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Phrasing means more than just where you breathe; it also means how you inflect note changes and how you shape the musical line. I believe trombonists should cultivate an excellent, reliable natural slur in order to have excellent phrasing. For a trombonist to use natural slurs effectively, the air flow must have forward momentum through the note change, regardless of what the slide is doing. For me, natural slurs are a necessary tool for achieving mature, expressive phrasing. If you’re not sure what natural slurs are, visit the Natural Slur page.

Of course, Bordogni/Rochut’s Melodious Etudes is a wonderful resource for practicing phrasing; if you do not own volume one, stop reading now and go buy it! Any set of Vocalises by Concone are also excellent for phrasing.

Flow Studies are phrasing studies. They are easy, predictable phrases designed to help you cultivate exquisite phrasing in a wide variety of keys, registers and slide movements. Here is an excerpt from Flow Study #3, which is used in the video that follows. The video shows me working with a student on this particular Flow Study.

Purchase Flow Studies for Tenor Trombone.

Purchase Flow Studies for Bass Trombone.


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