Mastering the Trombone: A Review

By John Seidel • March 01, 1998 • 2 min read

Mastering the Trombone by Edward Kleinhammer and Douglas Yeo, published by EMKO Publications, Hayward, Wisconsin. Second printing, 2000. 76 pp.

I have always regarded Ed Kleinhammer's book, The Art of Trombone Playing , as an indispensable text for the aspiring trombonist. I credit many of the thoughts and exercises that may be gleaned from this excellent guide with contributing in no small way to my own development as a performer and teacher. My first reaction, upon learning of a new textbook by Kleinhammer (with the editorial assistance of Doug Yeo), was that, as complete as the former text was, this must be a reworking of many of the same ideas and principles in some sort of new format with the intent of introducing a new generation of trombonists to the thinking of this incredible man. I was pleasantly surprised and am happy to report that I was both right and wrong.

Mastering the Trombone does in fact contain some of the same concepts, thoughts and principles as the older volume, but there are also some ideas that, while they are not new to students of Mr. Kleinhammer, have not appeared in print before. Among these are chapters on mouthpiece buzzing, slide accuracy and a practice technique which has come to be associated with Kleinhammer, the use of the two-speed tape recorder. Also, the chapters that do duplicate similar chapters in the first book contain material that is presented in a fresh perspective as well as some valuable practice techniques that did not make their way into The Art of Trombone Playing . One of my particular favorites is the three-part long tone in the chapter on breath control!

While most of the text in this volume is attributable to Kleinhammer with assistance from Douglas Yeo, Mr. Yeo's own contribution (in appendix two) on the preparation and execution of symphony auditions is one of the most complete and well thought out articles I have seen on the subject.

This book is an excellent complement to The Art of Trombone Playing and, although the price is a little hefty ($29.85 for seventy-six pages of soft bound text, including several pages of advertising!), it should prove to be an invaluable addition to the libraries of students of the trombone of all ages and levels of development. I recommend it highly.