Trombone lesson: Flexibility with pedal tones

I have written about the value of working with pedal tones before, but there is more to it! In these exercises, focus lays on including pedal tones when you work on flexibility on the trombone (or other brass instruments), and being able to access them effortless and without changing the embouchure to much compared to the normal range. Continue reading

    Trombone lesson: Kick starting lips and air flow

    Monday morning in the practice room? This is a great little exercise to get the chops going when you first pick up your horn that day. The key to all brass playing is in the air flow, and the key to a good air flow can often be found by working on a full, overtone rich sound in the medium to medium low range.

    In this exercisee, I focus on F (below key hole-C) an augmented fourth down to B.* Many players have a hard time getting this register to sound as good as the rest of the middle range. One of the reasons is that the sound waves of the fifth in any given slide position doesn´t fit the instrument as goods as the fundamental on the same position (for example F versus Bb on 1st position). Continue reading

      Trombone lesson: Tip Toe Trombone Solo

      If you are into big band music, you probably know Thad Jones. He is one of the all time greatest arrangers and composers in that genre if you ask me. His work includes great tunes as The Second Race, Groove Merchant, Backbone, Little Pumpkin, The Farewell, Fingers, Us and many others. Continue reading

        Trombone lesson: Lip trills

        Admitted, this exercise is not the most fun you can have with a trombone, but there´s no way around the fact that there´s a lot of hard work involved if you want to be a top performer on a brass instrument. Footballers don´t kick a ball around all the time at practice…

        With that in place: Let´s do something about the world of lip trills. Regardless of the genres you play, they will be needed at some point.

        There is only one way to make it work, and that is to start slow. Find a metronome, and set a slow tempo that allows you to play the whole phrase. I recommend that you write down the tempo you can play it in today, and try to raise it by a few beats per minute every day over a period of time. The goal is to get to the point where you don´t notice the individual notes, and just let it flow. Think of it as running, you don´t want to think about every step you take, but rather just the direction and the speed. Continue reading

          Trombone lesson: Flexibility – working on speed

          Having good flexibility on your brass instrument is fundamental. In basically all music you will play, you will find use for the flexibility skills you worked on in the practise room. Not always the most fancy and exciting work, but someone has to do it – and I´m afraid that someone is you. And me. And all the other brass players out there.

          The exercise
          Working on control and precision is important, but you should work on speed as well. This exercise really help you speed up your flexibility chops. The pattern I have chosen as example is by no mean my own, but at the other hand it is well known and I doubt that someone will come after me and claim ownership to it! Of course, you can use any pattern you want, but this one is well suited to play in a high tempo. Continue reading

            Web shop is launched!

            After hours of tweaking and fine tuning, the digitaltrombone web shop is now launched! Opening hours are Monday-Sunday 9.00am-9.00am CET. All year. Always!

            The shop will offer books and sheet music in PDF format, covering a wide variety of subjects such as:

            • methods for trombone and other brass instruments
            • jazz etudes
            • exercises
            • big band arrangements
            • music for brass ensembles
            • original compositions

            FAQ:
            ?: Do I have to buy something when I visit the store?
            !: No, but I strongly recommend it.
            ?: Can I return purchased items?
            !: No, you cannot return a digital product, but feel free to send me a nasty email with your complaints.
            ?: Is there any other web shop in the world that can compete with the digitaltrombone shop?
            !: No. I don´t think so.
            ?: Are your products safe?
            !: Yes, very. All our downloadable products are animal tested and guaranteed allergy free.
            ?: What if my friends are interested in the product I just bought?
            !: Tease them with it and send them to the shop. Giving them the product would be stupid. And illegal. And bad for business.
            ?: Can I become an affiliate marketer of your products?
            !: Yes you can. More info here
            ?: Will that make me rich?
            !: Probably not. Maybe a little.
            ?: My recently purchased PDF file has a peculiar smell to it. What can I do?
            !: Switch to mac.

              Trombone lesson: Triad inversions work out

              It was supposed to be a simple little exercise, didn´t expect it to end up covering nine pages of sheet music!

              This is an exercise about the different types of triads and their inversions. Triads are a fundamental part of western music, both classical, jazz and pop/rock etc. You don´t need a bachelor in triadism to spot the difference between major and minor, but when you include the different inversion, mix minor, major, augmented and diminished it can be a bit more tricky to tell them apart. Continue reading

                Trombone lesson: Altered scale in all keys

                Maybe you read my previous article with scale exercises? Then let´s move on with the same concept using the altered scale!

                I find the altered scale to be very useful when I improvise. It has more edge and tension than any mode of the major scale. And it´s very useful over a large variety of chords.

                first, here´s the scale in the key of C:

                It consists of the root, b9, #9, major third, #11, b6, and the b7. These are all notes you use in an altered dominant chord. As a matter of fact, you can play all the notes in the scale at once, creating a C7 b9 #11 b13. Continue reading

                  Scales in all twelve keys

                  It doesn´t matter if you play jazz or classical music. Being really familiar with the major scales in all twelve keys is very useful, both for improvising and reading music. You should get to the point where you don´t have to think about the notes in the scale any longer and can play it up and down while planning the dinner! Continue reading

                    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