Trombone lesson: Pentatonic scale flexibility

Trombone lesson: Pentatonic scale flexibility

Trombone lesson: Pentatonic scale flexibility

I like pentatonic scales. They tend to fit the trombone quite well and are useful for many things such as bass lines, blues themes, and funky horn section phrases. And of course in improvisation. This is probably the best scale to start with if you are new to improvising since it will sound melodically any way you play it. I have written about how to use pentatonic scales in improvisation here.

This is no improvisation exercise. It is a simple trombone flexibility exercise, based on the pentatonic scale. The idea is to start each phrase on a low note, and work on expanding intervals with ease. Don´t try to fight the instrument when you work on these patterns. That never helps your trombone playing. Try to blow as relaxed as possible, bouncing up from the low notes.

There are some alternate positions noted in the sheet music. You should try them, and make sure that you play in tune even if you play notes in unusual places. Like the F# on 7th. Or Eb on high 6th. When I write 5#, I mean slightly higher than 5th position.

This is a flexibility exercise, so DO NOT TONGUE IT. Just a soft attack on the first note of each phrase, then slur it all the way.

Start slow, and don´t play it faster than you can control and feel comfortable with.

Now go play.

Click on the pic to get this exercise as pdf.

pentatonic scales free sheet music trombone








9 pages of free trombone sheet music with pentatonic flexibility


  1. L. J. 6 years ago

    I need a refresher for trombone reading music. I’ve been away awhile. My lip, sound and range are strong. Reading music is weak. I need to get the read better in order to take some of your lessons. Thanks

  2. Anders Larson 6 years ago

    Great to hear that you are back in the game! FOr reading music, I would recommend the jazzld series of jazz etudes, found at Each etude starts easy, and gets more challenging along the way. There should be plenty to get you going! Thanks for reaching out.

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