Trombone lesson: High-range glissando

Trombone lesson: High-range glissando

Trombone lesson: High-range glissando

A trombone high-range exercise that really works!

This exercise is intended to help you expand your range while maintaining precise embouchure control. It begins in a comfortable mid-range, gradually moving upward and downward, making sure that your lips are prepared to play in any register at all times. I like the idea of expanding the range both up and down in the same exercise, as it helps you keep the embouchure in place, as well as “warm down” a little between the high-range parts of the exercises.

Maintain consistent lip positioning on the mouthpiece, regardless of the register you’re in. Adjust the muscle tension at the junction of your upper and lower lips, along with the air column.

You can adjust the shape of the air column by moving the center part of the tongue up or down. Try blowing air out without the instrument – you can change the pitch of the air with the tongue, in the same way as when you whistle. This can help you play in the high-range more effortlessly. Just make sure that you maintain the full sound of your horn all the time!

As always, a relaxed throat and unrestricted airflow is the key to both sound, high notes, and low notes as well as the ability to play longer in an extreme range.

You should work your way through the exercise, and at some point, you will probably hit a limit where you can´t hold on to the note in the upward glissando and accidentally jump a tone below in the natural harmonic series. When you hit that point, repeat that part of the exercise a few times with a low-range glissando in between, and try to get it right. You won’t necessarily be able to play the whole exercise right away (it´s quite high and hard…), but try it daily for a period, and I promise that you will improve and be able to play more and more of it!

Enjoy! And remember, this isn’t real music, so go play something that is afterward… 🙂

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Download the exercise here

12 Comments

  1. kyle m. bagley 14 years ago

    Great stuff! I love doing slurs as part of my routine for versatility. Adding a range workout is perfect. Thanks!

  2. Anders 14 years ago

    Glad you like it, let me know if it help you over time!

  3. Felix 14 years ago

    Anders!

    Drop me an email!!

    (Felix, from “Club Soul City”, ages ago…)

    🙂

  4. Daniel 14 years ago

    This is a great exercise you’ve posted up… if you don’t mind, can you email me? I’d like to get some one-on-one tips directly from you to help me with my trombone playing. Thanks a lot for all the content you’ve posted up on the internet!

  5. Anders 14 years ago

    Daniel, write to me at
    info @ digitaltrombone.com

    And thanks for the kind words!

  6. Ted 13 years ago

    Do you do these everyday or every other day?

  7. king2b 13 years ago

    I don’t have time to play them daily, unfortunately… If you are working on high range, try them out daily for a period of time, perhaps combined with other high range stuff. My scales againdt the grain are great for that purpose too. Let me know how it goes!
    Cheers,
    Anders

  8. Zoe 13 years ago

    That’s an interesting concept–since I have a smaller trombone I’ll go ahead and try it out. I love this cite, thanks for all the advice.

  9. king2b 13 years ago

    Hi Zoe! Thanks for your very kind words, and I hope you can use the exercises to improve your trombone plying!

  10. Gilles Mayost 12 years ago

    Greatly enjoy the tips.
    I’ll probably buy your book on lip flexibility.

    A few remarks on a personal note:

    – modify your website so that it does not continually ask you to sign up (which I already did)

    – I agree that you should always play something you like – not just boring
    etudes that no public would ever want to listen to
    So since you also are a composer, here is how you can make a best selling
    trombone( and any other instrument for that matter) practice book and make a zillion bucks

    All you have to do is transcribe the best loved or popular 100 or so melodies that in your opinion a player can play solo in front of an
    appreciative crowd. I don’t think such a book yet exists. Most are old ,boring dusty tunes long forgotten. Keep it fresh and lively. This will motivate and encourage young musicians to discover and master the beauty of their respective instruments. Better still , if you have time write them with harmony for other players.

    Last comment for today :

    For self- taught players such as myself who never got the technical coaching, it might help us in the etudes and exercises if you put in suggested positions so we can become more versatile in using alternative positions

    Talk to you again soon

    Thanks

  11. Gilles Mayost 12 years ago

    Greatly enjoy the tips.
    I’ll probably buy your book on lip flexibility.

    A few remarks on a personal note:

    – modify your website so that it does not continually ask you to sign up (which I already did)

    – I agree that you should always play something you like – not just boring
    etudes that no public would ever want to listen to
    So since you also are a composer, here is how you can make a best selling
    trombone( and any other instrument for that matter) practice book and make a zillion bucks

    All you have to do is transcribe the best loved or popular 100 or so melodies that in your opinion a player can play solo in front of an
    appreciative crowd. I don’t think such a book yet exists. Most are old ,boring dusty tunes long forgotten. Keep it fresh and lively. This will motivate and encourage young musicians to discover and master the beauty of their respective instruments. Better still , if you have time write them with harmony for other players.

    Last comment for today :

    For self- taught players such as myself who never got the technical coaching, it might help us in the etudes and exercises if you put in suggested positions so we can become more versatile in using alternative positions

    Talk to you again soon

    Thanks

  12. Anders 12 years ago

    Hi Gilles!

    Thanks for your input! Sorry about the popup, that shouldn´t keep happening, I´ll look into that!

    Since I am no stranger to becoming a zillionaire, I will consider your idea for a trombone book. Feel free to send me some suggestions of tunes (email), if you got some in mind.

    I´ll keep the alternate positioning guidance in mind too!

    Anders

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