Category Archives: Arnold Jacobs

Essential Concepts in Brass Playing 4: Airflow Is a Means, Not the End

Last week I began the third installment in this series with the following sentence: “Generous, efficient airflow is vital to playing any brass instrument, but it is important that players understand just what the role of the air is, and … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Contrabass Trombone, Daily Routine, David Vining, Embouchure, Emory Remington, Essential Concepts in Brass Playing, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, The Breathing Book, The Breathing Gym, Trombone, Tuba

Essential Concepts in Brass Playing 1: Begin with Sound Concept

Today’s post is the first in a series of short articles I have planned for the summer entitled “Essential Concepts in Brass Playing.” I’ve always considered myself to be a primarily “nuts and bolts” kind of brass teacher, and since … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Bass Trombone, Essential Concepts in Brass Playing, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

Three Areas of Tension that Brass Players Miss

Brass instruments are amazingly simple devices. In their simplest form, these “lip-reed aerophones” as Anthony Baines called them are just tubes into one end of which players vibrate their lips to generate musical tones. The overtone series native to a … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Embouchure, Emory Remington, Ergonomics, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

“Uncle Micah, Will You Sing?”

My sister’s daughter, CJ, is five now, and after a long period of being not all that sure about Uncle Micah has, I think, decided that I’m an okay guy. Or at least tolerable. For the first four or so … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Bass Trombone, Daily Routine, Euphonium, Frozen, Music, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Szeged Trombone Ensemble, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Uncategorized

Finding Strength in Weakness: A Comparison Between Brass Playing and the Christian Life

  Weakness is your friend. Strength is your enemy. Blow air, don’t ‘support’ it. –Arnold Jacobs (1915-1998) Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm … Continue reading

Posted in Arnold Jacobs, Assurance, Music and Theology, Pedagogy, Practical Christianity, Salvation, Teaching Low Brass

On “Minimal Motors”

One of the great regrets of my musical education was that I was never able to arrange for a lesson with renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra tubist Arnold Jacobs (1915-1998). I was not far into my undergraduate career when I first … Continue reading

Posted in Arnold Jacobs, Pedagogy, Performance Anxiety, Performing, Teaching Low Brass

“How it Goes:” a Missing Element in Many Students’ Thinking

During several low brass lessons last week I observed students that were playing their solo pieces or exercises reasonably well (not great) and then would suddenly stop after a minor problem and spend several seconds trying to regroup before continuing. … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Bass Trombone, Daily Routine, Euphonium, Low Brass Resources, Music, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Recordings, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba