Playing Tip #1

When placing your instrument on the floor, instead of setting the horn on its slide, try placing the mouthpiece receiver and the bell on the floor, thus taking the weight off the slide.Your slide should be pointing in an upwards direction This prevents unnecessary warping of the slide and repair work.

Playing Tip #2

Mouthpiece buzzing is essential to your ability to make a clear and focused sound. Try buzzing 2 or 3 minutes, 30 seconds at time before playing your horn, doing scales and simple melodies.

Playing Tip #3

Organize your practicing so that you practice in the following order: technique, etudes, solos and concerti, and excerpts.

Playing Tip #4

Make sure to do long tones everyday and make sure they are long. Try to make your sound completely stable, and visualize your sound as a train going down a track, like two rails absolutely straight.

Playing Tip #5

When practicing a difficult technical passage, be sure to fragment. Play the first four notes ten consecutive times without errors. Then practice the next four notes the same way. Fuse these two groups together and continue working in this manner. Use a metronome.

Playing Tip #6

For your technical practice, use the books of Schlossberg, Arbans, and Marstellar.

Playing Tip #7

Practice slow scales every day, quarter note equals 50, two beats per note. When you breathe, repeat the note that you breathed during. Listen for the ultimate clean connection from note to note.

Playing Tip #8

When practicing double or triple tonguing, try the following method. a. Practice all single tongue very fast. b. Practice very very slow using the following syllables Tah Tah KA for triple and Tah KA for double, with a huge accent on KA. c. Then practice all KA's all accented. d. Practice slowly as with method 2, and very gradually speed up, continuing to accent. Gradually remove the accent and increase speed.

Playing Tip #9

Always carry the following with you at all times: metronome, a berp (buzz extension, resistant pipe), a mirror, lubricants, cleaning rod, tuner, and sheet music in a book or folder.

Playing Tip #10

Try taping yourself at one tape speed and play it back at half speed. The is an enlighting way to hear slide technique and correct use of air and note shapes.

Playing Tip #11

Lip slurs are the blood of brass players. Do at least 15 minutes of slow lip slurs everyday.

Playing Tip #12

Practice out of the Bordogni Book #1 using the following method:
a. as is
b. tenor clef
c. bass clef down an octave
d. up and octave
e. tenor clef down two octaves

Playing Tip #13

As a fun study in intonation, play duets with yourself by taping one part of a duet and then playing it with your recorded playback.

Playing Tip #14

When executing ascending slurs of more that a 5th, always blow through the bottom note to get to the upper note. This translates into constant uninterrupted airflow. Using this concept along with the use of syllables, (i.e. Tah-ee) can be very succesfull in aiding the upper register.

For more tips, visit Alessi Music Studios 0 / 0

Downloadable Tools

Nicolo Ferro's Red Spain mp3 accompaniment.
Play | Download

Please help yourself to my rendition of the 1st and 2nd movment Cadenzi from Albrechtsberger's Concerto for Alto Trombone. This was jointly composed by myself and my colleague, Norman Sumpf in Philadelphia in the early 1980's.

A Great Practice Tool. Want to feel what it is like to play Bolero in the Orchestra?