Playing trombone better

Blasting away on my nearby mountaintop

I’m a big fan of practicing outdoors. It’s harder to tounge and play with a solid tone when you blow into the void as opposed to sound bouncing off nearby walls. But harder strengthens your playing. I recently shot a video on top of a nearby mountain where I enjoy playing. I time-compressed an hour…

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Your journey toward musical instrument improvement

I’m going to Los Angeles next month for the Taxi Road Rally conference. Taxi is an independent A&R company that helps composers submit their music for film, TV and games. I am excited about networking with producers and musicians, and learning more about that part of the music business. There will be lots of opportunities…

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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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Rhythm Savvy in the works

Rhythm Savvy book from

I am writing my new book. It covers an important topic with which many players struggle. Namely, the ability to play with more of a deliberate and accurate sense of rhythm. I originally titled it Time and Rhythm Savvy because I was making a distinction between the steady pulse of music and the stream of…

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A lesser know tool for helping you play more in tune

I just created a new video on intonation. My original intention was to create one video covering three areas from which the music files within my books can be used. A reader of my last post suggested that instead of one video on all three areas I should create three separate videos. That made sense,…

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Better breathing for optimum trombone playing

I conducted an interesting social and musical experiment this week. After producing a video on better breathing for wind instruments, I created an incentive to leave a comment below the Youtube video. I offered a free copy of Jazz Ear Savvy to the first 10 good comments. I got all 10 in record speed and…

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How to improve your musical instrument playing much quicker

I think I have a somewhat unorthodox method of teaching trombone and improvisation. Instead of telling students what they sound like and commenting on the things I’m hearing them do wrong, I ask them what they hear. I’m of the belief that if I tell you what something sounds like, it relieves you of the…

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Three keys to playing trombone much better

The final chapter of Trombone Improvisation Savvy was titled The Inner Game. It contained some thoughts that don’t normally appear in jazz instrumental method books but I think playing the trombone well involves more than just getting the horn out and periodically blowing notes through it for a while. Let me share some personal thoughts…

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How to listen to yourself

I’ve recently created some exercises for my upcoming book on alto trombone that are built to improve intonation when playing trombone. Among other things, I’ve recorded Bach choral #50, a four-part harmony of In the Wee Small Hours and Rochut #1 with a harmony part. I’ve recorded versions of each whereby one part is missing…

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