Essential Materials

If you’re really going to learn to play trumpet, as opposed to just being in band and playing “by accident,” your going to need a few things. OK. more than a few. And to be honest, in today’s competitive environment, you can’t be successful without training and without working toward performance goals.

That doesn’t mean it had to be boring. It does mean – now don’t freak! – work. But work doesn’t have to mean “boring” either. Repeating scales and exercises without metrics is like playing a video game without scoring points: pointless. (sorry…) It’s no fun and you don’t get any better. So let’s avoid that by “keeping score.” (see

Before the important material, if you want fun pop music, Click Here. Sometimes you need to just play…just for fun.

AND THEN: You’re gonna want to play something bigger, “badder,” hotter, higher, faster, louder.  And you’ll need to be prepared. You can’t “just do it,” unless you mean go buy the special sports shoes.

An example, though a little over the top: You want to play running back in the NFL. Right now. What’s going to happen when you get the ball and DeMarcus Ware and/or Brian Urlacher hit you at full speed? Pain, frustration? Well, mostly pain. But at some point (like yesterday?) you might realize that it takes years of training, practice and conditioning before you can be successful in this situation.

OK – you’re right about the first part of the “consequences” of inaction. With trumpet, you’ll “try” it and decide you just can’t do it, and give up. OR, you can play trumpet everyday, focusing to get just a little better each day, and you can go as far as you want. Not to the NFL, but maybe a Symphony or some other professional performance career. Better tell you this now, though. You’re odds at making a great living playing trumpet are not as good as a a great high school football player making the NFL. HOWEVER, you can play forever and and not have to worry about brain damage. (Well…more on that later.)

Here are 4 books you’ve gotta have! I’ll list more later, but these are “must haves.”









                                                              The Arban Manual








There are many more, but this is a great start. Don’t buy them all at once. My favorites are highlighted.

Arban: Complete Conservatory Method, ed. Goldman and Smith (C. Fischer)

Arban: Methode complete, ed. Maire, 3 vols. (A. Leduc)

Clodomir: Methode complete, ed. Job (A. Leduc)

Saint-Jacome: Grand Method (C. Fischer)

Elementary Methods

Clarke: Elementary Studies (C. Fischer)

Getchell: Practical Studies for Cornet and Trumpet, Books 1 and 2

Gordon: Physical Approach to Elementary Brass Playing (C. Fischer)

Longinotti: l’Etude de la trompette (Editions Henn)

Ridgeon: Brass for Beginners (Boosey & Hawkes)

Robinson: Rubank Elementary Method (Rubank)

Wiggins: First Tunes & Studios (Oxford)


Bordogni: 24 Vocalises, trans. Porret (transposition) (A. Leduc)

Bousquet: 36 Celebrated Studies, ed. Goldman (C. Fischer)

Brandt: 34 Studies and 24 Last Studies, ed. Vacchiano (Belwin-Mills)

Broiles: Have Trumpet . . . Will Transpose (transposition) (C. Colin)

Chavanne: 25 Characteristic Studies, ed. Voisin (International)

Clarke: Technical Studies (C. Fischer)

Clarke: Setting Up Drills (C. Fischer)

Colin: Advanced Lip Flexibilities (C. Colin)

Endresen: Supplementary Studies (Rubank)

Gallay: 22 Exercises, ed. Maire (A. Leduc)

Glantz: The Complete Harry Glantz (C. Colin)

Goldman: Practical Studies (C. Fischer)

Gower and Voxman (ed.): Rubank Advanced Method (Rubank)

Hering: 32 Etudes (C. Fischer)

Hovaldt: Lip Flexibility (R. King)

Kopprasch: 60 Studies, ed. Gumbert and Herbst, 2 vols. (C. Fischer)

Laurent: Etudes pratiques, 3 vols. (A. Leduc)

Maniscalco: Leonardo Maniscalco, trumpet player with the Rome Opera House orchestra, has published two books of trumpet etudes. La sonorità e la tecnica, vols 1 and 2.

Pares: Scales (Rubank)

Salvation Army: 101 Technical Exercises (Salvation Army)

Schlossberg: Daily Drills and Technical Studies (M. Baron)

Skornicka: Rubank Intermediate Method (Rubank)

Smith: Lip Flexibility (C. Fischer)

Staigers: Flexibility Studies, 2 vols. (C. Fischer)

Stamp: Warm-ups plus Studies (Editions Bim)

Vacchiano: Trumpet Routines (C. Colin)

Zauder: Embouchure & Technique Studies (C. Colin)


Andre: 12 Etudes caprices dans le style baroque (piccolo trumpet) (Editions Billaudot)

Balasanyan: 20 Studies, ed. Foveau (International)

Balay: 15 Etudes (A. Leduc)

N. Bizet: 12 Grandes etudes de perfectionnement (A. Leduc)

Bodet: 16 Etudes de virtuosite d’apres J.S. Bach (A. Leduc)

Broiles: Trumpet Baroque, 2 vols. (piccolo trpt.) (Queen City)

Charlier: Etudes transcendantes (A. Leduc)

Clarke: Characteristic Studies (C. Fischer)

Duhem: 24 Etudes (C. Fischer)

Gallay: 12 Grand caprices, ed. Maire (A. Leduc)

Gallay: 39 Preludes, ed. Maire (A. Leduc)

Harris: Advanced Studies (C. Colin)

Hickman: The Piccolo Trumpet (Tromba Publications)

Longinotti: Studies in Classical and Modern Style (International)

Petit: 15 Etudes techniques et melodiques (A. Leduc)

Petit: Grandes etudes (A. Leduc)

Sachse: 100 Etudes (transposition) (International)

Smith: Top Tones (C. Fischer)

Webster: Method for Piccolo Trumpet (Brass Press)





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