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Like endurance, flexibility will only improve with regular practice over time.

When practicing lip slurs, always use a metronome and strive for equally spaced notes – in time and steady. Make all the notes equal volume; don’t allow the top note of a lip slur to pop out. If you don’t have a metronome, stop reading now and go buy one…yes, we will still be here when you get back.

Lip slurs are important because they teach you how to navigate all the ranges of the instrument. I like to mix things up a little by adding additional features to lip slurs. For example, here is a lip slur pattern with dynamics added. You can click on the sound file to hear me play it:


Flexibility with Dynamics


Another challenging way to practice lip slurs is to begin with a descending pattern, like this:


Flexibility Descending Pattern


Finally, here is a pattern with lip slurs combined with tonguing:


Flexibility with Articulation

I have found this pattern to be particularly helpful because usually a student is either good at lip slurs or tonguing but not necessarily both. By combining these two elements, the stronger technique pulls the weaker one forward.

Here are some resources to practice flexibility:

DRTT web scaledDRTBone Student Front scaledDRBT Web scaled

Daily Routines and Daily Routines for the Student Trombone Player offer many opportunities to practice alternate positions.

“I am always grateful when a great performer goes to the trouble to organize his/her thoughts and make them available. David Vining has done just that in his book, Daily Routines. These routines are masterfully conceived. They exhibit exceptional balance, ingenuity, and insight. Vining saves us many steps by organizing tried and true material, adding his own astute innovations and explaining the procedures that produce technical mastery.” — Mike Hall, International Trombone Association Journal

“In order for any trombonist to take the craft of brass playing seriously, they must have a method or philosophy about how to approach consistently improving on their instrument. David Vining’s book Daily Routines provides a thorough approach to understanding how to efficiently play fundamentals at the highest level. The variety of the nine different half hour routines will keep this method feeling fresh and challenging for a long time. I highly recommend using Mr. Vining’s Daily Routines for yourself and with your students.” — George Curran, Bass Trombonist, New York Philharmonic

To learn more about these items, visit the Daily Routines website.

Purchase Daily Routines for Tenor Trombone.

Purchase Daily Routines for Bass Trombone.

Purchase Daily Routines for the Student Trombone Player.




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