New FB Group for alto learners

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Mikebmiller
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:13 am
Location: Spartanburg, SC

New FB Group for alto learners

Post by Mikebmiller » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:15 pm

I have created new FB group called the Alto Trombone Support Group. This group is intended for discussion of any topic related to the alto bone, but with an emphasis on new players like me who are trying to figure this little instrument out.

Feel free to join and share your knowledge.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2168654 ... tion=group
MrHCinDE
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:00 am

Re: New FB Group for alto learners

Post by MrHCinDE » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:14 am

Great idea! I'm a recent returner to alto trombone having dabbled about 20 years ago.

Unfortunately I'm not on facebook so can't join but here's something which is helping me get back up to speed, apologies if it appears elsewhere on the forum already.

When in doubt, a moderately convenient way to read alto clef on the alto trombone is to play it like tenor clef on the tenor trombone, just moved one note down. The key signature also needs to be adjusted, moving to a key with one more sharp (or one less flat as appropriate).

For example: In the key of Bb Major with two flats, an F on the bottom line of the alto staff can be played in the position you would need for the note directly below on tenor trombone in tenor clef, namely 6th position which would be correct for a C below the tenor clef on a tenor trombone. In the same key signature, an A♮ on the 2nd line of the alto clef can be played as if it were an E♮ on tenor trombone, i.e. 2nd position. Note: E♮, not Eb, since the key signature has been adjsuted to have only one flat (i.e. F major) as mentioned above.

What's nice about this method is, there's only minimal adjustment of the key signature and thinking one note down is pretty straightforward. Another useful thing is, the relative positions of partials should line up quite well compared with what you're used to on tenor. For example, an alto clef C above the staff would be read as a tenor clef G, that means a short 2nd position. Sure, the alto will likely need some fine-tuning but at least you get some benefit from the experience of playing tenor!

If it all sounds overerly complicated, just try it! Take a piece in alto clef you can play on tenor trombone, play it through a couple of times. Then pick up the alto and work through using the logic: think tenor clef, one note down, one more sharp in the key.

It doesn't replace becoming fully fluent in alto trombone in alto clef but is helping me get started and be able to play in an ensemble very quickly. Presumably, this will be like learning a new language, at the start you tend to think in your native language and figure out how to say it in another langauge. At some point, you begin to think directly in the new language and don't have to concentrate on the one-to-one translation, freeing you up to think about other more creative things.

Hope it's of help to someone.
Mikebmiller
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:13 am
Location: Spartanburg, SC

Re: New FB Group for alto learners

Post by Mikebmiller » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:01 pm

We are up to 84 members in our FB group already. Come join the fun. It's a party for short trombone players.
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