Top 6 Best Trumpet Method Books

Top 6 Best Trumpet Method Books Every Serious Trumpet Player Should Own

I will  first present the trumpet method books briefly and later on in the article write a little more about them. These books are not for complete beginners.  They are trumpet method books for people that has been playing for at least a few months, to a couple of years, and really wants to become a better trumpet player. 

Ready for it? Great…

…let’s go!

Systematic Approach To Daily Practice
By Claude Gordon

best method book fro trumpet
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  • Main focus of the book

To build your whole trumpet playing mechanism with focus on range, power and good endurance.

  • Structure of the book

This trumpet method book is structured basically as a 52 week study. You put in a year of practicing and you are rewarded with a well functioning and very strong embouchure with an expanded high note register.

  • Difficulty: intermediate to semi advanced.
Short comments:

It progresses and becomes tougher slowly, week for week. That said it is not a book for beginners. We are all different but I recommend you have at least a year to two of solid playing behind you.

(Find more details about the trumpet books down at the other half of this page)

Final Rating :  8.5 / 10
Where is the best place to order the Claude Gordon book?

Sheetmusicplus: Click here to check the current pricing 

Amazon: Click here to check the current pricing (sometimes they are out of stock)


“The Arban” Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet
By Jean Babtiste Arban

best trumpet method book
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(You might notice that there are Arban books with different covers out there. Don’t worry, that’s because it differs a bit depending on the edition/company that publishes.  They are all 99% the same)

  • Main focus of the book

To provide the trumpeter with everything he needs during his whole life as a trumpeter.

  • Structure of the book

If trumpet playing was a religion, this would be the bible. It has got everything. Hundreds and hundreds of exercises targeting EVERY area we need as a trumpet player.

  • Difficulty: from complete beginner to first class trumpet master
Short comments

The arban book is for everyone who plays a brass instrument no matter what level they are on. It starts off very easy but in the end of the book (400 pages later) you will find pieces and exercises that only a first class virtuoso would attempt.

If we were only allowed to own one trumpet book then we would all choose the Arban. I strongly bellieve that every trumpet player on this earth should own one.

(Find more details about the trumpet books down at the other half of this page)

Final Rating : 10 / 10
Where is the best place to order the Arban book?

Sheetmusicplus: Click here to check the current price (generally cheaper)

Amazon: Click here to check the current price (Sometimes Amazon presents used books, be sure to check before you order. Perhaps you want to by a used one because the price is lower, of course. You can sometimes see up in the right corner two options “buy used”  or “buy new”. New books, however,  are almost always cheaper on sheetmusicplus)


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  • Main focus of the book

To build the technical skills a good trumpet player must have. Mainly finger technique but also tonguing, flexibility and endurance.

  • Structure of the book

The concept is technique exercises that first should be practiced and mastered in order to be able to play the “technique etude”. Every chapter ends with one “challenging etude” that the trumpet student, having mastered the previous exercises,  now should have the skills to play…if he really concentrates, of course =)

  • Difficulty: from intermediate to semi-advanced to advanced (in the end of the book)

As with many other trumpet method books this book also progresses and becomes more and more difficult, as it should. It is not a book to start playing from as a complete beginner. You need at least a year, perhaps a bit more, of experience before attempting this)

Short comments

One of the best trumpet method books ever written and, again, a book that every trumpet player should have. It is impossible to practice these exercise and not develop your trumpet playing significantly.

(Find more details about the trumpet books down at the other half of this page)

Final Rating : 9 / 10
Where is the best place to order the H.L. Clarke book?

Sheetmusicplus: Click here to check the current price (generally cheaper)

Amazon: Click here to check the current price (Sometimes Amazon presents used books, be sure to check before you order. You can sometimes see up in the right corner two options “buy used”  or “buy new”. New books are almost always cheaper on sheetmusicplus)


Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet
By Max Schlossberg

best method book for trumpet
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  • Main focus of the book

Flexibility and finesse. The book really makes the trumpet student excel in areas like, control, flexibility, sound and finesse.

  • Structure of the book

A lot of long tone exercises in the beginning along with air control exercises. The book has got some unique angles when it comes to trumpet exercises that forces us to greatly improve as trumpeters. There are also a lot of faster exercises in form of intervals, scale exercises and more.

  • Difficulty: from pretty easy to hard 

This book can be bought even if you are not yet on an intermediate level, although I do recommend that you have at least 6 months of playing behind you as the book quickly gets more difficult. The book starts of really easy and progresses to become very difficult in the end. So with at least 70% of the material in the book, the trumpeter should be on an intermediate to more advanced level. It’s kind of like the Arban in the sense that every trumpeter can own it, however it is NOT as big as our bible-the Arban.

Short comments

A very good trumpet method book that has helped me play with much more finesse and elegance over the years. This book has helped me develop the control I have when playing Eb-trumpet, for example. I highly recommend this book for every trumpet player that wants to improve their general playing and sound.

(Find more details about the trumpet books down at the other half of this page)

Final Rating : 9,5 / 10
Where is the best place to order the Max Shlossberg book?

Sheetmusicplus: Click here to check the current price  (perhaps $2 cheaper)

Amazon: Click here to check the current price on


The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method Book #1
By Allen Vizzutti

Method book for trumpet
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  • Main focus of the book

Book number one of Allen Vizzuttis three trumpet books focuses on the fundamentals with exercises focusing on the breath, finger flexibilities, lip flexibilities, long tones, high register playing and so on.

  • Structure of the book

Clearly explained and easy to understand exercises that targets one basic fundamental skill, needed to play the trumpet well, after the other.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate-more advanced

You don’t need to be a trumpet student of many years in order to get something out of this book but you do need to have some playing under your belt before ordering it. That said the exercise range from easy to hard and there are always something suitable to practice for almost every trumpeter.

Short comments

Very well written and fun to practice. They exercises is not only effective but they are presented in a fun way which makes this book a pleasure to practice from. I applaud Allen Vizzutti for writing the method books, as I understand they will stand the test of time and become a “go to source” for trumpeters, decades to come.

(Find more details about the trumpet books down at the other half of this page)

Final Rating : 9 / 10
Where is the best place to order the Allen Vizzutti method book?

Sheetmusicplus: Click here to check the current price

Amazon: Click here to check the current price


Grand Method For Trumpet Or Cornet
By Saint-Jacome

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  • Main focus of the book

To provide the tools needed to become an excellent trumpet players. There are A LOT of exercises in this book.

  • Structure of the book

Progressive exercises focusing on every aspect of trumpet playing there is.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate-semi advanced – advanced

This is a big book with a lot of material to choose from. No matter what level you are are on you can find exercises to help you assist in whatever else you currently are working on.

Short comments

This book is known to be”one of the two pillars of modern trumpet pedagogy. Along with Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet”. It is truly a great trumpet method book that gives a lot of value or the money.

(Find more details about the trumpet books down at the other half of this page)

Final Rating : 9 / 10
Where is the best place to order the Saint-Jacome method book?

Sheetmusicplus: Click here to check the current price

Amazon: Click here to check the current price


Why do I call these books the best trumpet method books?

During my over 30 years of playing I think I have tried most of the trumpet method books out there, perhaps with the exception of new ones that are coming out that I have not yet gotten to. It does not take long to separate the really great ones from the masses and these 6 are indeed truly masterpieces…

…a few of them are the core pillars of the trumpet pedagogy with years and years of history and knowledge behind the exercises and text in the books.

Take the Arban book for example

It was first published somewhere around 1859 and is currently in print with new copies coming out to this date. Jean-Babtiste Arban did not only write a trumpet method book. He wrote a legendary trumpet book that now has been practiced by tens of thousands of trumpeters around the world…

…and for good reason. My grandfather use to say to us that if we can master every page in the Arban book we will for sure never ever be without a gig. He was certainly right about that and I would even like to go so far as to say that, even if we only master 85% of it, we will always have some form of trumpet gigs =)

Claud Gordon, the guy who wrote the first book I recommend on this page, use to say: “as a trumpet player we need two things in life, “The Arban Book and Food on the table…and the first one will help get the second one”

The Arban has got it all. With almost 400 pages it’s truly is a masterpiece that EVERY trumpet player on the planet should own.

My opinions on the H.L Clarke book

Well, what can I say. Another classic method book. A “must-have” trumpet book or…

…perhaps I should say Cornet book as Herbet L. Clarke was a great cornet player, a soloist, bandmaster and composer. Hi is by many considered to be the greatest cornet player of his time and there are legendary stories about how skillful his cornet playing was. He wrote the cornet / trumpet method book in the year 1912 and just as with the Arban and the other books here this book has stood the test of time and I can not see that changing in the future.

I have as a rule for myself to play at least a little from the Clarke book a few times a week just too keep my fingers up to speed, as well as keeping the lip to finger synchronization on a tiptop level.

You can actually hear a very old recording, from 1913, of Herbert L. Clarke playing a cornet solo called “Bride of Waves” on Wikipedia. 

Allen Vizzutti’s trumpet method books

I think everyone who has heard Allen Vizzutti play would agree that the rest of us might want to listen to what that guy has to say. Well, one way to do that is through his method books and I have all three of them. Unfortunately I somehow lost the second book, probably during a gig somewhere because I can’t, for the life of me, seem to find it here at home.

I like the books very much. They feel fresh and different and the short musical pieces Vizzutti implements to accompany the exercises are interesting and fun to play (particularly in the third book). The book contains a lot of knowledge and I highly recommend all three of them to any serious brass player.

Oh and, if you did not know who Allen Vizzutti is, it’s about time you find out. Listen to this!

Max Shlossberg and his book

Max Shlossberg was a trumpeter born in Latvia 1873. He wrote his the trumpet book just a few years before his passed away the year 1936. This book became a legend and is now used by trumpet players all over the world.

This book has unique exercises and one can not help but wonder how well Max played himself. As I said earlier the exercises in the book helps me with every aspect of my playing but what I find them to improve the most, for me, is sound, control, finesse and range. If I had to describe the way he wrote the exercises with just one word it would be “intelligent”.

The trumpet method book is no where near as big as Arban but there is still a lot of material and value in it, and yes, it’s another on of the pillars of trumpet pedagogy that any serious trumpeter should own.

Louis Saint-Jacome and his book

This book is another goldmine of trumpet exercises that was first published year 1870. The book has over 300 pages and getting up there with Arban in its amount of content. There is not much you won’t find in this book as it is just packed with trumpet knowledge from the very first page.

I gave this book a final rating of 9/10 and it would have got a 10 if thee book would be perhaps a little bit better organized. But it’s never a problem really and I almost feel like a lazy ungrateful person for writing that because it IS a masterpiece.

Final words

Ok these where the top 6 best trumpet method books that every serious trumpet player, in my opinion, should own and if you do not have them then consider getting them. I’m sure the books will serve you well…

…if you remember to us them, that is =)

I hope you found this article informative.

If you  are someone who is just getting started with the trumpet then perhaps go read the post
What is the best trumpet method books for beginners and start from there. When you have got some playing experience and want to take it to the next level come back and read this article again because, as I said, these book are really legendary trumpet books.

-Robert Slotte-