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Doodle Studies and Etudes

for slide trombone


with Demonstration Recording

(now digital download files only - no CD)


by Bob McChesney

edited by Richard Fote


Doodle Studies and Etudes by trombonist Bob McChesney was first published in 1992. For more than a thousand students and professional players it has proven to be an extremely valuable tool in improving fast legato skills on the trombone. Covering all aspects of the doodle tongue technique, this book was written for students, teachers and professionals alike. This complete method explains the fast legato technique in a step-by-step fashion, from how to correctly form the syllables to complex patterns incorporating natural downward slurs.


  • A complete course of study in doodle tonguing

  • 140 pages of step-by-step instruction

  • 141 Exercises and Ten Etudes

  • Included - a 52 minute digital recording (no CD) with demonstrations by the author

  • and play-along tracks to practice with (replaces both cassettes)


A common belief is that fast, clean legato playing is difficult to achieve on trombone mainly because it is difficult to move the slide fast enough. Actually, the issue of fast legato playing on trombone is much more one of articulation than slide movement. Because there are no valves or keys, the trombonist must articulate differently than other wind players (i.e. tongue every single note, or use a combination of tonguing and slurring to avoid smearing). With the doodle tongue technique, articulations can be executed very fast, smooth (with each note connected and long), and very evenly with each note matching in envelope, often making minor slide innacuracies unnoticeable. This is because as speed increases, both timing and similarity of note envelopes (or lack of similarity) is easily perceived by the listener. At the same time, as speed increases, intonation becomes much more difficult to perceive. While intonation in general is very important, from the audience's perspective, clarity in faster passages comes more from the quality and evenness of articulation - an area in which all trombonists should strive to improve.



"Your book stands out from what's generally being published now as a highly structured, intelligent, most importantly, comprehensive tome on it's subject - in the tradition of Rochut, Blazevich and Arbans. . . . it will probably be an important text for a long time."
- Jim Pugh

"Precisely the exercises I would have a student do."
- Carl Fontana

". . . I highly recommend it to all serious students of the trombone."
- Bill Watrous

"Bob McChesney has successfully produced studies to make the jazz lover's dreams come true. For a classical player like myself, this source is terrific ..."
- Joseph Alessi

Principal Trombonist, N.Y. Philharmonic

"I consider your book the definitive book on doodle tonguing for (at least) three reasons: (1) you have the syllables figured out 'cold' (2) the exercises are excellent, and (3) the etudes (heads) in the back are also excellent! I like your demo tape and the etude tape too!"
- Buddy Baker

Soloist, Jazz Educator

". . . provides insights to doodle tonguing not currently found in any other treatise."
- Paul Hunt
ITA President

"It works. After a week I'm playing things I never thought I would be able to . . . a revolution for trombone players all over the world."
- Erling Wicklund
Oslo, Norway

"McChesney has codified the fast articulated style of 20th century jazz trombonists such as Carl Fontana and Bill Watrous into a workable and concise etude book with 'oodles of doodles' to practice on the trombone."
- John Marcellus
Eastman School


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