Effective practicing of a musical instrument

I’m reading a fascinating book called Musical Excellence by Aaron Williamon. Its subtitle is Strategies and Techniques to Enhance Performance. It’s a thoroughly researched book covering subjects as broad as how to practice, physical fitness, memorizing music for performance, mental skills training, and even drug use and its effects on performance. Early on, Williamon writes…

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A new alto trombone from a surprising source

I’ve been traveling pretty much solid since the ITF in Iowa City a few weeks ago. It feels like I’ve had a few birthdays since the event. My son and I had a great time at our table where I got to meet some great people and sell a few books. Staring me down, directly…

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Music minus bass trombone for Dry Cleaner from Des Moines

Playing last night with a trombone quartet, I brought in my arrangement of Dry Cleaner from Des Moines from my CD Roads Less Traveled. Our bass trombonist did an excellent job and enjoyed the challenge. The original bass trombone in the CD was performed my my good friend Gerry Pagano. The part is basically a…

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Strengthen your musical sense of time and rhythmic with this

Rhythm Savvy book from altobone.com

I’m thrilled to announce the publication of my new book Rhythm Savvy. www.altobone.com/rhythm-savvy/ Late in the writing, I realized that the over 100 exercises with odd click tracks, listening challenges, and play-along tracks were very similar to puzzles, so I added the subtitle, Rhythm puzzles for trombone. In typical fashion for each of the Savvy…

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The biggest improvement you can make playing your musical instrument

A good friend and my most enthusiastic guinea pig for my books’ strange ideas and exercises came to the studio yesterday to do some trombone recording. Like most players, he’s not used to recording in my particular environment. A strange and sensitive mic, transparent monitoring through headphones, and unforgiving playback can make for an uncomfortable…

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ITA Review of the Fratres CD

The review came out today in the International Trombone Journal of the CD Doug Yeo, Gerry Pagano, and I made last summer. If you are a trombone player and are not subscribed to the journal, you should do so here. You’ll get in depth profiles of your favorite players and lots of information on literature…

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Its it too late in life to play trombone well?

I recently was asked by a 61 year old retired band director how to improve his playing. “I didn’t spend most of my life working on the trombone but I now want to play well. Is it too late for me?” Here is my response: It would be too easy for me to tell you,…

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The high octane fuel to improve your trombone playing

I thought of something I’d like to add to the very beginning of my upcoming book, Rhythm Savvy. The further I get into writing and recording for the book, the more I believe that this tool can help players improve their musicianship. That improvement, however, won’t come immediately or by magic, and that is what…

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