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Helping Trumpet Players Worldwide Since 1996.


Can you double tongue ALL two octave scales?
Can you hit a double 'C' and higher?
Do you have a beautiful warm, rich tone?

All of these playing styles (and more) can be MASTERED through Skill Building. Smart practicing and Skill Building is somewhat a lost art. All of us want to pick up the horn, have fun and play various music. But what are our goals? What are we trying to achieve? If we are just playing for enjoyment then THAT is the goal. But if your goal is to improve or get better, then you must add Skill Building to your practice routine.

What is Skill Building?

Begin working on a particular skill (tonguing, scales, range) in simple, attainable steps, then increasing the difficulty SLIGHTLY. Practicing that level for many repetitions UNTIL MASTERED, then increasing the difficulty. It may take hours, days or weeks to MASTER a particular level. Mastery is obtained when you can play a particular passage or selection 10-15 times at the given metronome marking with no mistakes.

How to do Skill Building:

Let's take the double tonguing example of two octave scales. (click for more information on double tonguing)(It is taken for granted that you have MASTERED double tonguing. If not you would do these exercises.)

1) MASTER single tonguing the scales in sixteenth notes from 40 BPM to 132+ BPM. (may take a two month period) Muscle memory and technique are being developed.

2) SLOWLY begin double tonguing the scales and MASTER each metronome marking.

3) Increase the tempo as each level is MASTERED (could take 6 months)

Now, after six months of Skill Building, you have MASTERED double tonguing two octave scales! If you had followed your normal practice routine, what would your skill level be on double tonguing two octave scales?


Believe me, I'm not perfect, there are days when I play for fun. To improve on a consistent basis add Skill Building to your practicing sessions!

Building skill on the trumpet is a gradual process that requires consistent practice and dedication. Here are some tips to help you improve your playing:

1 Warm up: Before you start playing, it’s important to warm up your lips, face, and muscles. This will help you play with greater ease and control. Start by buzzing your lips on a mouthpiece and gradually increasing the speed and volume. You can also do lip slurs and long tones to help get your lips and muscles ready for playing.

2 Posture and Breath Control: Good posture and breathing are key components to playing the trumpet effectively. Stand up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed. Breathe deeply and use your diaphragm to support your breath. This will help you play with more power and control.

3 Practice Scales and Arpeggios: Scales and arpeggios are fundamental building blocks of trumpet playing and are essential for developing finger agility and dexterity. Start by practicing scales and arpeggios slowly and then gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable with them.

4 Work on Endurance: To build endurance on the trumpet, you need to practice playing for longer periods of time. Start with short practice sessions and gradually increase the length of your sessions as your endurance improves.

5 Focus on Tone Quality: Tone quality is an important aspect of trumpet playing and can be improved through consistent practice. Focus on playing with a full, rich sound and maintaining a consistent tone throughout your range.

6 Study Music Theory: Understanding music theory will help you understand how to play different styles of music and develop your own playing style. Study key signatures, chord progressions, and scales to help you better understand the structure of music.

7 Listen to Professional Players: Listening to professional trumpet players will help you understand what good playing sounds like and give you ideas for improving your own playing. Listen to recordings of players you admire and try to imitate their sound and phrasing.

8 Play with Others: Playing with other musicians will help you develop your ensemble skills and improve your ability to play in different musical styles. Join a local band or ensemble and practice playing with others on a regular basis.

9 Use a Metronome: Using a metronome can help you develop your timing and improve your overall playing. Start by practicing with the metronome at a slow tempo and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable with the rhythm.

10 Experiment with Different Playing Styles: Experimenting with different playing styles can help you develop your own unique sound and style. Try playing different genres of music, such as classical, jazz, and rock, to see what you enjoy playing the most.

11 Take Lessons: Taking lessons from a professional trumpet player or teacher can help you improve your playing faster and more effectively. They can help you identify and correct any technical issues and provide you with new ideas and insights into your playing.

12 Practice, Practice, Practice: The key to building skill on the trumpet is consistent practice. Set aside time each day to practice and focus on improving your playing. The more you practice, the better you will become.

13 Focus on Articulation: Articulation refers to how notes are started and stopped, and is a key element of trumpet playing. Practice different articulation techniques such as tonguing and slurring, and focus on making each note clear and distinct.

14 Use a Tuner: Using a tuner can help you develop your ear and improve your intonation. Practice playing in tune with the tuner and work on adjusting your pitch as needed.

15 Practice Sight-Reading: Sight-reading is the ability to play music at first sight, without prior rehearsal. This is an important skill for trumpet players, especially if you plan to play in an ensemble or orchestra. Practice sight-reading by playing through new pieces of music each day.

16 Practice Transposition: Transposition is the process of playing a piece of music in a different key than it was written. This is an important skill for trumpet players, especially if you plan to play in a variety of ensembles. Practice transposition by playing familiar pieces of music in different keys.

17 Experiment with Different Mouthpieces: Different mouthpieces can have a big impact on your sound and playing. Experiment with different sizes and shapes of mouthpieces to find one that works best for you.

18 Record Yourself: Recording yourself playing can help you identify areas for improvement and track your progress over time. Listen to your recordings and make note of any areas where you need to improve.

19 Play Along with Recordings: Playing along with recordings can help you develop your listening skills and improve your timing and phrasing. Choose recordings of music you enjoy and try to play along with the trumpet parts.

20 Practice in Different Environments: Practicing in different environments, such as outdoors or in a large hall, can help you develop your projection and adapt to different acoustics.

Remember, building skill on the trumpet takes time and consistent effort. Don’t get discouraged if progress seems slow at first. Keep practicing and focus on improving one aspect of your playing at a time. With dedication and hard work, you can become a skilled trumpet player. By following these tips and consistently practicing, you can improve your trumpet playing and develop the skills you need to become a successful player. Good luck!

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©Copyrighted 2022 Michael Droste Peoria IL