Buzz's Place

Some interesting "papers" for dog professionals ...
and a couple of non-dog things.
Enter at your own risk.

Interested? ... terrific!

Leonard "Buzz" Cecil, was born of American parents near Swindon, England in 1952. The family moved first back to Tacoma (WA), and then settled in San Francisco. He then went on to the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where he graduated in 1974 with a Bachelors of Music Education and taught elementary band for 7 years in the Cincinnati area. He then left  -for one year- (that plan worked out well) in 1977 to study Baroque Trumpet at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis der Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel, Switzerland. He's been living in Switzerland ever since. In 1980 he was hired by the Musik-Schule (Prep. Dept.) of the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel, first as a trumpet teacher, then ensemble conductor and later as conducting teacher, also at the Conservatory division. In 1995 he founded the Basel Trombone Quartet.  Doing an about face in 2001, he was hired as "mostly Mac" System Engineer at the College for Industrial Design and Media Art in Aarau, Switzerland but moved on in 2008 to a similar position at the Ethnological Seminar at the University of Zürich. As if that weren't enough, after completing his Bachelors of Music Ed in 1974 and teaching in Cincinnati/Basel, he gave up the trumpet, got a Graduate Conducting Diploma from the University of Calgary (1988-1990) and earned in 1996 a Teaching Diploma for Trombone and Euphonium from the Konservatorium der Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel

Buzz grew up with dogs, albeit training way back then played no real role, more than teaching a sometimes "sit". In 1999 the family adopted Luna, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog mix. "Modern" gentler (so-called “balanced”) methods were just getting started then, so rewards and praise were mixed with the leash pops, loud, louder and loudest commands and alpha rolls. Luna was, in spite of all that, a super dog, but left much too early at age 8 1/2.

Then came Vela, his first pure-bred (all others had been rescues) - a Flat-Coated Retriever. Vela is a beauty but because of her character, she forced Buzz to seek other methods. He stumbled across Clicker Training as a great “new” start. Buzz did his version of Canine Freestyle with Vela (started with help from Claudia Moser) while his wife did Dummy work with Vela. Buzz & Vela later moved on to IPO/Schutzhund, trained in dog-friendly manner. Vela is now, since 18. July, 2021, waiting patiently at the Rainbow Bridge. She left us at the ripe old age of 13.5 years.

Thanks to Vela, he expanded his already broad-based dog-knowledge through studies for the Certificate Canine Behavior Science and Technology (CBST) from James O’Heare’s Companion Animal Sciences Institute - certificate completed in 2012. This is a combination program covering  dog training and behavior modification. In 2012 he also completed the first ever Swiss Clicker Trainer certification course under Claudia Moser and Simone Fasel. In March 2013 he completed the Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) 5-day Instructors’ Course in Schwäbisch Hall (D). Attendee at the first european Clicker Expo, October 2014 Bromley Cross, Lancashire (UK). He's a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI) and a Trick Dog Champion, both programs run by Kyra Sundance, Do More With Your Dog. During this time he however became less and less a "Clicker Trainer", keeping it though in his general toolkit, but instead expanded his knowledge to include other non-violent dog-friendly training methods - this after realising, that Skinner doesn't/didn't have a lock on learning, that there are MANY other different so-called "learning theories" out there (see the Articles sections here).

As mentors: Claudia Moser and Heike Westedt. Seminars/Lessons with Claudia Moser, Christine Szakacs, Hetty van Hassel, Dr. Ute Blaschke-Berthold, Heike Westedt, Mirjam Cordt, Susi Roger, Sabine Neumann, Grisha Stewart, Dr. Adam Miklosi, Dr. Ray Coppinger, Chirag Patel, Jane Killion, Emily Larlham, Manuela Zaitz, Dr. Susan Friedman (LLA course in Austria), Dr. Daniel Mills, Kay Laurence, Malena DeMartini-Price, Karen Wild, Sarah Whitehead, Gerd Schreiber, Ken Ramirez, Cecilie Koste, Dr. Claudia Fugazza, Markus Mohr, Shade Whitesel, Thomas Riepe, Dr. Patricia McConnell, and others.

Buzz is also an Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) which came in handy during his time as an IT geek at the colleges/institutes in Aarau and Zürich until his retirement in 2014. Since his retirement he could be found underway with Vela (until she passed on) near home or with his camper (Reisemobil), puttering about throughout Europe.

And now, Buzz's "new" 4-legged companion is Jares, a (at the time of this writing, April 2022) 10 year old Galgo Español (Spanish Wind Hound). Jares is like no other dog Buzz has ever had. A total Daddy's dog, Jares is though also his own dog. He doesn't so much as "obey", as much as he'll consider your request and act upon it (or not) at his leisure. On the other hand, as a Daddy's dog, he's also a Velcro dog, so a "recall" in the classic sense is totally unnecessary. He'll come when he wants to, but actually pretty much as reliably as any Retriever - just in a different style.

"You can live without a dog, but what's the point?"

GET - Integrative Canine Fear Toolbox

... with some “new”, evidence based tools. 
 GET yours here (It’s really more of a 2-part book: Part 1 - Theory, Part 2 - Practice)

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"But I thought..."

This article looks at some "givens" in dog training and a review of the actual peer-reviewed science which either supports or ... doesn't support them.

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Is Learning Theory Enough?

It would appear, that Skinnerian Radical Behaviorism is not the only thing out there that has to do with learning and performance of behavior. First clue: that I even separate the two from each other ... I'm not the only one doing so.

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Drive/ Where it came from. Where it’s gone to. What now?

"Drive" is one of those words that is not talked about in "modern" dog training circles, mainly because it doesn't really fit into Skinnerian Radical Behaviorism. But once outside of these circles in the "real world", drive is an word used to explain why the dog is doing something or not doing something. So, what is "drive" actually?

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Why you DON’T always need to feed after each click

What? Heresy?!? Well, my thoughts on this were nudged after a lecture by a well known dog researcher and dog trainer/owner put out this idea. But what is actually behind this idea or is it just B.S.?

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Shock Experiment 1

Done in 2012 at the Clicker Zentrum in Switzerland, this experiment looks at how much shock a human can stand when the subject applies it to various body parts: palm of the hand, wrist, arm, neck.

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Shock Experiment 2

Experiment 2 shows the results of the two most common forms of shock in training: +P and -R. ... plus +R (praise) as reward. Again, only human volunteers were used - and they were trained in a language they didn’t speak or understand: Turkish. The subjects were filmed and these videos were analyzed in terms of stress signs given by the subjects during the test, anticipatory signs as well as any other signs that could indicate emotional states. An interview was also conducted to get the subjects own reactions to the tests. Now available here.

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This page has NOTHING to do with dogs (WHAT!?!?!?), but rather with my "fight" with my ideopathic Polyneuropathy. So if you don't need this information, scroll on. 

The information I put here is under the caveat, that I'm NOT a doctor, although I do link to quite a few peer-reviewed studies concerning the various "stuff" I've found that has helped me. The important word here is "me". I make no claims, that this will help you. If it does, terrific. And as always, before diving into this yourself, consult your doctor(s).

First the "why". I first came down with Neuropathy in 1999 while in the hospital for a leg thrombosis and lung embolisms. The doctors said, there was no connection., ok... It did take several months for the first neurologist to come up with the diagnosis. His prognosis: "Sorry, no cure, no relief, suck it up, buttercup". Well, not quite so brutal, but effectively that. 

And in the course of the next couple of years it got progressively worse. I had no sense of the floor under my feet, but had stabbing pains, cramps, depending upon the day burning or freezing sensations in my feet. It got to be pretty unbearable. My daughter, who is a doctor, recommended that I consult another neurologist, which I did. This new neurologist did about 3 hours of manual and electrical tests and found, that I not only had it in my feet, but also in my hands ... but I had almost no symptoms in my hands. Up until recently, my only symptoms in my hands were "the droppsies", meaning I tend to drop stuff ... but no pain. This neurologist sent me on to the big neurological guru at the local hospital who also ran his hours of tests including a lumbar puncture. His conclusion ... the same as hers. So, back with the neurologist, she first prescribed Cymbalta (SNRI class) and Gabapentine (anti-convulsant). The first couple of weeks were ok, but then the side effects started and now I know, that I had about 50-60% of the side effects possible, including brain fog, fatigue (also extreme, like suddenly falling asleep, like in the car or at work), phantom tastes, cognitive disturbances, sexual dysfunction. She switched out the Cymbalta for Effexor XR, but there was no improvement. And the effectiveness of the pain relief wasn't great. I still had many absolutely miserable days. 

I then started pouring through Google Scholar for peer reviewed papers on neuropathy treatments and came across many using completely other substances. Some were small pilot studies, others full blown double blind studies. It soon became apparent, that there were several substances, some that were readily available "over-the-counter", that had a good empirical track record. I started my own "experiments". I bought a bunch of these substances and made a record of how I felt. I then would exclude one or the other and see if I seemed to get worse, different or better. 

What you see below is what I've settled on that works for me. I also listed a couple of substances that DO have good empirical results, but didn't seem to make any difference in my case, for example Hemp Oil and CBD oil. 

Neuropathy is however a moving target. The symptoms I had 2 years ago are not the same as I have now. Basically, I now rarely have any cramps or stabbing pains, but the feeling of my feet being encased in cotton gauze with no contact to external conditions is very prevalent. My neurologist said after her testing November 2018, that I only had about 1/4 the sensitivity I'd had the year before in my feet. And once again a huge reduction in sensation in November 2019. The doctor had also diagnosed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, without any symptoms presenting ... in 2013. That changed this year (2021) as CPS symptoms started up big time - had the CT reduction surgery in May 2021 on my right hand - doesn't seem to be necessary in my left hand.

My “cocktail” as my neurologist calls it:

1-1-1-1 = 

1 before breakfast

1 before lunch

1 before dinner

1 before going to bed

R-Lipoic Acid  300mg – 1-1-1-1*

Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500mg – 1-1-1-1*

 N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) – 1-1-1-1*

 Omega 3 (fish oil) 1000mg – 1-1-1-1*

 Borage Oil 240mg (GLA = Gamma Linoleic Acid) – 1-1-1-0

 Magnesium 300mg – 2-0-0-0

                * - if needed also in the afternoon

I have taken these in the past as well and they might help some people, I did not find, that I “missed” them, when I stopped taking them, but your mileage may vary...

 cold pressed hemp oil –1000mg capsules 0-0-0-3

CBD oil (12%CBD), drops – 6-0-0-0* (actually before breakfast)

 Sublingual Methylcobalamin (B12), 5000 mcg – 1-0-0-0 

 Vitamin D3, 5000 IU  –  1-0-0-0

 Biotin, 10,000 mcg  –  1-0-0-0

N.B. - this “cocktail” applies to and works for me. If you feel, it might be beneficial to you, please look at the research below and discuss this “cocktail” as well as this research with your doctor, inasmuch as I’m not a doctor. 


Alpha Lipoic Acid:

Tingting Han, Jiefei Bai, Wei Liu and Yaomin Hu, (2012) A systematic review and meta-analysis of a-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, European Journal of Endocrinology (2012) 167 465–471,

Craig J. McMackin, Michael E. Widlansky, Naomi M. Hamburg, Alex L. Huang, Susan Weller, Monika Holbrook, Noyan Gokce, Tory M. Hagen*, John F. Keaney Jr., and Joseph A. Vita, (2007)  Effect of Combined Treatment with Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl- L-Carnitine on Vascular Function and Blood Pressure in Coronary Artery Disease Patients, J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2007 April ; 9(4): 249–255. , 

Ziegler D, Reljanovic M, Mehnert H, Gries FA. (1999) Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1999;107(7):421-30.,

D. Ziegler, H. Nowak, P. Kempler†, P. Vargha and P. A. Low, (2003) Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant α-lipoic acid: a meta-analysis, 2004 Diabetes UK. Diabetic Medicine, 21, 114–121,

Andrew J. M. Boulton, Peter Kempler, Alexander Ametov, Dan Ziegler (2013) Whither pathogenetic treatments for diabetic polyneuropathy? DIABETES/METABOLISM RESEARCH AND REVIEWS
Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2013; 29: 327–333.,

Z. X. Poh* and K. P. Goh (2009)  A Current Update on the Use of Alpha Lipoic Acid in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus,  Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets, 2009, 9, 392-398,

Giorgia Melli, MD,PhD, Michela Taiana, MS, Francesca Camozzi, MS, Daniela Triolo, MS, Paola Podini, MS, Angelo Quattrini MD, Franco Taroni, MD, and Giuseppe Lauria, MD  (2008) Alpha-lipoic acid prevents mitochondrial damage and neurotoxicity in experimental chemotherapy neuropathy,  Exp Neurol. 2008 Dec;214(2):276-84. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2008.08.013. Epub 2008 Sep 9.,

Foster TS, (2007) Efficacy and safety of alpha-lipoic acid supplementation in the treatment of symptomatic diabetic neuropathy., Diabetes Educ. 2007 Jan-Feb;33(1):111-7.,

Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, Lipoic Acid, last update 2012,

Evangelos Agathos, Anastasios Tentolouris , Ioanna Eleftheriadou, Panagiota Katsaouni, Ioannis Nemtzas, Alexandra Petrou, Christina Papanikolaou and Nikolaos Tentolouris (2018) Effect of a-lipoic acid on symptoms and quality of life in patients with painful diabetic neuropathy, Journal of International Medical Research 2018, Vol. 46(5) 1779–1790, DOI: 10.1177/0300060518756540,


Sima AA, Calvani M., Mehra, M., Amato, A. (2005) Acetyl-L-carnitine improves pain, nerve regeneration, and vibratory perception in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathy: an analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials., Diabetes Care. 2005 Jan;28(1):89-94.,

Craig J. McMackin, Michael E. Widlansky, Naomi M. Hamburg, Alex L. Huang, Susan Weller, Monika Holbrook, Noyan Gokce, Tory M. Hagen*, John F. Keaney Jr., and Joseph A. Vita, (2007)  Effect of Combined Treatment with Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl- L-Carnitine on Vascular Function and Blood Pressure in Coronary Artery Disease Patients, J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2007 April ; 9(4): 249–255. ,

Youle M., Osio, M., ALCAR Study Group (2007) A double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, multicentre study of acetyl L-carnitine in the symptomatic treatment of antiretroviral toxic neuropathy in patients with HIV-1 infection.,  HIV Med. 2007 May;8(4):241-50.,

Sarah J.L. Flatters, Wen-Hua Xiao a, Gary J. Bennett (2006)  Acetyl-l-carnitine prevents and reduces paclitaxel-induced painful peripheral neuropathy, Neuroscience Letters 397 (2006) 219–223,

 Bianchi G, Vitali G, Caraceni A, Ravaglia S, Capri G, Cundari S, Zanna C, Gianni L., (2005)  Symptomatic and neurophysiological responses of paclitaxel- or cisplatin-induced neuropathy to oral acetyl-L-carnitine.,  Eur J Cancer. 2005 Aug;41(12):1746-50.,

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) 

Mahmoud Ali Ismael, Sébastien Talbot, Cynthia L.Carbonneau, Christian M. Beauséjour, Réjean Couture, - Blockade of sensory abnormalities and kinin B1 receptor expression by N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine and ramipril in a rat model of insulin resistance, European Journal of Pharmacology Volume 589, Issues 1–3, 28 July 2008, Pages 66-72,

M. Sagara,  J. SatohR. Wada, S. Yagihashi, K. Takahashi, M. Fukuzawa, G. Muto, Y. Muto, T. Toyota, Inhibition of development of peripheral neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with N-acetylcysteine,  March 1996, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 263–269,

Pieper, Galen M.; Siebeneich, Wolfgang,  Oral Administration of the Antioxidant, N-Acetylcysteine, Abrogates Diabetes-Induced Endothelial Dysfunction, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: July 1998 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 101-105,,.16.aspx

Sherry Wolf *, Debra Barton, Lisa Kottschade, Axel Grothey, Charles Loprinzi, Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: Prevention and treatment strategies, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CANCER 44 (2008) 1507–1515,

Omega 3/6 (Hemp Oil forms and fish oil)

Ko, Gordon D. MD, CCFP (EM), FRCPC, FABPMR, FABPM; Nowacki, Nathaniel Benjamin BS†; Arseneau, Leigh ND; Eitel, Melanie RMA; Hum, Annie MD, (2010) Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Neuropathic Pain: Case Series,  Clinical Journal of Pain: February 2010 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - pp 168-172, Omega_3_Fatty_Acids_for_Neuropathic_Pain__Case.14.aspx

Peter Yee; Anne E. Weymouth; Erica L. Fletcher; Algis J. Vingrys, (2010)  A Role for Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplements in Diabetic Neuropathy,  Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science March 2010, Vol.51, 1755-1764.,

GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid)

Harry Keen, FRCP, Jose Payan, FRCP, Jaffar Allawi, MD, James Walker, MRCP, Goran A Jamal, MD, Andrew I Weir, FRCP, Lesley M Henderson, MRCP, Elizabeth A Bissessar, MRCPI, Peter J Watkins, MD, Michael Sampson, MRCP, Edwin A M Gale, FRCP, John Scarpello, MD, Hugh G Boddie, FRCP, Kevin J Hardy, MRCP, Peter K Thomas, FRCP, Peter Misra, MB BS, Jukka-Pekka Halonen, MD and The γ-Linolenic Acid Multicenter Trial Group, (1993) Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathy With Gamma-Linolenic Acid, Diabetes Care 1993 Jan; 16(1): 8-15.,

G.A. Jamal, (1994) The Use of Gamma Linolenic Acid in the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetic Neuropathy, Diabetic Medicine, Volume 11 Issue 2, March 1994,

L. Hounsom, D. F. HorrobinH. TritschlerR. CorderD. R. Tomlinson (1998) A lipoic acid-gamma linolenic acid conjugate is effective against multiple indices of experimental diabetic neuropathy, Diabetologia June 1998, Volume 41, Issue 7, pp 839–843,

Kathleen M. Halat, and Cathi E. Dennehy, (2003) Botanicals and Dietary Supplements in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine vol 16, Nr 1 47-57,


A link collection of research dealing with CBD for chronic pain including several specifically for neuropathic pain:

Elizabeth J. Rahn and Andrea G. Hohmann, (2009) Cannabinoids as Pharmacotherapies for Neuropathic Pain: From the Bench to the Bedside, Vol. 6, 713–737, October 2009 © The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc.,

Petzke · E.K. Enax-Krumova · W. Häuser, (2016) Wirksamkeit, Verträglichkeit und Sicherheit von Cannabinoiden bei neuropathischen Schmerzsyndromen, Schmerz. 2016 Feb;30(1):62-88,

Iskedjian M, Bereza B, Gordon A, Piwko C, Einarson TR., (2016) Meta-analysis of cannabis based treatments for neuropathic and multiple sclerosis-related pain., Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Jan;23(1):17-24.,

Barnes MP, (2006)  Sativex: clinical efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain.,  Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2006 Apr;7(5):607-15.,

Fine PG, Rosenfeld MJ, (2014) Cannabinoids for neuropathic pain,  Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2014 Oct;18(10):451. doi: 10.1007/s11916-014-0451-2.,

Gemayel Lee & Brittany Grovey & Tim Furnish & Mark Wallace, (2018) Medical Cannabis for Neuropathic Pain, Current Pain and Headache Reports (2018) 22: 8 ,

G. Michael Allan, Jamil Ramji, Danielle Perry, Joey Ton, Nathan P. Beahm, Nicole Crisp, Beverly Dockrill, Ruth E. Dubin, Ted Findlay, Jessica Kirkwood, Michael Fleming, Ken Makus, Xiaofu Zhu, Christina Korownyk, Michael R. Kolber, James McCormack, Sharon Nickel, Guillermina Noël and Adrienne J. Lindblad,  (2018)  Simplified guideline for prescribing medical cannabinoids in primary care,  Canadian Family Physician February 2018, 64 (2) 111-120;,

Air Flow Warm-ups

I won't say, these are THE Vincent Cichowicz warm-ups. But the first exercises are more or less +/- the ones that my trumpet teacher at the time, Edward H. Tarr gave us, telling us they were … THE Vincent Cichowicz warm-ups. He also explained what they were good for and how to do them. I don't claim that these are the original Flow Studies. These are exercises based upon my understanding as explained by Edward Tarr to me and the class at the time. I have no idea if Ed got them from Mr. Cichowicz.

The whole idea of these warm-ups, especially those on pages 1-2, are to re-teach your entire playing mechanism each day to get the most relaxed and beautiful sound possible. So the basic dynamic is somewhere between mp - mf. It's ok to not feel good on your highest note or lowest note of any particular exercise. If that's the case, simply do it again, make sure you're not cramping yourself and make this time the one you're playing everything beautifully. There is no goal other than to play beautifully, so if you don't get up to your highest note or down to your your lowest note today, don't worry about it.

I added on pages 3-4 especially to work stepwise down into the lowest register of the bass trombone. They were not in the exercises I got from Ed, but I play them with the same idea. Then I added at the end on page 4 a kind of test: after exploring the upper register and working down into the lowest register, can I then hang them together? The idea here is to be able to perform that arc down to the pedal f and up to the high b-flat and down again in one breathe. That means, that if you're shifting, you know where you need to shift how much AND you still keep the beauty of the sound no matter where you are in the register. That means the goal is not just to reach those extremes, but to do so with the same beautiful sound as previously.

What comes next in my daily routine is 3-5 Bordogni for tuba/bass trombone, which I play an octave lower as well as afterwards, as written. I find the last Cichowicz sets me up very well for this. I will then play a few Concone Op 10 pieces which have a relatively middle to high tessitura. And then another 1-2 Bordogni to relax me again. But that's just me.

Giuseppe Concone's 25 Leçons de chant, Op.10 For Low Voice

As a trumpet player, as compared to similar etudes by Bordogni, I always found these to be rather boring. Of course I was a young punk kid back then, what did I know? But now I find these cool. Something I can play in my own four walls letting my inner Schmalz out, seeing how I can ham it up musically with them.

There are already a couple editions of these for bass clef instruments. And they're published for different singing registers. They're all available on IMSLPçons_de_chant%2C_Op.10_(Concone%2C_Giuseppe)  including a written out piano accompaniment! I chose the edition from low voice for obvious reasons and then transcribed them, making a couple corrections of misprints. But … this (as well as Charlier below) is a “quick and dirty” transcription. I did superficially “check” them, but I'm familier with the traps of music editing, so know … there's no such thing as a perfectly perfect work.

One of my favorite sets of exercises are the Bordogni Etudes as arranged by Chester Roberts for Tuba/Bass Trombone. These are basically a selection of the Rochut/Bordogni etudes, but transposed an octave down. They're great for bass trombone as they stand, but then in order to work on my double-paddle and pedal register, I play them another octave lower. This got me to thinking. The one set of Concone Etudes I posted fit well for tenor. So I then transposed them down an octave and they're also great for lower bass trombone lower register, going down as far as pedal f/f-sharp. So now as a real workout (that's also fun), I play one etude in the lower register and then the same in the upper register. So as it says on the link, one set (with piano accompaniment) is for tenor trombone and the next is for bass trombone. And the idea when I'm playing the lower version is to try and keep the light, breezy feeling downstairs as I do, when playing them upstairs.

Selected etudes from Charlier's 36 Etudes Transcendantes

These are just fun. In fact, they're so much more fun than when I had to play them on the trumpet, that I transcribed a few, setting them sometimes in “more appropriate” keys for trombone than the originals.

Carl Maria von Weber (but probably not from him) Romance

I played this in 1996 for my tenor trombone playing exam. Loved it then. Somewhere I still have that arrangement from Marc Reift's publishing company. I remember at the time, my problem on tenor was not the high c, but rather the low register. When I pulled it out a few weeks ago, actually stumbled onto it in a stack of old music, as usual, things were reversed. The lower register was no problem, but the high c ... well, high b-flat is fine, but c is a 50/50 proposition. I then went on to IMSLP and found it there in a russian edition from the 1930's for Trombone/Cello/Bassoon and Piano. The printing was terrible, lots of places very difficult to read, but there were "differences" singled for the different instruments. And one spot, where the high c was, had also another alternate version. I then decided to write this part out and do some "musical suggestions" editing. Take 'em or leave 'em. But I find this to be a lot of fun on bass trombone. So here the file downloaded from IMSLP plus "my" version of the solo part for (mediocre) bass trombone

Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei, Op. 47, arr. Keith Brown

I first ran into this on YouTube in a recording by the great Jacqueline Du Pré. This remains to date my favorite version of the piece. It's been performed well by many other cellists, but … Ms. Du Pre is IMHO still the best. Unfortunately I've always then been disappointed by trombone versions, let alone bass trombone versions. Well played bass trombonistically, but missing the soul of the piece. So I wanted to give it a try. You will notice, there are some changes compared with the original cello part as well as compared with Mr. Brown's version for tenor trombone. I feel, these make the piece a bit more approachable and fits the character of the bass trombone without losing the desired emotional content. Trombone does present technical challenges in this respect, but I do try to directly imitate a cellist, not a great trombonist when playing this. 

This is another page that has nothing to do with dogs. It does have to do with my search to find a supportive brace for my trombones to help my tired limbs to hold the heavy instruments over longer periods of time. Hope this helps you.

I have or have tried almost all the available braces.
For example:



Trombone Stick

Hagmann hand support

Rath hand support

Ax Handle

Curtis thumb rest

Get-A-Grip - Sheridan Brass

My take:

ErgoBone - was excellent for me at the time. Takes all the weight off the left hand. While using it, I heard that when that tension is gone, how free my tone can be, so that became my measure of how free my left hand was with other supports. But it made my Yamaha 822g very nose heavy, so I bought 2 counterweights, which mostly helped. Rather a nuisance with mute changes and I found it difficult to achieve micro-movements in angle face-to-horn necessary for accuracy, especially setting on. When I stopped using this, I also took off the counterweights.

Trombone Stick - a product similar to the ErgoBone, also in concept, but instead of resting in a harness, it rests on your knee. The trombone sits on top of a spring. It didn't work so well for me, because you still need to somehow keep the trombone from bobbing around on that spring on top of the stick. This still caused a degree of tension in my left hand that was very difficult to counter, especially further out than 3rd position.

Rath hand support and Hagmann hand support: Both were impossible for me to adjust, that they supported the weight without slippage and without unpleasant pressure points on the back of my left hand. Hagmann gave me a 10 day trial period so I was able to send it back. It's more configurable than Rath, but it was too small. 

Get-A-Grip - Sheridan Brass - I wasn't able to bend it to a position that worked for me. I'm not a tool sort of guy and the metal wasn't so pliable. 

Ax Handle: Mr. Olsen tried his best, but it just didn't work with my horn. The balance point is too far forward, which made the instrument very nose heavy and the attachment clamp is too thick to go optimally on the brace. 

Curtis thumb rest – similar to the Ax Handle/Bullet Brace, but attaches to the trombone on the body just below the valve section to fit under the f-trigger. But on my Yamaha 822G the balance point was farther forward by the slide grip, so this made my instrument VERY nose heavy and demanded I counter this diving ... with the left hand. Like the Ax Handle, it then didn’t really support much weight at all.

NeoTech: Comes the closest to what I need. Not easy to adjust, simply because you have so many possible positions. But it's working now for me. BUT ... the velcro attachment points tend to want to open if I don't periodically give them a squeeze to make sure they sit well. It works best on my bass bone when I use the Yeo hand grip, but on my tenor when I use the tradition left hand grip.

Especially with the NeoTech, but also with the Rath and Hagmann, they do not relieve all the tension from the hand-lower arm-shoulder, but do so for much of it. I've found that approaching it like weight training has been a huge help. No problems getting through rehearsals and concerts as there are enough pauses to take the horn down and straighten my left arm. But when practicing, especially longer etudes, where you're in playing position for minutes at a time, I play until I begin to feel an ache in my left shoulder, then I play for 10-15 seconds more and ... take a break for 30-45 seconds. This regenerates the muscles and I can continue. I don't try to play through a lot of pain, but simply push the edge of the envelope. I also go to the gym twice a week and do exercises there for my wrist and forearm, but also shoulder. All this combined has improved my strength and stamina. Even at my age of 65, it's still possible.

The NeoTech hand grip is the one that works best for me, but your mileage may vary.


Yamaha 822G bass trombone

Rath R400 tenor trombone