How to Hold a Trombone... PROPERLY.

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today I'm going to be talking about how

to hold a trombone it's quite

interesting seeing videos where people

pick up a trombone for the first time

and they have no idea how to hold it you

see people holding it like this and a

full hand grip like that and trying to

wield it in that manner and it just

doesn't work it looks a bit silly so

firstly I'll start with what the

standard basic grip looks like this is a

beef lady a tenor trombone I'm going to

shout on a variety of trombones just to

show how the grip will change based on

the instrument that you're using but

firstly your thumb goes on your trigger

your trigger pedal like that your index

finger will rest either against the

mouthpiece or the end of the lead pipe

whatever is the most comfortable and

then the last three fingers of your left

hand will go generally like that so you

get a group that looks like this now

that's the standard grip it is not the

group that I use so the grip that I use

is slightly modified we do have the

trigger pedal the thumb on the trigger

pedal here we still have this finger in

the same place but what changes is with

this third finger here the middle finger

instead of it being on this side of this

brace I put it on the side so you've got

this group that grip relieves a lot of

the tension from having your hand in

this position for long periods of time

does take a bit to get used to but

that's the group that I find works best

for long endurance playing so once again

we have the thumb on the trigger pedal

we have the index finger on the

mouthpiece or at the end of the lead

pipe whatever is the most comfortable

for you this finger here goes on the top

side of this brace and then the other

two go on the underside of it as normal

that's the left hand for the right hand

you can either use a 1 up and 3 down or

a 2 and to confer

duration the thumb always goes on top of

the slide race on the top side here and

then with the underside you can either

have one finger on top two fingers on

top and two below or one and three and

the most important thing is is that you

have whatever is most comfortable for

you I strongly recommend either one of

those configurations though one above

three under or two above and two oh two

above and two under the reason why I

recommend there is it because it gives

you a lighter touch on the slide you can

you can easily bounce the slide between

positions it's a lot more flexible and

more comfortable if you hold the slide

like this you've suddenly got none of

the flexibility when you're trying to

quickly shift between positions and

having the slide at the very tips of

your fingers gives you the most

flexibility whilst not impeding on the

security of the slide there's nothing

worse than the slide screaming off the

end when you're not wanting it to which

is most of the time so that's the that's

what I use for the right hand it's

really about finding what works best for

you this trombone is my bass trombone

and it's a trombone that I use whenever

I'm called upon to play in bass trombone

phrases the first thing is the thumb

position is the same the first thing is

the same I generally play it with the

second figure second finger resting on

the second trigger pedal there I can

play it like that which is how it's


but because I have large enough hands my

finger reaches perfectly well on that

finger pedal there in that manner and

these two last fingers just sit under

there as they would with any other

trombone grip so look at this position

from this angle spinning it around to

this angle full flexibility on the

trigger pedals my second trigger the

rubbers worn out on that so I'm gonna

have to replace that which is why that's

a bit noisy but that's what my finger

grip looks like on a bass trombone the

unfortunate thing is is that this grip

is not always possible depending on

where the second trigger pedal

ends I've seen some trombones weird

and in a convenient place for this

finger this angle is less defined and

again you have to have your finger like

this to reach the pedal

I don't like based on modes like that

because this angle this this position

puts a lot of strain on the hand if

you're using it if you're playing your

instrument for a reasonable length of

time the slide because the slide grip is

the same either to up and to below or

one up and through below never have

three up and one or four up and one or

that awful grip where you're holding it

with your whole fist you just don't get

the same sort of flexibility and

fluidity when moving between slide

positions this trombone is my alto

trombone and the grip that I prefer

doesn't fit with this trombone firstly

because of the dimensions of the

sentiment the finger is almost poking

you in the nose if you have it up here

and the slide has this curved section on

it here which means it is designed to

have three fingers down so it can gently

cup this curve it also means that this

finger is lower down on the mouthpiece

so if you have a trombone that has a

curved bracing on it there then I always

recommend to have this configuration

when you're holding the instrument this

trombone here is an antique trombone but

I'm using this as part of this

demonstration because it's the only non

trigger tenor trombone that I currently

have with instruments of this size I

always recommend my preferred grip the

reason being is that this tube is really

quite high up on the instrument if this

tube if this brace pipe here was lower

then you would be able to get more

comfortably away with this

this gripper because the tube is so high

and even though I have rather large

hands I can't comfortably reach this in

any meaningful way so by shifting the

hands up one finger it means that this

my thumb grip is a lot more comfortable

and it means I can better support the

weight of the instrument because tenor

trombones without a trigger even if they

do have a

proper counterweight on the end are

still very front heavy and you rely a

lot on this thumb to pull the instrument

down to keep it at the angle that's

comfortable for playing so as I said

before it's all about what is the most

comfortable for you but if you haven't

been aware of this particular grip I

highly recommend trying it out it'll

probably feel very unusual at first but

give it a go for a decent period of time

at least until it stops feeling unusual

so that you can see what your endurance

is like in a long session it works for

me hopefully it'll work for you too if

anyone's got any further comments and

suggestions about how to hold a trombone

please feel free to let me know

always happy to receive advice and

comments I put out new videos reasonably

regularly at the moment so please feel

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