It's Easy To Make Music

How To Play The Trombone

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Seven slide positions are used. These are shown in Fig. 93,
together with the principal notes made at each position. The
first position means that the slide is closed or drawn back as
far as it will go. The approximate distances the slide is moved
forward to make the other positions is indicated. You will have
to feel your way at first and experiment until you can hit the
different positions unerringly.

For the second position—the slide is drawn out about 3J/?
inches. For the third position the slide is drawn out about 7
inches. To reach the fourth position you draw the slide about
3J/2 inches from the third, or 10>4 inches from the closed or
first position. The fifth position is &l/2, inches beyond the fourth.
The sixth position is about AYi inches beyond the fifth, and the
seventh position is 4]/i inches beyond the sixth. At the seventh
position the slide is about 23 inches from the closed position—
a good, long reach for your right arm.

Try from the very start to memorize the different positions
by measuring them with your eye and your arm. After a bit,
this will become automatic if you apply yourself to it from the

In addition to knowing the distances of the different posi-
tions, it is most important that you use your ear at all times
to ensure accurate pitch of the notes or tones. If a note sounds
too sharp, draw the slide a little further out. If it is too flat,
push the slide in a little. Hitting a note "right in the middle"
depends chiefly on your ear and your simultaneous movement
of the slide.

Notice that music for the trombone is written in the bass
clef. Notice also that although most of the accidentals (corre-
sponding to the black notes on a piano) are marked with a
flat, they are at the same time sharped notes. At the 5th posi-
tion, for example, Gb is the same note as F#, and Db is the
same as C#.

To get familiar with how the notes are made, a good practice
is to play the scale of B flat. The trombone is pitched in B flat

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