Trumpet/Cornet Warm Up – Top 3 Tips for Daily Practice

14th September 2021

We asked professional Trumpet player Rob Blencowe for some top tips on daily Trumpet/Cornet warm ups. Playing a Brass instrument requires a lot of physical exertion so it’s important you get your body and mind suitably prepared before each practice or performance session.

Rob has many years of experience playing in the Coldstream Guards and British Army Band Sandhurst where he gets to perform on Trumpet and Cornet. Rob has played all around the world in all sorts of musical scenarios. There’s no excuses in front of Royalty or on live TV shows so it’s important to be ready to perform when the baton falls!

1. Mouthpiece Buzzing

This is a great place to start for the first 5 minutes. Rob suggests ‘buzzing’ up and down through the registers on your Trumpet mouthpiece. This helps stimulate the muscles in your embouchure and starts your airflow. It’s important to cover a good range of pitch to fully warm up the embouchure and lips.

This short starting exercise is ideal if you’re about to go on stage and can’t blow the instrument fully for noise reasons. It’s also something you can do on holiday, or when travelling! The Berp Buzz Extension and Resistance tool can be useful in the buzzing practice when your instrument is already out.

2. Long Low Tones

These may be boring but they are imperative! Focus on the sound you are producing. Listen carefully to the intonation and the connection between yourself and the instrument. Ideally practice these long tones in the lower register to build the tone base. There is no need to go screaming up in the higher registers.

Rob recommends playing from low C down to low F# for first couple of mins then move higher up through the range.

3. Take a Mindful Approach

It’s all too easy to noodle, or not warm up properly. Try to focus 100% on whatever you’re playing. How the note is created, supported and developed. Listen to your tone, be very specific about intonation and just try and ‘connect’ to your music making. Put your phone away, close the door and give yourself fully to the practice session.