How to Play: the D Major Scale on Trombone

How to Play: D Major Scale on Trombone

Scales are an very important part of every musicians training and learning them make will make every piece of music you play easier. In this lesson we will be looking at learning how to play the D major scale on trombone.

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

Tips

D major is one of my favourite keys to play in because of the satisfying ‘in-out’ motion of the slide. In addition to this, it is a great scale for practicing your tuning due to the fact that it barely ever uses 1st position!

Finding the bottom D can be a little tricky, and it’s definitely worth playing some long tones down there with a tuner or drone in order to find exactly where the slide needs to be.

How to Play: the Db Major Scale on Trombone

How to Play: Db Major Scale on Trombone

Although many kids have nightmares about them, scales are an important part of developing your instrumental skills. In this lesson we will learn how to play the Db major scale on trombone.

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

Tips

Because of the way a trombone works, there are less positions available with the valve depressed than on the open horn. For reasons of simplicity, I’ve notated the slide positions all in relation to the normal Bb trombone with no valve in use. For example, ‘T3.5’ means the slide will be somewhere between where the 3rd and 4th positions usually are – experiment and be sure to use a tuner and most importantly your ears when finding these notes!

On bass trombone, the first 4 notes are a great exercise on valve use. Blow through the differing resistances and try to match the tones on every note regardless of whether you’re using 2, 1 or 0 valves.

How to Play: the C Major Scale on Trombone

How to Play: C Major Scale on Trombone

Scales might not be your favourite thing, but we’ve all gotta learn them! In this lesson we will learn how to play the C major scale on trombone.


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

Tips

On most tenor trombones the low C will be right on the end of the slide and may possibly have to be lipped down as well. However it is essential that tenor trombonists develop a good low range as it is used in orchestral excerpts such as Mahler.

C major is a deceptively difficult scale for bass trombonists, as getting the tone even around the bottom five notes can seem like an impossible task! Try and get comfortable with playing the bottom D in either position, as I find that context entirely dictates where I play that note in musical situations.