Christmas is over, and we have now entered 2013. For me that mean picking up the trombone again and get back in the practice room. To get back in shape, I tried to come up with something to challenge myself with, and the result are these pentatonic trombone licks. It is basically just a three note lick, but it moves around in all twelve keys, following the circle of fourths.
For me, a good trombone lesson learned is when I forgot about the horn and just play music. This exercise help me do just that – shift focus away from the trombone, embouchure, breathing and other technical aspects, and rather just try to get the right notes in the right place.
When you become more fluent in this exercise, it actually starts to sound quite hip. Playing pentatonic patterns in different keys has always been a good way of playing some “hip shit” when you improvise. Just ask Coltrane, Randy Brecker or Conrad Herwig and they will tell you all about it (Coltrane might not be that outspoken any more though). So playing a pentatonic phrase in twelve keys must be even hipper, right? Well, not necessary, but I hope these patterns can get your improvising juices flowing.
Feel free to change the patterns anyway you want, turn them inside out or upside down – whatever make you a hipper, better and prettier improvising trombone player! And if the range is too high, just stop each exercise when you get to the limit of your chops. Don´t let the high notes frighten you, just drop them if necessary.
Good luck and happy new year
Read more about trombone playing and pentatonic scales
More pentatonic tricks for trombone:
Suited for trombone, trumpet, euphonium, tuba etc.