A bugle is a squat instrument similar to a trumpet. Surely, you’ve seen one being played in the movies and on TV, especially when the story revolves around military life and during parades when the drum and bugle corps proudly passes by.
Here’s how to play a bugle.
Properly position the bugle prior to playing. When beginning to play the bugle, you must hold the instrument in your right hand and place it parallel with the ground and precisely at mouth level.
Bring the mouthpiece close to the lips. Then pucker up and wrap the corners of your lips around its mouthpiece making sure that no air escapes from it.
Inhale, blow, and exhale. Here comes the most challenging part second only to cranking out a melody. Inhale deeply through the nose and blow the air through your mouth. Exhale steadily but keep your cheeks hollow to avoid puffing out air by expanding your cheeks.
Alternate between loosening and tightening your lips while blowing out the melody. You may now begin to alternate between puckering tightly and loosening slightly while playing the melody on your bugle. Go ahead and experiment on the five basic notes on the instrument beginning with the bottom and working your way through middle C, E, G, C, E, and G until you get the hang of it.
Use your tongue to halt the melody. This is why it is important to clean your bugle because there’s tonguing involved. Seriously. Tonguing is needed to interpret different notes and stopping the sound or melody in your basic repertoire. You have to continuously practice tonguing until you can switch, stop, and start different melodies while performing.
Get your hands on instructional audio-books and method books. Learn as much as you can about playing the bugle by purchasing instructional materials that will teach you not only the basics but the versatile styles as well. The exercises presented on these materials will be something that will allow you to have loads of fun while learning.
Jam with a drum and bugle band. There’s no chance of you missing out on jamming with fellow musicians. Get in touch with the local high school, college, or parish and make inquiries about the drum and bugle team. Make new friends by sharing your musical talent.
Practice on a daily basis. Music is good for the soul. No matter how long a day you’ve had at work, in school, and in church, set a time to practice the bugle. If you have 30 minutes to spare, then use this time for practice. If you find yourself, bored practicing alone. Practice with a group.
Master breathing exercises. You would never want to have the wind knocked out of you anytime you’re playing the bugle. Strengthen your diaphragm by learning to master breathing exercises.
Never lend your bugle to someone else. Always clean your bugle after each use. Store the instrument properly. Play until you want to learn another instrument.