No, I’m not referring to one of Rhymin’ Simon’s great early hits. I’m referring to one of the most easily recognizable instrumental effects available to the orchestrator: the trombone glissando. Hand a youngster his first trombone and invariably it’s the first sound that gets made. It was for me. It’s fun. It’s also uniquely useful in various musical situations, owing to the range of pitch, volume, instrumental color, and dramatic character that can be uniquely coaxed from it. Unfortunately, like the harp, it has some ironclad limitations which you must know, or risk the inevitable embarrassment of “Hey, this lick is unplayable!”
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