I bought “The No Nonsense Trumpet From A – Z” because I was impressed by the helpful posts which Pops has made to the newsgroup rec.music.makers.trumpet–often excerpts from this book. I was happy to find that the book is a comprehensive synthesis of just about everything relating to trumpets and the basics of trumpet playing. It’s not a slick packaging of one player’s special techniques.
Instead, Pops discusses and compares various approaches and types of equipment. Neither is this book a collection of nice-sounding theories; Pops has mastered the techniques he teaches, and carefully researched his material. His approach is always practical.
The sections of the book which have been the most helpful to me personally were the discussions of mouthpieces, and especially, embouchure. I’ve often been confused by the different descriptions of embouchure I read by top players. They describe what works for them, but Pops has mastered all five embouchure systems available to trumpet players. He can compare them and discuss their relative advantages and disadvantages. In particular, I learned that my embouchure was too open, and would benefit from a small amount of lip curl and a bit more of a pivot. I haven’t been able to play trumpet much lately because of graduate school, but I’m looking forward to a much easier time with it when I finish my doctorate this spring and pick up the horn again.
David J. Finton