How to Expand the Range for a Trumpet

by Steven J. Miller
Expanding the high range requires specific exercises.

Expanding the high range requires specific exercises.

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Expanding the range of the trumpet will make it possible for you to increase your endurance, play high notes with ease and avoid the pitfalls that come from having a weak embouchure. Professional trumpet players practice daily to maintain their range and increase their ability to play at a high level. Without daily practice, you will find it difficult to keep up with the high demands of trumpet playing.

Items you will need

  • Piano
Step 1

Warm up the instrument before each session. Playing long-tones and flexibility exercises will accomplish this. For instance, use the following chromatic series: G, F#, G, F, G, E, G, Eb and continue down to low C. Then start on G an octave higher and play the same exercise.

Step 2

Practice an endurance- and strength-building exercise. Begin on G in the middle of the staff and play three half notes, followed by a half note rest. Continue up a half step and continue the series. Do not move your embouchure or take the mouthpiece away from your lips. Continue until you have reached the highest note possible.

Step 3

Rest for fifteen minutes and run through the endurance exercise again. This time, see whether you can play higher than the last time. This exercise will greatly increase your true high range.

Step 4

Play pedal tone whole notes by completely relaxing your lips and turning your embouchure into a frown. Use a slow but steady air and allow your lips to vibrate slowly. This will build strength in your embouchure and also make it possible for you to hit higher notes.

Step 5

Perform the same routine using only your mouthpiece. Take the mouthpiece out of the instrument and use a piano to check your pitch. Play as high as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is possible to fake the high range, but this does not truly increase your range. It is better to build your endurance through trumpet exercises.

References

  • "Arban's Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet"; Jean B. Arban; 1982

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.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images