Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | January 13, 2010

The Tongue

I begin each day with long tones. While I play I focus on the sound of the instrument. Is it soothing? Is it calm?

The next form of practice that allows me to grow are lip flexibilities. They are like lifting weights. The strength and endurance increase with each exercise. Range? I think music playing each pattern.

In addition, I practice scales, arpeggios, etudes, transcriptions. They are all dependent on my ability to articulate. How? My tongue.

The trombone has a slide so I have to work on various ways to use my tongue. Most brass players have to work on articulation but the trombonist has to articulate everything. A strong, precise, gentle at times tongue is needed.

Some might say natural slurs are utilized as well but I think you must master use of the tongue. Slow tongue, medium tongue, fast tonguing, sometimes no tongue…just lip.

Licking the mouth piece to prepare for the song I’m about to play. Moisture is necessary. Don’t over do it…Each song a delicacy.

Not every trombonist is the same. To clearly navigate the nuance of a given piece I mix slide technique with my ability to carefully use…

The Tongue…



  1. i know this is supposed to be about music and the use of the tongue for articulation…but is was sexy as hell!

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