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Getting Back Into Trumpet: Episode Ten

February 19th, 2024 | 2 min read

By Adam McCulloch

Getting Back Into Trumpet: Episode Ten

In the final vlog of the Recover series, Grant Golding presents off-instrument exercises to strengthen the four key aspects of trumpet playing: breathing, embouchure, tongue, and fingers. These exercises are designed to be practiced anywhere, even when you're not near your trumpet.

Breathing and Embouchure Exercises for Trumpet

Breathing exercises are fundamental. Grant recommends checking in with your breathing, ensuring you're taking deep breaths and focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out. He revisits the goldfish exercise, emphasizing the stretching of the ribcage and intercostal muscles. Another simple practice is to blow on a piece of paper, try different speeds, and use tongue movements to control the airflow.

For embouchure, Grant advises against the pencil trick due to potential bruising. Instead, focus on squeezing the corners of the mouth and pointing the chin. This can be practiced during mundane activities, like driving. Additionally, repeating the letter 'P' helps work the inner embouchure muscles, strengthening the lips.

Trumpet Tongue and Finger Exercises

Developing articulation and tongue agility involves practicing the supporting muscles at the back of the tongue. Grant suggests the 'DOYOY' exercise, which activates these muscles. Alternating this with the 'P' exercise can improve tongue strength and flexibility.

Finger exercises are mostly about stretching and independent movement. Air trumpet playing or any activity that gets your fingers moving can be beneficial. The key is to keep them agile and coordinated.

Grant wraps up the series by reiterating the importance of enjoying the process. Progress and improvement in trumpet playing, as in life, aren't always linear. There will be ups and downs, and sometimes progress might seem slow, but sticking to a routine and staying dedicated will lead to significant improvements over time.

One of Grant's key messages is the value of enjoying your instrument. Playing the trumpet should be fun, and it's this enjoyment that fuels progress and recovery. Whether you're practicing formal exercises or just playing for the love of it, the joy of playing is a crucial component of your musical journey.

Check out the tenth and final video episode of Grant's vlog:

The Recover series concludes with the reminder that recovery and improvement in trumpet playing are journeys filled with varied experiences and emotions. By incorporating off-instrument exercises into your routine and focusing on the joy of playing, you can enhance your skills, build endurance, and enjoy the rich world of trumpet playing.



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.