trombone slide positions

Trombone Slide Positions

The trombone is one of the most beautiful sounding of the brass instruments. It is also one that take great skill to master. One, among several, of these skills is knowing the trombone slide positions. Like most thing, the trombone comes in several different flavors, the tenor trombone, bass trombone, alto trombone, contrabass trombone and the valve trombone.

The uniqueness and the most difficult part of playing the trombone is the slide.
Unlike other brass instruments that simply require you to press a key or a valve, the trombone requires you to place the slide in the correct slide position. This must be exactly right or your note will be out of tune with everyone else. The idea is to tune your trombone with the other instruments and then as long as you place the slide in the correct position, everything should sound great. This is why the trombonist requires more skill to master. She must  have a very finely tunes ear to notice if she is out of tune and make adjustments with the slide position. To many beginners tend to rely on visual indicators such as the bell. Ear training is the key to becoming a great trombone player and placing the slide in the position that gives the correctly tuned desired sound.

The trombone has seven slide positions. The are referred to by numbers one through seven. first position, second position, third position, etc..
trombone slide positions
Not all trombone slide positions are created equally. Many trombone manufacturers do not share the same intonation tendencies. This is why it takes many hours of practice to master this instrument.

 The trombonist should aspire to achieve grace and agility with the slide movements. The slide should be held very loosely with the thumb and two fingers. the graceful movements of the wrist and arms should take the slide from one position to the next. Playing from one note to the next requires the trombonist to coordinate the articulation of the lip vibrations with the exact placement of the slide. Not easy.

The embouchure refers to the lips the role they play with the mouthpiece to produce the correct intonation. The lips should be relaxed and moist. Sound is produced by making a buzzing sound into the mouthpiece quick puffs of air. The cheeks should not be puffed out.