Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

Trombone Lessons – Basic Warm Up

In the video below, I am playing a warm up that only takes a few minutes, and addresses primarily Flexibility, Range, and Articulation.  The content and sequence was inspired through independent study with Alan Raph, world-renowned trombonist, author, and educator. I hope you enjoy the content, and please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!

Check out this great video of Bill Watrous playing, “Nancy with the Laughing Face.” It blows my mind how smooth he sounds, and has everything to do with his slide technique.

Watch how fast he arrives on each note playing the melody. The next ingredient is what “warms it up.” He then applies his wonderful, individualistic slide vibrato, and back lightning fast to the next note.

The personnel is stellar, and offer a profound performance. Enjoy!

Television performance in 1976

Bill Watrous, trombone
Chick Corea, piano
Ron Carter, bass
Bill Cobham, drums

Trombone Lessons and Brass Technique

Three Embouchure Types: Trombone Lessons Reference

David Wilken is an innovative and passionate music educator and trombonist.  He specializes in brass pedagogy, and offers this informative introductory 6 part video series.

This post is intended for students and teachers regarding trombone lessons, as well as reference for all brass embouchure studies.

Areas that watching the videos in this post can help are non-responsive or quiver in embouchure; ceiling in high or low range; lack of flexibility; and, stuffy tone in specific registers.

Please let us know if you have thoughts or insights to share regarding this post.  Enjoy!

Looking for a trombone player that is very soulful, and can also tastefully “shred” the chord changes?  Can this same player also be a great composer and arranger?  Slide Hampton is that trombone player.

Slide Hampton is a tremendous innovator on the trombone in technique and musicality with varied influences ranging from J.J. Johnson to John Coltrane.

Feel free to click on the videos below to watch and listen to Slide’s masterful playing and arranging:

Slide Hampton’s blues solo from Dizzy Gillespie’s 70th Birthday Celebration at Wolf Trap

LA Jazz Institute, Stratospheric Slide Hampton, “Got the Spirit”

Appalachian State University Jazz Ensemble
Trombone Choir
Winter Concert 1989
Farthing Auditorium
Tune: Lament by JJ Johnson
Featuring Slide Hampton

In A Sentimental Mood feat. Steve Turre
Gramercy Brass: Premier Band @ Caldwell College (July 31, 2010)

Woody Shaw Quintet
Live at the Music Inn – Roma – 1983

Ralph Moore Quintet – Rejuvenate!
Ralph Moore, sax
Mulgrew Miller, Piano
Steve Turre, trombone
Peter Washington, bass,
Marvin Smitty Smith, drums
Criss Cross Jazz 1035
19 Feb 1988

Steve Turre: Sanctified Shells at the Dakota

Another cut from Steve Turre Quartet live at New Morning, 2004

Wanting to study a modern era jazz trombone player with a personalized approach that has also invested time, energy, and respect in jazz tradition? Steve Turre is that trombone player.

In Steve’s early career he mentored under Woody Shaw in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and in Woody’s ensemble. Also, the great J.J. Johnson was a role model (as for all of us!), and spoke openly about his enthusiasm and support for Steve.

Steve is a prolific performer, composer, and arranger invloving many diverse styles including jazz, Latin, and pop.  Some of the groups that he has performed with include Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, J.J. Johnson, Herbie Hancock, Lester Bowie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Van Morrison, Pharoah Sanders, Horace Silver, Max Roach, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Also of note is his innovation where he includes his masterful playing of conch shells.

Regarding Steve’s technique, listen for his individual style, sound, and rhythmically oriented playing.  Note his ability in reacting spontaneously with the rhythm section, and his ability to develop a solo and tell a story.  Also, note his use of double tonguing for multiple articulation.

One thing that strikes me about Steve is his continual contribution and follow through.  I have seen him live several times, and been honored to interact at a few events where he was showcased.  When improvising live, he simply will accept nothing less than maximum energy, and commitment.

I remember listening to his solo live at Ryle’s in Boston, MA I believe.  He was playing a great extended solo, and the form of the tune was coming around.  I thought, he’s got to be done, not sure what else he could say.  Many players might have stopped there.  Not Steve, he kept going giving the fellow musicians and the audience more than what we expected – it got even better!

Not only does Steve contribute through performing at high profile concerts, and also as a recording artist. He also gets involved with the community by performing with local colleges, often offering a master’s class or clinic related to the event where the students are impacted through getting a chance to ask questions and interact on an informal level.

Included below, and in five coming posts are video and audio examples of Steve’s performances.

Never had a chance to say thanks for that performance in Boston so many years ago – thanks Steve!


Steve Turre Quartet live at New Morning, 2004