Alto trombone position and overtone guides

I was recently asked to create a positioning chart for the alto trombone. My inclination was to recommend creating one himself since the physical act of doing it will benefit the learning process. But I realize that doing things the hard way is an acquired taste and I’m glad to do the heavy lifting.

The top part of the chart below is the first position (fundamental) overtone series juxtaposed with the same for the tenor trombone. The second part is a positioning chart from the pedal Eb to the high Eb. Keep in mind that the alto is a perfect fourth above the tenor. So are the harmonic anomalies like the 7th overtone being flat and therefore must be pulled up.

Overtone and positioning chart: (click to download)

Overtone and position chat for alto trombone

2 Comments

  1. Frank on December 27, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    The third overtone for the tenor looks like it could be a “typo” – it should be an F not an Eb, looks like you have been playing the alto too much 🙂 Inspired by the sound you get, I have been working at getting my alto to behave itself, and having some mild success, thanks for everything!!!

    • Michael Lake on December 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Yes, a typo. It’s fixed now. It’s inconceivable to me that that Eb could be played in anything other than first position!!

      Thanks for the heads up.

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