Sunday, March 20, 2016

How to Get Better Range on a Trombone

Any trombone player can increase his range with enough practice. Improving your range requires development of the embouchure, the muscles in the face that control how well you hit the highest and lowest pitches. To play higher, increase the tension in your lips. This requires strength in your jaw and the muscles surrounding your mouth. To play low, relax your embouchure to slow the rate of vibration.

High Range 


Step 1 Play the "F" pitch, which is written on the fourth line of the trombone staff. Then play the following rhythmic pattern with approximately one second per beat: half note, half note and whole note. Then rest for four beats without moving the position of your embouchure. Breathe only through your nose.

Step 2 Perform a pitch a half step higher to play an F sharp. Use the same rhythmic pattern from Step 1, and do not remove the mouthpiece from your face.

Step 3 Continue ascending the chromatic scale until you can't play any higher. Take a 15-minute break and play the exercise again. This time, start a fifth below your highest pitch.

Low Range 


Step 1 Play a B flat, which starts on the second line of the trombone staff. Hold the note for four beats, with each beat lasting about one second. Slur down a minor second and hold that note for four beats, then ascend back to the original pitch and hold for four beats.

Step 2 Perform the same exercise from Step 1. This time, slur down one whole step so that you are slurring from B flat to A flat and then back to B flat. Follow the same whole note pattern, and hold each beat for one second.

Step 3 Continue to slur, each time starting on B flat and adding a half step to each progressive slur. Stop when you hit the lowest note on your trombone.