HBM – Warmup Routines

A personal thing – focus on tone, which indicates how well you’re playing

Ensemble can work on group tuning, balance, blend

Both:  relaxation

Negative:  boring because it’s repetitive

Value of warmup:

  1. Focus mentally & prepare the body
  2. Calm nerves
  3. Prevent injury – raise muscle temperature – 5-minute minimum to do this
  4. Increase endurance
  5. Warm horn up into pitch (low brass tend not to do this)

Value of routine:

  1. Remember how to play – start from scratch every day, stay on the straight and narrow path, check your compass heading
  2. Review the basics to be certain they are correct
  3. Increase consistency and improve skills
  4. No uncertainty of what to do or how to sound; leads you into correct playing
  5. Efficient use of time – don’t have to think about what to do
  6. Mentally calming


  1. Should warm up each time you play, but not as much for the first time of day (sleep does something)
  2. Should be memorized ASAP so player can focus on listening; don’t need to find music to warm up
  3. Rest 50% of the time – study music during the rests
  4. Length – 5 minute minimum to warm up the muscle temperature

            10 – 15 minutes recommended – 1:1 play:rest ratio

      Easily as much as 20-45 minutes – CSO, but that’s really practice; but if you think you need it, you need it

Warm Down – restore response; a warm up in reverse order; helps minimize bad following days

Attitude – trumpet is the best, fearless:  conductor, high, fast soft, etc.

Posture – tall as you can:  breathe, good looks, keep brain sharp

Breathing – Warm up the breathing muscle- 3 large breaths in a row = dizzy

Leak and Seal – set proper embouchure position; sound of air pressure, as easy as possible, corners in correct position and their reaction to air

Buzz –

  1. Sirens – warm up muscles and coordinate protractors and retractors; may need to start small
  2. Songs – coordinate ear and lips; include tonguing and slurring (ww’s can play in hard keys)
Siren – not my photo!!!

Long tones tend to numb the mind, but lyrical studies emphasize interpretation, phrasing, dynamic, nuance, etc.

(Horn and trombone players often start up with lip slurs) – start with bigger intervals right away; but, the trombone has to tongue if they don’t lip slur

Tone Studies – Listen to recordings; fine tune the muscles by the sound in your head;
Leyva – experience things vicariously – must listen to know what to sound like

Moving long tones – short, slow, simple melodies moving in 2nds or 3rds; medium range; medium volume, slow enough to allow player to hear tone quality

Three goals:

  1. Great attack (release) – Oh, tu
  2. Great tone
  3. Smooth connection – listen to the sound between notes (the slur); fast valves; glide across the ice

Catch yourself doing something right; rock with the hole in it – late and early bloomers

Layoff – a chance to come back as you should have played, not as you used to play

Range expansion – 10% maximum of total practice p.27

Continuation/Melding into Practice Routine

  1. Flow studies – HO p.16, BE21,22,26 – tonguing only 1st note after the breath

Faster than moving long tones, wider range, bigger internals.  No change in sound production e.g. Clarke Technical Studies BC. P. 26

  • Simple Melodies etudes
    Getchell Practical Studies, Concone, Bordogni,
  • Lip slurs

Two notes back and forth – adjacent overtones

Skip overtones – Dirty Dozen

  • Tonguing –

Single – keep notes very long at first, then move to staccato

Double and triple

Good time to work on scales to accomplish two things at once

Warmup Materials

Arban – trumpet – Complete Conservatory Method

Schlossberg – trumpet – Daily Drills and Technical Studies

Little – horn – Embouchure Builder

Remington – trombone – warmup studies – BC p.24