Maintaining good posture, saying “toe” instead of “tee” when playing notes, breathing with the diaphragm, and using “tip of the tongue” articulation are the best trombone tips. The majority of trombone playing advice focuses on proper note articulation and maximizing air flow. The way the notes sound and how well they are separated is greatly influenced articulation. Players can produce even, clean notes that aren’t thin or faltering breathing properly. Even taking larger breaths can help trombonists achieve better tone.
When playing the trombone, proper posture is crucial. The main reason for this is to ensure that the instrument gets the most air flow possible. When playing the instrument, players should keep their backs straight and look straight ahead of them, even if they are seated. The air flow through the throat is restricted when you lean forward. The mouthpiece of the trombone should be brought to the player’s mouth, not the other way around.
When playing the trombone, players can take in more air breathing from the diaphragm. This improves tone consistency and the ability to play longer phrases. Students should practice breathing expanding their stomachs first, followed their lungs. The diaphragm drops as the stomach expands, allowing the lungs to take in air. Teachers can instruct students to place their hands over their stomachs to ensure that their stomachs expand before their chests do when they breathe.
The syllables that trombone players say when producing notes have a dramatic effect on the tone of the instrument. When playing the trombone, players who make a “tee” sound are more likely to produce nasal and high-pitched notes. This is due to the tongue being in an abnormally high position when articulating this syllable. When playing a note on the trombone, teachers should instruct students to say “toe” to encourage a lower tongue position.
Another important tip for playing the trombone is to articulate the tip of the tongue. Tonguing is a trombone technique that involves players separating notes with their tongues. The tongue motion during the “t” sound effectively separates the notes; this should be practiced during scale exercises. When switching between notes, say “dah” and “lah” to create a legato effect, or a smooth transition between notes. Both tonguing techniques should be easy for players to master.