By Roger Moisan
The Valveless Scale Exercise
This is an advanced exercise for trumpet players to help develop embouchure strength, pitch surety and control.
- Play a strong low F to establish pitch.
- Remove the tuning slide and play the same note. Hold the instrument lightly and finger as if playing normally.
- Slowly, play up the F major scale trying to pitch and centre each note. This will be very difficult to start with especially the first 3 notes after the F. The G, A and Bb are outside the natural harmonics on the leadpipe.
- As the notes begin to sound more easily, play the F major scale up and down slowly. (Always finger the notes as if playing normally)
- Finally, replace the tuning slide and play the F major scale again slowly without the valves.
This exercise can be extended into other keys and also into playing melodies. I like to play ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ after the scale exercise.
Caution! This exercise is extremely tiring and should only be performed after a good warm up and rest for 5 minutes before continuing practising.
Never play this exercise in the ear shot of a Musical Director! They won’t understand and will think you can’t play.
Roger Moisan LTCL PGCE