Methods and other literature for trumpet.

Here is a list of some important books for trumpet. This list could of course be much longer, but we have chosen to present those books that are mentioned somewhere in this guide or books that for other reasons should be part a trumpeters library. At the end of this page, we have included a list of CD's that are "companions" to some method books.

J. B. Arban: Complete Conservatory Method
(Carl Fischer Inc.)

Jean Baptiste Arban (1825 – 1889) method is known to many as "the bible" for brass players.

Arban was appointed professor of the cornet at the Paris Conservatory in 1857. In 1864 his method was first published. It was adopted as the Standard Instructor at the Conservatory - "The Committee of Musical Studies in the Paris Conservatory has examined the Method which has been submitted by Mr. Arban. This work of sensible development is founded on excellent principles, and omits no teaching essential to the making of a good cornetist."

There exist several version of this method, some divided in parts, other in complete versions. The Cundy-Bettoney edition has been revised by Herbert L. Clarke. Another edition was revisited by Claude Gordon. Clyde Hunt have made two CD’s called "Hunt plays Arban".

H. L. Clarke: Technical Studies for the Cornet
(Carl Fischer Inc.)

Herbert Lincoln Clarke (1867-1945) was a legend in his own time. He is maybe the best known cornetist of all time. Like Arban, he was self-taught and his book Technical Studies for the Cornet is together with some other books by Clarke, the sum of his playing and teaching experience.

This method is often regarded by trumpet students as a book for finger dexterity, but development of the fingers are only a by-product. It is better to call it a "Flow Study".

James Stamp: Warm-Ups + Studies
(Edition BIM)

James Stamp (1904 -1985) was a professional musician from he was 16 years old. In 1954 following a heart attack, he devoted more and more time to teaching. He acquired an exceptional reputation as a Trouble Shooter. Thomas Stevens says: "I believe James Stamp was one of the finest teachers in the world. His approach was so flexible that I have never seen him fail to improve a player, whether it be an established symphony musician, jazz or "lead" player or a twelve year old student."

In this book there are breathing exercises, lip and mouthpiece buzzing exercises, pedal exercises, bending exercises and much more. There is not very much text, explaining how to do these exercises, so a good advice is to also get a book by Stamps long time student, Roy Poper (see below):

Roy Poper: Roy Poper’s Guide to the Brasswind Methods of James Stamp
(Balquhidder Music)

Roy Poper is acknowledged as the foremost protege of James Stamp. In an introductory comment, Poper says the following: "The form of this book will be to supplement the BIM publication page by page with further notes to help enhance the player’s understanding of how to execute the various exercises."

Chase Sanborn: Brass Tactics

Brass Tactics by the Canadian trumpeter Chase Sanborn is a very complete method for trumpet, but also all other brass can benefit from it. The book is an excellent starting point for comeback players. After each chapter there is a section called Further Study, where Chase gives references to other books and material.

Who is this book for? Chase says: "Basically, this book was written with my students in mind. Because that covers a range from absolute beginners to professionals, and everything in between, there is something here for everyone."

The book is divided into four sections: 1. Techniques & Concepts, 2. Routines, 3. Equipment and 4. Appendix. It has a nice solid ring binder and a beautiful layout.

Chase Sanborn: The Brass Tactics Companion
More advice from the real world. (

In this new book (a follow up to Brass Tactics), Sanborn says: “The single most influential element in your ultimate success or failure as a brass player is the quality of the time spent in the practice room. It is more important than talent, and it is more important than who you study with. You should constantly re-assess your practice habits and make sure that you are learning and growing with each session.”

A lot of great information and exercises  for the "comeback player" - but also a chapter for the beginning trumpet player, called  Off To A Good Start

Don Jacoby: The Trumpet Method of Don "Jake" Jacoby
(Jockobotz Publisher)

Don "Jake" Jacobys book focuses on several important issues like correct breathing, or as Jacoby says: "Your best friend – Air". The method is mostly a textbook with some good exercises.

Vincent Cichowicz says the following in the Introduction: "Don Jacoby’s Method addresses the techniques of playing the trumpet most important to the developing trumpeter. Its simple and direct language should pose no problems understanding either the novice nor the more advanced player. The musical examples and diagrams are helpful and appropriate to facilitating application of the concepts presented."

Claude Gordon: Brass Playing is no harder than Deep Breathing
(Carl Fischer - 1987)

This last book by Claude Gordon is a textbook explaining his teaching philosophy. It should be a companion to his other books, like Systematic Approach to Daily Practice.

Clyde E. Hunt: Sail the Seven C’s
(Bb Music Production)

Clyde Hunt call his method An Easier Way To Play The Trumpet. It is divided into two parts. Section I is called "Trumpet Talk" with text about different aspects of playing. At the conclusion of this section is a comparative chart where Clyde have made a diagram of several well known methods and compared the use of different techniques like the use of pedal notes, pucker, syllables etc.

Section II is called " the practice room.." - here is first an explanation of the terminology, like: "initial focus", "the silent whistle", etc. then comes the exercises in 8 phases with increasing range, the last phase ranging from low f sharp to c4 (or the so called double high C). After phase 8 is a section with etudes composed by Clyde and with an extended range. Clyde has also recorded important parts from the 8 phases and the etudes and this is an important part of this method. You get to hear how to play a fat full pedal note and how to play in the high register.

Arturo Sandoval: Playing Techniques & Performance Studies for Trumpet
(Hal Leonard)

The 3 volumes are divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced level. Each volume comes with a play-along CD with Sandoval performing selected exercises.

In the foreword Sandoval says the following: "in this series, divided into three books, I have tried to include all the most important aspect necessary for the preparation of superlative technical and musical ability. Topics such as: warm-up, pedal tones, staccato, intervals, and chromatic scales, as well as a number of original pieces that will be useful for musical interpretation, are presented in an ordered progression." There are several exercises and etudes from Arban in the books.

Eddie Lewis: Daily Routines
(Houston Musical Resources)

Daily Routines is developed from The Physical Trumpet Pyramid. "it is a collection of seven separate routines, each containing material from the top four levels of The Physical Trumpet Pyramid, plus a set of Tonalization studies". Eddies approach to using the routine is: " alternate days of difficulty. On Monday, do group five, then on Tuesday do group two. That kind of alternation will create strength".

Each group begin with an Air Exercise, then Lip Buzz, then Mouthpiece Placement, Mouthpiece Buzz, Long Tones, Lip Slurs, Articulation and finally Tonalization (different scale patterns that should be played in all keys)

Eddie Lewis: The Physical Trumpet Pyramid
(Houston Musical Resources)

This book is a text companion to Daily Routines or a "teachers companion". Eddie describes the book in this way: " The Physical Trumpet Pyramid is an outline. It shows hierarchical dependencies between the different physical aspects of playing the trumpet". Very often people will use a "ladder approach" when studying trumpet, leaving the easy rudiments behind. The "pyramid structure" as opposed to that always go back and work on that: "All of the rudiments are important and we are never too good to practice them."

Clint Pops Mc Laughlin: The No Nonsense Trumpet From A - Z
(Clint Pops McLaughlin)

Pops did not only contribute a lot to this CTG-guide, he has also written a book that cover a lot of topics (from A to Z).

Chapter A is History of the Trumpet, B is The Theory of Sound, C Trumpet Design, etc. There are also exercises in the book like Warm Up. A special type of exercise not found in many other methods is Sensation Drill – it uses a series of unconnected notes and by playing it, one develops the feel of the note.

In the chapter about Method Books (chapter L), Pops has divided methods into 6 topics: 1. Technique, 2. Range, 3. Flexibility, 4. Accuracy, 5. Sound and 6. Information. He shows that some methods only deals with a few topics, while others like Don Jacoby’s book have all 6. As can be seen from the title of Pops book it also deals with all six.

Clint Pops Mc Laughlin: Trumpet FAQ's
(Clint Pops McLaughlin)

Pops has just (March 1999) written a new book that called Trumpet FAQ's. FAQ is short for Frequently Asked Questions. In the foreword Pops says "I want to thank the hundreds and hundreds of people who wrote, emailed and called me this past year. You provided both encouragement and the material for this book."

The book is divided into these sections: Air Usage, Beginners, Braces, Buzzing, Embouchure, Mouthpieces, Range, Sore Lips, Tonguing, Trumpet Design, Misc Questions. At the end is 72 Concepts (compiled by John Julian) and Trumpet Playing Outline - this last chapter is also in this guide under the section "Tips for a CP".

Nicholas Drozdoff: Embouchure Design
(Mr. D's Music)

As Nick says: "This book is the result of years of study of trumpet, music, physics and engineering. All of these disciplines are combined here in a book that is designed to help you improve your own embouchure! You start from wherever you are as a player and build and rebuild. It is not a method that expects you to drop your entire way of playing and start over. It is not a method that assumes that there is only one way tp place the lips into the mouthpiece. This book will help you improve your way of thinking about your playing. You won't loose a single day of practice or performance time as a result of using these techniques."

The exercises in this book is very much like the one in the 4 weeks guide, with lip and mouthpiece buzzing, but Nick takes it some step further.

William Bing: Fundamentals for Brass
(Balquhidder Music)

This little book by Bill Bing is divided into 3 sections. The first is devoted to easy exercises that loosens up the "chops". Bing uses bended notes in arpeggio patterns.

Second section is long tones. Bing call this "the meat and potatoes" of the book. There are two sets, one with dynamics and one without. They are to be played both with and without vibrato. Bing says he learned the importance of practicing without vibrato from  the great Russian trumpeter Timofei Dokshizer.

The third sections is 3 different lyric etudes called Lyric/Endurance Studies. They are transposed chromatically up in order to build up the endurance of the brass player.

Matt Graves: Fundamental Flexibility Studies for Trumpet
(Matt Graves)

Matt Graves was a student of Claude Gordon and he have used the principles from his great teacher in his book: the systematic approach. Matt says the following in his introductory remarks: "This book was designed with descending and ascending patterns based on the harmonic series. These patterns are arranged in twenty-one study groups, each of which is composed of four exercises. As the student progress, each study groups adds the next interval in the harmonic series, or fuses together previous study groups."

The book is excellent as a start for developing this important part of playing. When a student can play all exercises in this book he can go on to other advanced flexibility books like Colin or Smith.

Guiseppe Concone: The Complete Solfeggi
(Balquhidder Music)

Guiseppe Concone was a famous nineteenth-century Italian Master of Singing who composed operas, masses and other sacred music. However, by far his most famous compositions are the five volumes of Solfeggi

Transcribed and edited for trumpet by John Korak, this edition gives all Concones etudes – there is no dynamic markings, which leaves that to the player. This studies can be used for different purpose, like developing a vocal singing style, or used in transposition. Advanced students can use them transposing them into more difficult registers and keys.

Guiseppe Concone: Lyrical Studies for Trumpet or Horn
(The Brass Press)

Transcribed by John F. Sawyer this is a shorter version with 32 of Concones etudes. In this edition Sawyer have placed dynamic markings. Clyde Hunt has recorded all 32 etudes.

John Thyhsen: Trumpet Tunes
(Music Express, 1997)

This is, as the title says, a book with Trumpet Tunes. It is not an etude book a'la Concone and others, or a method book. You just play it when you want to play something fairly easy and will re-enforce your good playing habits.

Théo Charlier: Trente-six Etudes Trancendantes
(Edition Musicales Alphonse Leduc)

Théo Charlier was professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Liege in Belgium. His etudes is considered to be some of the best ever written for trumpet. He meant them to be supplements to the etudes of Arban, Balay and others. They deal with different aspects of playing like articulation, style, intervals and rhythm. Several famous trumpet artists have used these etudes through all their playing career.

Clyde E. Hunt: "companion" CD
(Bb Music Production)

If you have any of the following trumpet method books on your shelves, you have a need for these "companion" CD recordings. All recordings are by trumpeter/cornetist,  Clyde E. Hunt.

Hunt Plays:
(1) N. Bousquet - 36 Celebrated Studies for the Cornet (found at the rear of St. Jacome)
(2) Vassily Brandt - 34 Studies for the Cornet and Trumpet
(3) H.L. Clarke - Characteristic Studies
(4) H.L. Clarke - Technical Studies
(5) Guiseppe Concone - 32 Lyrical Studies
(6) Sigmund Hering - 30 Studies
(7) Sigmund Hering - 32 Studies
(8) Sigmund Hering - 40 Studies
(9) Raymond Sabarich - Dix Etudes.....Pour Trompette
(10) Max Schlossberg - Daily Drills and Technical Studies
(11) Walter Smith - Top Tones For The Trumpeter
(12) Charlier - 36 Trancendental Etudes

SAIL THE SEVEN C'S - an easier way to play the trumpet.   Book and CD.
Grifton School Audio Teacher for Beginning Trumpet - Book and CD
Call and Response Jazz Trumpet - Book and CD