[Trombone-l] Spike Jones

Raymond Horton rayhorton at insightbb.com
Wed Jul 18 15:38:04 CDT 2007

Good explanation!

We did several concerts with Richard Hayman, former Boston pops 
arranger.  When he wanted that sound, he always labeled it "Golden Tone."

Ray Horton
Louisville Orchestra

ALEX ILES wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> This has come up before on the list. There is probably a better  
> description somewhere in the archives, but I can give a basic outline  
> for you to play with.
> Forget what you've learned about "correct" playing for the moment!!
> This technique has been called many names including, the "nerd", the   
> "golden tone", "spike tone" and others. It is basically one of  
> several alternative vowel sounds brass players can use. Didgereedoo  
> players use it too.
> The sound works best for most players on second partial notes...[and  
> for some reason, it is BEST on trombone, but I have heard some horn  
> players do it pretty well too!]
> Try playing a Bb in the staff. Buzz pretty much the way you normally  
> do, but instead of playing "tah" or "dah". Annunciate...in a VERY  
> exaggerated way..."dreeeeer" or "diarrhea" or just "rrrreeeear" [like  
> a mean old cat]. The key is to REALLY exaggerate the way you "say"  
> the vowel sound as you play.  Draw it out very slowly to get the  
> "feel" of this strange sound....
> DiiiiieeeeaaaahhhhrrrrreeeeEEEEeaaahhhhh
> rrrrreeeEEEeeeeerrrrrrrr.
> You might also want to "tighten" the buzz a little more than you  
> would normally to make your everyday "nice" sound!!
> Like any other technical aspect of playing, it takes a little  
> practice to get the "knack" of it. Not everyone can do this either it  
> seems. It is a little like "rolling r's". Some people might just need  
> to practice it more to get the hang of it.
> There are other recorded examples around to check out...Tommy  
> Pederson [one of Spike's trombonists] was a master of this sound. So  
> is Alan Kaplan, He used it frequently when Warner Bros rekindled  
> cartoons back in the nineties [Taz, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain,  
> etc]. Wycliffe Gordon likes to whip into that sound sometimes when he  
> is soloing and Stuart Dempster gives a great demo of the technique in  
> his book/cd, "The Modern Trombone".
> Good luck!! Hope this helps.
> Alex Iles
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Jul 17, 2007, at 7:20 PM, Brian Boyes wrote:
>> Having now listened to several Spike Jones tracks and then sat with  
>> my horn
>> and made all kinds of funny noises, I still can't reproduce the  
>> trombone
>> sound that occurs throughout his music. Anyone know what I'm  
>> talking about?
>> Specifically, the "heil" sound in "The Furher's Face". How do I  
>> make that
>> sound?
>> Thanks!
>> Brian

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