The trumpet is a spectacular instrument which generates a beautiful tone. It's versatile and can be played in many differing types of bands, such as orchestras, pop bands and big groups.
However, mastering just how to play the trumpet is a very long procedure requiring huge dedication and enthusiasm, but having played the trumpet for over twenty years, I think it's well worth it!
Therefore, to help you out here are six top tips for pushing your trumpet playing and to help you learn how to play the trumpet just like a professional...
1. Heat up up by buzzing just with your lips and then with your mouthpiece. This really helps establish strength without leading to lip fatigue which can happen if you just exercise on the trumpet.
Do the following just with your lips and only with your mouthpiece:
- Buzz a note for a count of four, and then carry on up the scale one tone at a time. You can vary this with different training you are aware of or by buzzing louder of softer.
2. Rest for as long you play. This is so easy but players rarely do it. This helps your lip muscles re-cuperate quicker and means you can play for much longer without getting tired.
I would recommend regular mini breaks instead than performing for 10 minutes and resting for 10 minutes. Practise an exercise or a part of your music and rest for as long as you played. While resting you can practise finger routines on the valves or just stretch out your lips.
3. Practice with a metronome. Once again, this is a very easy concept that is rarely adhered to.
The majority music you play will require you to play in time and carrying out this really helps you to regulate your inner metronome. It also helps when practising exercise routines or complicated musical passages as you can slowly build up the pace you play them at by elevating the speed of the metronome.
4. Practice your pedal notes. Pedal notes, for the performance of this exercise, are all the notes under middle C. By playing the lower register you build durability and range with less pressure on your lips. This means that you can play for for a longer time.
Whenever you play the notes under bottom G you will need to create the notes utilizing your lips and the fingering you would definitely use for the octave above. This is great for strengthening tone and intonation.
5. Perform without taking the trumpet off your lip area. This is a phenomenal way to build strength and endurance as well as learning how to manage your breathing.
To do this, look for an exercise that you can play constantly without stopping. Keep playing for 5mins non-stop, then 10minutes and then for as much time as you can at the end of every other practise session.
When you're gigging, especially in Big Bands, you can be playing for everything up to two hours with few pauses so this is a wonderful way to practice for these performances and build your chops!
6. Plan your practise session. This will make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your practise while training how to play the trumpet.
First, make a checklist of every element of playing the trumpet, eg tonguing, breathing and tone, then before each practice session, list what you will practice during your program. This will continuously guarantee that you regularly practice all the different elements, it will keep you focused and make the most effective use of your time while practicing.
That's it, of course there are many more techniques to mastering how to play the trumpet but these have made a huge improvement to my playing and I wish they do for you too!
It requires some self-discipline to integrate these ideas into your practise regime but do it for a month and it will come to be a great habit that will feel like you've always practiced this way!
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