The warm-up is an integral component of every brass player’s daily practice. Brass teachers have always been at odds as to what a good warm-up should consist of. My teacher Claude Gordon believed that there should be no prescribed warm-up, as the first notes of the day would fill that need. Others believe in a set warm-up that is done the same every day and never changes. And then there are those teachers who believe a warm-up should cover every aspect of playing, sometimes lasting two hours or more. I end up in the middle of all this with The Progressive Warm-Up.
When does the warm-up become practicing? A warm-up should consist of familiar material, but not so familiar that it becomes stale. It should also address the fundamental aspects of trumpet playing without over-pushing the limits of our technique. Follow the warm-up with a technique session and then work on music. This format will keep your practice fresh, consistent and productive.
The Progressive Warm-Up consists of three groups of foundation exercises:
- I. Flow Studies
- II. Tonguing
- III. Slurs.