Favourite Arban's exercises?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tjcombo, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    The Arban’s is about as ubiquitous as anything gets in the world of learning, developing and maintaining a level of expertise playing brass. Whilst there are a lot of repetitious, dry exercises, there are some nice bits of music in there. What are your favourites? Why? There must be a lot of fun stuff that many of us haven’t yet discovered.
    To kick off, here a my faves…

    Page 21, exercise 47: Not a great melody, but a gift that keeps giving. For me at 12 y.o. this was a breath control exercise – play the notes in two breaths. Revisited a long time later, aiming for perfection – rhythm, articulation, clarity etc, it’s still useful piece. Up an octave and it provides a whole new challenge.

    Page 24, exercise 10: This syncopated exercise rocks. I had two good teachers when I first tackled this. My local brass band director was a very good professional trombone player who had a fit of the vapours after my high school teacher; a terrific lead trumpet player showed how to swing the great riff was contained in bars 14-17. Love it for old-time’s sake.

    The next one for some reason is in a book entitled “Arban’s Complete Method for Trumpet/Cornet” edited by Musser and Mincarelli but not in my Platinum Arban’s. This is a cool little piece and I use it to benchmark different horns. 12 bars of this give quick indication of whether a horn wants to play nice.

    Which exercises keep you coming back?
  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Great observations, tj. There is a lot of versatility available to a player using Arban's. I have been working through it in my own fashion since beginning my comeback. It was my primary book "way back when" too. I have not identified a favorite exercise yet, but if I ever I get to the point where I can play #69 on page 56 (magenta cover) cleanly, at tempo, and with good phrasing, and then do this consistently, I know I will have grown as a trumpeter!
  3. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    I have several parts that I go through most days, but when I fancy a change I go to Vois tu la Neige qui Brille and give it a run. (Not many versions of it on You Tube that I can find, and those aren't that good).
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Pretty well everything from page 28 to 36. I often start with Ex. 32 which is great for blowing out the cobwebs. 18, 27 and 38 are particular favourites.
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    My favorites are the ones I can't play, so I have lots of favorites... I tackle them to strengthen my sight reading skills and to work on weak points in my playing.
  6. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    My Arban's Complete Conservatory Method is the one with the beige/tan cover with blue letters. At the top of the front cover it says "New American Edition". Purchased new back in 1966, if I remember correctly. The price printed on the front cover was $5.00. When I bought it, however, that price had just been scratched out, and had increased to $6.00.

    Just about every page in Arban's offers much of great value, so isolating any particular sections, pages, or exercises is almost futile for me. However, two specific pages and numbers that I always thought were especially good were page 44, #22, and page 125, #1.

    Kind of depends on what you want to work on. Scales, chromatics, articulation, finger dexterity, intervals, lip slurs, multiple tonguing, it's all there...in abundance.
  7. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    I don't have a favorite because all the exercises can annoy me pretty equally, but after 18 months of this, I think any human with a decent horn and Arban's, and no other material or outside influences, would likely become a pretty darn good trumpet player. I've got several method books and various studies, but I pretty much just do Arban's anymore.

    One piece I enjoy just for the challenge is Balay: Petite piece Concertante from the Mark Niehaus Trumpet Collection. I recently got a copy of Concierto de Aranjuez, which is a bit of a challenge, mainly because the version I'm most familiar with is sung by Ishtar (Alabina), so the music as written by Rodrigo doesn't line up with what I'm hearing in my head, and causes great consternation.

    I need to get a copy of Arban's in a spiral binder format, because it takes 3 clothes pins to keep the dang book open on the music stand.
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I just had my Arban's converted to spiral for a few dollars. My wife was having some of her books done, so I threw the Arban's into the stack. I think she took them to one of the large office supply stores, but I'm sure a copy store could do it, too.
  9. Pinstriper

    Pinstriper Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 26, 2013
    When I was getting my PMP, a neat tip was take the PMBOK to FedEx-Kinkos. They will slice the glued binding off and spiral bind it for you. Was under $10 iirc.

    I'm gonna do that to my Arban's at lunch today, come to think of it.
  10. And3

    And3 Pianissimo User

    Oct 7, 2013
    East Sussex, UK
    I have always loved playing the Fourteen Cadenzas, page 152. Great exercises in learning to play musical phrases. I was taught sing the phrases first before playing to work out the pacing of each section to try and make it all flow together and ultimately arrive at the cadence. Easier said than done, but great fun to practice and very satisfying when you get it right. So much to take from this to learning how to play any melody in a way that is pleasing to the listener.
    I also nearly always play no.31 -54, pages 48 - 51 Exercises on the slur, so much good lip practice here.

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