First popularized by King Oliver (e.g. “Dippermouth Blues,” 1923), the plunger later became associated with Duke Ellington’s band thanks to its use by James “Bubber” Miley (1923-29) and then Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams (1929-40). Ellington was so impressed by Miley and Williams’s use of the plunger that he incorporated it into hundreds of compositions and arrangements.
Since the plunger is held in hand, the performer has incredibly subtle control over the instrument’s sound. Moving the plunger in combination with other techniques – like growling, flutter-tonguing, pitch-bending, half-valving, etc. – can create uncanny imitations of human speech and other vocal effects.
This volume by Erik Veldkamp pays homage to the great plunger players of the past and provides both an immersion in the rich history of this mute and an invitation to experiment, innovate and develop a personal style.
Complete with a foreword by Aaron Hodgson on how to choose a plunger, how to prepare it, and how to augment its effect, this book is a one of a kind collection of tips, tricks, and 13 unique compositions to practice plunger playing on the trombone.
Give it a try in the free samples, the click above for an immediate digital download.