390 student trumpet, for example.  There are roughly 97 parts used in the manufacturing of a 390 trumpet.  Of those 97 parts, 73 of them are made right here in Elkhorn, WI.  The remaining 24 parts are all manufactured in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, or other parts of the US.  And that is our lowest priced, student level instrument.  I think we can all agree that a 100% American made student instrument is a rarity these days.

Could we reduce costs and increase profits by purchasing pre-made bells, valves, pistons, etc. from some offshore company, slapping them together in Elkhorn, and patting ourselves on the back while selling them as “Made in America”?  We sure could, but then we wouldn’t be selling a real Getzen instrument.  As long as my name is on the bell and I have any say in the matter that will never happen.

Sincerely,

Brett Getzen
Getzen Company, Inc.

Categories
Artist Trumpet

Breaking Up the “Boys Club”

Kiku CollinsKiku is currently performing trumpet exclusively on a Getzen 3001MV Artist Model Mike Vax trumpet

Think of some great American trumpet players. I’m sure everyone can come up with an impressive list of players both past and present. Now, go back through that list and pick out the women. What’s that you say? There aren’t any? Hmmm. Now take a look at your local band programs. How many females occupy the seats in the junior high, high school, or college trumpet sections? I’m guessing not too many. These are exactly the trends Kiku Collins is hoping to bring to an end.

Kiku started her trumpet career in a small, New Jersey town following in the footsteps of her older, trumpet playing brother. By the age of 12 her skills were becoming apparent despite being one of the only females in her school band. At age 16, after spending two summers in their National Music Camp, she earned herself a scholarship and a place in the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. From there, Kiku went on to study classical performance at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of her mentor, Dr. Mel Broiles. He constantly encouraged her, as one of his few female students, to fight on and pursue her dreams. His words have stuck with her and have helped shape the successful career she has now.

In 2006, Kiku’s career took the biggest jump to date. After years of playing with her own group, sitting in with other artists, and countless studio sessions, she landed the role of Beyonce Knowles’ trumpet player. The next year was a whirlwind. Performing with Beyonce and her band for numerous television appearances, multiple music videos, and a world tour befitting a pop superstar.

Somehow, through it all, she was able to write, arrange, and record her own jazz album. Here With Me is an instrumental album featuring Kiku on flugelhorn and also her multi-tracking on trumpet and trombone. The album debuted to rave reviews, opening doors for the trumpeter including an invite to headline two brass festivals in Europe. First with The Brass Group in Palermo, Italy and second the Durham Brass Festival in Durham, England. Even more impressive is the fact that, despite performing with Beyonce and promoting her own album, Kiku still found the time and energy to continue with her hectic NYC schedule. Playing gigs around the city, sitting in on recording sessions with other artists, and most importantly raising her six year old daughter.

What does the future hold for Ms. Collins? She’s continuing to promote Here With Me while working on album number two. As usual, she can be found performing her solo work all over NYC. You can also catch her playing around town with other artists/groups like Psycho the Clown and Voltaire to name a few. Biggest of all is that she is joining Michael Bolton as the lead trumpet for his current American tour. Pretty good for a girl in a supposedly all boys club. A fact Kiku expects isn’t lost on her young fans. She hopes that her talent, style, and success can inspire the next generation of female trumpet players.

You can learn more about Kiku Collins by visiting her at www.myspace.com/kikucollins or at www.kikucollins.com. Her site includes a bio, blog, schedule, photo album, music samples, and more. Her album, Here With Me, is available from www.innova.mu, www.cdbaby.com, and for download via iTunes.

Categories
Education/Technique Trombone Trumpet

Basic Concepts In Brass Playing

By Dr. Leonard A. Candelaria
(Professor of Trumpet & Artist in Residence, University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Many players seem unaware of the fundamental concept that must remain foremost in the minds of all wind musicians. The concept is that, no matter the style, tempo, volume, or range of music being played, the sounds we produce on our instruments must always possess a vibrant and rich quality of tone that is the product of blowing air in a smooth, flexible, and continuous manner. The following ideas may be of benefit to most brass players.

Air Control

  1. Always inhale air deeply, calmly and silently.
  2. Be sure to inhale in time with the tempo of the music.
  3. Think to yourself as you do the following; 1, 2, 3…Breathe…Play
  4. Make playing feel as though you were sighing through the horn.
  5. Always blow firmly or gently as needed with positive energy!

Practicing Tips

  1. Always begin each practice session by playing soft, slow, and sustained middle-register tones. Never begin by playing loud and high. Without being comfortable in your ability to play your very best tone on each and every note in the mid-range, you should refrain from playing high, fast, or loud.
  2. It is better to practice for several short sessions (20 -30 minutes at a time) rather than practicing only once daily for an excessively long period. Rest frequently during each session.
  3. While you play each exercise or study, keep one goal in mind the whole time. Do not be satisfied with your playing of the exercise until you achieve your goal on a consistent basis, then pick another goal. Primary goals should always be the relaxed and efficient use of the breath, the production of a rich and resonant tone quality, clear and consistent articulation, and precise fingering.
  4. Other basic musical goals are accuracy of pitch and intonation, precise rhythm, following dynamic indications, consistent phrasing, and control of width and speed of vibrato.
  5. Always strive to make everything you play sound like beautiful music. This even applies to scales, scale drills, arpeggios, lip slurs, and articulation studies.
  6. Repetition is the key to fine playing and effective practice. In order to do the correct things in the correct manner every time we perform, we must do them correctly many times in our practice before they become correct and automatic habits.
  7. Remember, both good and bad playing are a matter of habit!
  8. We play like we practice and we practice like we play. So practice often and practice well!

The Tongue

  1. The air always starts the tone, the tongue just cleans up the front of the note by knocking the “fluff” off the sound.
  2. Use the pointed tip of the tongue to articulate in most cases.
  3. Flick the tongue positively and quickly as you blow and think of saying “Too”. Think of saying “Too” and “Hoo” as though they were two parts of one word: “Too-Hoo” then becomes “T-hoooooo.”
  4. Now say “T-hoo” several times in succession with no spaces between the individual articulations. This is the basic manner most repeated articulations should be played.
  5. Use “Too” for rhythmic styles of articulation and “Doo” for most melodic styles.

Fingering

  1. The fingers of the right hand should be slightly curved with the fleshy pads of the fingertips directly over or touching their respective valve buttons. The thumb should rest under the lead pipe with the tip of the thumb touching the space between the first and second valve casings. Overall finger dexterity will be enhanced if the little finger is free to move without using the finger hook.
  2. The fingers manipulate the valves so that the valves move as quickly as possible from up to down, or down to up. The action of the fingers should be smooth, firm, and positive.
  3. Coordination between the air, the tongue, the fingers, the lips, and the tempo/rhythm is the primary concern.
  4. Practice all difficult technical passages slowly and carefully many, many, many times before attempting to play at a faster tempo. Use a metronome to ensure accurate rhythm.
  5. In fast passages, think of “banging” the valves down with good rhythm to clean up the execution.

The Embouchure

  1. The lips must always be together and touching before the tone starts.
  2. Firm the corners of the mouth by making “dimples” or by “krinkling” the corners of the mouth.
  3. Buzzing the lips alone without the mouthpiece is commonly termed “free buzzing.” One or two minutes of “free buzzing” is an excellent way to begin each practice session. With the center of the lips firm (not tight or rigid) and lightly touching, blow firmly and steadily as you silently say the word “POO”. With a little practice, the lips should vibrate or “buzz” freely. You should be able to sustain the vibration for a few seconds. The vibration that results could sound like “P-uzz”. Whether the resultant pitch is high or low is less important than producing and sustaining a free and vibrant “buzz”. Later, superimpose the consonant sound of the letter “T” over the “P”, changing “POO” to “TOO”. Now use “TOO” to start tones.
  4. To buzz on the mouthpiece follow the same approach as outlined above, but do these things on the mouthpiece alone. You may have to blow more firmly with the mouthpiece than you did with the lips alone. Keep the corners of your mouth firm and the center of your lips (inside the cup of the mouthpiece where the sound is made) should be relaxed but touching.
  5. Learn to sustain high and low sounds on the mouthpiece as well as slurring from low to high and back down. Sustain the mouthpiece tone by sustaining the movement of the wind (the blowing of air). Also practice articulating connected repeated tones without creating space between the notes.
  6. The sound quality of the mouthpiece tone is important. It must be free blowing and vibrant with lots of ‘buzz” in the sound. Use lots of air and play at mezzo forte or forte.
  7. Practicing problematic passages on the mouthpiece, regardless of their technical nature or musical style, is often the fastest way to improve the playing of the same passage on the horn.
  8. An effective approach is to play a passage, buzz it, and play it again.
Categories
Company News General Trumpet

Getzen Manufactures High Quality Field Trumpets

M2003EEveryday in America approximately 1,800 World War II veterans pass away. These brave men and women risked their lives to defend the land they loved. Yet, as many as 75% of these heroes will not be given the honor of having Taps sounded at their funeral by a live bugler.Bugles Across America is an organization dedicated to changing this distressing trend by rallying an army of volunteers dedicated to providing live buglers for sounding Taps whenever and wherever they are needed. However, despite this growing availability of buglers willing to perform this solemn duty, another problem arose. The surprising lack of an quality instrument on which they could properly perform Taps.

That is why the Getzen Company is proud to introduce the all new American Heritage Field Trumpets. Together with B.A.A. and several of its members, Getzen has designed an instrument specifically designed for honoring our veterans. Made in America, for Americans.