Category Archives: Playing Fundamentals

Intervals and Sounds, Not “Dots and Spots!”

A couple of weeks ago I was working on scales with a young student in an online lesson. This person has made good progress in the past year or so, going from being a minimally functional player with limited range … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone, Euphonium, Music, Music Education, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Practicing, Scales and Arpeggios, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

The Trombone Is a Musical Instrument

It almost always happens when I play a solo or chamber piece in a church service. Someone will approach me after the service, or later in the week, or even via email and say something to the effect of “Your … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Arnold Jacobs, Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone, Euphonium, Music, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Popular Culture, Practicing, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone, Tuba

The Bell is Lava!

Touching the bell in order to locate third—and sometimes even fourth—position is a common bad habit among trombonists. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. When first learning to play young musicians are taught to visually locate some of the … Continue reading

Posted in Alto Trombone, Bass Trombone, Pedagogy, Playing Fundamentals, Teaching Low Brass, Tenor Trombone, Trombone

“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