Review


Niels-Ole Bo Johansen
Daily drills, Ideas & Warming up Concepts:
Trombone

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2022
URL: http://www.cherryclassics.com

Method book. 137 pages.

Genre: STUDY MATERIALS

Niels-Ole Bo Johansen’s Daily drills, Ideas & Warming up Concepts is a valuable resource, distilling a career of expertise for professional and aspiring trombonists alike. Donated for review by Cherry Classics, the treatise spans an encyclopedic gamut of personalized etudes inspired by iconic brass pedagogues, coupled with practical advice spanning all manner of warm-ups, technical passagework, extended upper and lower range, and various extended techniques. This semi-autobiographical compilation of lived practice and mentorship surveys a plethora of effective exercises fostering growth and maintaining skills. Of particular note is the dissemination of Anton Hansen’s legacy as an early 20th Century Scandinavian trombone pedagogue through various etude materials linked to his Tromboneskole and Scalesystem (Method for Trombone).

These studies and exercises are of value to tenor trombonists with F attachment, bass trombonists, and our low brass valved colleagues as it spans the upper and extreme lower registers (EE-b-flat²), with encouragement to continue into the further extremities. The variety of materials provide multiple approaches to develop technique, flexibility, and range. Johansen’s introduction to singing and playing (pp.98-99) is a welcome addition to the literature for those exploring multiphonics, complementing works such as Bill Watrous and Alan Raph’s Trombonisms, and Deb Scott’s doctoral treatise Supplemental Studies for Mastering Extended Techniques in Three Late Twentieth Century Works for Solo Trombone: Luciano Berio’s Sequenza V, Folke Rabe’s Basta and Mark Phillips’ T.Rex. Advocating the need for tenor trombonists to be fully secure in their lower register, he encourages the practicing of some low range etudes with the F attachment extended to E, to develop capacity in the lower register and gain experience playing on this temporary set of slide positions on the E side of the horn (pp.60, 137). Beyond the etudes and exercises, readers will appreciate Johansen’s wisdom and collection of quotes by various musicians. His affirmations that tongue articulation consonants are influenced by one’s spoken language (p.8) is a basic concept that is not reinforced enough in today’s increasingly interconnected and global linguistic community. The PDF edition reviewed here is of good print quality, with minor variations of page layout proportions for the music notation. The only errata of note is the use of V6 & V7 instead of V5 & V6 in a high register exercise using the F side of the horn on pp.90-91, to be consistent with his valve slide numbering of p.58.

Daily drills, Ideas & Warming up Concepts is an excellent collection of pedagogical materials, sharing Niels-Ole Bo Johansen's breadth of expertise and advocating the legacy of many brass pedagogue’s, including the dissemination of Anton Hansen to a wider English-language readership. This will be of value to a broad range of trombonists and low brass musicians.

Reviewer: Peter Fielding
Review Published October 2, 2022