How to Play: the B Major Scale on Trombone

How to Play: B Major Scale on Trombone

B major is an important key for the trombone, with many prominent excerpts written in it. In this lesson we will learn how to play the B major scale on trombone.

*T = Trigger/Valve/F-attachment      TT = Both F and Gb valves (bass trombone)

Tips

The higher you go, the closer the positions get to each other. As it is quite physically taxing to play in the upper octave, alternate it with the lower octaves. Try to hear the next note before you play it so you can adjust the tuning accordingly.

The choice of which positions to use depends on a few things including which notes come before it. Alternate positions are incredibly useful for trombonists, and having a working proficiency with them will make life much easier.

The low B is possibly the most challenging note on the bass trombone. With so much resistance fighting back, it is important to relax as much as possible and blow warm, slow air into the note. Long tones in this register will do wonders for your tone and production.

How to Play: the Bb Major Scale on Trombone

How to Play: Bb Major Scale on Trombone

Scales are an important part of every musicians training and form the basic building blocks of most music. Despite being a crucial part of grade exams, easy marks are often lost due to poor preparation of scales. In this lesson we will learn how to play the Bb major scale on trombone.

*T = Trigger/Valve/F-attachment      TT = Both F and Gb valves (bass trombone)

Tips

The high F will need to be flattened slightly because it is a 6th harmonic. 6th harmonics are sharp in comparison to the equal temperament used on a piano, for example, because of how the harmonic series works. Be sure to listen very carefully to get the intonation entirely correct.

For many bass trombonists the simple major 2nd between pedal Bb and bottom C can feel like a huge obstacle. This is a transition that will take lots of dedicated work to smooth out and you just have to be patient with it!

How to Play: the A Major Scale on Trombone

How to Play: A Major Scale on Trombone

A major (huh, get it?!) part of a musicians education is getting familiar with scales – and for good reason. In this lesson we will learn how to play the A major scale on trombone.

*T = Trigger/Valve/F-attachment

Tips

The high G# is played in a sharpened 3nd position. Practice with a tuner or a drone to learn the exact accurate slide placement for good intonation.

The ‘going against the grain’ from the D to high A can feel a little strange at first, but trust your chops and blow through the partials confidently – though be sure not to push too hard producing a lumpy sound. Aim for a fluent, even tone production.

It is useful to practice playing this scale with the Bs in 7th position even if you have a valve in order to improve slide dexterity and accuracy.