Purpose of Flexibility Exercises

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Friggin' Nomad, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Friggin' Nomad

    Friggin' Nomad New Friend

    May 1, 2011
    So I always thought that the whole point of the flexibility studies in like the Arban's was to teach you how to do lip trills. Now I'm very much guessing it was more my ignorant self that thought that. So what do flexibility studies exactly do? How do you go about practicing them? Do I go for speed to start, or accuracy, or both? And what are the best ones to use, there is a lot in the Vizzutti book, or should I use the Arban's?
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Don't start out with speed. Start slow and really learn to control your air, tongue and face. Arban's Page 44. SLOW with a metronome. I think I started around 40bpm or something, and now I can do the sextuplets at about 110 or so.
    They give you control over the instrument, help your range and also help endurance.
    To me, they are one of the most fundamental and important things you can do on the horn.
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    NOT that a lot of the music I play has "big" intervals -- but I also expand the Arban's stuff, and do octave leaps for flexibility -I also go both up and down (let say middle 3rd space C -- and go up as far as "reasonably" good sound without forcing it (C to D, C to E, C to F, etc -- and also go down (C to B, C to A, C to G -- down to the low G below the staff) -- I usually go slow, and do long tones on these.
    Anyways -- whatever intervals, octave leaps and stuff you do --- always try to "center" the tone, and make each note - NOT forced, but fluid and nice sounding --- it all helps with playing the horn in one way or another --- and YES, it is NOT always fun, and NOT always easy!!!!!!!!! in my opinion
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    So what do flexibility studies exactly do?
    Ahh, I believe they teach you flexibility.

    How do you go about practicing them?
    Be flexible with your time. Try them in between other practice goals for a session. Do not devote an entire practice section to this skill set.

    Do I go for speed to start, or accuracy, or both?
    You need to go for flexibility. Start slow until accuracy is achieved, then go to a faster tempo

    And what are the best ones to use, there is a lot in the Vizzutti book, or should I use the Arban's?
    Yes (i.e there is no best... but if you want more of a challenge at the risk of being humbled... go for Vizzutti... "it's been known to make college students cry" a quote from the Allen meister himself he just presented at our Dayton Trumpet Hang just one week ago.
  5. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Try the Colin lip Flexibilities - great book. Takes you through series of gradual exercises, and before you know it you're using your air better, playing more accurately, and playing shakes easily. Work with a private instructor for best results. :)
    coolerdave likes this.
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Colins are great..Arbans are really good..Vizzutti are my all around fav at this point in time... metronome a must ... don't over do them. Be mindful of the pressure you are using and the volume at which you practice them.
    When I practice at 40bpm I double the metromone speed.
  7. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Flexibility Studies:
    These are all tongue level exercises, many of you will call them lip slurs but they are very much more than that. It a good idea to both tongue and slur and make sure when you tongue that the tip of the tongue stays behind the lower teeth. These exercises should be taken down the seven valve combinations.
    10 source of exercises in flexibility:
    Bill Knevitt's - Building A Strong and Flexible Embouchure
    Del Staiger's - Flexibility Studies Part 1 (start with this one)
    Earl D. Irons - 27 Groups of Exercises 7 - 24
    Saint-Jacome's Grand Method - pages 19, 24, 26, 49, 68, 81 and 157- 165 practice with all models
    Claude Gordon - Tongue Level Exercises
    Charles Colin - 100 Original Warmups
    Charles Colin - Advance Lip Flexibilities volume 1, 2, & 3 (the very best)
    Arban's - pages 39 -47
    Arban's - 125 130
    Walter M. Smith - Lip Flex...

    Rule : Accuracy before Speed
    Acknowledgment : B.B.Knevitt
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I use the Schlossberg book, myself. The studies are very good for building range and ease of playing, especially when going from very low to high and vice versa.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    No truer words ever spoken. This is IMO the hardest thing for any player to do! It really insults the ego. I know a player that refuses to do this and his runs are always jumbled. I suggested he slow down for practice purposes. His response was, "No that won't help"! His runs still suck!
  10. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Flexibility studies serve two purposes: they help to develop flexibility in the embouchure (that's obvious, right?) and they are great for building stamina and a nice sound.

    There are many volumes of studies available: Colin, Schlossberg, the Arban's exercises, etc. Any of these will do for your practice.

    For building and maintaining the embouchure, these studies should always be done SLOWLY. Developing the ability to play these slowly, yet accurately and with good sound and intonation, will
    strengthen your chops and help you to develop a nice sound on the horn. The other use for these exercises is to build flexibility in the embouchure. For this, the exercises should be practiced two ways: SLOWLY (as described above), and some time spent gradually speeding the execution up. Take care when speeding up not to make too big a leap in tempo. Before increasing tempo, the exercise should be played with a good tone, accuracy, and comfort. It is of utmost importance to use the wind column correctly when practicing and playing these exercises or little progress will be made.


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