From Prelude to Brass Playing

While it is most regrettable that many students are obliged to start on their own, I feel that their chances of success may be greatly enlarged through a careful study of this book.

"Prelude to Brass Playing" describes FIRST PRINCIPLES -- what you should know before you begin on the instrument. You may be surprised to find, in later chapters, that you really do not simply "blow" a brass instrument! You do not jam the mouthpiece into the lips! You do not pull out valve slides carelessly! And so on.

You will recognize the fact that habits are formed early. The first time you pick up your instrument, you start to form habits. They will be either good habits, or bad habits -- depending upon your approach. Skilful playing on a brass instrument stems from a series of good habits, poor playing, from a series of bad habits.

It is unfortunate, but true, that bad habits seem the easiest to fall into; they wait at every turn for the unwary student. And starting over again after years of working the wrong way; it is harder to unlearn bad habits than to learn good ones.

So STOP SHORT, and THINK! A few weeks of careful study now may save years of frustrating work later. A little patience at this most important stage -- taking each step in its turn -- attention to the formation of good habits, will make it not only possible, but inevitable that you will succeed in becoming an excellent player. While there might be a momentary thrill to stumbling through a melody now, there can be no real enjoyment, no sense of satisfaction unless you play reasonably well. (Page 3 - 4)