ETUDES: Trombone Etude with Ben Gerstein’s Comments and Performance

Sideways Tenor Clef

This is the first post for the newly added Etudes category. In this category, as in the others, I’ll be sharing bits of my learning process and learning materials for your consumption. I’ll be posting short etudes or excerpts and when possible comments made by musicians in regards and recordings of the presented material.

The tenor trombone will kick things off. As it happens, I’m lucky to know several outstanding trombonists.

RHYTHM BLOG: Constant Quarter

Rhythm Blog

Something I’ve been doing to work on my time and odd meter stuff in general is an activity I’ve coined Constant Quarter. I first thought of this a year or two ago while shedding a difficult composition by pianist/composer Matt Mitchell which contained a section in 13/16 and again recently rehearsing a tune by guitarist/composer Nick Demopoulos that has a 4/4 + 7/16 groove.

RHYTHM BLOG: Odd Meter Reading Practice (Play-Along mp3’s and Charts)

Rhythm Blog

Here are sequenced mp3’s and charts for a short piece I wrote for Bb trumpet, trombone, electric bass, and drums called September Counterpoint (2010). There are frequent meter changes and two tempo changes. It’s a simple twelve-tone piece that was recorded on Monthly Meeting September 2010. Enjoy reading and playing along.

RHYTHM BLOG: Two Polyrhythms or Rhythmic Ratios in 3/4

Rhythm Blog

So, this is the first Rhythm Blog post. Please visit the About page for an explanation of this blog….

As with all posts that will appear on this blog, this post is meant as a kernel to spur your own ideas. If you begin by mastering this small idea, you’ll probably find yourself with many more ideas and concepts. While I work on this idea mainly behind a drumset or as a rhythmic compositional device, this can be applied to any instrument or situation…


This post will compare repeating quarter note triplets and repeating dotted eighth notes in 3/4 time and the various related situations that arise. These two polyrhythms, or rhythmic ratios as I like to call them, occur between the quarter note and the respective repeating rhythmic values. Triplet quarters over quarters is a common example of 3 over 2 and dotted eighths over quarters of 4 over 3. For more on rhythmic ratios check out the polyrhythms/rhythmic ratios page.

september 2010.

SEPT 2010

september ’10

todd horton – trumpet
tom spiker – electric bass
larry toft – trombone
doug hirlinger – drumset

june 2010.

june ’10

chris aschman – trumpet
lucas brown – organ
bart miltenberger – trumpet
brent white – trombone
doug hirlinger – drumset

april 2010.

april ’10

ben gerstein – trombone
matt mitchell – rhodes
doug hirlinger – drumset

march 2010.

march ’10

neil podgurski – spinet piano
nimrod speaks – double bass
doug hirlinger – drumset

february 2010.

february ’10

tim motzer – electric guitar
bryan rogers – tenor saxophone
dan scofield – alto saxophone
doug hirlinger – drumset