So you’ve learnt a few positions and some notes… what’s next? Finding good music for a beginner trombonist can be tough. Whether you are a teacher or a pupil, finding pieces that suit your level and are fun to learn can be more difficult than actually learning to play it! Tutor books can focus too much on learning notes instead of looking at fun pieces. This article will look at some of the best trombone books for beginners that you can buy to supplement a tutor book and/or expand the repertoire of a beginner.
Trombone Books for Young Beginners
Easy Winners is a great book that is full of popular tunes from stage, film and TV shows. It also includes classical and pop songs. These pieces have been arranged for treble and bass clef brass instruments by Peter Lawrance. The books includes many songs that are on the syllabus for the early grade exams (namely ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall).
This book is perfect for a young beginner as there are so many short pieces included. I would recommend buying a version with a backing track because if you are using the book to prepare for a graded exam, it will be good preparation for playing along with a piano.
Examples of songs included are: As Long As He Needs Me (Oliver!), Auld Lang Syne, Eastenders Theme, I Feel Pretty (West Side Story), James Bond Theme, Jingle Bell Rock, Match Of The Day, One Hand, One Heart (West Side Story) etc.
A follow-up book to Easy Winners, I would recommend that this book is perhaps more suitable for a slightly older students of around Grade 2 or 3 standard because, towards the back of the book the tunes are slightly longer and harder than they are in Easy Winners. This book is a fabulous tool to help inspire a young player to learn a new song and to practice the skills they have learnt in a lesson.
Examples of songs included: The Ash Grove, Happy Birthday, Postman Pat, Camptown Races, The Birdie Song, The Entertainer etc.
This book is full of jazz inspired original etudes by Mark Nightingale. Similarly to Easy Winners, several of the pieces are on grade exam syllabuses. The whole book ranges right from grade 1-grade 5/6 level and explores multiple jazz styles and feels. Highly recommended.
Trombone Books for Older Beginners
If you are teaching an older beginner or have decided to teach yourself trombone a bit later in life, some of the books mentioned earlier in the article might either be too easy or aimed at too young an audience.
The First Book of Trombone Solos is designed to help a beginner trombonist to gain confidence working with an accompanist. This book offers a wide selection of music from different composers, historic periods and in many styles. It is arranged in increasing order of difficulty from elementary to intermediate level.
Examples of songs included: Walking In The Air (Blake), The Fruits of Love (Holborne), Saraband (Pachelbel), Song Without Words (Mendelssohn), Memory (Lloyd Webber), Rococco Varations (Tchaikovsky)
The Second Book of Trombone Solos is for the player who already has a reasonably well developed technique and range but is not yet ready for the sonata and concerto repertoire. There are 14 pieces contained in the book and there is also an appendix at the back which offers handy hints to enhance musical understanding of the pieces.
Examples of songs included: Intermezzo (Brahms), Sonata (Fontana), Sonata in F Minor (Telemann) amongst others
Any music that gets you or your students excited about playing is worth taking the time to learn and explore. If you really want to learn a particular song on any instrument, often it can be more valuable to set these small goals to keep motivation and enjoyment levels high. The books mentioned in this article are all aimed towards broadening general playing ability and can be used as practice aids to ensure you keep moving your playing onwards and upwards through regular practice.
Make sure to check what clef you are learning in – treble clef is quite often taught in the UK and is used in brass banding. Most students will be learning in bass clef but parents especially should make sure of which clef your child is learning.
Do you have a favorite book for beginners? If so, drop us a message. We’d love to hear from you and would greatly value your input!