Cleaning Out the Basement

Summary: The Low Brass section (Trombones, Baritones, and Tubas) have many similarities in their playing fundamentals. Developing a common understanding of tone production, style execution, and section playing creates a foundation for your ensemble. Techniques for individual growth (beginning to advanced levels) and how they transfer to the ensemble will be discussed and demonstrated.

PRESENTATION SLIDES : Cleaning Out the Basement

Keys to Remember: “Presence – Oral Cavity – Listening”

  • Presence
    • Bring them forward towards the audience
    • Conceptualize Trombone 1-5 or Tuba 1-5 or…
    • Size over volume
  • Oral Cavity
    • Open shape (front to back)
    • Teeth are the enemy
    • Tongue is a muscle
  • Listening
    • Low Brass needs to know where their reference is
    • Emulation is the greatest form of flattery


Practice Techniques:

  • “How much air can my instrument handle?”
    • wind THRU the leadpipe
  • “How do I get confidence in my buzz?”
    • Half-valve phrases and pitch matching
  • “How do I keep the aperture open?”
    • Straw thru the mouthpiece
  • “How can I strengthen the embouchure muscles?”
    • Pencil test
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