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Getting Back Into Trumpet: Episode Four

February 2nd, 2024 | 1 min read

By Adam McCulloch

Getting Back Into Trumpet: Episode Four

In part four of the Recover vlogs, Grant Golding takes us into the world of trumpet embouchure. Embouchure is critical for producing quality sound as one of the four key aspects of trumpet technique – alongside breathing, tonguing, and fingering. It's about more than just lip slurs and finger patterns; it's the foundation of your playing.

Improving Embouchure: Building from the Ground Up

Embouchure development starts with the basics. Ensure you're standing correctly, holding the instrument properly, and, most importantly, breathing relaxedly. These are the pillars upon which solid embouchure is built. The goal is not about achieving perfect sound immediately but about focusing on the flow and movement of air.

Check out episode four of the Getting Back Into Trumpet series:

Clean Transitions Between Notes

One of the first exercises Grant suggests is moving from middle to low notes and back, focusing on producing two clear tones without any scooping or sharpness. This exercise is about clarity and control, training your lips to transition smoothly between notes.

Off-Instrument Exercises for Trumpet

While on-instrument exercises are vital, Grant also mentions the importance of off-instrument exercises to build strength and stamina. These exercises, which he'll cover in a separate video, are an integral part of developing a robust embouchure.

Flutter Tonguing: The Secret Weapon for Trumpet Players

Flutter tonguing is described as a game-changer by Grant. It not only helps in finding the perfect embouchure position for each note but also strengthens the 22 muscles involved in embouchure. This technique is an effective way to ensure your lips are exactly where they need to be for each note.

Light Pressure and Air Flow

Remember to keep the pressure light and the airflow steady. Trying flutter tonguing quietly helps maintain gentle pressure, crucial for avoiding strain and fatigue. This approach is pivotal for achieving clear intervals and swift transitions across the harmonic series.

Simple to Complex: The Path to Trumpet Mastery

To advance your embouchure, take simple patterns and make them challenging. Play them faster, quieter, and repeatedly. Pushing the limits of speed and dynamics transforms a basic exercise into a powerful tool for improvement. Continuously challenge yourself with questions like, "Can I do this quieter, faster, more times?" This mindset is key to advancing your embouchure skills.

Practice Makes Perfect

As you continue your journey of recovery and improvement, remember the importance of embouchure in your overall technique. By focusing on these exercises, you'll see significant improvements in your playing. Grant's guidance in this video is a roadmap to mastering control over your lips, and ultimately, your trumpet's voice.

Adam McCulloch

Adam is the Content Manager at pBone Music. This should mean that he’s the ideal person to write about himself, but he finds boasting in the third person a little awkward. He honed his word wizardry with a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. He has since written copy for clients and businesses across the land, from awards to something beginning with “z”. He also spent a number of years as a musician. He has written pop songs and even jingles for kids, performed more first dances at weddings than you could shake a pBuzz at, and once played a gig for a pie company at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester. When he’s not reminiscing about those good old days, you might find Adam enjoying the football (although as an Everton fan, that can be difficult). He also loves spending time with his partner, Jen, and his family and friends, and sincerely hopes they feel the same way.