Trombone lesson: Practice with the “wrong” mouthpiece!

Practicing low range with a small mouthpiece
If you are working on the low range, consider doing the exercises you work on, on a smaller mouthpiece, or even on a smaller trombone if you play on a large bore tenor or bass trombone. Why? Well, playing a smaller mouthpiece makes it even more important to have the airflow centered in order to get the full sound. Big instruments and mouthpieces tend to be more forgiving if your embouchure and/or air flow isn´t dead on. You can test yourself: play a few notes in the low mid / low range in f on your large equipment. Now do the same with a smaller mouthpiece/trombone. Can you get the full sound out of it, or does it feels like it “locks up”? Of course, a big fff low E on a small bore horn with a 12C mouthpiece wont sound that great, but in general, you Continue reading

    Trombone lesson: Save chops!

    You might know the feeling, playing all those scale patterns one half tone up at the time… Seven keys to go ands the lips already feel as flexible as a train rail track!

    There are lots of exercises where you gradually expand the range, and end up playing in either the extreme high or low register. I will give you a little but effective tip how to get the most out of those exercises, without busting your chops.

    Expand from the middle
    The solution is simple, make sure that you start in the middle range, and work your way both up and down from there. Mixing high and low range both save chops, and helps you to play with the same embouchure in all registers. This mouthpiece exercise works this way. Continue reading

      Trombone lesson: Crescendo with full control

      Can you play a perfect crescendo in the middle/low range going from ppp to fff in one breath? This exercise is great to improve those skills!

      But before you start playing the exercise in the sheet music gallery, please read the following:
      The goal is not to play as strong as possible all the time! The goal is to get the feeling of opening up your throat and let the notes in ff pour out effortlessly.

      The analogy of a water pouring out of a tap is a great way to visualize the air flow. Take a look at these three pictures: Continue reading

        Trombone lesson: My favorite warmup

        Nothing fancy here, just a great warm up exercise that I use on a (almost) daily basis. It´s a good combination of legato and staccato and starts in a relaxed range and goes down. Deep down! Try not to give up half way in order to get the most out of it. Continue reading

          Trombone lesson: Mouthpiece warmup

          Don´t forget not to play the trombone all the time! And while not doing that, I suggest that you work on the mouthpiece alone. It´s great for improving air flow, attack, strength and sound.

          When you are buzzing, try to make the sound as big and open as possible. I try to focus on getting as many overtones in the sound as possible. Once you get it right on the mouthpiece, the tone quality on the horn will improve as well. Continue reading

            Trombone lesson: Pedal tones

            Do you have the feeling sometimes that the instrument doesn´t taste as good as it use to, and that the lips just wont buzz the way you want them to? In 92,8% of the time, there is nothing wrong with the lips, and the problem is air flow, or the lack of it. Continue reading