• nikolayiliev

Music literacy and brass instrument fingerings for beginners


This is directed to anyone who starts on a brass instrument without being able to read music. You would be better off and will have more options if you learn at least to recognize notes on treble clef, their duration, the cycles of fourth and fifths (which helps us to find out what key the piece/exercise is in and how many and which one sharps or flats every key has) and memorize fingerings for every key. Not having a private Instructor or not being able to afford one is a disadvantage that can be overcome. Feel free to use the below resources to start learning the basic language of written music.

The images are not my own intelectual property and hopefully do not infrige any copyright laws.

1. Fingering/slide positions chart

a/ Trombone


b/ Valve brass instruments


The letter note designation correspond to notes as below:

C= Do, D=Re, E=Mi, F=Fa, G=Sol, A=La, B or H=Si

For soprano instruments it is essential to learn where the notes are on treble (G) clef, while for Trombone and other low brass instruments bass (F) clef working knowledge is essential. Sometimes (especially in beginner brass bands) the trombone music sheet may be notated on treble clef in B flat transposition.

Another absolutely essential element to know is what key your piece of music is in and how many and which flats or sharps it contains. For this purpose we use the cycle of fifths (for keys containing sharps) and the cycle of fourths (for keys containing flats)


For more detailed info go to https://iconcollective.com/basic-music-theory/


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