Increase endurance and range the easy way

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mhendricks, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    Here's a simple way to increase endurance, develop tone and musical playing, all at the same time.

    1. get your Arban's book out

    2. turn to page 191 (or close to that) for the 150 Classic and Popular Melodies section

    3. the first time through all of the melodies you are only going to play 4 measures at a time (or until the first place you can take a breath). Then you're going to rest for that same amount of time, sing the phrase back as musically as you can, actually sing it and get the air flowing out of you, just like you were playing it.

    Then play the next four bar phrase, rest for the same amount of time as it took you to play it by singing it, then continue like this to the end of the song.

    Now sing through the entire song with no rests, you can finger your valves while you sing.

    You have just rested as much as you have played and you have rested again by singing the whole song through while fingering the notes.

    Be sure to play with the most beautiful tone you can play, focus on your air support and the flow of continuous air through the phrases, and also follow the dynamic markings and articulations that are written.

    Then go to the second song on the page and do the same as above.

    Then play the next song on the page and do the same as above.

    Play one full page like this, there are usually 3 or 4 songs per page.

    So on the first day, play page 191 like this. If your chops ever feel like they are folding, you are done for the day of playing these. If your tone becomes weak or fuzzy, you are done for the day of playing these. The idea is that you should actually feel fresh at the end of this endurance building, if not then you are playing to long of a phase and not resting enough during your practice session.

    On day two... start with page 191 as above, rest five minutes then do page 192 as above.

    On day three... start with page 192 as above, rest five minutes then do page 193 as above.

    On day four, start with page 193 as above, rest five minutes then do page 194 as above.

    And so on each day (two page per day, staggered like I've mentioned) until you've played all of the 150 songs. If any of them are too difficult to just read and play musically, repeat those pages for a few days until you can play them easily before moving ahead.

    Once you get through all 150 songs, go back to page 191 and now play 8 bar phrases, rest 8 bars, sing the whole song, play the next song in 8 bar phrases, rest 8 bars, sing the whole song, etc. ... then the 2nd day do two pages like this and follow the 2 page pattern as stated above.

    After you get through all 150 playing 8 bar phrases, most likely will be able to play the complete song this time around, if not then practice 12 bar or 16 bar phrases as you do all 150, two pages per day, like above.

    Once you can do the complete song, then rest for the same amount of the song, and do the next song... two staggered pages per day.

    After this begin transposing the songs up one whole step, using the patterns above, two pages a day.

    Then transpose all up a major third.
    Then transpose all up a perfect fourth.
    Then transpose all up a perfect fifth.
    Then transpose all up an octave, with plenty of rest between phrases.

    If at any time you lack good tone, or feel your chops folding.... this means you need to play shorter phrases and rest longer.

    All of this takes discipline, but the payoff will be more endurance, more tone, more musicality, more range, and more enjoyment in playing the trumpet.

    Remember... focus on tone, musicality, and air flow.

    Give it a try, it works!

    Mark Hendricks
    MPH Music - Mark Hendricks -
    neal085 likes this.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The only suggestion I would make is to start with the last four bars and work forward. That way it teaches us that the end of the piece is easy. Most of the time we can play the beginning of a piece quite well, but crash and burn later. By working backwards we can (to a degree) hard-wire ourselves to be equally as strong at the end as the beginning.
  3. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    Great tip VB!!!
  4. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Can't beat the play/rest routine!
  5. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    Another reason why this works so well...

    By actually playing music and playing musically, you really work your chops in all ways (air flow, tone, intervals up and down, attacks, releases, slurs, sudden and gradual dynamic changes, and on and on...) rather than just brute force calisthenic exercises.

    And it really does get you to rest as much as you play.

    For most players who are trying to increase endurance, the "play 10 minutes and rest 10 minutes" doesn't work because they're completely shot after the 10 minutes. So breaking it down to real small chunks of 4 bar phrases played then 4 bars of rest, then rest the whole length of the piece works better many times for them.

    And having a disciplined method of working through those 150 melodies gives us some direction of knowing what to do each day. We must be our own task master :-)

    As always, my best to you --

    Mark Hendricks
    MPH Music - Mark Hendricks -
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I was in a rehearsal were the director started at the end and did this. It was a little strange but it worked.
  7. montvm

    montvm New Friend

    Jan 6, 2014
    Great tips, Used to have the Arban's book, will need to go out and buy a new copy
  8. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    Working from the end of a phrase or piece is really great practice for finishing strong, and for working out a difficult passage within a piece. We tend to practice from the beginning, we get a good start and then fizzle at the end. That's what is great about VB's comment, it helps us have the end in mind and gives direction, focus and mindset to be a great finisher, rather than a just a good starter.

    For this simple plan of developing endurance, I do suggest to keep things as simple as possible. Just start out 4 on and 4 off then the whole thing off. Then the next one and next one for the whole page. Take a little break and do the second page the same way.

    By the way, this is not to be your warmup, do your daily warmup and get to this after you've done some other practicing in all areas. You can use the play, rest, play, rest idea when doing all of that too.

    :-) Mark
  9. Jolter

    Jolter Piano User

    Apr 1, 2009
    While I like this method, I object to calling it "the easy way". In order to get results, the student will have to put in the needed time and work. I think that goes for this method just like any other.
  10. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    Right you are Jolter... there is no short cut.

    This is an easy way to do it, it gets results and it's not hard to do.

    Thus.... the easy way.

    Your chops will actually feel good after playing and they will have a chance at developing real strength where it really counts.... musicality.

    (plus tone, endurance, range, etc too)

    By the way, this is not to be your warmup - do your daily warmup and get to this after you've done some other practicing in all areas. You can use the play, rest, play, rest idea when doing all of that too.


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