Trombone lesson: flexibility with staccato and doodle tongue

Trombone lesson: flexibility with staccato and doodle tongue

Brass instruments demand a great deal from their puppeteers in order to sound just fairly decent (damn you, piano players and guitar players). I think of it as being a soccer player; you can do your tricks and move the ball around anytime, but in order to be on top of your game and have the strength to play a whole match, you need a lot of practice. Every day, starting yesterday.

There are a few fundamentals in trombone playing that need constant attention. You need to be aware of your sound, airflow, embouchure, flexibility, attack, slurring, legato playing…as well as making music, a purpose the trombone is more suited for than most other musical instruments! Therefore, here are a few tips to combine some fundamentals, making your practice session more fun (right…).

Flexibility-For-TromboneBy combining slurring with staccato and doodle tonguing, you make sure to give the embouchure a healthy workout. Here are a few samples of how you can modify a flexibility exercise by including staccato playing and doodle tonguing. These specific samples are developed from a part of chapter 7 in the book Flexibility For Trombone; Flexibility With Rhythm. With a little bit of creativity, you could give most trombone flexibility exercises the same treatment.

Make sure that your phrasing is precise, and that all attacks sound good and are equal. Adjust the tempo so you can play the whole exercise without changing the pace.

Samples as PDF here

Have fun, play trombone & get rich


PS. All the exercises from the book Flexibility For Trombone are also available in the DigitalTrombone member’s section together with LOTS of other content.


  1. Carole J. Paul 8 years ago

    Keep these e-mails coming! Thanks Carole

  2. Gianca 7 months ago

    😮 bello scoprire queste “chicche” per l’apprendimento di ‘sto strumento meraviglioso quanto… arduo!!! Grazie grazie!!!

  3. Author
    Anders Larson 6 months ago

    According to Google translate, those are some very kind words 🙂 Thanks a lot!

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