Daily Warm Up for Elementary Brass Players
By Bobby Herriot
(edited and reprinted from September 1972 Getzen Gazette)
1. With the Lips Only
Try to make a buzzing sound by forcing the air through the lips. To do this, put your mouth in the same position needed when you put the trumpet up to your lips. Grip the muscles in the corner of the mouth FIRMLY, but not tight. Now put your tongue behind the TOP teeth and release the air and sound between the lips. Don’t worry about producing any particular note. Just be happy if a sound comes out. Do this approximately 6 times to get the lips loose and vibrating properly.
2. With the Mouthpiece
Take the mouthpiece in your left hand and place it on your lips in the NORMAL playing position. Take a deep breath and play the following exercises. If you need help finding the notes, you may use your trumpet to play the first note to get it into your ear. A piano would be better though. Just be sure to play through all three exercises with just your mouthpiece.
Please note that frequent rests are needed during the initial stages of playing. It is extremely important that these rests are observed during the warm up period and during all practice sessions.
3. With the Trumpet
Hold the trumpet in your left hand and place your right hand in playing position. With your three playing fingers perfectly on TOP of the finger buttons and your pinky OUT of the pinky ring repeat exercises A, B, and C.
This warm up should be done every day before attempting to play any other exercises or tunes. If it becomes a habit, which it should, then the rest of your playing will be made much easier resulting in better control over the trumpet.