February 2016

You can always find something to do if you play the trumpet! There is no reason not to be excited about practicing or playing the trumpet.  Ask a good question and the answer will tell you what to do next…

  • Practice – Minor scales, as with so many things, the more you do them the easier and the better you will play them. The “I play them once in a while” strategy often does not yield the result that is needed to build a strong and reliable technique. Here is a pattern to incorporate into your playing routine that will provide a foundation for these beautiful scales. It covers all three forms of minor with arpeggios- dare I say- it can be fun once you commit to doing it for a time.

Knowing the scales and arpeggios themselves is great, but you will have better finger pattern recognition, and better endurance,  air control and motion through the different registers of the trumpet. Gradually work out the pattern for all your minor scales.

Here is an example starting on “G”

Minor Scale Drill

















  • Listening- Chris Martin – principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra


To have “Best Sound” and a “wow” performance ability is in part the reason we all practice the trumpet. These qualities are very much on display by Christopher Martin in the following sound files. A wonderful sound and knowledge of different styles of playing is priceless. Listening to someone play a variety of compositions with such command and ease should be inspiring to all of us. Practice to sound like this, you will have fun playing the trumpet and everyone will love listening to you perform.


Concerto in D Major after Vivaldi, BWV 972 Allegro – J. S. Bach


“without malice toward none” from the movie “Lincoln”



Fantasie Brilliante – Jean Baptiste Arban


Tenebrae – David Sampson


Concertino in Eb Major – Ernst Sachse



  • Of Interest

Stockholm Chamber Brass NEW CD “Then”. The cd shows beautiful ensemble playing and a great sounding group. They have many wonderful CDs, and this new one is a terrific addition to any brass enthusiast’s library.


From: Mark Hendricks- MPHmusic.com

Forty-Nine Arban Duets for Trumpet (…that Arban never wrote!) written by Mark Hendricks, these duets are based on the Arban Method syncopation studies appearing from pages 23-36. Bruce note: I haven’t seen them yet, but I like the idea of the duets.


From an email to me:

“A limited time only offer:

Here’s the coupon code to use on the checkout
form… (you won’t see this code posted on
the info page)…    YVZTKYVG” – 20% off


From: Lowell W. Stevenson

Another new book that may be interesting is Lowell W. Stevenson’s Evening Trumpet Studies. The book contains bending exercises, flexibility exercises, scales, arpeggios and finger twisters. Bruce Note again, I don’t have this yet, but I will… how can I pass up flexibility exercises and finger twisters? Finger twisters alone sounds like such a fun challenge!



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  • Re-Visit

When one sets a practice goal it can be a proactive endeavor or a reactive response. A reactive example would be to have to perform an upcoming piece with a technical issue that you work out a drill to enable you to master the needed skill. Eugene Bozza’s Sonatine for brass quintet has some awkward trumpet passages.

bozza frag #1




bozza frag #2







To facilitate the playing of these, I wrote the following drill (My drill appears in Routine VI #2a in Daily Routines for the Student Trumpet Player).

bozza drills






When you look at finger drills to expand your technique there are many choices. Some include:

Herbert L.Clarke, Technical Studies- publisher Carl Fischer

Del Staigers, Flexibility Studies and Technical Drills- publisher Carl Fischer

David Gornston, Trumpet Velocity- publisher David Gornston

Use books such as these regularly in your practice sessions. Practice with a goal and a metronome. To do this is to be proactive towards the development of your technique. You can be sure that whatever you practice and master will eventually appear in the music you will perform. Job well done!

An additional favorite of mine is to use the Klosé Celebrated Method for the Clarinet (published Carl Fischer) – pages 16-17 & 44-48 should be fun finger studies and a good challenge!