Trumpet College by Clint Pops McLaughlin - Check our trumpet lessons online beginner trumpet lessons and trumpet books.

Info for Beginner Trumpet Players

My trumpet lessons and trumpet books have been mentioned and quoted in dissertations, magazines, other books, web sites and even youtube videos.

Although I have written 20 trumpet books (so far) I didn't write a beginner book.
I never intended to reinvent the wheel with my books.
I wrote books that filled in gaps that had never been done before. (Many others have done beginner books.)

How would I start beginners?

I'm old fashioned about all beginner trumpet students. I treat them like Mendez did.
They buzz simple songs before they ever pick up the horn. This helps to build some muscle strength and control without adding bad habits.
I know that they want to play and will try. However; if you insist on 20 - 30 minutes of buzzing every day, then a player with 1 week of experience will out play anyone elses' 1 month player.

So they lip buzz for a week or 2, then they mouthpiece buzz a week or 2.

It forces them to learn a closed setting which helps range, tone, and endurance.

If they have already started playing then have them use buzzing practice after every playing session for a couple of months and you will be shocked at the results.

Why might a beginner trumpet student be having problems?

There are a number of reasons why a new student is having problems.

1. Kid being forced to play by parents / No desire to play therefore he won't try.

2. Not practicing enough / (We live in the age of instant gratification. Many kids don't understand that some things really require work.)

3. Being tone deaf. Some people have trouble hearing the difference in pitches. This translates into problems with playing those pitches. (They may think they are playing the right pitch or not notice the difference.) This requires a lot of ear training to overcome this. It also requires the teacher to be creative. Checkout Clyde Hunt's webpage Clyde has some wonderful ideas and items that help this kind of problem. He has written songs in the range that problem students play in. This keeps them motivated and trying.

4. Not understanding that they change the pitch with the lip muscles. The student has to understand what you want them to do.

Mendez used lip buzzing to teach embouchure and aperture control. He buzzed simple songs and scales and had his students practice that.

Stevens used a pencil between the lips as an exercise and a visual guide. If the end of the pencil was pointed down the chops were set for a low note. If it was pointing up the chops were set for a high note. A pencil is TOO big for anyone under 16. With kids a quarter works as it is easier for them to control.

Have them try to play a Hoseaphone. In the normal trumpet length they may have trouble. If you increased the tubing to 6 feet they should be able to play 2 or 3 harmonics. This is used to show them that the chops play the horn NOT the valves.

5. Faulty embouchure setup / poor mouthpiece placement. I like close embouchures. That means lips are touching. Some kids (and adults) create a hole between their lips before they play a note. With untrained chops this is difficult to overcome.
Have them let the lips touch. I like buzzing the lips and sneaking the horn into playing position. If they are buzzing the lips are touching. Doing this for every note for a few days will cure this problem. I like to have the player center the buzz into the mouthpiece when they sneak it into place. That takes care of bad placement.

Beginner Trumpet Fingering Chart. The chart shows you which valves to depress for each note.

Here are some beginner trumpet resources.


These books are not used in public schools so there is no issue of getting bored by repeating the material.

Clyde Hunt's book has a CD for them to hear the correct pitch:

Don Bateman's "The Complete Trumpeter" has lots of photos.


These may be used in your school system and could then bore your young student when they join band.

Essential Elements 2000

Accent on Achievement

Standard of Excellence (comes with a play along CD)


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