It never used to occur to me to warm down after playing the trumpet. I think one of my early teachers used to put a warm down at the end of each lesson, but I’ve since firmly slipped out of the habit. I think I must have heard someone mention it recently in an interview or podcast though as it seems to have worked its way into my consciousness. I suddenly thought about it after a gig a couple of weeks ago and I’ve started to do it regularly after heavy playing sessions.
A warm down after a long gig, rehearsal or practice session seems to make a tangible difference to how fresh the chops feel the next day. It’s like any other muscle in the body after all. Here’s an example of what I do:
You’ll probably recognise this exercise from the Maggio, but it could be any similar shape really. The important thing is try and let the notes fall out of the bell as easily as possible.
I also find playing the leadpipe is a good way to loosen off. Since the pipe doesn’t force you to slot into pitches the way that the trumpet does, you can slide up and down in pitch and play the pedal notes more easily. I’ve found the following exercise is a really useful warm down:
You’re essentially gently flexing the muscles by doing this and since they vibrate so loosely at a low pitch, it’s a bit like having a nice little lip massage.