Bass Trombone with Three Valves
This is certainly not the first bass trombone with three valves, Larry Minick made several back in the 1970s. He had also made for Jim Self, a bass version of Holton's Superbone idea (tenor trombone with full length hand slide and three piston valves and is pictured on the bottom of Jim's Instrument page). The customer that thought this one up wanted something different. The unique idea here is to have a bass trombone that can be played conventionally with the addition of a half step or compensating valve. By removing the F slide and replacing it with a whole step slide (Ab) it can be played as a conventional three valve system, or in other words, a bass Superbone. In the photos it is set up this way. The thumb valve is a whole step, the second finger controls the half step and the third finger for the one and one half step valve. This set up is easy to use since the only change in fingering is to remember that the thumb does the job normally done by the first finger. That finger is busy holding on to the instrument through the ring mounted on the hand slide. Not shown is the much longer slide for the first valve that lengthens it to two and one half tones or F as in a conventional bass trombone. The second valve slide (third finger) pulls out far enough to be used as a conventional second valve on a bass trombone.