I got my copy of arbans.....now what?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by scrap, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. scrap

    scrap Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2010
    York, South Carolina
    So I finally "got my bible" according to my band director, and it certainly seems to be all that it's cracked up to be, but there's one problem. I have no Idea where to begin. Do I just start from the beginning like any other book...or skip around to whatever I think I need to practice? Am I just over-complicating things or is there a way to get the best out of this book?
  2. Avan

    Avan New Friend

    Mar 9, 2012
    I would try Eric Bolvin's Book on Arbans................. Its a guide that will help you............

    Well Worth the endeavor..........
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Get Eric Bolvin's "The Arban Manual". ::: Eric Bolvin Music Studios - Publications ::: ARBAN MANUAL
    It organises the Arban book into a reasonable progression of exercises. It does the jumping around for you, in a logical and productive manner.
    Either that or, (gasp!) get a teacher.

    (LOL. Look at the time of my and Avan's. Posted exactly at the same time. Brilliant minds think alike and all that . . . )
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    If the band director told you to buy one, ask him what sections he thinks would do you the most good to begin with. If you get the short answer (like he's too busy to really get into it), work on the exercises that need skills you're no good at. If you really want to push the envelope, work on things that look impossible to play.
  5. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Do all of the characteristic studies, memorized at or above tempo. Not really, just work on what you need or get someone to guide you through it
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    You are supposed to play from the beginning to the end of the book a couple times each day.

    Just joking. So you know, Arbans is used for students who have never played a note to those who are professional players. There is stuff in there I will never be able to play properly so don't get frustrated. Typically, you work on a few exercises within the sections that you feel capable of handling with some practice. Talk with your band director. He will show you some sections at your level. I still have an Arbans book with sections marked for practice by my teacher from back in the 60s.
  7. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Since your band director recommended it to you, I assume you're in school and a younger less experienced player.

    So, as you've probably noticed, the book is organized into sections of exercises designed to help you perfect particular aspects of your playing. For instance, there's a section of exercises all designed to help you perfect 'the turn'. In the back there are some Victorian-era duets, solo pieces and finally the 12 characteristic studies, which embody ALL of the techniques needed to be a proficient trumpeter.

    Since you are fairly inexperienced, the thing you want to do is think about your technical weaknesses as a player. Do you know all of your scales, inside and out? How's your lip flexibility? At your level you are probably going to want to practice most of what's in this book over the next several years....

    Look through the different sections and just start picking a couple of exercises from the beginning of each section so that you have 10 or 12 (or whatever number you feel comfortable with) exercises to practice. Don't rush through them in a fit of goal oriented fury....try to understand what the exercises are trying to teach you. Get in the habit of starting slow, maintaining and improving your tone. YOu can gradually speed up the exercises (observe the MM markings and use a metronome). Don't try to move ahead too quickly and tackle exercises you're not ready for.....how do you know if you're not ready? Try to play an exercise...if you fall flat on your face, if the exercise is just WWWWAAAAYYY beyond you, then you're trying to move above your pay grade, so to speak.

    When you feel you've got one set of exercises down, move onto some more. Don't feel that you have to maintain any synchronicity among the different aspects...that is, you might be working on some scalar stuff and some lip flexibilities. At the end of a couple of weeks you may fee that the scalar stuff is pretty good, but you're still struggling with the lip flexibility exercises. Just pick up some new scalar exercises and keep working on the same flexibility exercises until you're ready to move on.

    One more thing, as you move through the book, you'll see that some of the exercises have these little things below them that look like examples. These are called models. What they are is this:

    Arban will give you a page of exercises, often a single exercise that moves through all 12 keys. if you look at the models below, you'll see that they contain a different articulation or phrasing to be applied to the same exercise. So if you go to one of these pages and there are 12 exercises (one per key), then 3 models at the bottom...you've got yourself 48 exercises on one page. WheeeeHawwwww!!!!!

    I've been playing trumpet for 44 years and I've spent AT LEAST 6-7 of them practicing in this book......have fun.....

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Calling it the "bible" is a good comparison. I remember trying to read the real Bible as a kid. I started very enthusiastically at Genesis "In the beginning....", and quickly faded away with all of the "begat's". :D When I got a little older, and with some guidance from friends, I learned how to read the Book effectively.

    For the OP, here's my 2 cents about the Arban Manual.

    - Ask your private teacher or band director for direction.

    - Or get a copy of Eric Bolvin's guide on how to use the Arban Manual.

    - But if you decide to go it on your own, don't feel compelled to work through everything at once. Pick maybe 2 or 3 sections, for example - scale studies, tonguing, and duets (or whatever you feel you need to work on).

    Have fun!
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Mike, great comparison to the Bible. Just like one will learn far more and it will be far easier and relevant reading the Bible with a guide that moves you around in it, rather than reading cover to cover, the same applies with Arbans. (Please no flames from those who read the Bible this way- I've done it both ways and still feel with it like a 7th grader with Arbans- but I digress). I can remember as a kid in 7th grade getting frustrated because I wasn't easily starting at the top of the page reading to the bottom in Arbans. Arbans is meant to handle line by line for most younger students- and moving around in the book as you indicate.
  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    I think, without it being intentional, some of the posts might give you the impression that you should just pick a few areas from Arban's and work on them. Maybe that was intentional, I don't know. But I would add that you should be working towards a balanced approach to what you practice.

    That doesn't mean a little bit from a whole lot of categories, but it does mean that you should be working on a number of aspects of technique and musicality and that calls for either playing from several categories of the Arban's exercises, or fewer but supplemented with other exercise books that complement what you choose not to work on out of the Arbans. That's why I think it's important that you either get a private teacher or use the Bolvin book - so that you get a balanced program of exercises with the Arban.

    I'm not sure from reading between the lines of your post that you are experienced enough to come up with a good study plan on your own. Don't take this personally. It's just that it's easy for us to overlook some things when we "don't know what we don't know".

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