Arban Trumpet Method

by Steven J. Miller
Arban's method is used by countless musicians to improve technique.

Arban's method is used by countless musicians to improve technique.

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The Arban method is a professional method designed to teach trumpet players proper playing technique and improve their musicality. Private instructors have relied on this method for years to guide students in the proper methods of breathing, articulation and technical development. Students who successfully complete this method will have a solid technique and the capabilities to play several advanced trumpet works. Professional trumpet players refer to this method as the "bible" of trumpet technique.


The Arban method begins with an introduction that discusses proper posture and how to hold the trumpet. The player should sit up straight or stand and keep the shoulders relaxed. The trumpet support comes from the left hand so that the right hand is free to manipulate the valves. Breathing involves taking the air into the diaphragm and avoiding trapping air in the chest. Proper posture is the basis for exceptional trumpet technique.


Arban's method discusses legato, staccato, accents, slurs and standard tonguing. The proper tongue position and syllable to play each articulation undergoes a thorough discussion in the Arban method. Students should practice all tonguing exercises with a metronome to develop consistent attacks. The method also provides the trumpet player with hundreds of exercises to develop and improve his ability to articulate cleanly and accurately.


The largest portion of the Arban method concentrates on developing the trumpet player's technique. Trumpet players work through several scale excerpts, arpeggios and rhythmic exercises to increase their technical skill. Most teachers will also require that the student transpose each exercise into several keys since the trumpet player often has to transpose music in orchestras. Students who successfully complete the entire Arban method will have the ability to play any new piece of music.


Sections in the Arban method are filled with etudes and solo works. Etudes will help the trumpet player practice her ability to interpret phrases and play musically. Trumpet players need a mixture of technical work coupled with musical works to help them develop an all-around musical ability. Famous trumpet solos such as "The Carnival of Venice" and an excerpt from the opera "Norma" are included for study within the Arban method. The musical portion is essential to teach the student proper phrasing and musical interpretation.


  • "Arban's Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet"; Joseph Jean Baptiste Laurent Arban; 2011

About the Author

Steven Miller graduated with a master's degree in 2010. He writes for several companies including Lowe's and IBM. He also works with local schools to create community gardens and learn environmentally responsible gardening. An avid gardener for 15 years, his experience includes organic gardening, ornamental plants and do-it-yourself home projects.

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