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André Lafosse’s “Trombonists Vade Mecum” is an invaluable resource for trombone players. It covers a wide spectrum of essential elements in trombone playing, offering a comprehensive approach that encompasses technical exercises, musical interpretation, and artistic guidance. The book’s progressive organization caters to players of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced musicians. Notably, André Lafosse’s standing as a respected trombonist and pedagogue lends historical significance to the book, reflecting his profound contributions to the field. “Trombonists Vade Mecum” includes a selection of challenging etudes and repertoire pieces, fostering technical and musical growth. Furthermore, the structured practice routine outlined in the book helps players develop consistent and effective practice habits. The versatility of the exercises makes the book suitable for various musical styles, enhancing the trombonist’s adaptability. Overall, this resource provides a wealth of knowledge, fostering both technical prowess and a deeper understanding of the trombone’s historical and cultural context, making it an essential supplement for trombone players on their musical journey.
From the Foreword:
This Vade Mecum is intended principally for students preparing for advanced examinations, particularly the January Examination of the Paris Conservatoire. It will also be a valuable guide to those who, having completed their studies, wish to keep up their technique. …
Part One lays emphasis on various technical points which are often neglected: minor common chords, diminished sevenths, melodie minor scales, high and low scales throughout the range of the instrument, and chromatic scales progressing in thirds.
Part Two presents a scale of an octave, each degree of which is the starting point for a further scale. Each scale is followed by its chords: common, major, minor, aug – mented or diminished.
The seven degrees and the octave are dealt with first in ascending, then in descending order.
This scale, which is reproduced in all the major and minor keys, makes up a total of 30 exercises. It is, therefore, simple to use it for daily study by practising each day of every month the scale whose number corresponds to that day.
Part Three groups together 25 difficult studies, covering the principal technical difficulties inherent in the instrument. Here again, practice will be easy to organize, by making a judicious selection of one or two studies in keeping with the performer’s technical shortcomings, or according to the examination for which he is pre-paring, or again, in relation to the piece which he is to perform.
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