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: 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

      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: 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.
        Continue reading