What technical exercises and practice routines do you use? Do you have any warm-up exercises you recommend?
We all have our routines and our go to’s depending on how much time you have or how you feel every day. As far as a specific exercise, I’m going to say my philosophy of practising is because I’ve been taught, and I think most people have been taught that if you want to practice articulation, let’s do this specific exercise. Let’s do this exercise for sound. What I say is, no matter what the exercise is, you should focus on as many things as possible. That will improve your mental game and concentration, and it will dramatically reduce the time you have to practice because you’re focusing on a lot of things simultaneously. Instead of just focusing and just doing one exercise for reading (for example), you should focus on every aspect of your technical playing in one exercise, no matter what that is.
For warming up, I almost always start my days with bending. You try to play in the same position; you make the notes sound without moving the slide. So you would change from a B to an A to an Ab to a Gb and go back up to a B without moving the slide. What you are doing with that is stretching the muscles involved in your playing — trying to reach those notes. That’s something I always recommend for warming up because we sometimes just go straight to playing, and we don’t realize how hard (physically) playing an instrument is. If you go for a run, you will probably stretch before and after, so if you’re going to play, you will probably need to do the same.
Do you have any advice for aspiring trombone players?
I think the answer for this will be like summing up all of what I’ve been saying until now. Listen to good music, not only to trombone music. Listen to trombone music, of course, but listen to good singers, good pianists, good violinists, good cellists because you can learn a lot from them — especially singers. That would be the first piece of advice. The second, whatever you do in your daily practice, as I said before, do it very concentrated and in a very professional way. If you want to be a professional performing for others, you first have to be professional with your practice. Never give yourself second chances; never give yourself excuses. Never give yourself one of these typical “Today’s not working but yesterday was just fine.” That has no point. There’s no reason for that; the only reason for that is in your mind. Be very conscious, work very hard, listen to music, and enjoy as much as you can every step of the way.
|Full Interview: “Listen to Good Music, Not Only to Trombone Music”|