Learn to Play the Trumpet

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Learn to play the trumpet by increasing strength and endurance in the face muscles and diaphragm through long tone and lip slur exercises. Tighten and release the muscles of the face and diaphragm through specific exercises for the trumpet with advice from a trumpet player in this free video on trumpets.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play the Trumpet
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Video Transcript

How to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet is akin to being an athlete. It requires consistent training and both strength and endurance. Though, just like being an athlete, a total body workout is necessary but, however, there are certain areas of concentration. And, for playing the trumpet, those areas are the areas of the face muscles and the diaphragm. The diaphragm is best built in strength by doing an exercise called long tones. By doing long tones, you take in a very deep breath and you use the diaphragm to push the air out in a steady stream. When doing long tone exercises, you play a note and by doing the deep breathing, you push the air out and hold that note as long as possible until all the air is out of the lungs. As far as building the face muscles, the long tones will actually help build the muscles in the face. But there is another exercise that is done that primarily concentrates on the face muscles and that is lip slurs. By placing the face muscles in the proper position, the chin down and the corners of the lips tight, you would take in a deep breath and blow into the trumpet, again, sustaining the note. But, this time, you're moving the jaw, the lower jaw, the tongue and the center of the lips in an up and down motion, so as to change the pitch. This pitch change is you're going up to the next note in the overtone series and then back down to the original note by moving up and down, up and down, you're tightening and releasing so that you are building more muscle, more strength in the center of the lips. So, therefore, those two exercises are very important for building strength and endurance in playing the trumpet.

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