This sequence is based on #11 from the first studies section of Jean-Baptiste Arban‘s Method for cornet.
Right around the time rotary valves were added to the posthorn to create the cornet, Joseph Jean-Baptiste Laurent Arban was born. Inspired in his youth by the virtuosity of famed violinist Niccolò Paganini, Arban decided to prove that the trumpet could be a featured solo instrument.
Arban studied trumpet at the Conservatoire de Paris. He not only became the first virtuoso trumpet soloist, but managed to impact every trumpeter (and nearly every brass player) that followed by creating La grande méthode complète de cornet à piston et de saxhorn, commonly referred to as the Arban method.
Arban’s method book walks a student from day one of playing the instrument all the way to performing solo pieces like his beloved Carnival of Venice. Check out the ridiculous virtuosity on display by Sergei Nakariakov below.
This sequence is based on #11 from the “First Studies” section. This section is comprised of simple etudes that help the students learn fingerings and basic rhythms while expanding their range and develop precision in their tone production.
Arban himself hinted that this study would be beneficial in multiple keys because #14 is the same tune transposed to the key of F (original is in Eb). I took his hint and ran with it.
I usually recommend imagining a character to portray or a feeling to communicate while you play, and that is definitely worth doing with this study. However, with this simplistic etude I recommend keeping it even more simple. Choose a dynamic, articulation, note shape, and note length, and strive to CLONE your sound and style on each note.
Think of this study like a daily vitamin where you answer the question, “how consistently can I play this today?” A few reps of a few keys is all you need. Tomorrow, pick a new style and a few new keys to work on.
For a great run down on how to incorporate the Arban book into your practice, check out Gabe Langfur‘s blog post Keeping the Tools Sharp.
You can purchase your own Arban book in a number of places, and like Gabe, I recommend purchasing the newer editions edited by Alan Vizzuti (trumpet), Alessi/Bowman (trombone/euph), Young/Jacobs (tuba). These editions are worth it for the spiral binding and the advice of modern virtuosos.
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