Similarly to how athletes perform a variety of physical exercises to improve their strength and agility, trumpet players use their instruments to perform a variety of musical movements. The goal of these trumpet exercises is to practice the mechanics of playing the instrument and improve their performance abilities, not to make music. Exercises in rapidly moving the fingers to change notes on the instrument, interval exercises to improve the musician’s playing endurance, and practice producing the buzzing sound that a trumpet makes are among them.
The buzzing sound a trumpet player makes into a mouth piece to produce air vibrations, and the length of metal tubing that turns this buzzing into a note, give the trumpet, like other brass instruments, different sounds. The three valves that a trumpet player can depress in various combinations cause air to travel through various lengths of tubing before exiting the bell as a note. In addition to pressing down the correct combination of values for a specific note, or ‘fingering,’ the player must also produce a buzz in the mouthpiece with the same pitch as the note he or she is trying to produce.
When a trumpet player is not connected to the trumpet, they practice making this buzzing sound buzzing into their mouthpiece. The buzzing sound is created musicians who play the trumpet and other brass instruments tightly pursing their lips and blowing air out. The buzzing sound and vibration of the lips are the result of air forcing its way through the lips. Higher notes necessitate more tightly pursed lips, whereas lower notes necessitate less tightly pursed lips. Trumpet exercises that emphasize buzzing through the mouthpiece allow the musician to concentrate on the quality of the buzz, which results in a richer trumpet sound.
When trumpet players use their mouthpieces in their instruments, they must combine the note they are buzzing with proper valve fingering in order for the trumpet to produce the desired sound. When playing music, the speed at which a musician can change these fingers determines how quickly a player can change notes. Trumpet exercises that require players to rapidly play a succession of notes with different fingers can help the player practice switching notes and changing fingerings. Developing this skill allows the musician to play more technically complex pieces of music at a faster tempo.
Intervals are a type of trumpet exercise that strengthens the mouth muscles and makes buzzing easier. To accomplish this, the musician plays a note with a specific fingering and then slurs to the note above or below the current note without changing his or her valve fingering. This means that the change in note is solely due to the player’s tightening or loosening of these muscles, which results in a different buzzing tone. When a trumpet player’s mouth muscles become tired, he or she must work harder to produce a high-quality sound. The musician can play for longer periods of time strengthening these muscles.