Larry C

I am very pleased to have happened upon your web site. My story is an odd one, at least for me, in terms of playing trumpet. I’ve been playing since age thirteen–some twenty-plus years. I’ve achieved some successes on a local scale playing jazz trumpet. That is, more as a soloist than much else (but I do that well). I’ve had some bright moments along the way–brightest: opening with a quintet for Terrance Blanchard at Bimbo’s in North Beach, San Francisco, among other dates. My point, I’ve been playing many years, and have had troubles throughout. To bottom line things: I found out that every teacher I had told me the wrong mouthpiece to use. They said go medium and shallow, and I did, and I died. I now play a Schilke 17D4D with a ML Bach I bought in 1970 (I have pretty full lips). Wonderful combination for me […]

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Alan Rouse

Shoulders of greatness For good or for bad, Mr. Gordon was shameless in his consistent claim that there is only one correct way to play brass instruments. It’s not surprising that his students believe likewise. I think Gordon was extremely talented, a superb teacher, and very, umm, shall we say, confident. Judging from his published materials, political correctness was not very important to him. Actually, in all these areas, I think he and Pops are “two peas in a pod”. You love ’em or you hate ’em, but you never have to wonder what they are thinking! Anyway, I think Gordon earned the right to be that way. He distilled all the mystery of trumpet playing down to a program of study that repeatedly produced great players, probably more consistently than any of his contemporaries. I’m very glad he did so. I think Pops has taken the next logical step, […]

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Brian Reilly

I have been thinking about posting my own (not so?) humble opinion about one of the timeless debates about trumpet playing that has seemed to be a common thread here lately. One TPINer has recently scoffed at another for over analyzing and worrying too much about chops. This is a very common idea that not worrying about the chops and just focusing on things such as air, concept of sound, and music will solve most (all?) problems. I have studied with many teachers who have told me the same thing, including Don “Jake” Jacoby and many other great players. (“Just forget about your chops and let them VIBRATE!!!”) As everyone can easily see Jake, Claude, and countless other great teachers have shaped and molded some of the greatest players that are around today. One thing that I witnessed about Jake is that if a young, inexperienced phenomenal player came to […]

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Richard Holmes

Well it’s time to hear from a current student of POPS. I do not intend to get in the middle of the debate about which method is best, but I do believe my opinion is of some value here. I have a degree in music performance and studied music edu. for three years. I have been playing professionally for 30+ years and I have currently 18 trumpet students. I have had a copy of CG’s book (and other method books) for many years, and I like many others played from the book but did not practice it. I don’t think it was a bad attitude I had, I think it was because I did not understand it and none of my instructors (i have had many) ever took the time to explain it, because they couldn’t. One of my college instructors said not to use the book because it takes […]

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Greg Kelsoe

The last time I corresponded with you, you were about to take a little time off. I went back to your web site tonight and am excited to learn about your new book. When I was there in August a year ago I learned much, but one if the best pieces of advise that you gave me was to find my own niche. I am still exploring, but have found a very nice niche. I am playing lead with a local big band and am now directing a church orchestra and playing lead there as well, when I am not conducting. I am about to piece together a small combo for other gigs as well. The niche advice was right on target! The instruction that you gave me has truly revolutionized my playing. I am not able to spend as much time as I would like and need working on […]

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Laurence Davison

Here’s a brief 3 week plus report on progress since I saw you; buzz has improved now I’m focussing on the more WASP like sound. pencil hold at approx. 3 mins + and is really helping shape the chops, beginning to feel a much more compressed,bunched feel. sometimes on range pushing ex’s I can get above high G (although the pitch tends to not always centre. big improvements in tonguing generally tone beginning to improve much less pressure needed and thus less marking on the lips A few days after my return to the UK I had an audition/interview for a new and better job. Played all of Carnival of Venice from memory and it went like a dream.Instantly offered the post. So can’t thank you enough for your incredible teaching abilities. For ever in gratitude. Laurence Davison

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