David Vining on Trombone Slide Technique

Sorry about the lack of updates here lately.  As sometimes happens, I’ve been caught under an avalanche of grading, rehearsing, performances, and other busy work so that blogging has taken a back seat.  For a quick post, here’s a nice video discussion by David Vining on trombone slide technique.

I really appreciate Vining’s approach, which strives to understand the physical actions we use to play trombone.  He’s got a couple of excellent books that I recommend.  The Breathing Book is good for all brass players (and woodwinds and singers too, I imagine).  He also has a text called What Every Trombonist Needs To Know About the Body that I’ve reviewed here.  Both books are available from Mountain Peak Music, for the curious.

Paul T.

Mr. Vining has a lot of wonderful (and accurate) information on breathing, which I was very happy to see on his blog. Thank you for posting this, Dave.

He mentions something about the “S-C joint” at the very start of the video. What is he talking about, and why is it important?


Hi, Paul.

The SC joint is the sternoclavicular joint, located where the collarbone and sternum meet. Vining discusses in his book, What Every Trombonist Needs To Know About the Body. He writes, “Trombonists who include movement at the SC joint in their body map have more slide movement choices available to them than those who not include movement at the SC joint in their body map.” His point is that becoming aware of all the ways in which your arm is free to move will free up your slide technique.



Yes, I think that that is Vining’s point in discussing the SC joint.

There is currently some discussion about this on a topic started by Vining on The Trombone Forum. As often happens online, the discussion there lately has gotten a little off topic, but seems to be moving back towards a more polite exchange of ideas. Some interesting points by Vining and others that have contrary opinions, but most of the disagreement seems to be either based on misunderstandings or playing devil’s advocate rather than fundamental differences.

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