Today I want show you how to play faster on trumpet. Specifically, how to finger faster on trumpet.
I’m not going to talk about equipment and gear, it is obvious that you do need to oil your valves. How to oil trumpet valves so that they do not stick, and are not sluggish is something I have covered in the past.
Follow that link first if you are having a problem with valves.
I want to give you a couple of tips for playing faster that maybe you never though about before.
Let’s jump right in.
How to finger faster on trumpet
Tip #1 — Rest your right pinkie ON the ring
Here’s the thing.
A lot of people tend to stick their right pinkie in the ring when they are playing.
What happens is that when you stick your pinkie in the ring, it leads you use more mouthpiece pressure. That, in itself, leads to a whole host of problems.
A lot of people go through this as beginners.
You should rest your right pinkie on the pinkie ring.
Even if your pinkie ring doesn’t have a flat top and is more rounded, it’s must better to rest your pinkie on the ring.
Sometimes if you wrap your pinkie in that ring, it actually deters you from pressing down that third valve properly.
Resting your pinkie on the ring keeps your fingers much more free and makes your playing faster.
The reason why there is a pinkie ring is because, sometimes, we have to turn a page when we are playing. In that case, we can play one handed — but you still want to play with the tips of your fingers.
That is only to turn pages.
We have that advantage over saxophone player who have to use both hands.
Tip #2 — Press the valves with the tips of your fingers
Some players have a habit of hooking their right thumb under the leadpipe and pressing the valve with middle part of the fingers.
Does it look cool?
The problem is it is not functional.
Let me explain.
If you finger the trumpet like this, I can guarantee you that, sooner or later, you will have problems with your valves because you are not pressing them down straight.
More of the pressure sits just before the middle joint of your fingers which means you are pressing more towards the edge of the valve cap.
That will cause a problem with your valves later — your valves aren’t going to go down and they will start sticking.
You will play much faster with the fingertips on top of the valves.
Tip #3 — Maintain a big fat C
Always maintain a big fat C with your right hand. Don’t collapse it.
I did mention this in Step #4 of how to assemble your trumpet. Picture yourself holding a giant apple. This is what helps your fingers hit the valves right at the tip.
Tip #4 — Slam the valves down
Sometimes you will get a crazy sound because you are not pressing the valves all the way in, you need to slam the valves down.
You should be able to hear the valves slamming down, actually.
Your playing gets really easier and faster once you get in the habit of doing that.
If you look into how trumpet valves work, you will see that your air stream only flows freely through the valve when you slam it down or when release it completely — never in between.
Make that a habit.
Tip #5 — Practice Slow
If you want to play first, you’ve got to practice slow.
If you want to be able to play something, and you are struggling with it, well, the first thing that you should do is practice the fingerings in time.
That’s the first thing.
Second thing, start that metronome and do air sounds, with the fingerings in time.
Once you’ve got that down solid—meaning there are no glitches or blips in the sound, then, you play it slowly tempo.
Once you excel at that slow tempo, bump it up and go through the same routine.
Play it through again. Keep increasing the tempo until you hit that point where your fingers are kinda getting tied up. Bring the metronome down a bit. Nail it there first.
This is how your daily practice should look.