Best Trumpet Method Books For Beginners

 Best Trumpet Method Books For Beginners
The 3 “Must Have” Books

The beginner trumpeter should have three books:
  1. A basic trumpet method book
  2. A song book (also called etude book)
  3. The Arban

Let’s take a look at them one by one…

P.S. These are method books for beginners. If you are looking for intermediate to advanced books you can read my article 6 method books every serious trumpet player should have.

1) This is the “Basic trumpet method book” 

-The Rubank Elementary Method for Cornet or Trumpet-

This is where we learn all the basics. What valves to use, what the notes are, how to produce them along with exercises that progresses in a slow and steady manner.

Why I choose this book

I think this is one of the best trumpet method books for beginners and one reason for that is because it starts with the student playing his very first notes in the middle register instead of the low register. I wish more teachers were aware of how important this is….

…Be aware of how the student are programming his “brain-lip” conection from the very beginning!

The open “G” on the second line is the very first note in the Rubank book and by learning the middle register, as the very first thing we do, we are setting us up for success later on. This is because, if we learn to play the lowest notes first, we will be programming our “brain-lip conecction” for a lip setting that will often run into problems with playing higher notes, later on in life.

This is how strong the brain is so we should be really careful about the very first “program” we put into it. It is very hard to play high notes on a low lip setting but, on the other hand, it is much easier to learn to play low notes on a lip setting that is programed more for higher notes.

More about the book

The book has also a great balance between

  • Tonguing exercises
  • Finger exercises
  • Legato exercises
  • Scales
  • And overall trumpet skill progression

Every so often the book also has a  page with songs for the beginner trumpeter to play with the newly learned skills he has mastered from the exercises.

Conclusion about this trumpet method book for beginners

All in all a great trumpet method book for anyone who wants to start playing the trumpet. It is also priced very well compared to similar items. I even think it is under 10 dollars but you can
click here to check current pricing on Amazon, cause it’s always changing.

2) This is the Song book / Etude book

– Sigmund Hering. Forty Progressive Etudes for Trumpet-

When starting to play the trumpet it is very important to, right from the beginning, also jump in and start playing nice melodies. Beginner trumpeters that are forced to only play exercises and scales are more likely to quit after a few weeks…

…in addition to this,  playing songs and etudes early on will train our ears immediately from the start and it will pay massive dividends later in life. Not to mention that the beginner trumpeter will have much more fun if he also get’s to play some “real” music and not only exercises.

Why I choose this “Song / Etude book”

The music is well written and the etudes are fun to play. This is important for keeping the beginner motivated. It also progresses very slowly and every new etude is a little bit more difficult than the previous one, with just the right balance in my opinion…

…and by balance I mean that it does not get too difficult too soon, as that might discourage the student, and on the other hand, it does not stay at the same level either, risking that the trumpet student get’s bored or under stimulated.

More about the book
  • The beginner trumpeter gets to explore different keys

Another thing I like about the Sigmund Hering etude book is that it make sure almost every new etude the student plays is in a new key. This is important for developing good playing skills as well as learning our “mind-ear-body” connection to synchronize with the music.

So many etude books have the trumpeter only playing with flats or sharps but we really need to master them both and this trumpet method book takes care of that.

  • The etudes are not too long nor too short

This is important for the trumpet player to build a solid trumpet endurance from the very beginning. Sigmund Hering understood this and wrote the trumpet etudes just the right length.

  1. If the songs are too short they will not build endurance
  2. If they are too long then it will overtax the embouchure muscles, setting the player up for plying issues in the future.
Conclusion about this beginner trumpet book

In think this etude book definitely deserves its place in the article on what beginner trumpet books you should start with and it is also pretty decent priced, in my opinion. You can click here to check the current price on Amazon

This is The Arban

 -The Arban Complete Conservatory Method For Trumpet-

Don’t worry if you notice the cover looks a bit different when you surf around to order it. It differs some, depending on what edition it is, or what publisher sells it, but they are all 99% the same (some of them are read, others silver while some are black but they are all the same book).

What you have to know about the Arban

  • This is a beginner trumpet book
  • This is also a trumpet book for trumpet masters
  • This is also a trumpet book for intermediate trumpet players

Keep reading, I’ll explain more about this below…

The Arban is a legendary, must-have, trumpet book

This is a must have book that contains everything about trumpet playing, and I really do mean everything. I really think that every trumpet player, no matter what level they are on, should own this book. 

Why and how?

From this book we should pick and choose certain complementing exercises that suits well to go along what we are doing. It further helps us aid in what current lessons we are practicing, in our basic method book, or what current songs we have on our music stand. And this…

… is something we should keep doing all the way throughout our trumpet life, as the Arban truly has got it all.

Almost 400 pages of trumpet knowledge in one single book

From the easiest exercise in the world all the way to first class virtuoso exercises, at the end of the book. EVERY trumpet player on the planet should have the Arban book, no matter what level the player are on….

…even from the first week of owning a trumpet we should have this book. It is not just a trumpet book. It is a legendary trumpet book.

A few examples of what the Arban contain
  • Exercises to developing accurate and fast fingers
  • Tonguing exercises in all kinds of variations and forms
  • Double and triple tongue exercises in all kinds of variations
  • Melodies
  • Etudes and duets
  • Difficult solo pieces
  • Easy solo pieces
  • Articulation exercises
  • Trilling exercises
  • Air speed exercises
  • Slurring exercises
  • Scale exercises
  • Arpeggios
  • Inerval exercises

…and more.

Final words about the Arban

With almost 400 pages of trumpet knowledge it is understandable that this trumpet method book is a bit pricier than the other two but you will get a lot of value for the money.

Conclusion about the three trumpet method books

In my opinion these are the best trumpet method books a beginner should have and, if I had a son that wanted to step into the wonderful world of trumpet playing today, these are the books I would make sure he got.

Note that it’s NOT a “top 3 best list” with three alternatives. They are different and complement each other. The beginner trumpeter should have all of them and rotate his practice and play a little from each of the three books, whenever he practice.

A few last tips to help to get the beginner trumpeter off to a good start

  • Make it fun!

The trumpet is far from the easiest musical instrument to learn, let alone master, so there will be enough of “hardships” later on. Every trumpet player will run into a lot of them…

…trust me on this one!

The point being that we have to make sure that the beginner falls in love with music, and playing the trumpet as quickly as possible and this is best done by making it fun.

Be amazed at your kids progress, give frequent compliments and listen to other trumpet players along with your kids. Go to concerts, talk enthusiastically about it and be really interested in it. This will help the your beginner  trumpeter to get off to a really good start and he will have a much higher success rate when those tougher days inevitabley come, later on.

  • Get a trumpet teacher

If your kid wants to start playing and no one in your family has played the trumpet before then it is highly recommended that you get a trumpet teacher for your kid. It does not have to be a professional trumpeter but it has to be someone who actually plays the trumpet.  A retired clarinet player won’t unless he hasn’t played the trumpet at some point in his life. This is because the mechanisms of producing the sound on the trumpet is so very different from other instruments.

If you do not have any suitable trumpet teacher in your local area then even online trumpet lessons via Skype can be valuable.

  • Encourage your kid to play in band or at least with a friend or another family member

Playing in a band is so good for building ear-training and musical skills and not to mention for keeping the motivation high for the beginner trumpeter. As I already mentioned it is vital to keep it fun and playing with others is an excellent way of doing that.

If there are no suitable local bands in your area perhaps your kid have a friend that also plays a musical instrument. Or perhaps a family member or relative plays a musical instrument and then you could schedule some time to play duets for example.

  • Sometimes we just don’t want to practice

For a beginner trumpeter it can be hard to remember that he should often be practicing. Ideally every day, or at least a few times per a week.  When this happens it is of course needed to remind him or her of doing so. Other times, however, the interest is not there and this is where a bit of encouragement is well suited.

We should also be aware of the fact that not everyone who starts playing the trumpet will continue for years and years. For some people the interest just fades after a while and, if this happens, it is best to accept the fact that trumpet playing is probably not the right interest here and that is totally fine…

…after all, there IS more to life than just playing the trumpet =)

Take a “time out” instead?

However don’t be too quick to sell the horn and give away the beginner trumpet method books because, as we all know, kids can have very fast changing interests. The love for trumpet playing could come back after a year or two and then it is just a matter of dusting off the trumpet case and start going at it again.

The fire often starts again

In fact I recommend calling it a “time out” instead of quitting. If a student of mine said he wanted to quit the trumpet , more often than not, they indeed started playing again after a few years…

…and some of them are very good trumpet players today and sometimes I even have the pleasure of playing trumpet gigs with some of them.

Final words about trumpet playing

Trumpet playing is a remarkable journey and something I wish would become more popular in the futere, with schools getting the kids into it early on.  It is amazing to see all kinds of people come together, using all of their senses to create something truly beautiful and magnificent and that is…

… music and happiness!

Ok, there you have it, these are, in my opinion, the three best method books for a beginner and something I highly recommend for people when starting to play the trumpet, no matter in what age group they are. 6 years old or 86 years old. I still recommend these books.  Use them wisely and I’m sure the books will sevre you well.

Thank you for reading the article, keep practicing and remember to keep it fun!

-Robert Slotte-