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The different types of trumpet warm-ups can be classified as those to do with producing long notes, tonguing, lip slurs, and playing scales. The majority of these exercises are related to the various embouchure techniques required to play the trumpet efficiently. Scale exercises are the exception to this, focusing primarily on finger dexterity and the ability to change between different notes using combinations of the valves on the instrument. These techniques can help players get back into the correct method of playing the trumpet before tackling a new piece.
Long note exercises are one variety of trumpet warm-ups useful for regulating air flow and producing clean and sustained notes. The main issue most players have with long tones is creating a smooth, even note by maintaining a steady air stream. Exercises involving long notes can seem uninteresting to play, but they provide players with an opportunity to get used to regulating the flow of air through their lips. They can also give players experience in creating a nice tone when they play the trumpet. The aim of these exercises is to make them musical, despite the simplistic rhythm and tunes.
Tonguing exercises are designed to improve the articulation of notes produced on the trumpet. This is an important variety of trumpet warm-ups because they give the player the opportunity to focus on their specific tonguing technique. Most players move their tongue as if they were saying the word “taa” when playing notes on the trumpet. This provides each note with a clear attack and articulation. Many tonguing trumpet warm-ups feature repeated notes which the player sounds out individually.
Lip slurs are basically the opposite technique to tonguing, and involve changing notes without use of the player’s tongue. These trumpet warm-ups are useful for playing legato sections in songs, which is an Italian word basically meaning “smooth.” Players should change notes by repositioning their tongue, changing the amount of air they are releasing, and pursing or relaxing the corners of the mouth. To create higher notes, the tongue should be raised, more air should be pushed through the mouth, and the corners of the lips should be pursed.
Scales are types of trumpet warm-ups which give players practice on their fingering. A run of musical notes which sound good together and produce a specific “feeling” is referred to as a scale. This is useful for learning which notes are included in which scales and which valves should be pressed by the player to produce certain notes. Scales can be played over one or two octaves for a warm-up.
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