While the trombone slide is often considered somewhat of an impediment compared to valves, I've recently been experimenting with an instrument that has caused me to reconsider the possibilities inherent in the slide. Maybe it's not such an impediment after all!
It's About Breathing: Playing Trombone with Asthma
Asthma and the trombone both depend on air flow: asthma constricts that flow while the trombone needs a smooth and plentiful supply. A life-long asthmatic, Murray shares some personal thoughts on breathing and playing trombone.
My 40th birthday was approaching at the speed of light, so naturally thoughts turned to aging and how it affects brass players. Along with the usual mid life activities (e.g. taking up jogging, buying a motorcycle, and watching the movie American Beauty), I decided to do a little research into this topic and see what I could find out (just kidding about the motorcycle).
Brass players can suffer wrist and arm pain, tendinitis, shoulder problems, neck strain, and chronic upper and lower back pain. In physiotherapy, our complaints are known collectively as "Repetitive Use Injuries," or RUIs. I managed to eliminate the pain that bothered me for many years using a holistic approach and a combination of activities. We need to examine all aspects of our lives, and try to make the small gradual changes that lead to success.