So here's my story... I play tenor trombone in the concert band at my middle school (seventh grade). Next year, when I go to the high school, (yes in my town we go to high school in eighth grade) I will be playing on a bass trombone. I would like to get a new mouthpiece or even a new horn, but I don't think it is worth spending the money or the time. So my question is here: Do you have any good tips on how to play tenor trombone for this year? I know that I should practice my breathing and all that stuff, but I would like some other tips on how to correctly play a tenor trombone. Thanks!
Please hurry up! I have a concert tonight where I would like to have the best sound possible! Thank you!
Two things, one quick, the other will take time. First, what mouthpiece do you play on? I would recommend at least a 6.5 AL, or Schilke 51D. A larger mouthpiece will open up your sound, provided you are putting enough air in the horn. Second, play long tones every day. I'm talking about 10 to 15 minutes of long-long-long notes. this is really the only way I know of to get an idea of your sound, and how you want to sound. Spend two months at this, and then see what you think. I have played and recommend the Remington Warm up series for serious trombone students. These exercises may seem tedious, but time on the horn is the only way I know of to improve.
Thanks very much for those two tips. I play on a Bach 12C, so its not really anything special. And I thank you for telling me about that exercise series. I play out of Arban's Method sometimes, but not very often. I now agree with you that tips for getting a good sound take time. I think I'll ask for the Remington Warm Up Series for Christmas! Thanks!
If you are still looking for more replies, one way of improving your sound is to listen to lots of other trombone players, mostly to understand what kind of sound you want to have. If there are any community bands or colleges/universities near you, attend some of their concerts. If you can hear any other live groups (orchestras, jazz bands, etc.), do so. Or listen to recordings. There are many tracks available on iTunes if you have an iPod or other Apple device.
If it is at all possible, find a good teacher and take private lessons. If your band director is willing and has time, take lessons after school.
And, as others have already said, just play. But listen to yourself. If possible, record yourself regularly. If you don't like what you hear coming from your bell, try making small adjustments in your embouchure or breathing or tongue placement.
The best way is to take lessons from a competent teacher.