Warm Up Techniques From Local Musicians – Building Your Routine

There are so many ways to warm up on different instruments, and each players methods are unique. It can be hard to develop your own warm up routine, and we get it. So, below we’ve compiled a list of different warm up routines/methods from local musicians, just for you.

Brass Instruments

  • Randy Ouellette, Trumpet Performance and a Brass Instructor:
    • Breathing and stretching exercises
    • Mouthpiece buzzing and air movement exercises
    • Long tones
    • Flexibility Exercises
    • Scales and range studies

Woodwind Instruments

  • Justin Fisher, Saxophone Performer
    • Body stretching exercises
    • Begin blowing hot air through the instrument to warm it up, then long tones
    • Slowly beginner to move my fingers, get faster bit by bit
    • Trying multiple reeds to make sure that they have good sound and are not ready to be thrown out
    • My whole warm-up takes about 10 minutes

Percussion Instruments

  • Edward (Ed) McPherson, Drum Instructor and Performer
    • Allow your arms and wrists to go limp and shake them out.
    • Stretch out your fingers and arms. I like to hold my arms out perpendicular to my body and spread my fingers so my hand is open flat, fingers pointed to the sky.
    • Slowly make a fist with each hand and then spread your fingers again. Do this several times.
    • Keep your arms straight and gently pull the fingers of each hand back towards your body without overextending them.
    • Get your sticks and give your practice pad or snare drum a few good whacks with each hand. If you are at a drum kit, do the same for every drum and also with your feet. Focus on being as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
    • Now take any exercises or rudiments you’ve been working on, and play them at a slow tempo with both your hands and your feet. It’s more important for you to be relaxed than for the exercise to sound particularly good. (Note: Incorporate unison notes between the feet and the hands into this step. This is important because it will feel different on every kit, and will change even if you set up your own kit slightly differently than you’re used to.)
    • Now you can just mess around for a minute or two, and you should be good to go.
    • It is worth mentioning that the longer it’s been since you’ve played, the longer it will take to warm up.
    • Stay loose, and have a good time!


Author: Nicole

Hi! My name is Nicole and I am the Band Instrument Repair Technician, as well as the Assistant Manager, here at the North Conway music Center. You can find me in the back of the store at my bench, or up front ready to help you learn!

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