Posture – more than just sitting up straight!
Posture is much more than just sitting up straight. The trombone is a little different to other brass instruments as the instrument keeps changing shape. This means it is important to think about how you hold the instrument as well how you maintain the balance of the trombone without affecting your posture.
The important thing to remember about gaining good posture is that you allow your body to move to the correct place. When you allow your body to align itself correctly you can achieve a greater sense of balance. This will of course vary from person to person and the way it will look and feel will not be 100% consistent for each individual.
Top 10 Posture Tips for Trombonists
- Allow your muscles to relax. This important point will let your body (bones/skeletal system) do the job that it is supposed to and support your body. Minimal muscular interference will create better resonance and less resistance when you play.
- Make sure you have a good hold on the instrument with your left hand so that no additional stress or strain is placed on the side that supports the weight of the trombone.
- Allow your body to balance itself (whether you are standing or sitting down) and always put the instrument to you. (Try to avoid moving to fit the trombone).
- Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
- Make sure that both feet are flat on the floor.
- When you achieve good posture and balance, you will notice that your face looks out toward the horizon. Avoid allowing your head to drop down or lift up.
- Ensure that your elbows are not pressed into your sides and that there is adequate room for the rib cage to move as you breathe in and out.
- Keep your slide hand and wrist flexible and relaxed. This will reduce tension and allow for better slide control.
- Keep the slide so that it is parallel, or as close as is possible, with the floor.
- As you are playing watch out for when you are getting tired. Keep a check of your posture and notice what happens as you begin to tire. You can then correct the problems that are occurring before they become a real issue to your playing.
Good posture means that you can breathe properly, you minimise the risk of getting a repetitive strain injury and lessen the risk of pain or discomfort whilst you are playing. (Posture has been discussed in What Brass Players Want before – to find these posts just click here.)