Range work for the REALLY undisciplined student

You know that an undisciplined student of the trumpet is not a student of the trumpet, right?

But if you have at least a little motivation, I can offer you a "no-brainer" exercise that you can do each day that might help. If you ARE a disciplined student of the trumpet, this WILL work for you. It's not "comprehensive," nor will you know the "why" of "how" of "what" you are doing. But that's already available. Click on "Got Range?" on the menu bar.

Yes, this page is pointless!

However, it may help someone.

Remember that this must be done with the proper use of air, embouchure and all the other fundamentals discussed elsewhere, or you're wasting your time.

Step I.

  • Read the sections on fundamentals, embouchure, air, etc.

Step II.

  1. Select a song or lyrical passage around 30 seconds long that spans no more than an octave. Hymns, patriotic songs, folk songs, etc., work well. Play mf to forte. but well below your loudest volume.

  2. Find the highest key in which you can EASILY play your selected "song" with the most beautiful and sound imaginable. Play it, rest 10-15 seconds and play it again. Rinse and repeat. If you reach 5 repetitions without getting tired (corners), you started too low.

  3. When you begin to feel your chops tire, drop down a half step and play and repeat until you begin to feel your chops (corners) especially) tire. This may only be one time through, then…

  4. Drop down a half step and play and repeat until you begin to feel your chops (corners) especially) tire. This may only be one time through, then…

  5. Drop down a half step and play and repeat until you begin to feel your chops (corners) especially) tire. This may only be one time through, then…

  6. Drop down a half step and play and repeat until you begin to feel your chops (corners) especially) tire. This may only be one time through, then…

At some point you will reach a level where you could continue playing for hours. Don't. Just keep dropping the tune a half-step lower as far down as you can, and yes, this includes the pedal register.

And being the undisciplined student, you will soon get bored with your initial "song," so change it. Whenever you want, as many times as you want. Maybe you'll find a cycle of 10-12 songs that you rotate through. Whatever. Just start at the top of your comfortable range.

Step III.

When you can play you selection 5 times at your "highest" level without feeling tired at all, start a half step higher and continue the sequence. Rinse and repeat daily.

That's it. Simple. Do this 5 days out of the week and your range and endurance will gradually improve. But, being the undisciplined student, you probably won't.  And if you do this simple exercise, you will probably find you become "disciplined" will want more. And if so, it's just a mouse click away.

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