I've been playing the cornet for about a year now. I have found that I can play for about five minutes and then I can't play anymore. When I come back five minutes later, I can play just fine and I play for half an hour to an hour. I usually just play Stars and Stripes Forever to warm up (the Solo Bb Cornet part, about half way through). I hit the high Bb in the last strain and crawl a few more bars and I'm wiped out. When I come back five minutes later, I can play it as much as I want and I'm fine.

I've also noticed, when I try higher pieces for warm-up, such as the Stars and Stripes Forever as I mentioned, I have trouble with the low notes for the remainder of the practice. However, I'm fine with the high notes. If I try a piece with a lower range, e.g The Thunderer, I can't hit the high notes for the better part of my practice, but I can hit the low notes just fine.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a good warm-up technique. Currently, the high Bb flat is my limit as far as range on a good day.

EDIT: What other things should I work on during it? I'm looking for specifics. What scales should I work on? How far should I press my range? Should I take breaks during it? etc...

4 Answers 4


The best warm-up for extending range is likely going to be a series of gently-climbing scales that reach a semitone or two above your highest intended high note.

Disclaimer: I speak strictly from vocal experience. I couldn't buy an embouchure with my life savings.

This file has what appears to be every scale ever.

  • And if it's been a while since you started playing, or you're just starting to play, here's some standard scales you can do too.
    – Dante
    Apr 2, 2012 at 23:30
  • I've been using the Ken Saul warm-ups as well, seem to be pretty good. Generally, trumpet players will not need to reach a semitone or two above the highest intended high note though. More often, the suggested warm up (as outlined in the Ken Saul PDF) is to do long, low tones. See Wynton Marsalis' practice routine.
    – mboratko
    May 25, 2012 at 18:02

I usually warm up with about ten minutes of scales, arpeggios, diminished sevenths and so on - they should be fairly gentle and start off very easy. If you want a slightly quicker version, you could try crabwise scales (go up the scale in C, come down in C#, go up again in D and so on).

You could also play a simple piece (or one you know really well but isn't too high) and transpose into a different key - the point being that you don't want to do anything too strenuous before your lips are warmed up properly. By the end of the warm-up (if you're doing scales), you should be covering pretty much your entire range.


I excellently warm up with trumpet using the Charles Colin Advanced Lip Flexibilities Complete for Trumpet I practice the first excerices, that are basically harmonics or triads.

My best warming up is as follow:

  • breath 10 times as deeper as I can
  • 2-4 minutes of excercises only with mouthpiece
  • 2.4 minutes of exercises with the trumpet

it works.

After 3 months of playing I can cover 2 full octaves.


I usually start with the Caruso " lip, mouthpiece, instrument routine" ( buzz G inthe staff for a count of 5, rest for 5, then G flat and so on down to C then do the same on the mouthpiece and finally on the instrument). I follow that with some "Stamp" warmups

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