The Low Note

I started playing the trombone when I was in the fourth grade. I played it throughout college but after that, it started collecting dust in the corner. Just like the treadmill or the artist’s easel, the trombone in the corner carries a lot of good intentions. I reconnected with the trombone to record a part for the Busted Banjo project. You can read about it here.

I wanted to bring the trombone out of the dusty corner for a track on my current project. I wrote the part and gave it a go. The mechanics came back very quickly. Finding the notes was easy. The hard part was my lazy lip. The end of the phrase is a low note. To play a note this low, your lips have to be very loose. But when your lips are loose, you have no control over the quality of the tone. I know this sounds ridiculous but the moral of the story is that I was out of shape and needed some training. If you had lifted weights in your younger days, it doesn’t mean that you are still able to carry two large speakers at the same time without giving yourself a hernia.

The song has been finished and ready to go for weeks… except for the trombone part. I’ve been practicing that low note as much as possible and today I finally made the windows shake. I got what I needed and now it’s back to the corner to collect dust. I am sure that someday in the future I will decide that another song needs a trombone part. I could stay in shape so that I am prepared when the time comes. But I know myself too well, that’s just another good intention. Maybe I will just avoid the low notes.


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