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The Trombone ForumHorns, Gear, and EquipmentAccessories(Moderator: Greg Waits) Devices to Increase finger strength/speed for valved instruments
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Location: NYC
Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 5455
"A professional freelance NYC lower brass player."

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« Reply #20 on: Feb 13, 2018, 08:16AM »

Is there a device to increase finger strength/speed for valved instruments?


Valved instruments.

And diligent practice.

One of the best practices?

In good time...as fast as possible nearly perfectly no matter how slow that may be:

1-In a good, easy register (I recommend 4th partial for starters), play repeated, slurred 8th notes in 4/4 from open to all of the other various possible fingerings in that partial.(Include 3rd valve in this...it is very useful in many passages as a substitute for 1+2.)

2-Using the 2nd valve as starting point, play repeated, slurred 8th notes to all of the other various possible fingerings including open.

3-Ditto using the 2nd valve as starting point, then the 3rd valve, then 1+2, then 2+3, then 1+3,then 1,2+3. Slow down when the going gets difficult. If your hand gets too tired to do this, stop and rest for a few minutes. If after one of those rests, if you still feel a lack of strength...or if you feel some kind of cramping...you're through with that exercise for that day. take a good rest and then go on with your normal practicing.

I regularly lay off the valved lower brass instruments I play...tuba, valve trombone,euphonium...for months on end. Longer, even. When I need to get them together, I use this approach.

Rinse and repeat. Eventually? Add different articulations as well. Different meters and starting subdivisions as well.

Works for me...


P.S. To shorten the exercise, choose a key of some kind and only do those exercises to and from notes in that key.

P.P.S. It also works on 4 valved instruments. Same approach. Probably on 5 and 6 valved horns (tubas, mostly) as well. I dunno because I don't have any. I imagine it might get quite...complicated...practicing all of the permutations and combinations of 6 valves.  :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0 :-0

But it surely would get them together.  Clever Clever Clever Idea!

Bet on it.

Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 16, 2018, 10:19AM »

Keep in mind that the ring and middle finger share a common tendon at its' origin up in the forearm. The index finger has its own. Fluid trills on any instrument utilizing only 3rd and 4th fingers are especially challenging physiologically.
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