My Arban Adventure - Week 1   

Go to Week 2

Every Journey Begins with the First Step

The adventure begins with me surfing the AmazonNet and coming across Arban's Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet.  I hadn’t thought about Arban in such a long time. The last time I did any serious work in Arban I was probably still in college—a very long time ago.  I can vaguely remember practicing some of the many exercises in double and triple tonguing and scales.  Back then I only practiced what I had been assigned by my teacher or what I found “fun.” Don’t get me wrong, I played a lot, but at least 85% of what I played was what I liked.  As a result, I didn’t really challenge myself to grow and improve like I could have.  I didn’t achieve my full potential.  I probably didn’t achieve even half my potential.  So now, many years later, I want to see what I can accomplish now that I have learned some discipline.  The adventure begins.

Week One

When I first pulled out Arban I didn’t have any specific plan, I was just going to play some and work on some skills where I am lacking.  Before the week was over I had decided on a plan of action, which includes using a metronome and recording my practice sessions so I can be more objective and give myself good, productive feedback.

I focused most of my attention in the “First Studies” section (pp. 11-22). I played these at several different tempos ranging from 80-140 bpm and also dynamics from pp to ff.

Some of the things I learned in the first week:

According to Arban’s notes emphasis in “First Studies” is on attacks and articulation.  I learned exactly how out of shape I am (specifically embouchure and my tongue).

I have pretty consistent articulation and good timing.

I have poor endurance (embouchure) as a result of years of inconsistent practice.

I learned the importance of frequent rests.  Actually, I was told years ago to rest as much as I play in practice.

Once I started recording I would stop playing frequently, to rest and listen to recording of what I just played.

I play much louder than I realized according to the recordings.

My tone improves the softer I play (generally speaking).

Articulation is more accurate at softer dynamic levels.

I definitely need to improve breath support for higher range.

The shape of my notes are not always consistent. I learned this after I started recording (last day of week 1) I could see the shape of the note in my audio editor program (waveform view).

I could hear in the recordings that my vibrato was too wide.

Well, there you go.  Those are the observations and insights I gained after week 1 of my adventure.

I am really excited about my adventure.  I hope you keep coming back to see how my Arban Adventure goes.