Many older players returning to the trumpet have ‘lost it’ from what they remember being able to play in their teens and 20’s. Often times simply playing long tones - although very boring - is very effective to building embouchure strength. Long tones can 'fix' many mistakes: You have to have quite a bit of air, your air stream has to be constantly flowing, your embouchure has to be in the correct position, and we're working out the entire process to create strength.
Look to your playing and analyze your goals and what you would like to accomplish.
A) What are your intentions?
1. Playing for fun (we’re done, keep practicing and have a good time!)
2. Playing for a goal or purpose in mind, continue reading...
B) What kind of goal?
1. Are you trying out for a dance band or group?
2. Do you want to play professionally?
3. Do you want to join an orchestra?
C) What time commitment is involved to achieve your goal?
GENERALLY SPEAKING, to have any level of skill when you go to the horn, you have to have a solid base of practicing for many months/years. If you are starting over again, GIVE YOURSELF TIME to get your chops back. IT WILL TAKE LONGER for your lips and body to adjust to the new demands. Let’s face the facts, it gets harder to play, the older we get. A general rule for practicing is this: decide upon your goal and determine what it will take to reach that level of playing. You must practice every day, or you will ‘loose it.’ As stated by many: “The first day you miss practicing - you know it. The second day - the band leader knows it. The third day, the audience knows it!”
My personal practice routine is the following:
A) One half to two thirds of my time is spent ’warming up’ (from my book)
B) The Clarke Technical Studies Many exercises from chapter 2, 3, 4, and 5 - Great chop and finger calisthenics, (I especially need these as I am left handed)
C) Standard trumpet repertoire: Etudes, Pieces and Songs
The Ultimate Warm Up for Trumpet
(1) Air Moving
(2) Lip Buzzing
(3) Mouthpiece Work
(4) Long Tones
(8) Range Studies
(9) Musical Phrasing