Jeff's Warm Up: Three Warm Ups for Horn by Jeff Bryant

Over the many years that I have taught at Guildhall School of Music and Drama the inevitable topic of warming up always crops up. I've never really been that methodical about warming up. I do what I do - noodling around some random flexibility patterns across the range to test the water each day until I'm satisfied that my embouchure will do what's needed - and generally suggest that the students make up their own versions whilst occasionally feeling that I should have something more concrete to suggest.

When it came to discussing this with students shared between the professors, the students of Jeff Bryant would say to me, “I do Jeff's warm up” and I'd think to myself, “what is this mysterious warm up that they all do?” So I'd ask for a look and, various much-photocopied scrappy bits of manuscript would be produced to reveal a series of exercises that sort of looked familiar. I realised that they were the very things that all horn players could do if they were looking for a well thought out, consistent and thorough system of warming up.

Well, Jeff has finally had these tried-and-tested exercises published by edition db. At the beginning he sets out his philosophy on warming up, aimed towards achieving his “holy grail”- which you'll discover when you buy the book. These principles served him well over his 47-year career playing principal horn, so they definitely work!

The book is in three sections. The first two, the “Start Up Warm Up” and the “Intermediate Warm Up" are simplified versions of the “Full Warm Up". Jeff recommends doing a warm up without fail every day but warns against becoming a “warm up junkie". The warm ups include breathing exercises, mouthpiece buzzing, harmonic series slurs, arpeggio flexibili-ties and control exercises.

Every horn player wants to play consistently and to feel confident from day to day, and Jeff's Warm Up can certainly help towards achieving this goal. At the end of the book are endorsements from some of Jeff's colleagues and former students in the horn-playing profession who warmly attest to the efficacy of everything contained within its pages.

£19.50 from (edb 0101006)

Richard Bissill, for The Horn Player, Vol.19 #1, Spring 2022


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