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I am a nylon string guitar player (10+ years) and have also played some sax in the past and have always wanted to learn the trumpet. I got myself The Jazz Method for Trumpet, which has been an amazing book because it's lots of fun to play. However, I do not have enough to practice for more than 30mins a day as the lessons are progressing quite slowly (which is good). I am in my 6th week (lesson 8) now.

I really badly would like a 1 - 11/2 hour daily routine for practice that will cover all the technique I need for the next few months. Also some good tunes to start working with would be helpful.

The books I have access to are Arban's, Flexus and a whole load of Jamie Aebersolds in C (though I can transpose with ease).

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3 Answers 3

Here's the answer nobody wants to hear... scales, arpeggios, keys

Of course, that's not all that interesting, you can do the same as on more or less any instrument and mix it up. using 1 to 8 for members of your scale, try creating yourself some patterns, which you can then try moving up and down...


1, 1 2 1, 1 2 3 2 1, 1 2 3 4 3 2 1 etc.

Moving the pattern:

1 2 1 3 1, 2 3 2 4 2, 3 4 3 5 3 etc.

An arpeggio on each member of the scale:

1 3 5 8 5 3 1, 2 4 6 9(2, an octave higher) 6 4 2, 3 5 7 10 7 5 3

You could also try running through the keys you're comfortable with, move round the cycle of fifths. e.g. try a scale in C, then Bb, Eb etc.

If there's a part of a piece you're playing which you're having trouble with, try adding that to your practise regeime.

And always, the best idea is to find tunes you like, within your ability, and practise those in detail.

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Incidentally, I'm not actually a trumpeter. These are all general pieces of good advice for practise regimes on any instrument. – AJFaraday Jul 22 '14 at 10:37
Sorry for the late reply. I was looking for a routine that really helps quickly advance as the trumpet is very physically demanding - just developing the lip muscle strength to play for half an hour would be a good starting point. – gonecasescenario Aug 2 '14 at 4:33
Then it's simpler than I was thinking, find some music you like and play it. Keep playing. – AJFaraday Aug 2 '14 at 16:51

The first part of Arban is very good for basics. Focus on clean homogenous sound and attacks, open and relaxed. You can play the same page for a week, restart an exercise until you play it well in its entirety. Exercise 46 is still a favorite after 25 years.

Endurance and range exercises I've used with success are the ones at the end of the Vizzuti method. (The rest of the method is also good practice, like Clarke on steroids. You should get it when you've played enough of Clarke.)

If you can split your 1.5 hour, it might be a good idea to play something tiresome for 30 minutes, take a break doing something else, then go again. That way you get more time playing stuff that is tough than if you play in one single session.

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Get some lessons from an actual trumpet teacher. They don't have to be weekly. It's clear you have the motivation to practise, but unless you've got the fundamentals right (how you hold the instrument, how you form your embouchure, how you breathe, how you stand, etc.) you risk practising the wrong stuff in. And it's far harder to unlearn something you've been doing wrong than it is to do it right from the outset.

I'd also suggest joining a local group - there may be a wind band or brass band in your area. That way you get to play with your musical peers.

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