Edwards Instrument Company
I was first introduced to Edwards way back in the 90’s. (19 not 18, I’m not that old) My friend Dan Satterwhite came to San Francisco playing a traveling Broadway Show. He had an Edwards Bass, which I naturally had to try, and I was duly impressed. Fast forward a few years, and the audition for the St. Louis Symphony was approaching.
I made the pilgrimage to Chicago for a few lessons, and took a trip up to the Edwards factory, just a short drive north. Well, I made the switch just three months ahead of the audition, and voila, it worked.
As I sat down for the final round in the section, what should I see but every section member holding an Edwards trombone! Seemed like I’d found my home.
Ok but Gerry, what is it about the instrument that made you choose to play it? Ah yes, a very good point, I was getting to that. I’ve played pretty much everything over the years, starting with Conn, Bach, Shires, Thein, even Rath. Of course now there are even more choices. What I found with the Edwards is a stable, centered sound. It “slots” and you don’t have to adjust to find where notes lie as you play across registers. It’s consistent, and above all, gets a sound that is clear, full, and can work in a variety of settings. They have nearly unlimited options, so the decisions can sometimes be overwhelming.
It’s very important to have what you want clearly in mind when going to the factory and choosing any instrument. This brings up another big factor in the equation. When you walk into the playing room in Elkhorn, you don’t go in alone. Taking you through the process and working with you the entire time is a very special person. Christan (NOT Christian!) Griego.
This is no small aspect whatsoever. He’s not just some guy trying to sell you a horn. Not hardly. He plays trombone, develops the horns, and has fit people with instruments for years. He can quickly determine what works for a player, from what they say they’re looking for and hearing them play, tune a horn that’s just right for them. And in some cases, it means a minor adjustment to what they already play and they don’t even buy an Edwards! Doing what’s best for the player is what he’s all about. It’s also great to have a well made horn, one that doesn’t end up with problems down the road. But if there is an issue, they stand behind what they make.
Sometimes something comes up that requires a little time back at the factory, but when it does, they take care of it. (and it’s nice to have it nearby in Cheesehead Land, Go Pack Go!)
So to sum it all up, well made horns, from Wisconsin, that play well in all situations, guided by knowledgeable, helpful folk, that you can play for a lifetime. And a free ticket to a Packers game and pound of Cheddar cheese with every instrument purchased! (hey, it doesn’t hurt to try, right?) Well, they’ll probably at least give you a free Edwards t-shirt. Tell them Gerry sent you, and I wish you all the best in whatever music you’re making.
And remember, the real answer isn’t the horn anyway, it’s long tones, get back in the practice room!