Phrasing essentials and sight-reading

Making music is about much more than hitting the right note. Actually, hitting the right note is the least of it. After years of teaching and conducting musicians on all levels, this is the formula I have come up with in order to make music happen as soon as possible. This is of course not only a trombone lesson, but is true for all instruments.

Sight-reading tactics

When you play a piece of sheet music for the first time (or first few times), you probably won’t be able to get everything right. This is human and you won’t get shot for playing wrong notes. You might get shot for playing bad music though, so this is my approach to ensemble playing in general and sight-reading new music. Focus on: Continue reading

    Trombone embouchure trade secret

    This is the trombone embouchure article I wish I had read many years ago (a bit hard though, since I had not written it then…). It would literally have saved me for years of struggles. I hope that you will benefit from it now instead, potentially saving you from a lot of trombone agony and brass pains.

    Don´t blow at your trombone

    Have you ever thought about the best way of getting air out of your lungs (or wherever you keep it) and through your trombone? This is the single most important thing to get right for brass players. Once you master the task of effortlessly getting the air out of your body and through your horn, you will be able to focus on playing music. Getting this 90% right is not all that hard, and then you will spend the rest of your life perfecting those last 10%.

    In order to turn that precious air into beautiful trombone music, there are three obstacles you have to clear: Continue reading

      10 More Jazz Etudes For Trombone

      more trombone jazz etudes prod pic frontpageI am a bit ashamed. Despite the good response I got on the book ’10 Jazz Etudes For Trombone’, it has taken me four years to complete the second edition. But finally, here it is, the brand new trombone book

      10 More Jazz Etudes For Trombone
      written by Anders Larson (that´s me).

      The structure of the book

      If you are familiar with the first edition of the jazz etudes, you will recognize the setup in the second edition. For those of you who do not know the first book, this is how it is structured: Continue reading

        Trombone Cowboy – practical use of a trombone

        I knew there was a practical use for trombones, but I am still amazed that it turned out to be so valuable in real life. Due to the size of these animals, the cowboy has wisely chosen a large bore trombone. Mouthpiece size and rim shape remains unknown.

        This is also proving that there is is a large audiense for improvised trombone music.

        Blow cowboy, blow!


        Summer cops? Loose them here
        Too much money? Shop trombone books
        Feeling smart? Probably not this smart

          Trombone mouthpiece holiday exercise

          Holiday season is here, and in my case that means a healthy break from my dear friend mr. Small Bore Shires. I have no trouble leaving for vacation without bringing my trombone. I don´t know if that is a good or bad thing…probably good. At least I use to bring my mouthpiece, and plan to play a little every day. That usually means that I find it hidden deep down in my bag one of the last days of the vacation. This is followed by a controlled panic, and I usually start buzzing at this point. Continue reading

            Elektrojazz live

            The worlds biggest jazz festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, begins july 4th, and there are plenty of opportunities to hear Elektrojazz live!

            July 4, 19.00: Bernstorff Slot
            July 7, 21.00: Nørrebro Bryghus
            July 8, 22.30: Cafe Bopa
            July 11, 18.30: Scandic Front
            July 12, 21.00: Kvarterhuset

            I am eager to get my band Elektrojazz on stage and present the music from our new recording ‘Cars’. We play rare grooves, funky latin and jazz, all original music. If you are in or around Copenhagen the next ten days, please drop by! Some more info about the venues and concerts: Continue reading

              Trombone lesson: Extend your range on mouthpiece

              trombone mouthpiece silverThis simple little mouthpiece exercise is actually quite effective. I recently had one of those days where both breathing and embouchure felt a bit locked in. I used these patterns to kickstart both, and was impressed with the result after just few minutes.

              Before you take the ride, please read the following instructions: Continue reading

                New album out: Elektrojazz – Cars

                Elektrojazz: Rare grooves with funky latin and soulful trombonious jazz

                Elektrojazz-cd-coverA few years ago, I decided to start up a new musical project, and cover new musical grounds. This was the beginning of Elektrojazz, a groove jazz band where I try to capture the sound and feel of the seventies soul/funk/jazz/latin music.

                I spent quite a lot of time writing a completely new repertoire for my new band, and before hitting the recording studio last year, we got to play a good bunch of live gigs where we could dig into the music.

                Since we play music inspired by the seventies, and I am a big car fan, I decided to make the album into a tribute to the greatest cars of the seventies. Each track on the album is Continue reading

                  Questionnaire: The Sound of Airflow and its Use in Wind Instrument Playing

                  This is the second guest article, written by PhD student Matthias Heyne from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He is working on a relevant and interesting project, so please take a minute and help him out by taking the questionnaire.

                  Matthias Heyne tromboneFirst of all I would like to thank Anders Larson for sharing my link on his website!

                  This questionnaire is an exploratory study for my PhD project at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand and with it, I hope to find out how widespread the conscious use of the sound produced by airflow is among players of all kinds of wind instruments (audibly blowing out or inhaling while someone else is playing). Continue reading

                    Trombone lesson: Doodle Pentatonics

                    Pentatonic April – part II

                    This is the second pentatonic exercise in a series of two, read the first part here

                    New to doodle tonguing? Here is a series of articles to get you started.
                    Doodle tonguing part I
                    Doodle tonguing part II
                    Doodle tonguing part III
                    Doodle tonguing part IV

                    Doodle Pentatonics
                    Pentatonic scales are useful for many things, including working on your doodle chops. You will expand your range, build up strength and really get those pentatonic scales into your slide arm.

                    No secret formula here, just plain hard (and rewarding) work. Make sure that you play the scales in a tempo that you can master. Every attack should be clear, and make sure the difference between the doo-attacks and dl-attacks are minimal. Continue reading