James Rae
Trombone Debut: 12 Easy Pieces for Beginners
Trombone and piano and/or recorded accompaniment

Vienna, , Austria
Publisher: Universal Edition A.G.
Date of Publication: 2022
Language: English, German, French

Score with accompanying compact disc accompaniment tracks, piano scores, and coloring pages available for download.

Primary Genre: Solo Tenor Trombone - with media
Secondary Genre: Solo Tenor Trombone - with piano

The subtitle says it all, “12 easy pieces for beginners, for individual, group, or whole-class learning.” It is further stated, “Although very elementary, the pieces are composed in a wide variety of styles in order to provide a well-balanced musical diet for the young performer.”

Included is a compact disc (CD) that contains recorded tracks of the comprehensive performance and separate accompaniment for pieces 1-4; pieces 5-12 have a second easier part, which is recorded on both the complete performance and accompaniment tracks. Pieces 9-12 can be used with books for other instruments in the Debut series. The synthesized accompaniments are fun to listen to and easy to follow. It should be noted that the CD loads in with label “Steven Keogh – Trumpet – Trumpet Debut” which is confusing. Tracks are correctly labeled and contain trombone sounds. Free downloads of piano scores are available from Universal Edition’s website.

Examples of engaging titles with corresponding tempo indications are: Bratwurst Waltz – Steady Bavarian Waltz Tempo; Cucumber Dance – Cool swing tempo (with eighth = swing triplet); Dance of the Seven Dachshunds – At a brisk ‘walkies’ pace! These are listed in English, German, and French, which provide an opportunity to discuss language.

Rhythms are primarily quarter and half notes, and no more complex than eighth and dotted quarter eighth notes. All are in bass clef and range is suitable, A-b-flat. The keys are friendly; C, F, and B-flat with corresponding minors and appropriate accidentals. Numerous articulations help to define specific styles and dynamics are tastefully placed. The last solo has two tempo changes; the first is easy to follow; however, following a G.P. there is no indication of when to enter. These are ideal in length, lasting no more than 2:40; the shortest about one minute.

Perhaps the most engaging feature are the black and white illustrations which correspond to the music and are available for download to be colored. Of course, you can color in the book! If you are looking for beginner level solos (end of year one), something different than what is included in the traditional beginner band method books, this collection is for you.

Reviewer: David Stern
Review Published June 26, 2023