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?