Lawrence Borden is Principal Trombonist of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Professor of Trombone at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, and co-designer of "Music and Cognition," a new course designed to create an interdisciplinary view of the perception of music as seen from the joint viewpoints of psychology and music performance. Borden is an active trombone soloist, clinician, and composer
What I find disturbing is how rarely students ask questions of a philosophical nature. After all, this is a consuming profession and the quality of their future growth will not only depend on the number of hours spent in the practice room, but also upon the reasons why they practice. It is not often that I hear "why?" questions and it distresses me.
When practicing the first solo, you should be careful to bring out the humor that is in the work. This is hard to do if you try to play too loud, but a light touch with a rapid decay on each note will give this passage the lithe, carefree quality that is desired. The rhythm here is very important. Take care not to 'crush' the last eighth of each triplet into the first eighth the succeeding triplet. If you do, the rhythm will acquire a limp that ultimately robs the passage of an even, forward drive.