A lot of musicians wanted a lower brass instrument with strength and depth. And for those reasons, Europeans modified the design of trumpets and invented the trombone. The early name of the instrument was called trompette-sacqueboute, which means “push-pull trumpet.” The introduction of the instrument was in the 1400s and mainly used in royal ceremonies and church services. As Beethoven started with his symphonies in the early 1800s, the instrument took off. Since the introduction of the trombone in jazz, up until today, the role of the trombone plays a crucial role in the genre. The instruments are still widely used in jazz and commonly called the jazz trombone. So, here are some of its uses and roles.
The History Of Trombone In Jazz
The first use of this instrument in the genre of jazz was with the Dixieland Jazz. The trombone was used as a supporting role within the Dixie Group. Soon, the role becomes a spotlight as famous players like Jack Teagarden and J.J. Johnson had begun experimenting with the instrument. They said that this instrument could fill the role along with other instruments used in jazz, such as saxophone or trumpet. The instrument has since grown and featured in big band groups with 3 to 5 trombones on an arrangement. As of today, as said earlier, it still grows popular within the genre, and different techniques are being brought up and attempted.
Types Of Jazz Trombone
There are many styles of this instrument that can be used in the genre of jazz. Well, to be exact, there is no single type of instrument that is called the jazz trombone. More broadly, there are four main types of instrument, and it includes the following:
- Alto Trombone: It is smaller than standard tenor trombones. The instrument normally played with higher parts in the classical period and orchestral music. Although this instrument is not typically used in jazz.
- Tenor Trombone (F-Attachment): This type of instrument was prevalent in most orchestral players due to its substantial sound output and large bore. This type of instrument was mainly used by players in the lower parts of jazz groups.
- Tenor Trombone (without an F-attachment): The most standard and used by most famous jazz soloists. There are different options that players can use in this instrument. Though, to most people, this type is more referred to as the “Jazz Trombone.”
- Bass Trombone: It is a large trombone with a bigger mouthpiece and bell. The instruments commonly have 1 or 2 valve slides. In this instrument, having double slides can allow players to play notes that are located at the extreme low end of the range. Although, this type of wind instrument is not commonly seen in jazz groups but gaining popularity in big bands.
Normally and traditionally, the trombone used in jazz was a small or medium tenor trombone without any attachment. It will provide the brightest sound that is more comfortable to play for a long time. Also, the extreme range of the trombone tends to hit while playing music. Trombone players can find different techniques in jazz music or jazz-inspired pieces. It may include scooping, falling, growling, multiphonics, flutter tongue, and use of mutes.
Moreover, when doing the techniques, most musicians use certain scales for applying techniques. Also, it is for practicing scales that are used in the solo. It may include Major Pentatonic, Minor Pentatonic, Dominant or Mixolydian, Blues, and Dorean.
Trombone does play a significant role in the genre of jazz. Still, it may take time to master the instrument accurately. Nonetheless, the dedication and hard work of current practitioners makes it a vital contribution to the evolution of jazz.