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Topic: Mastering the E flat scale on the Trombone
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AuthorTopic:   Mastering the E flat scale on the Trombone
Anonymous Poster

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posted: 8/31/2005 at 10:06:55 PM ET
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I am an 8th grader and am having trouble mastering how to play the E flat scale on the trombone. I don't want to ask the teacher because I don't want to look like an idiot. Can you help? Thanks Frustrated.

Registered User

posted: 8/31/2005 at 11:18:38 PM ET
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Believe me I know how you must feel, but please ask your teacher how to play the E Flat scale, every good teacher wants their students to learn and improve - and no-one's going to think "you look like an idiot".

It's probably easier for your teacher to show you than for one of us to try to explain it on this board and you'll learn it in no time flat. It's usually some simple thing you are missing. I don't play the trombone, I'm happy tootling along the piano

We have some expert advisers here who I'm sure will be able to help you.

Registered User

posted: 9/1/2005 at 9:02:27 AM ET
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I agree with suzyq. Ask your teacher s/he will not think you're an idiot (and if s/he does, report her/him to your principal!). A teacher's job is to help you learn, so use them - that's what they're there for.

What is the problem that you're having? Is it a problem knowing what notes are in the Eb scale (hint: B, E, and A are all flat), or is it a problem of knowing how to play the notes (i.e. slide position)? If you can narrow that down, we might be able to offer more advise to help you out.

BTW, don't try to "master" the scale. You'll only frustrate yourself. Just try to play it - slowly. Once you're able to play each note, slowly, in succession, then you can try to speed it. Start with whole notes. Once you're comfortable playing the scale in whole notes, try it in half notes. Then move to quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. Once you can play it sixteenth notes, you should feel pretty comfortable with it. But don't ever consider yourself to have mastered it - once you think you're a master, you'll lose all motivation to keep practicing.

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posted: 9/1/2005 at 11:48:25 AM ET
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To play the Eb scale you must play these notes and positions.

3rd space Eb- 3rd pos.
4th line F- 1st pos.
4th space G- 4th pos.
5th line Ab- 3rd pos.
Bb above the staff-1st pos.
C 1st ledger above-3rd pos.
D 1st ledger and space above- 1st/4th pos.
Eb 2nd ledger line above- 3rd pos.

I suspect your problem is getting the high notes. This is usually the problem with younger players. As you go higher try to make the air go FASTER into the horn. Raising the back of the tongue (but keep the front low) like saying the word TEE will help. Also trying to aim the air toward the top of the mouthpiece will help.
Good luck and most definitely talk to your band director.

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Ashley PA

posted: 9/1/2005 at 6:29:32 PM ET
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Definitely talk to your teacher.There is no substitute for someone who is right there. If you 'd rather, wait til everyone is gone, then ask. You won't be an idiot,cause "imnidiot". Good luck with your studies. Maybe some day you'll be a professional. At our school we have hosted a professional marching band called the Renegades, who are from San Fransisco. They come to northeast Pa for a national competition. They use uor facilities to practice. They put on a performance for our band, and our band does their show for the Renegades. Unfortunately the competition is moving next year, so this is the last time they'll be here.

I am a fragment of my imagination

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