Trombone lesson: warm up and play music (sort of) at the same time

Playing scale patterns in all keys as a trombone warm up will make you think while playing. Why not improve your chops and get smarter at the same time? (I will cover how to get prettier in a future post…)

You could put your trombone out in the sun for a quick warm up, but I still recommend the old fashioned way that includes actually playing on it. To get your lips soft and responsive, you should start by planing soft in a comfortable range, slowly expanding the range in both directions.

Playing long notes, slow etudes and simple flexibility exercises is are fine ways to warm up. But in this lesson I want to focus on combining trombone warm up with getting to know your instrument better and heat up your brain at the same time.

Trombones are not as visually laid out as a piano or a guitar. It is hard to visualise notes, and it takes a lifetime to really get under the skin of the bastard. Continue reading

    I don´t agree with Christian Lindberg on this one

    A modest reply to Christian Lindberg´s statement about why not to buzz.

    I stumbled over this short video with Christian Lindberg talking about why you should not buzz. Christian, I truly respect you as one of the worlds very finest trombone players ever, but I have to disagree with you on this one.


    Continue reading

      Trombone lesson: Bouncing ‘bone and large intervals

      Being able to switch registers rapidly and with ease, is a key to a relaxed trombone technique. In this trombone lesson, I give you some advice on how to achieve this, combined with five pages of exercises. Before you download and  print the free sheet music, please read the full article. This will help you get the most out of the exercises.

      The distance between high notes and low notes are only a few millimeters. Moving the cheek a few millimeters down, and increasing the distance between the lips another few millimetres is basically all it takes to make a leap of an octave. The problem is, that many of us brass players (my self included if I don´t focus while playing) tend to engage too many muscles and strange parts of our body when we play large intervals.

      Playing a low note with a big sound is only possible with large opening between your lips, and by moving your cheek slightly down and out. Air compression will be low. Besides making sure that the embouchure is stable, playing low notes should be a very relaxed task, and your focus should be on moving a lot of air.

      Playing higher notes requires a smaller lip opening and a higher cheek position. This will automatically lead to a higher air compression.

      This is a really important notice: Correct high note embouchure combined with an open throat will trigger higher air compression. Increasing compression will NOT trigger correct high note embouchure or air flow. Continue reading

        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