trombone lesson: Improvisation as a daily routine

It does´t matter if you are a jazz or classical player, you still want to make music. And you should still make music in your practice room. A really good way to get some music into your daily routine at an early stage, is to play some free improvisation. Again, it does not matter what genre you play, as a matter of fact, if you are a non-improviser I would say that this tip is even more important!

Here is what I want you to do:
Find a simple warm up exercise and play it for a few minutes, just to get some air through the horn. Then you play a totally free improvisation for five minutes. Just play, and see where it takes you! Don´t worry about stiff lips, bad sound ore any other detail that probably would distract you if you where playing your standard 4 pages of flexibility exercises.

“But I have never learned how to improvise!” No problem. Here is the key: Continue reading

    Trombone lesson: Mike Stern lick in all keys

    I stole this phrase from a Mike Stern recording a few years ago because I liked the sound of it. And bored on a rainy day, I decided to write it down in all keys and work on it on the trombone. It turned out to be a quite hard but rewarding technical trombone exercise. Try to play it as written, and you´ll get a good high range work out!

    Enjoy…
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      Trombone lesson: maj7 and maj7#5 patterns in jazz improvisation

      Are you a jazz improviser? Do you know all the maj7 (major seven) and maj7#5 (major seven sharp five) patterns in all keys by heart? If not, I strongly recommend that you get started! They are extremely useful in when you improvise since they set the mood of a chord very clearly, and most of them are quite well suited for trombone as well.

      The reason that I bring up the maj7 and the maj7#5 patterns at the same time, is because Continue reading

        Trombone lesson: Pentatonic scales – how and why

        Do you know your minor pentatonic scales? And I mean really know them, up and down and inside out? I recommend that you spend some time with those five tones in all keys. It is a great way to build up your technical skills on the instrument and learn to find your way around the instrument.

        Pentatonic scale or blues scale? There´s a important difference. The blues scale is identical to the pentatonic scale, but it also consists of the b5 (or #11). So pentatonic scale has five notes and the blues scale has six. This post is about the pentatonic scale, and how to use it. I´ll get back to the blues scale later on.
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          Trombone lesson: Triads and inversions part 2

          Here´s some more triads to play around with. Check out this trombone lesson for the background of this exercise. I suggest that you try to come up with some more exercises in this style, and practise them without sheet music. There are some quite interesting melodic lines out there to be explored! Continue reading

            Trombone lesson: Triads and inversions part 1

            Regardless if you are an improviser or a ligit (classical) player it´s very important to be able to hear the music you play. And that is actually hearing it before you play it (if you can´t hear it while playing you should consider plumbing or mountain climbing instead of playing music). Knowing what the next note is going to sound like makes it much easier to play in tune and with rich sound. I would actually say that the audience can hear the difference if you know the music by heart or not, even if you play it correct and in tune. Continue reading

              Trombone lesson: The key to improvising

              Hear the music before you play it

              You can learn all the great licks, all the fancy notes in every chord and play faster and higher than a supersonic stealth bomber and still sound like crap when you play an improvised solo. The most important factor as an improviser is the ability to hear what you want to play – before you play it! Continue reading