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 questions, and I found the sage wisdom and advice communicated by Clint ‘Pops’ McLaughlin to be particularly helpful.
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:
- 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;
- 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 comeback player;
- 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.
- 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!