Articles for Professional Brass Players
Professional Trombone Performance Opportunities in the U.S.
Never has it been easier to learn to play the trombone skillfully, but being a highly skilled trombonist gives no assurance of earning a high income as a player. The supply of competent trombonists far exceeds the demand for professional trombonists, especially in metropolitan areas.
Educate or Train
Brass teachers need to educate their students to put their own personal interpretation on the music, rather than training them to be a carbon copy of the teacher. In his own teaching, Barry tries to give his students the tools and freedom to make a musical statement uniquely their own.
Six Golden Rules for Conquering Performance Anxiety
Performance anxiety affects almost everyone, from the beginner to the most seasoned professional. It is truly remarkable what paranoid ingenuity most of us generate during performance in order to defeat ourselves.
Be Nice to Your Accountant
There seems to be a serious misconception that accountants can survive on no sleep for four months, work eight days a week, 30 hours a day, and not make mistakes – all for a small and reasonable fee. Get your taxes in early and make your accountant's life a lot easier!
Have you ever attended a meeting of your AFM Local and been confused by the acronyms? I certainly have, which is why I made this quick reference. Feel free to print it and take it to your next union meeting, and you too will soon be slinging acronyms with aplomb!
I prepared for a recent round of symphony orchestra negotiations by watching all five seasons of the television show Babylon 5 and writing down several key concepts. Those ideas were then brought into the negotiating process, with excellent results. I believe that Babylon 5 is a helpful resource for any musician going into a contract negotiation.
A huge collection of orchestral excerpts is now available on CD. It's an amazing resource for trombone students, professionals and teachers, or for any low brass player that plays in an orchestra.
Musician, writer, and speaker Bob Popyk has long been familiar to union musicians as a monthly columnist for the American Federation of Musician's newsletter, the International Musician. His book offers a wealth of information for anyone wanting to earn a decent living playing music.
Practicing the trombone part to Berg's 20th century masterpiece "Wozzeck" is a huge, ongoing maintenance job, just like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Here are four sample licks from a virtuoso trombone part, with advice on how to prepare them.
Here's how to clean out that "slide-cheese" if you are away from home and don't have your cleaning tool with you. Bonus tip: how to clean the mouthpiece with a piece of paper towel.
A book by Robin Williams, The Non-Designers Design Book, Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice, discusses four basic principles of good graphic design: Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, and Contrast. These principles can be used to design a great program, whether it be for a solo recital, orchestra/band concert, or CD recording.