Rehearsal Use? Performance Use? Practice Use? PDF Print E-mail

Trombonists sometimes wonder, “do I want to show up at an orchestra rehearsal, a private lesson or at a concert with a stand attached to my trombone?” It is a good question. When is the trombonist most prone to the stresses of the imbalances and heaviness of the instrument?

Take a typical orchestra rehearsal. Look at the number of rests counted before one even gets to play. How often is the trombone section sitting, waiting for their entrance, or waiting for some other section of the band or orchestra to be rehearsed? When the trombone is resting on the floor or gig stand, there is obviously no strain on the player. And the amount of sustained playing does not amount to more than five or six minutes at a time before the instrument is down and we are, again, counting rests. Clearly, this is not the source of weight or imbalance stress on the player.

What about a private lesson? The lesson could go on for an hour or more. Certainly, there is more sustained playing during a lesson than in a rehearsal. So, it could be argued that there is sufficient time for the wrist to become very tense and the left shoulder and back to feel the stress of weight and imbalance; however, the time spent receiving verbal instructions, listening to the instructor play or listening to recordings is rest time for the wrist, shoulder and back.

Practicing! Trombonists tend to play longer, without break while practicing their excerpts, solo literature, etudes, scales, etc. Focusing on the desired musical effect sometimes obscures the need to rest the left hand/wrist/shoulder and back. More often than not, playing continues beyond the point of needful relaxation of the left hand/wrist/shoulder and the player is only reminded of this need by the pain and tension of these areas crowding in on their activity.

THE MOST NEEDFUL APPLICATION OF A TROMBONE SPINESAVER™ IS DURING PRACTICE SESSIONS. Two to four hours of practicing, with very little rest for the left hand, builds a substantial amount of stress and pain and interferes with concentration on the musical effect.

Attach the stand before practicing, adjust it to the exact height, lateral angle and slope, and practice for hours without ever having to put the trombone down. The left hand is never stressed, the left shoulder is not conveying tension to the tone and the back is free from the twisting stress that can eventually displace vertebrae.

Use flex-straps to accommodate micro-adjustments of the slope and lateral angle of the trombone while playing. Apply custom bending to bring the saddle flush to the bell receiver tube, to divert the stand away from the body and to center the stand on the chair seat for a more flexible, stable unit.