Holiday season is here, and in my case that means a healthy break from my dear friend mr. Small Bore Shires. I have no trouble leaving for vacation without bringing my trombone. I don´t know if that is a good or bad thing…probably good. At least I use to bring my mouthpiece, and plan to play a little every day. That usually means that I find it hidden deep down in my bag one of the last days of the vacation. This is followed by a controlled panic, and I usually start buzzing at this point.
Being on holiday means that you are probably eager to get back to your kids/spouse/swimming pool/long drink as fast as possible, so you probably need something to keep you occupied with your mouthpiece for a while to prevent stopping after 3 minutes of practicing. This little exercise might do the trick for you! I used it the last few days of my vacation, and it did help me feel just a bit less helpless when I got back to the trombone.
It is just a simple major scale exercise, expanding each scale from three to eight notes using both glissando (no tongue) and tenuto tonguing. Make sure the transition from glissando to tenuto is smooth and that you don´t change your embouchure. I use a piano app on my phone to generate the pitches for the scales. Make sure that you stay in pitch. You could also try it with any other scale that you want, minor, dorian, frygian, altered etc. This exercise will help you hear the different scales better, thus making it easier to use them in real life. But watch out, this is a basic trombone chops saver routine, so don´t put too much effort into it. You don´t want to become a better musician during holiday, just keep most of what was there before you went on vacation. 🙂
Have a great holiday!