Practice Aids


Blog Posts – Occasionally, I post articles about practice tips and miscellaneous tools.

Online Metronome – A free, online metronome. – Understanding music theory is vital for anybody looking to excel at their instrument. This site offers valuable lessons, exercises, and tools that all musicians should take advantage of.

Practice Sightreading – Often overlooked, sightreading plays an important part in the development of all musicians. This resource can generate rhythmic and melodic exercises of various difficulties to keep you on your toes!

Tuning Drones – These drones are wonderful for intonation practice. Try playing underneath scales, buzzing, or while playing simple melodies. You could also try cello drones.


Trombone Stands –  These stands have been unbelievably helpful to myself and many of my students. Simply having your instrument ready to go at all times is so helpful in squeezing in practice sessions that might not happen otherwise! I like them so much, I ended up writing an entire blog post comparing the different ones I’ve used.

Tuner/Metronome Combo – Having both of these devices is necessary for a musician, and a single device that handles both is very convenient. There are also a lot of good tuner and metronome apps for smartphones but, because of the temptation for distraction, battery life, and some functionality, I often recommend a dedicated device like the Korg TM-60 tuner. A relatively cheap device will do fine for most situations, just make sure it isn’t a guitar/bass tuner unless it also specifies that it’s a “chromatic” tuner. A contact/clip-on microphone (or even a clip-on tuner) is not necessary, but can be handy if you’re always practicing in a noisy environment (e.g. music school with thin walls, etc.).

Maintenance – Consistent care for your instrument is an important part of being a musician. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve commented on a mistake made by a student only to find it was a direct result of a sticky slide, etc. A well lubricated handslide, tuning slide and, if applicable, valve, are not luxuries… they are necessities! I have a post about slide maintenance that details the products I use.



Tonal Energy – This app is very impressive but, to be honest, it borders on having too many features. If you’re an advanced musician who is really nitpicky about using just intonation, could use audio/video recording with pitch analysis along the way, etc., than this is the app for you.

Tunable – This app is handy for all musicians with an iOS device (and now Mac OS 11 too). The tuner and metronome are great, as you would expect from any app like this, but what I really love is the simple interface. It was my go-to before I discovered Tonal Energy, but I now use it on my Mac whenever teaching remotely.

Bandmate Chromatic Tuner – This is a fantastic, simple tuner app that I recommend to any students who may need a little extra visual reinforcement of the pitch being played.


forScore – If you own an iPad, and don’t already use forScore, you should immediately go to their website and check this out, as there are too many great features to list here. I’ve been a user for several years and it has drastically changed how I view and work with music. After digitizing my library, there are no longer massive piles of music on my practice stand or in 3-ring binders for gigs or auditions, I always have countless resources on hand while teaching, and I have a great backup in the event that hard-copies go missing or get damaged. I’ve now used this during countless performances and lessons.

Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer – This app is awesome for practicing rhythm away from the instrument. Unfortunately, it is only available for iOS devices, but it well worth the couple of dollars.