Comments on "The no-nonsense trumpet from A-Z": I have found this book
to be very interesting and useful. It manages to present a great deal of
information, information I have found nowhere else. The descriptions of
proper use of air and alternative embouchures are excellent.
Reading this book has led me to change my whole approach to trumpet
playing. It's (ultimately) up to the player to decide what to believe,
but this book has been a great resource to me in this quest.
Clint ("Pops") has been a great resource as well. He has answered many
questions that have come up as I've worked at developing the different
aspects of my playing, from mechanical embouchure adjustments to
equipment to practice philosophy. His advice and willingness to "follow
up" on questions has helped me considerably, and is something I truly
I think that anyone who is serious about improving their trumpet
playing, and isn't afraid of trying new ideas, will benefit from reading
Pop's books and sending him a tape for evaluation and follow-up.
in early 1998, i decided to return to trumpet playing after a
20-something year hiatus. and quickly found that there was more
information on trumpet playing available on the internet, than i could
believe. web-pages, a good mail list <http://www.tpin.org> and a good
usenet newsgroup (rec.music.makers.trumpet). whenever i had something
giving me a hard time, i'd post my problem on the newsgroup and tpin.
then i would receive several answers to my question. each from a little
different perspective. as you may know, there is no such thing as "one
way" to play the trumpet, due to embouchures, teeth formation, and lip
size/shape. there are good pro players successfully doing things that
others would consider taboo. thus, hearing different viewpoints gives
you the opportunity to glean what is helpful to you. often times, one
person phrases things in such a way as to make you "get it".
several times "pops" was the one who posted the insightful info that
made something make sense to me. after continuing to see his good
replies to other people's queries, i decided to buy his book. it is
chock full of good trumpet related info. and i can say that any comeback
player (and there seems to be a lot of us) would be well served to add
it to his collection. my thanks to "pops" for his giving spirit.
(p.s.- don't add caps, or they'll think it wasn't really me ; )
Your books have wealth of information that most of us "old guys" had
search for for days, weeks, months to get. All the historical material
is great, all the air and chops instruction is right on...just like Jake
would've done it, I think, and that's a high compliment!
I, as do many trumpet players, appreciate having so much material
readily available as "one-stop-shopping!"
John Julian http://members.aol.com/JohnJ1409/deadchops.html
I think your knowledge is first rate and I have personally benefitted
many ways. A couple of days ago, you gave an explanation about "air
projection". Until the explanation, it didn't really make sense. I have
since been able to utilize the concept to aid in taking the stress off
the chops. If I can only now learn to utilize it subconsciously.
Additionally, one of the best tips I ever got from you was how to
control timbre with the shape of the aperture. I use it often.
Stanton's Trumpet Page
I recently purchased copies of *Pops*'s books, and have taken a bit
time to peruse them before posting to the list....
Clint McLaughlin has distilled a lifetime of knowledge into these
volumes--_PRACTICAL_ knowledge which deserves to be put into use in
every trumpeter's practice room/studio. While I can't say that I agree
with EVERY approach he advocates (I'm not an advocate, for example, for
thrusting the lower jaw forward because I believe the potential tension
caused by this technique outweighs the benefits of it), I CAN and DO
agree with most of what he recommends....
This is not a book of theories or generalities, but a real resource
designed BY a trumpet player FOR trumpet players.
The exercises have real merit, and the *Trumpet FAQ*'s are PRICELESS!
(talk about distilling decades of individual lessons into a single
Don't waste any more time searching for the *ultimate guide to trumpet
playing*....It's already been done, and between Clint's book and Ole
Utnes' site there is enough material to last a lifetime (as long as you
already own the mandatory texts of Arban's, Clarke Techs,
Bousquet/Concone, Charlier, Colin Lip Flexibilities or Matt's
*Fundamental Flexibilities*, etc ;^)
And you'd better hurry, because once the word gets out about the
contents of these books, they'll be out of print sooner than you can
tongue the cornet part to *L'Histoire du Soldat*!
Thanks for providing such a fine reference, *Pops*! --
Jeanne G Pocius
Archer Music/North Shore Brass Associates
http://members.delphi.com/jeannepocius *Mizpah* (The Lord God watch
between me and thee while we are parted one from the other)
I've been a pro brass player for nearly 25 years, and have been on-line
for about 12, and reading "Pops'" advice on-line over the past years
have made him one of the few people in the trumpet forum whose posts I
always read and consider. His tips and advice are always well thought
out, useful, and lacking in the emotionalism, personal bias and
hyperbole that are so common on the net. Not that he doesn't have his
own personal preferences - but that he labels them as such, recognizes
the fact that all players are different, and then gets on to the
business at hand. He's definitely an experienced player and teacher, and
a resource to be valued.
When I returned to playing trumpet after a 35 year layoff, the first
thing I did was look on the Internet to see what helpful information
might be available there. As I expected, I found a multitude of web
sites, newsgroups, and other services where all kinds of helpful tips
and playing techniques were explained in detail. Some of the information
I found extremely valuable. Many well-intentioned people were quick to
provide answers to many of my question, and I found the sage wisdom and
advice communicated by Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin to be particularly
I thought the "on line lessons" from 'Pops' were extremely useful in
facilitating my quick return to playing again, and I truly feel 'Pops'
advice has actually helped me surpass my ability of many years ago.
The lessons I most appreciated from him were on the subjects of:
1. Embouchures - 'Pops' not only understands a variety of proven
embouchures, he also knows how to describe them in ways which help
players of all ability levels understand and benefit from his advice;
2. Buzzing - His explanations on how to buzz, both on and off the
mouthpiece, as well as the value of buzzing was a revelation to me. I
had no idea buzzing could be so helpful to the new player, or the
3. Breathing - It is here where I feel I benefited the most from 'Pops'
words. By focusing on proper breathing techniques, I have enhanced my
range AND increased my endurance. Previously I had no idea how important
breathing was in playing trumpet. I frankly paid no attention to it. I
just played. Now I focus on breathing more effectively, and my playing
has come along much faster than I had ever hoped.
4. Mouthpieces - Here again I had never paid any attention to my
mouthpiece. 'Pops' helps explain why the proper mouthpiece is important
if one is to attain ones maximum potential, but he also warns against
the temptation to play the revolving mouthpiece game.
Anyone playing the trumpet for fun or profit should not be without
'Pops' book, "The No Nonsense Trumpet From A - Z." It is an invaluable
guide for any trumpet player, new or old.
I highly recommend it!
I bought "The No Nonsense Trumpet From A - Z" because I was impressed
the helpful posts which Pops has made to the newsgroup
rec.music.makers.trumpet--often excerpts from this book.
I was happy to find that the book is a comprehensive synthesis of just
about everything relating to trumpets and the basics of trumpet playing.
It's not a slick packaging of one player's special techniques. Instead,
Pops discusses and compares various approaches and types of equipment.
Neither is this book a collection of nice-sounding theories; Pops has
mastered the techniques he teaches, and carefully researched his
material. His approach is always practical.
The sections of the book which have been the most helpful to me
personally were the discussions of mouthpieces, and especially,
embouchure. I've often been confused by the different descriptions of
embouchure I read by top players. They describe what works for them, but
Pops has mastered all five embouchure systems available to trumpet
players. He can compare them and discuss their relative advantages and
disadvantages. In particular, I learned that my embouchure was too open,
and would benefit from a small amount of lip curl and a bit more of a
pivot. I haven't been able to play trumpet much lately because of
graduate school, but I'm looking forward to a much easier time with it
when I finish my doctorate this spring and pick up the horn again.
David J. Finton