Trombone lesson: Natural legato – take a big breath!

Trombone lesson: Natural legato – take a big breath!

Both classical and jazz players benefit from a good at natural legato. It´s a fundamental part of trombone playing, and helps you accomplish smooth and light legato phrasing.

You can actually play these patterns as natural legato all the way, only tongueing the first note. Pattern 1 and 2 is basically major triads up and down, following the circle of fourths (the circle of fifth backwards – moving in fourths makes more sense musically as each chord becomes a dominant for the next, see picture). Pattern 3 is pattern 1 and 2 combined.

I like the feel of this exercise as you just play and play without having to use the tongue. It´s a bit tricky to get the intonation right, and there is only one working solution with a lot of alternate positions in order to play natural legato all the way. If you are brainy (as most bone players…) or are up to the challenge, go for the score without slide marks and figure them out yourself. Or if you are more like me, go for the chart with slide marks so you can get on with your life a bit faster!

This exercise is good for legato playing, flexibility and high range, as well as building up your chops in general. If the range is too high, just start a bar or two into the exercises.

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You will find this exercise and many others in the book Flexibility for Trombone – 38 pages in print friendly pdf format.


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