3.9 Trombone Ergonomics

The instrument is held by the left hand and balanced by an area on the inside of the palm on the metacarpal bones. It is important for the angle between the hand and forearm to be such that the weight can be conveyed to the arm and further into the rest of the body, and that the wrist finds itself in a neutral position. The left hand also needs to stabilise the instrument’s tendency to rotate. In order to avoid overstraining the left arm and shoulder, it is important to not hold the instrument with an outstretched hand position and overstretching the outer joint of the index finger.



Illustrations 3.9.1–2. To hold the instrument is demanding for the whole hand/arm. This can be alleviated by changing the little hook so that the index finger attains a more natural position.

Balance in the instrument is crucial for the strain placed on the hand and up in the shoulder. If the instrument is heavy at the front, the strain will increase on the hand/arm/shoulder more than if it is heavier at the back. When the instrument is brought to the lips and the right hand holds the slide, try to attain a feeling of symmetry in the position of the arms.

There is a Finnish trombone stick available that helps to reduce the strain of the weight of the instrument.