Suggestions for Success
Developing a regular daily warm-up and practice routine is essential for every low brass player. Each practice session should begin with a warm up routine that includes long tones and lip slurs in the middle register, gradually expanding to the lower and upper range. Use a metronome to develop your sense of tempo and always listen carefully for intonation, attack and evenness of sound. Next, carefully work on major scales and arpeggios, using the metronome and checking your pitch with the tuner. Vary the tempo and articulation to cover detached and legato tonguing at different speeds. Once you feel warmed up and ready, move on to your etudes and solo pieces for the day.
Listening to your favorite brass players is the best way to develop a concept of sound and provides each of us with a model to emulate. I love listening to Joe Alessi (principal trombone of the NY Philharmonic), Christian Linbergh (Danish trombone virtuoso), J.J. Johnson (fabulous jazz trombonist) and Trombone Shorty (New Orleans phenom on trombone, trumpet and vocals). Tuba players should listen to Gene Pokorny of the Chicago Symphony and Roger Bobo, former tubist with the Los Angeles Symphony. Go to Spotify, iTunes and YouTube to hear great examples of these artists playing our instrument. It will motivate and inspire you to practice with a purpose!
Recommended materials for the high school seniors and prospective collegiate trombone, euphonium and tuba players. All of these books and solos are available from Hickey's Music online.
- "Simply Singing for Winds" (available for medium and low instruments in bass clef) and "Introductory Studies in Tenor and Alto Clef" by Brad Edwards. Available through Dr. Edward's website.
- "Melodious Etudes for Trombone", Book 1 and "60 Selected Studies" by Kopprasch.
- Morceau Symphonique - Alexander Guilmant, Concertino - Ferdinand David, Sonatas 1-6- Johann Ernest Galliard and Andante et Allegro - J.E. Barat
Select music that demonstrates your best playing and shows lyrical, legato style along with your range and technique. In addition to the solos listed above, ILMEA Etudes are good choices for your college audition. Play for your friends in band, your teachers at church. Take advantage of any opportunity to stand in front of an audience to demonstrate your musicianship. Look at each performance as a confidence builder leading up to your audition.
If you have any questions or would like a lesson before your audition, contact Gary Shaw, Professor of Trombone at Millikin University.