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The Trombone in My Life by Khodor Abou Dayya

Khodor Abou DayaA trombone is full of surprises. Although long, it is light, elegant, and sparkling. Yet, to most it would resemble a beast. However, when tamed, this beast can bring out the most beautiful smooth sound. The latter of the trombone features, in addition to the need to relieve myself of stress at school and later college is what pulled me into choosing it. And what a fine choice it was. Not only it did relieve me from stress but created a good opportunity to invest my free time properly.

It may seem strange why only few people favor the trombone despite the features mentioned above. Well, the fact is the trombone needs a lot of commitment. A person needs daily practice and a well set progress scale. When I first started, I just couldn’t get a proper sound. What really helped was luckily becoming a member of the Bass & Brass band, which obliged me to train with the guys for four consecutive hours each Sunday. In addition, I studied for some period at the Lebanese High National Conservatory of Music, which helped me grasp the basics.

The major difficulties I encountered where sensing the rhythm, and playing the notes skillfully. However, when I started really listening to myself and hearing the notes in my head before playing them, the difficulties eventually faded away. Moreover, using a tuner, while practicing, helped me maintain a proper tune throughout the melody. I also had some minor difficulties in getting used to the slide positions and weird jazz signs on the music sheet.

The most important factor to achieve improvement in playing the trombone, or any instrument that it is, is to never back down but continue on playing. Even if the neighbors hate me or try to kick me out of the building, I’d persist on playing the same song till I get it right. A catalyst for real improvement is to be part of a band that would provide unbiased ears, and a team to have fun with, while doing the things we like the most: playing soulful jazz music.