on taming the elusive F5

So yesterday, I managed to squeak out my first F5 in years. I've never really had a solid F5, nor an even passably useful one, but back in about 2002 I was actually able to squeak the note out a little bit from time to time. I haven't heard anything from it since then.

How did I get it? I've been doing my range exercises faithfully, "do-re-mi-fa-sol" starting on tuning note Bb and moving up by half steps until I can't take it anymore. When I started these exercises, I managed to get up to a C before my chops gave out. Slowly, doing these every practice session, I've been making progress. Once I got to the D, the Eb came easier, and the E was almost immediately ready, and then yesterday, the F5 just popped out of nowhere.

And then, today, it's gone again. I suppose I will just have to keep trying to tame that elusive F5.

The key to taming it for me, I think, is building up stamina in the upper register. I get tired extremely quickly when playing anything above F4. I cannot make it through even half of one Bordogni etude taken up an octave. So in order to tame the F5, it seems that I need to tame the E5, the Eb5, the D5, the Db5 and the C5 first.

...so much more work than I had in mind, but you know, playing the trombone isn't easy.


  1. If playing trombone were easy...!

    Have you tried Rochut in tenor clef, as an in between to taking it up an octave?

  2. Either up an octave or in tenor clef, whichever one puts it in a feasible range.