How come the saxes always get to play all the fun parts in big bands? Cool, beautiful and hip melody lines, accompanied by an occasional “bap” or “do-bauw” from the brass section. Ok, it is not the whole truth, but there are some fun sax parts that are (reasonably) playable on trombone as well. Do I need to say how good it will sound when played on trombone?

Thad Jones is known for his brilliant music for big band, and Groove Merchant is one of my favorites. Especially the sax chorus is amazing. Full-fat super-hip lines with intense voicings, this is Thad at his best! And even better, it is actually quite suited for trombone. Admitted, it is a bit technically challenging, but the range is spot on – when playing it an octave below the lead soprano. I wrote out the harmony as well, it´s a fun piece to solo on. Continue reading

Trombone lesson: Mike Stern lick in all keys

I stole this phrase from a Mike Stern recording a few years ago because I liked the sound of it. And bored on a rainy day, I decided to write it down in all keys and work on it on the trombone. It turned out to be a quite hard but rewarding technical trombone exercise. Try to play it as written, and you´ll get a good high range work out!

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Transcribed jazz trombone solos

There is a lot of good music out there that has already been played! As a jazz player, you can take advantage of that and learn from the masters. Transcribing jazz trombone players is a good place to start.

Transcribing solos played on your own instrument is smart, even if there might be some technically challenges, you know that it is playable on the instrument. Many times, you will find that what sounds really hip or challenging, is quite logical on the instrument it is played on.

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