Water seeks its level, my friends, so let's play TOGETHER!!
Enjoy your sound & your phrasing
Remember to have fun my friends. This etude has always been very special to me for it's gentle simplicity. There's no reason to hurry, play athletic in any way, or strain the limitations of your technique. Breath deep, have fun, and play easy. Enjoy the gentle lilt of the compound meter and have fun with this gently rolling etude.
Victor Hugo once said, "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words" In etude No. 7 we can use your tone color throughout the dynamic range inherent to the compound meter bounce to flirt with the phrase. This is one reason I prefer a red bell to a yellow one for as the yellow is known for it's consistency of tone I can use the contrasting variety of tone colors available in the red bell as a wonderful phrase tool. Over engineered technique can be paralyzing to sound and phrase momentum. Athleticism can be a fickle ally that is an assault to the listener at best. Flirt with the phrasing and you find an seductive cantabile that can be very engaging to all who hear it.
Always keep a VOCAL TONE when buzzing the rim
Some people buzz the mouthpiece, but I prefer buzzing the rim as a general rule. With the rim I can hear when my buzz is producing a bad tone and address it immediately. When we strive for an easy vocal tone on the rim, the sound on the trombone is transformed to a golden vocal tone quality. In this video we discuss buzzing the rim as a part of our Bordogni practice to reconnect with an easy and above all efficient tone production. When we are efficient with our buzz and our breath (strive for a clear sound - no hiss from forcing the air, and no grain from pursing the lips), we unlock a golden tone quality that is both beautiful and resonant. The best part is, this gentle manner of golden tone production is far easier than the physical tension or fast air we may habitually use without being aware of it. Strive for vocal tone quality on the rim, my friends. Even a little work on the rim will garner fantastic results.
Float your tone on an Ocean of Air
In Bordogni Etude No. 5, we see a variety of styles from each phrase. Some are broad while others are much more playfully giocoso in contrast. It is important that we remember that no matter how playful our cantabile is in this etude, that we never segment the breath support or the buzz unless we wish to play deliberately staccatto. These staccatto instances are rare so it is safe to say in general the most we will do is to slightly bounce with the air at the moment of articulation. Breath deep for great support, my friends. Always float your tone on an EASY OCEAN OF AIR.
No one is going to fix your problems for you...
As we practice more and more hours, it is not uncommon to adopt a certain level of complacency with our deficiencies. A bad slur, a fuzz in the sound, unclear articulation, a narrow dynamic range - the problems can be myriad. It is further humbling that knowing the answer isn't enough and we must do our diligent practice with disciplined focus to the solution for many hours before most issues are tangibly overcome. In the face of necessary improvement, we must remember that no one is going to do the work for us. Break a problem down to its smallest parts and work out perfection relentlessly. Get excited that reliable progress is yours if you consciously reach out and TAKE IT, MOMENT BY MOMENT.
Air must flow easy with the tongue
As we strive for clear articulation it is important to ensure that the tongue and the air are working with each other and not against each other. Firm attacks are often a necessity but I invite you to be aware of when the air is acutely backed up behind the tongue at the moment of release. If you feel like articulation is "work" then it is highly likely you are a victim of this issue. Keep the tongue facile with gentle quick movements that are with the air and not against it.
Your breath is the architect of melodic leaps
In this etude we have a short discussion of how to "catch" wide melodic leaps with extra breath support. In addition to world class slide technique, it is important that our breath support is abundant at the arrival of wide melodic leaps. Simply put, the air slightly beats the slide. On these wide melodic leaps, the buzz must also be not squeezed by an overzealous embouchure. As long as ample warm air is at the front of these wide melodic leaps, we can dispense with much of the physicality we may unnecessarily use to squeeze the embouchure. Keep the articulation resonant, my friends!
Sing & Sustain with a world class breath & buzz
Let's remember that the most important part of Bordogni Etudes is to work on our phrase skill with a gorgeous cantabile. To effectively accomplish this singing style, we must sing and sustain with a world class breath and a buzz. Throughout this and other etudes it will be imperative that whenever you have an issue with response or legato technique that you address the matter first by affirming that you have abundant support with a deep breath and a vocal buzz by gently buzzing the phrase more than once on the mouthpiece or rim. Strive for beauty in all aspects of your phrase work: the tone, the breath, the buzz, the posture, the slide technique, etc.