snorting of an unholy trombone, it is your duty to put up with his wretched
music and your privilege to pity him for the unhappy instinct that moves him
to delight in such discordant sounds."
-Mark Twain, apparently inspired by Dr. Tom's wife Katlyn
A Position Chart for Trombone and Explanation of the Overtone Series
The History of the Trombone (direct from Groves dictionary)
Anatomy of a Mouthpiece: thinking of buying a new mouthpiece or trying something different? Read this for more info.
Dates of Important Trombone Composers
Practice Tips: make the most of what precious little time you have. Practice correctly, intelligently, and efficiently. Make these a habit.
Goal-setting Worksheets: work smarter, not harder, and dream BIG. Use these worksheets to keep you and your students on track.
The "Daily Routine CD-ROM" is now On-line!
Dr. Tom's Numbered Tonguing System: this ingenious method of classifying articulations, developed by Buddy Baker and expounded upon by Tom Gibson, will make you a more musical, more diverse, more flexible performer.
Breathing Exercises: this is an elaboration on the exercise seen on the Weekend Warrior Page. Try these before every practice session and FEEL the results.
Embouchure videos: amusing as these may seem at first glance (and they are amusing), they demonstrate a very critical concept for all of us:
Not only must we get air TO the lips, we MUST allow air to pass THROUGH the lips.
Brass Quotes: insightful, inspiring quotes and articles from some of the greatest Brass Pedagogues
Creative Exercises to bring IMAGINATION into your music
The Study of Orchestral Excerpts
Performance Anxiety: many have dealt with this tricky subject matter, but a few of my favorite references are:
All About Bordogni
Bordogni Conversion Chart: from the good folks at hickeys.com, this chart shows how different editions relate in their numbering of Bordogni's vocalises. And by the way, scroll down this page for a number of MIDI accompaniments for the Vocalises. We here at trombonelessons.com are very big fans of David Schwartz' editions with CD play-along. Click here for info on these terrific editions.
Amy Salo's wonderful article on Bordogni Ornaments, in .pdf format. Please visit Amy's website at: www.amysalo.com
Piano Accompaniments for Rochut (Bordogni): practice and perform these beautiful classics in a whole new way. ( both "as written" and in Tenor Clef, too)
Use this chart to convert Rochut edition to corresponding SmartMusic numbers. Thanks to Will Compton for this!
Advanced Article: Static Energy, the Musician's Enemy
Advanced Article: Achievement.Don't allow a fixation on "technique" prevent you from real achievement.
Advanced Article: Great versus Good Playing: an article I wrote about things the aspiring professional NEEDS to know and NEEDS to ponder.
Weekend Warriors, we salute you! Here are some tips and exercises to help you make the very most of your passion.
Conn Trombones: and why we love them so.
TuneUp Systems: learn to play in tune with Steve Colley's great system.
16 Chorales for Download (for trombone quartet....in pdf format). By the way, other music is available for download HERE.
Ear Training MIDI files:
Play along with these files to train your ears and arms. They are done in rhythm. You'll hear the example and be required to play it back IN TIME. They start slowly, but soon become pretty difficult. (HINT: the first exercise starts on Bb) Don't despair, simply turn off your brain and try playing by instinct. I believe there are enough here to keep you from getting bored, but if you master these and crave more, email me and I'll post some trickier ones! Try moving the slider of your MIDI player and starting in the middle of these exercises.
Developing High Range: here's an exercise to do every day. I do it as the last step in my Daily Routine.
Warm-up: ever find
yourself pressed for time, but needing to be warmed up in a matter
of minutes? Try this. It's good to do every day, too. Besides
getting your chops to be "focused" and responsive, it's
great for training the ears. Print a copy and keep it handy......
Key Signature Guide: a list of all the key signatures you'll need to know. I suggest printing this page, then cutting along the dotted barlines. Keep these small strips in your trombone case and pick 4 at random each day. Do the Warm-up using the scales you've selected.
Undergraduate Course of Study: here's a typical course of study for the Undergraduate trombone major. These are the MINIMUM requirements expected of my students.
Practicing Major Scales to Harmonized Piano Accompanist. Play along with these MIDI files to perfect your intonation. ALL Major Scales are here. BUZZING these exercises in the mouthpiece is great practice, too!
Roll Dem Bones Dice Game for Practicing Scales. Scales don't need to be boring. Use this game to spice em up a bit.........
Two-Octave Chromatic Scale with MIDI play-along and positions marked
Learning Your Major Scales: a COMPLETE syllabus of Major Scales and a method for learning/practicing them.
Learning Your Minor Scales: a COMPLETE syllabus of Natural ("Pure") Minor Scales and a method for learning/practicing them.
Learning Your Harmonic Minor Scales: a COMPLETE syllabus of Harmonic Minor Scales and a method for learning/practicing them.
Melodic Minor Scales: a COMPLETE
syllabus of Melodic Minor Scales and a method for learning/practicing
Alto Trombone Warm-up! (***Thanks for alerting me that this link is broken, everyone! I cannot find the back-up files and will be re-doing this VERY soon) Try this everyday and soon the 'ol alto will feel as comfortable as your tenor! But first, download and print the Alto Position Chart!
Practical Tips, Tid-bits, and other Tawdry Tales: here's a place to learn (and submit!) some helpful little factoids that'll make your bone playin easier and more enjoyable!
Audition Observations: this article appeared in the ITA Journal and the Online Trombone Journal. Great insights for preparing and playing auditions!
This little graphic
was presented to me by a very wise mentor. I was preparing a recital
and sought him out for advice and some coaching. He placed this
sign on my music stand while my back was turned. I have never
forgotten his sage advice. In fact, I leave this sign (now laminated!),
on my stand at all times....you may want to do the same. This
picture holds a million words.......
Video Lesson on Embouchure! This very brief video will show you the three basic things to remember about "embouchure". Namely: Firm Corners,Flat Chin, and Open Teeth.
Hint: for better audio quality, find the equalizer in the View Menu of RealPlayer and turn the "high end" up and the "low end" down.
Video Lesson on Hand Position! Don't ever get lazy with the thumb of the right hand! Keep it anchored! Otherwise, accuracy and intonation suffer.