Every now and then, I will try to post learnings from my time spent as a trombonist, which is what I call "Trombone Jedi Training". Some may be relevant to the trombone, some not so much.
1. Don't work so hard! And furthermore, don't look like you're working so hard!
2. When you're unsure, it's better to act like you're confident. That way, if you really have made a mistake, no one will notice. And if you haven't made a mistake, no one will notice that you were unsure.
3. If you are turning a page, always use the hand closest to the stand. This means that if you're sitting on the left side of the stand, use your right hand. If you are sitting on the right side of the stand, use your left hand. (Note: this presupposes that you have equal page-turning dexterity in both hands. If you don't, try to sit on the side that will make you use your dominant hand, or get your stand partner to be the page-turner.) If you are just turning one page, as though opening a one-page sheet into two, you must grab the lower right corner and open in one motion; if you are flipping a page, grab the lower corner closest to you, and turn it in one fluid motion. It helps if beforehand you have turned down a corner to make for easy grasping!
4. Don't move around a lot. (Note: this is actual Trombone Jedi Training from Joe himself, originally said during a trombone choir rehearsal, referencing the fact that parents who have daughters in middle school should not move from city to city because it's tough on young girls, apparently. I borrow the general concept -- the more motion that you have, the less solid your playing will be.)
5. Take the same breath to play pianissimo as you would to play fortissimo. Breathe the same way all the time. Consistency is key. You will play better at pianissimo with air support behind it, and the notes will speak much easier.
Stay tuned for more random bits of Trombone Jedi Training, and feel free to share your own!