Music books, method books, etude books, technique books, orchestral excerpts book – I hope to cover everything you might need as a trumpet player.
From ultra beginner to advanced, this article will provide all the links you need to buy well-known, time-tested trumpet music books that I would recommend.
For quick access and ultimate organization, here’s how I’ll be going about this massive article:
- Ultimate Book List for Trumpet Levels
- Books for 5th-grade & Middle School
- Method Books
- Technique Books
- Etude/Solo Repertoire Books
- Duet Books
- Manuscript Paper
Ultimate Book List for Trumpet Levels
When it comes to my personal teaching approach for private instruction, I tend to take books as a guide not a methodology written in stone. Every student is different, but after 8+ years of teaching I am noticing there is a trend in the order of books I introduce to my students (regardless of their age).
So to make things easier to navigate, I’m going to separate trumpet skill into “levels” and for each of these 8 levels, there will be multiple books I recommend owning for the most wholesome improvement and work ethic.
Here are the levels with some descriptions for each “level” of ability:
- Level 1 – beginner
- Just learning to play.
- Level 2 – beginner
- Able to play enough to survive, but needing to improve.
- Level 3 – beginner
- Able to play, but looking to improve.
- Level 4 – intermediate
- Needing help improving accuracy, range, technique, etc.
- Level 5 – intermediate
- Adept enough to survive, but must improve to play for serious performance.
- Level 6 – intermediate
- Fundamentals are learned, but must prepare for college auditions.
- Level 7 – advanced
- Must prepare for real world professionalism.
- Level 8 – advanced
- Must keep up your chops! Challenge yourself and continue improving ability.
For my students, please consider buying each book for the level I’ve assigned you! (Unless told otherwise). I also tend to skip around since every student’s needs or skill levels are a bit different.
For those stumbling upon this article via Google search, choose at your discretion (though if you’re looking for books for a specific purpose, scroll past the table to the next few sections).
*IMPORTANT: Remember, these levels take months if not years to accomplish.
ULTIMATE TABLE OF BOOKS PER LEVEL
|Level 1||Rubank Mthd (Bk1)|
|Level 2||Rubank Mthd (Bk1)||Belwin Duets (Lvl 1)|
|Level 3||Rubank Mthd (Bk1)||S. Hering (1st)||Belwin Duets (Lvl 1)|
|Level 4||20-min Warmup||Clark Studies||Getchell 1st Bk||Rubank Duets (Vol. 1)|
|Level 5||20-min Warmup||Arbans||Rubank Solos (1st)||Belwin Duets (Lvl 2)|
|Level 6||(Vizzutti Bk 1)||Arbans||S. Hering (2nd)||Rubank Duets (Vol. 2)|
|Level 7||(Vizzutti Bk 2)||Arbans||Getchell 2nd Bk||Arbans|
|Level 8||(Vizzutti Bk 3)||Arbans||Charlier Etudes||Arbans|
*For more info about each of these books, scroll down to find them further down the article!
1. Books for 5th-grade & Middle School
Every novice trumpet player starting in 4th or 5th grade is told to buy a certain trumpet book, unless the teacher provides a customized packet (which is about 30% of the time).
Just be aware that every school district chooses a different band book for beginners, so make sure you buy the correct one! But here are the most common:
Essential Elements is one of the three main books used for band education for beginners as young as 4th grade.
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The pedagogy found in this book coincides with the other instrument books so the teacher can direct the entire class do to similar exercises. A great addition found in this book is the instrument specific exercises meant to aid a beginning trumpet player through the learning process most correctly.
Another staple in the beginning band repertoire is the Standard of Excellence that combines a strong performance-centered approach with basic music theory/history, ear training, listening, improvisation, etc. (basically all the CA standards of Music Education).
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It is known as one of the most complete band method books available due to its interdisciplinary and multicultural studies (it is a great book, so please pardon the terrible graphic quality).
Out of the three books I’ve listed so far, this is by far one of the most well-known and continues to be the best-selling band method book in the industry.
This was the book that I started with in 4th grade and I still have it! Not only does it have everything the other books have (such as fingering charts, technique exercises, etc.,), it also exceeds the USA National Standards for Music Education! As my first trumpet book, I have a closeness with this title – brings back so many memories of annoying my parents as I practiced the same exercises from Accent on Achievement over and over.
2. Method Books
(listed from easy to difficult)
Method books are essential for trumpet players in private lessons, not only because it’s a lot of material to learn and master, but because they are specifically tailored to improve a young trumpet student in many aspects of technique, musicianship, and the like.
Method books are not meant for performance situations, but can sometimes work for recitals (I do this sometimes). I mostly use method books as a way to assign homework and cross off completed exercises – it gives the student a sense of accomplishment when they’ve crossed off everything! (I use stickers sometimes as well).
I have started almost all of my students on this amazing book. Not only does it have a preliminary lesson (whole notes from C to G) it also has enough material to last MONTHS.
For an elementary level book, it covers a lot of ground from 2-octaves to intense rhythmic passages near the end. But don’t worry, it starts off really slow and allows the musician to grow while also covering so many fundamentals with easy to grasp musical exercises.
I would highly recommend these method books for anyone looking to improve there playing – contained in these $8 book are scales, melodies, exercises, warmups, range challenges, etc. So much is packed in this little books – which is SO helpful as a private teacher.
Next on the list is another amazing book that contains a mix of almost everything from slurs, tonguing, performance anxiety tips, etc.
If you don’t know Allen Vizzutti, you need to, because he is one of the best trumpet player you’ll ever see with such amazing, natural talent on the trumpet. He has the flexibility and accuracy of a Greek god. If you don’t believe me, watch this video:
Nicknamed, “The Trumpet Bible.” The ultimate book for the intermediate to advanced player involving literally everything you can think of as far as technique goes. It’s a method book in that it is generally in order of easier to much harder so I’ve put it in this section, BUT, this book really belongs in every section.
The above link goes to the spiral bound book because my book, which is not spiral bound, is falling apart after 5 years. And yes – once a trumpet player buys this book, they will keep it FOREVER. I’m not kidding when I say it is nicknamed the Trumpet Player’s Bible, because it has everything from tonguing to slurs to range to scales to duets to solos to etudes and much more (including double tonguing, triple tonguing, accuracy exercises, tone warmups, etc.).
So much is found in this book that it’s difficult to list everything without taking up too much space in this article. But I’ll assure you that every professional trumpet player who knows what their doing has this book on their shelf at home. Fair warning though, it is a heavy book!
3. Technique Books
(listed from easy to difficult)
Every professional knows most of these technique books by heart because we all grow up on them. I, myself, have spent hours cultivating my ability through repetitive technique exercises in the Clark book or the Arbans. Oh, back in the day.
You’ll most likely hear egotistical trumpet players warming up on exercises found in the books I’m about to list, because hey – when they’re worked up to speed, they can be quite impressive.
When it comes to technical studies, most every trumpet player will go, “hmm, yep, Clarke studies.” One of the most well-known technical studies books known to all trumpet players.
From beginning to end, it involves exercises that challenge the brain as well as the fingers due to it’s highly intense chromaticism and quick tempo markings. I credit this book for my lack of fear regarding accidentals and fast playing. Wonderful book and definitely a starter book for beginner to intermediate players.
Most quintessential trumpet warm-ups and technical drills come from the “Stamp” book, which deal with control and ability unlike other books.
Exercises in this book include note bending, slurring, petal tones, and producing a well-defined and accurate tone. I’ve found that some teachers use this and some don’t. I tend to approach all these books with the idea that there is good and bad to each – usually I take one or two fundamental exercises from this book as I emphasize more heavily on other books.
I credit this book for much of my playing ability. It contains “warmup” style exercises that run about 20-minutes (obviously, from the title), but also is amazingly effective for one’s flexibility.
I was originally referred to this book by my wonderful trumpet teacher Richard Chasin. I played through it every day for about 6 months and found myself never having to worry about flexibility or accuracy again. I love this book for that reason and definitely recommend it to intermediate players. I started this in college, but some exercises can be started earlier!
AND DON’T FORGET – THE ARBANS BOOK IS GREAT FOR TECHNICAL STUDIES AS WELL.
4. Etude/Solo Repertoire Books
(listed from easy to difficult)
Apart from method books and technique books, etude and solo books are another essential source of trumpet pedagogy.
It’s one thing to be able to play some double-tonguing passages in your Arban’s book, but it’s another thing to be able to apply it to a performance piece just as cleanly.
Etude books are specifically written to challenge a trumpet student on specific tasks per etude (or piece). Solo books are performances pieces meant to be played in front of a live performance. Without practicing “real” repertoire or the introductory forms found in these books, a trumpet player will never improve their performance practice and ability.
Each etude in this book is a page in length and begins fairly easy (with a range from low-C to E high in the staff). Each etude, of course, becomes increasingly more difficult ending with a monster of a piece (an entire page of 16th-notes!).
I was referred to this book by my first trumpet teacher, Tim Hall. I learned how to read music very well after having to learn a new etude every week starting in middle school. And some of these etudes make for great performance repertoire! I usually accompany my students on piano if they end of performing something from this etude book.
There is also a more difficult book (which another confusing name) that is called Thirty-Two Etude for Trumpet, where etudes become really fun (in other words, “etude” will begin to scare you due to the difficulty found in the back of this book).
Although it’s entitled, “practical,” this book is more like an etude book with short exercises starting out fairly easy and becoming increasingly difficult. I would recommend this book to my more intermediate players looking to improve their reading ability by learning a short melody every week.
The reason I like this book differently than I do the Sigmund Hering etude book is because of the length of each exercise. It’s important for students to learn full length pieces, but it is also nice to have options and this Getchell book offers some wonderfully complex little melodies that teach an incredible amount within a short assignment. But if you’re in need of more challenge, there is a Second Book of Practical Studies just waiting for you.
Now we’re getting into some real repertoire. I love many of the solos in this book, but only a few can be handled by the early intermediate players. Most of them are a bit more difficult, but manageable.
I’ve had a few 8th graders able to play a few solos, but like I said, most of these are a bit more difficult – I studied most of them in college at Saddleback under my teacher at the time, Richard Chasin.
If you do end up buying this book, don’t forget there is a piano accompaniment book to go along with it – which it great to have for competitions or auditions.
Some of the hardest stuff I’ve played has been in the Charlier Etudes book, which unfortunately difficult to come across on Amazon. But I did find a cheap $14, loose leaf option.
Professional trumpet players around the world attempt these monster etudes, some of which never succeed! But there is some great music in this reserved for the most advanced players. You might be able to find a free version online somewhere like imslp.com, but it is harder to find nowadays for free. Best of luck with these etudes though! Don’t lose any hair over them.
AND DON’T FORGET – THE ARBANS BOOK IS GREAT FOR SOLO STUDIES AS WELL.
5. Duet Books
(listed from easy to difficult)
Another “must-have” skill for professional trumpet players is a strong ability to sight-read and play with others.
Sight-reading is where a musician must perform a piece of music without having studied it prior to receiving the music. It’s much like picking up a book and being ask to read out loud in front of the class (which is why students are tortured to do this – public speaking 101).
Duet books are great tools for sight-reading, but can also double as performance material – so they make great investments! Playing with another trumpet player connects them in a different way, musician to musician, and the skill of playing cohesively with another person is a priceless feeling. I always start my students on duets as early as possible.
This book is definitely the first duet book I use for my beginning students – a lot of these duets are easy to teach as well as sight-read for my beginning students a little further along.
I’ve had father/son duos perform these duets for past recitals I’ve hosted! Great little solos that are as entertaining to play as they are to listen to. Although labeled “easy,” there are a few more challenging duets in here, which is a great transition to the intermediate book version of Belwin Master Duets (and don’t worry there is an advanced version too).
Rubank, if you can’t already tell, is a very trusted label when it comes to quality educational music – which is why I recommend their duet books as well.
Most of these are again easier, but there are some more challenging duets in here as compared to the Belwin Master Duets. If you are in need of even more challenge, don’t you worry! There is a Volume II Rubank Selected Duets.
AND DON’T FORGET – THE ARBANS BOOK IS GREAT FOR DUET STUDIES AS WELL.
6. Manuscript Paper
Though this section doesn’t technically count as “trumpet music books,” I feel it necessary for every musician to own manuscript paper (which is blank sheets of music to write/notate upon).
Also, I use this paper in my lessons all the time and as a composer who’s written on manuscript paper most of my life, I’ve become rather picky – so here are the best options for manuscript paper (in my opinion).
I use this manuscript paper all the time in my private lessons. For the price, it makes it very affordable to jot down a quick idea and rip it out (if needed).
It is also spiral bound making it very durable for the long hall. I’ve had metal spiral bound manuscript paper before, but it started to bend after 10 years and paper are falling out (from my original trumpet lessons in middle school). With these plastic spirals, you need not worry about anything falling out!
I originally bought Archives brand manuscript paper when I was in middle school! Since then, they’ve removed the metal spiral binding that bent and didn’t last very long. This style is much more durable and also the most popular.
The tan shade of the paper makes for a nice contract against the black staff lines and the spacing of this one (10 staves to a page) is of good width so you can write ledger lines with adequate space between the staves (but not too much!). I might be a nerd when it comes to manuscript paper, but you won’t regret buying this booklet.
I’ve had a lot of different kinds of manuscript paper and unfortunately for me, the one I like the most is really difficult to find! But the paper quality, color, the size of the staves are all to my liking. And I tend to be very picky (as my students know).
I would suggest buying the one before this one, because the papers do fall out pretty easy (annoyingly easy) and it’s not spiral bound. But I can’t help but continue to use it because of the design of the staff. I don’t like change as you can tell – I’ll be bummed when they finally discontinue it from JWPepper, because it was literally the only place I could find to buy this book!
So this is the end of the article about trumpet music books and my recommendations. There are a lot of books out there but the ones I’ve listed are the most popular and the most common.
I hope this article was helpful in your search for trumpet music books! If you have any questions, let me know.
Thanks for reading,