The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #3

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerThe Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #3

Increasing endurance with little time to practice, airflow and buzzing, mouthpiece placement

One of The Advancing Trumpet Player book owners wrote to me and said…

Any advice for the comeback player using The Advancing Trumpet Player book, with people who have some time issues. Been playing 8 (come back after 25 off) years and still some of the warm ups I do totally wear me down. All of this info on air and buzzing, I’m not sure even how to set my mpc any more.

Mark S.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question.

When I was doing my comeback after 20 years of not playing, I also was frustrated with my endurance.  I remembered how I used to be able to play and play. But what I didn’t remember is the years of building up to that happened as I developed my trumpet playing. Even so, it was frustrating.

So how did I solve this?

I pulled out my Arban’s book, when to those old songs and started playing four measures at a time (usually one phrase). Then I would take the horn off my face and sing what I play and finger the notes. Then I would play the next four measures and then rest while I sang those. And continued this pattern to the end of the song. Then I would rest as much time as it took to sing through the entire song.

Then I continued this and did two pages of those songs. The next day I would start with the second page of the prior day for a little repetition of material and my second page on day two would be new.  And on and on in this pattern to the end of those old songs section.

Then I went back the first song and did eight measures, rest and sing eight, play eight, rest and sing eight, etc – and did two pages like that. Then next day, start with the second page and add the next page, etc.

Voila – I was resting as much as I was playing.

The problem is…. we hear people say “Rest as much as you play”, and we play and play for an hour, beat up our chops, then rest an hour, comeback to practice on beat up chops and wonder why things don’t work and we don’t improve.

Mark says… Rest as much as you play DURING each practice session, you should feel fresh and good at the end of your practice sessions. If you don’t, your not practicing correctly.  It does no good to practice on tired chops, you will only be developing bad habits, not good ones.

I included this “How To Increase Your Endurance The Easy Way” Special Report PDF in the Trumpet Players Sample Pack available for free at

Now as far as air and buzzing…

Let’s focus instead on sound, your sound.  It’s what people hear.  The don’t hear your air, they don’t hear your buzzing.

Focus on resonating the room with your sound.  This is not echo.  This is a thickness of sound that surrounds you when you play as you fill the room with your sound, you literally vibrate the room with your tone.  And you don’t have to play loud to do this. It’s more of opening yourself up so your airstream is easily moving through your horn and filling the room with sound on each and every note.

How do you practice this?

Those first few warmup exercises get you going on this in the Advancing Trumpet Player book, take your time, just get into the feeling of filling the room with your sound, resonate the room. I repeat myself, but that’s what I think about… listening for the room to resonate and tell me that I am playing correctly with a full and relaxed sound on each and every note, no matter if it’s short or long, low or high, soft or loud – resonate the room with the sound concept you are wanting to have.

Once you get the feeling of this it will carry over into all of your playing, if you pay attention to it. And you must on each and every note… resonate the room.

Okay enough of resonate the room 🙂

Mouthpiece placement…

Play a second line G with a full resonant sound with a comfortable mouthpiece placement, not too far left or right, not too far up or down… just make it feel good and sound good.  Let that be home base for a while. Build everything from that second line G.  Later on you may want to use top of the staff G for your setup, but that’s for later.  Get your in the staff sound resonating first.

Some more thoughts and things to do for mouthpiece placement…

A little more for mouthpiece placement….

Get a 8×10 mirror and put it on your music stand so you can see yourself

Start with directly centered under your nose and in half and half upper and lower lips left/right in the middle, even if feels lousy at first

Then just play 2nd line G, half note, half note, whole note – horn off lips and rest that much

Reset and do the same 10 times – Mezzo Forte – but resonate the room

Just try that setup and see where it gets you.  Try it for at least 5 days like this — practice other stuff too after doing this and don’t think about placement so much, it will carry over. After the 5 days, you will probably used to it.

You may then experiment with tiny adjustments up down left right to find the spot where your chops resonate the room the best – let the sound be your guide not so much the feeling of the chops — your chops will build the embouchure to support the sound you discover that resonates the room when you play.

Slow and steady and a little of this every day, and let it carry over to your other playing.

Once this 2nd line G starts resonating for you they way you like, then do the first Full Range Study that is in The Comeback Trumpet Player book, The Advancing Trumpet Player book, and the Full Range Studies for Trumpet book. Be sure to play each valve combination slowly, take the horn off your face between each one and rest as much as you just played.  Make sure you don’t slide note to note, make your chops work and resonate well on each note. Only go as high as it is easy, with the mouthpiece placement you are not trying to build range with this exercise, but rather just get things working well in the staff. You don’t need to go higher than top of staff G for this.  And your chops should feel good after doing this, if they don’t you didn’t rest enough or you went to high.

If you don’t have these books, get the free Trumpet Players Sample Pack – this first exercise is in the Full Range Studies sample PDF, just do that first page and extend the pattern up to top of staff G. Get the sample pack at

Remember to resonate the room as your guide to whether you are playing correctly.

Listen to the sound of the room, more than the sound of your trumpet.

Hope that helps!


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    2 Comments on The Advancing Trumpet Player – Tips #3

    1. George Rawlin on Wed, 13th Jul 2016 6:26 pm
    2. Enjoy your material. Great website

    3. Mark Hendricks on Wed, 13th Jul 2016 7:28 pm
    4. Thanks George… and yours too!


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