Category Archives: Embouchure

“Gadgets and Gizmos:” Dry Mouth Spray

A long-term debate exists among brass players regarding the advantages and disadvantages of dry and wet lips when playing. Some insist that playing is easiest when the lips are relatively dry, while others prefer that they be moist. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Biotène Dry Mouth Moisturizing Spray, Contrabass Trombone, Embouchure, Euphonium, International Trombone Festival, Music, Performance Anxiety, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Truth, Tuba

Avoiding the Patrick Star Sound (“The Singing Trombone” Epilogue)

A couple of days ago I wrote a little article about the historical and musical reasons for taking a “singing” approach to trombone playing. While I did not say so directly, this approach is appropriate not only for the trombone, … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Embouchure, Euphonium, Music, Patrick Star, Pedagogy, Performing, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Spongebob Squarepants, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

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 3: Vibration Creates Tone

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 what it is not. When working with new students one of my first questions … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Contrabass Trombone, Daily Routine, Embouchure, Essential Concepts in Brass Playing, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Performing, Physical Fitness, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, The Breathing Gym, Trombone, Tuba

Jaw Pain While Playing? Check Your Corners!

My first diagnosed issues with temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD, sometimes called TMJ) occurred in 2007. Anyone who has experienced this knows that determining the cause of this pain and tightness is difficult, as is treating it. For whatever reason, TMJ issues … Continue reading

Posted in American Academy of Orofacial Pain, American Equilibration Society, Dentistry, Embouchure, International Academy of Gnathology, Pedagogy, Teaching Low Brass, Temporomandibular Dysfunction

On Exercise Equipment and Musical Development

The phenomenon of unused home exercise equipment is so pervasive in our society that it has become something of a trope. With the holiday season fast approaching, many families will soon see this in action once again. Typically, a person … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Articulation, Bass Trombone, Breathing, Daily Routine, Embouchure, Euphonium, Mouthpiece Buzzing, Music, Pedagogy, 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