Improve Trumpet Or Cornet In Days

Trumpet and Cornet advice

Lip Buzz (no mouthpiece) 5 – 10 minutes a day. This will help you to go to a closed aperture setting for cornet or trumpets. Do it for 4 weeks and then you should stop. Too much buzzing can stiffen the chops some. I only lip buzz about a minute a day now.

Put a pencil between your lips and push the lips together. The lips should hold the pencil straight out for 3-4 minutes a day. The muscles that really start burning are the ones you use to play high. Never do more than 4 minutes a day.

Work on soft playing. So soft that you almost can NOT hear it. That will help you learn to control a small lip aperture for playing high on trumpets or cornet.

Project the notes where they belong

  • Low G rolls out of the bell
  • Low C goes out 5 feet
  • Second line G goes out 8 feet
  • 3rd space C goes out 12 feet
  • G on top of the staff goes out 20 feet
  • High C goes out 40 feet
  • G above high C goes out 80 feet

Relax the stomach muscles. Tension only hurts the sound. Tensing the stomach muscles does NOT create a smaller body cavity or pressurize the lungs.

Bringing the abs in toward the spine and contracting the muscles around the girdle does create a smaller body cavity. That moves your guts and since the pelvic bones won’t let them go down; they have to go up. That makes the part of your chest cavity available for your lungs smaller. And that places the air in the lungs under pressure.

Pull the stomach in farther for each higher note.


Take line 1 of page 125 in the Arban. It is a C Major scale with every other note jumping down to low G.

If you start on the Low G the middle c is hard for some players. If you set (and play) a middle c first and then start the high notes are easy.

I make my students do a 2 octave C scale. They set the lip closeness for a G on top of the staff and withOUT resetting or taking a breath they start the exercise.

It is easy to compress the lips to play a half an octave higher than your set point. It is easy to learn to relax and (drop the jaw) to get to a full low g.

The Middle C, 4th space E or G on top of the Staff should ALWAYS be your starting point (based on how easy the note plays for you). That way you have a base from which to judge where every note is in relation to your starting aperture/tension level.

Set is a very old idea. It is so old nobody living could claim it. It has book references over 150 years old. Even in more modern times E.S.Williams taught it and all of his students like Don Jacoby did too. Often they would say things like don’t play on multiple sets or don’t use several sets. Sometimes it would be “Play on one set.” The term “embouchure set” was even used back in the 50s. Play on one ’embouchure set”. Embouchure refers to LOTS of physical elements combined. Corners, facial tension, tongue arch, lip position…

“Lip Setpoint” (TM) is MY 25 year old phrase that describes MY variation of a 150 year old idea. I don’t include the use of firm corners, facial tension… I talk in terms of lip closeness/touching only. See you can set the lips in the same closeness as you use to play a G on top of the staff withOUT setting any facial tension. This allows you to get the ONE set without always holding too much tension.


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