The Arban Trumpet Method


The Arban method is an acknowledged method intended to provide trumpet players with proper playing technique and develop their musicality. Private instructors have relied on this system for years to guide students in conventional methods of breathing, articulation, and technique. Students who triumphantly complete this method gain a solid technique and the ability to play numerous difficult trumpet works. Professional trumpet players refer to this method as the "bible" of trumpet technique.


The Arban method begins with an overture that discusses proper stance and how to hold the trumpet. The player should sit up straight or stand and keep the shoulders relaxed. The support for the trumpet comes from the left hand so that the right hand is free to manage the valves. Breathing involves taking the air into the diaphragm without trapping air in the chest. Proper posture is the source of exceptional trumpet technique.


Arban’s method addresses legato, staccato, accents, slurs and standard tonguing. The proper tongue position and syllable to play each articulation is given a meticulous discussion of the Arban method. Students should practice all tonguing exercises with a metronome to develop uniform attacks. The method also presents the trumpet player with many exercises to develop and improve the ability to articulate neatly and precisely.


The largest portion of the Arban method concentrates on increasing the trumpet player’s technique. Trumpet players work through several scale excerpts, arpeggios, and rhythmic drills to increase their technical skill. Most teachers will also require that the student transposes each exercise into several keys since the trumpet player often has to transpose music in orchestras. Students who successfully complete the entire Arban method will have the ability to play any original piece of music.


Sections in the Arban method are loaded with etudes and solo compositions. Etudes help the trumpet player practice their ability to interpret phrases and play musically. Trumpet players need a fusion of technical work and practical musical works to help them promote an all-around musical gift.

Legendary trumpet solos such as “The Carnival of Venice” and an excerpt from the opera “Norma” are included for study within the Arban method. The musical portion is essential to teach the student proper phrasing and musical understanding.


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