How to Develop a Soft Tone on the Trombone

Developing a soft and relaxed tone on the trombone requires consistent practice and the development of your embouchure. There are some simple exercises to develop a soft tone that is mellow and warm. Professional trombone players have the capability to play in any style and to change their tone at will. By committing to a daily practice routine, you can improve your tone and become comfortable playing in any style. This will make you a more valuable player and increase your chances of getting paid for your skills.

Step 1:  Hold the trombone in the normal fashion. Make sure you are sitting up straight or standing with your shoulders and back relaxed.

Step 2:  Play long tones that last at least 6 seconds per pitch. Start on a Bb in the middle of the staff and move down a minor second. Hold that pitch for an additional 6 seconds and then move back to your Bb. Continue to do this and jump an additional minor second with each reiteration. For instance, your first set will be from Bb to A, the second from Bb to Ab. Continue down the scale until you hit a low C.

Step 3:  Play your long tones on the next highest Bb and complete the same process that you used for Step 2. Make sure that every note is slurred and that there is a nice, clean transition between each note.

Step 4:  Play slurs on your trombone by starting with 1st position and move down to 7th position. Begin on an F, then move up to Bb, down to F, up to D, down to Bb, then back down to F. Continue each slur using the same ratios on each position. Tips Practice all exercises with slurs to help develop a clean and soft tone on the trombone.


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