How to Increase Trumpet Playing Endurance

By Contributor
Increase Trumpet Playing Endurance

How to Increase Trumpet Playing Endurance. As a trumpet player, it is important to work out and build up the muscles you use to play your instrument, often called your chops. Here are some exercises that will help you build up your chops and increase your playing endurance.

Buzz your lips without a mouthpiece. Lips buzzes are a great way to build up your chops even when you don't have a trumpet in your hands. Pretend you are playing and buzz your lips as if they were on the mouthpiece. Work on changing the tension of your lips like you would if you were playing to slur. Work in the mouthpiece by itself every so often and work on making siren sounds by slurring from as low to as high as you can.

Sustain a note as long as you can. This is a great way to build your chops as well as your air capacity and playing stamina. Pick a note that is easy to hit, like a G, and hold it out without changing dynamic level or letting the pitch sag flat.

Practice lip slurs. Start with your valves open and play G to low C to G to C to high E to C to G, or any combination of open notes. Then step down a half step and play the same progression with the second valve, moving on to the first valve and so on. Start out simple with a few notes and quarter notes, then move to more notes and more complex rhythms.

Use scales to build endurance. Playing through your scales is a great way to warm up and increase the endurance of your chops. Work on playing scales slow and fast. Try playing all the way through your scales with one breath without putting more pressure on your lips or going flat.

Play as quietly as possible. After you warm up, play either some scales or simple music as quietly as you possibly can, almost inaudible if possible. This will help you play softer, which can be challenging for a trumpet player, and it can help you play higher because you have to focus on a smaller lip aperture when playing softer.

Warning

Don't blow your chops. Whatever means you use to build endurance, don't do it too much or you may end up not being able to play at all for a few days. Start out slow and work up.