Updated: Sep 26, 2018
Have a new band piece that's full of trills and you're not sure how to tackle them? Here are a few simple rules* to help.
If you see one (or both) of these signs:
Follow these steps:
Check your key signature.
Starting on the written note, alternate between that pitch and the one above.
End on the written note.
Start on the main note and trill to the note above, based on your key signature.
In this case, we start on the G, trill to an A natural (because A is not altered in the key signature) and end on the G.
In this example, we start on the main note (G), and trill to an A flat (as indicated by the key signature), ending again on the G.
In this example, the natural sign above the tr means that we should change the upper note from an A flat (in the key signature) to an A natural.
Start on the G, trill to an A natural, ending again on the G.
In this example, you should start your trill on the tiny note with the slash through it.
Start on the A natural, trill back to the G and make sure to end the trill on the main note (G).
One last hint - focus your air on the pitch of the bottom note and your trill will sound fuller and more convincing.
Want a trill chart to download on your phone? Look below!
Would you like a physical version of the trill chart above or a poster with the lower octave fingerings? Send Amy a message!
* These trill rules apply to most band music. If you're playing solo repertoire or orchestral pieces written in the Classical period or before, additional rules may apply.