My upcoming book on alto and tenor trombone

After years of requests for me to write some sort of book on the alto trombone, I am happy to tell you that I’ve begun the project. One thing has become clear as I’ve started writing it, however. It will be about more than the alto.

There is definitely a lack of material on the alto.

Peter Körner and Heinrich Thein’s World of Alto Trombone is an important book on the instrument and Will Kimball has written extensively about the alto on his fine blog. But I believe I can add an important contribution to this topic.

As the book is shaping up, the first section is dedicated to the alto. Warmups, lip slurs, position-learning exercises and etudes are geared to the unique overtone partials and slide positions of the alto. But as I’ve started to share my thoughts about playing music on the trombone and creating improvisation exercises, I’ve realized that this is geared to much more than my beloved alto.

I reached out recently to altobone subscribers and have received some great feedback. And taking to heart what my friend Tom Ervin told me the other day, “Certainly most of the trombonists out there play tenor mostly. It’s where they’re coming FROM, and tenor is what they will continue to play mostly.” I can reach a much broader audience by promoting this to ALL trombone players. I think the title will be something like, a book on trombone for alto and tenor players. I still have to figure out the title, but like the music I write, the title comes after the song has taken form.

Stay tuned for excerpts and passages to whet your appetite!


  1. Chris Clark on October 12, 2016 at 5:49 pm


    I’m glad you are writing a book. I have enjoyed not only your playing and compositions, but your info and how-tos on recording the alto as well… One thing I see a lot of tenor players struggle with is mouthpiece selection. Prevailing wisdom has lots of people playing large diameter rims (their tenor rim) on a shallow cup. I’m not always convinced that’s a good route. What do you think? What should I look for in choosing a great alto mouthpiece – sound, of course… what else? Thanks! Thanks for your thoughtful playing and writing!

  2. Henry Howey on November 12, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I use a trumpet player’s trick of anchoring to one side (left for me) and use a slightly smaller rim.

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