Claude Gordon and Herbert L. Clarke

Claude Gordon and Herbert L. Clarke  (1937) after a lesson
at Clarke's home in Long Beach, California.

Claude Gordon (1916 - 1996) was a long time student of Herbert L. Clarke. Gordon moved to Los Angeles, California to study with Clarke. For 9 years until Clarke's death in 1945 he studied with him. It all started with Gordon sending a letter to Clarke in 1936 and on October 2nd, 1936, Clarke replied.

Gordon has used Clarke's Technical Studies in some of his own books. In Systematic Approach to Daily Practice  for Trumpet it is an integral part of the daily routine. In his last book, Brass Playing Is No Harder than Deep Breathing he tells more about how to use the studies.

Systematic Approach to Daily Practice  for Trumpet
In lesson 4 (page 18) he introduces the Technical Studies as part V. From lesson 4 to lesson 20, Gordon uses all the studies and etudes and give instruction what to do with the exercises. Here is an example from lesson 5 (page 20):
PART IV:  Clarke's Technical Studies, second study
1. No. 36 use 3rd finger on all E's and A's
2. No. 37 and No. 39 use 3rd finger on all A's
PART V: Clarke's Technical Studies, first study
1. Single tongue this study
2. Think "Tee" as you get higher and blow stronger
3. Think "Taw" as you descend and blow easier

From "Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing":
(page 28)
"The first time that you work through Herbert L Clarke's Technical Studies you are not working for wind control. You must work on each study with the following models: First, single tongue, then "K" tongue, then double tongue (or triple tongue), and then slur as written. This time, practice just as written and and spend one week on each model."

"Do not attempt to follow the instructions in the book yet. These instructions are for the advanced development of wind control.  Remember, the first time through the book is for accuracy, fingering and wind power.  After finishing the Technical Studies the first time through, you should be ready to start over again for wind control."

"After all eight studies are completed, start over with the First Study and work through the book again, this time for more speed and repetitions and even more lightness."


Thanks to Patty Gordon for giving me permission to use the photo!
You can get books, videos etc. from Claude Gordon Music Enterprise

o.j. 2000