FW: [Dixielandjazz] Playing/owning...

Jim Kashishian jim at kashprod.com
Fri Jun 2 14:06:35 PDT 2006


When I was 11 years old, my father advised me to take up trombone because he
said, "It is the easiest instrument to learn how to play."
Rick Knittel - JAZZBONE

Well, now you know, your Daddy's not always right!  It is said that included
in the hardest to learn instruments are the violin, the trombone, and the

I can only speak for the trombone, and the few classes I have tried to give
to kids.  Getting the "move your slide at the same time as you stop the air
with your tongue (1)" bit is the hardest thing to get.

Put a kid on a sax, he'll blow you a tune in a couple of days.  A young
trombonist sounds like an sick elephant for about a year!  (One's got a
reed, the other doesn't.)

(1)  That's right...stop the air, not blow.  The "push" is there all the
time, and the flow of air is "stopped" with the tongue.  Like spitting a
piece of paper out of your mouth. Put your tongue to the back of your lips.
Push air up from below.  Pull the tongue back & the air is released.  A
tu-tu will get a stacatto sound, a du-du will get a legatto sound, etc. 

Speaking of the spit paper reminds me of the city youth band I was in from
age 9 to 18.  When the band leader would step out of the room, we
trombonists sometimes would wet a piece of paper, take off the outside
trombone slide, and spit the paper out through the tube.  I vividly remember
the look on the clarinetist's face on the other side of the band sitting
there with a gooey piece of paper stuck to his cheek!   :>

I'll stop there with my stories for the time being!


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