Let's face it, as crappy as it is, being a trumpet player (or brass player in general) you just got to keep your chops strong and in shape. Being a Jazz musician
myself, I don't like to spend time on a daily practice routine because I would rather like work on Aebersolds or spend my valuable practice time learning new Jazz licks. But unfortunately, keeping your trumpet chops strong is a daily and necessary battle.
You have to have some sort of routine to keep your trumpet chops in tip top shape. This is why I use the Frank Minear daily routine to keep my chops strong. The Frank Minear daily trumpet routine isn't for every trumpet player, but I think it's a good fit for Jazz trumpet players and lead trumpet players because it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes out of your day to maintain. Another good thing about the trumpet routine is that it only has 5 exercises total.
Who is Frank Minear
? He was a famous lead trumpet player based out of Seattle who recently passed away. Frank Minear also performed with the Minnesota Brass for some time. I actually learned the Frank Minear routine through some lead trumpet players in Seattle.The Frank Minear trumpet routine: Exercise #1: Lip Slurs:
This is the first part of the daily trumpet routine. You just start on C, then go down in half steps down to G (using an alternate fingering on G). Then you go back up in half steps until you get to C again. Relax
.Exercise #2: Lip Trills:
Next you do lip trills starting on E, keep going down in half steps until you get to C#, then you go back up in half steps until you land on E again. Go up a minor 3rd to G, repeat the process, then up 4th to a high C, repeat the process. Relax
.Exercise #3: Scales:
Next you do scales. You can do just major scales, but I like to switch it up a bit and do diminished, minor, harmonic minor, etc... You can do scales slurred, tongued, or combination of both. Basically you just go up up each scale in half steps (one octave each) until you reach a high C. Relax
.Exercise #4: Chromatic:
Go up and down the chromatic scale starting on G up to G (one octave) and repeat the process as much as you would like to, Relax
. I usually do about 5 to 10 repeats. Next, go up a 4th to C and repeat the process, Relax
. Finally go up a major 3rd to E and repeat the process, Relax
.Exercise #5: Octave Drills:
Here comes the fun part and the last part of the routine. You basically just do octave lip slurs starting on a G. Then you continue to go up half steps until you reach your highest note (double high C and beyond). Relax
between each octave lip slur. Some other things to note about the trumpet routine:
- Rest as much as you play.
- Keep trumpet volume at a mezzo forte.
- Exercises are around a quarter note = 120-132, but use a comfortable speed that works for you.