Play trumpet effortlessly.
I have had teaching endorsements from over 200 full time trumpet playing professionals and college trumpet professors. I can help you reach your trumpet playing goals.
The Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin Trumpet Foundation Page has 7200 pages of trumpet music for you to learn and practice from. Many books and works used in major colleges are here.
There are 4 things that act like Octave Keys for Trumpet players. Sadly most players use the wrong physical action in the wrong register and it doesn't work. I can help you with that FAST.
In the last 43 years, I have helped thousands of trumpet players of all different levels and abilities from High School, College, Comeback Players and Working Professionals like Herb Alpert. Herb had a 12 year layoff before he came to me. Herb has released 9 CDs and done countless live shows since I gave him trumpet lessons. Keith Fiala toured with Maynard Ferguson and has done 3 CDs after I gave him trumpet lessons.
What makes me different from other trumpet teachers?
I have been featured in articles in "The International Trumpet Guild Journal", "Wind Player Magazine", and "Overture" an American Federation of Musicians publication. I have been mentioned in over a dozen books written by other trumpet teachers, in trumpet clinics, dissertations, trumpet forums, magazines, trumpet web sites and even you-tube videos posted by other trumpet teachers.
So far I have published: 3521 pages in my books (most of it musical exercises and etudes), 13 hours of instructional video, 6 hours of instructional audio and 5 subliminal tapes.
I have had endorsements from over 200 full time trumpet playing professionals and college trumpet professors. Including: Herb Alpert, Darryl Bayer, Eric Bolvin, Bill Churchville, Kiku Collins, Mark Curry, Keith Fiala, Mic Gillette, George Graham, Jeff Helgesen, David Hickman, Bill Knevitt, Roddy Lewis, Jim Manley, Rex Merriweather, Leon Merian, Flip Oakes, Jeanne G Pocius, Matt von Rodderick, Eddie Severn, Andrea Tofanelli, James R. West and many many more.
I am pleased and honored to have my trumpet books, ideas and trumpet teaching mentioned and quoted and to have this site listed in the TOP 10 Trumpet sites in these books:
"Tongue Level & Air" by Eric Bolvin
"Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn" by Jonathan Harnum
"Trumpet Greats" by David Hickman
"Trumpet Pedagogy" by David Hickman
"Embouchure Enhancement" books by Roddy Lewis
"Trumpeting by Nature: An Efficient Guide to Optimal Trumpet Performance" by Jeanne, G Pocius
I have received testimonials from:
31 Authors of over 108 trumpet books
61 college trumpet professors and noted teachers
58 pro players who have recorded over 3,900 movie, tv and cartoon soundtracks
9 trumpet embouchure clinicians
3 Trumpet Guild presidents
12 Trumpet Guild board members past and present
8 mouthpiece and trumpet designers and makers
Some accomplishments that set me apart from others:
I am world famous for teaching trumpet and have been mentioned in magazines and books written by other trumpet teachers.
I have helped trumpet players to become full-time Professional Trumpet Players.
I am the first person to ever write about The Trumpet Aperture Tunnel (TM).
I am the first to both explain and give musical exercises to learn about Lip Setpoint (TM).
I am the first to write about different trumpet embouchure systems as a 3-D model (Farkas, Maggio, Overlap, Stevens, Superchops, TCE.)
I am the first to write about the 4 Trumpet Octave Keys (TM) relaxing enough so that mouthpiece seal raises pitch an octave, Air stream Focus (TM), Air Kicks (support), and correct lip compression; which are used by pro trumpet players but almost no hobby players use them.
I have written about which facial muscles to use and which ones hinder trumpet playing. This enables you to play and be relaxed, when you stop the facial tug of war.
I wrote about and connected the SS or hiss to tongue arch and wrote about how arch relates to anchor tonguing.
I created a new way to hold the trumpet that helps to reduce mouthpiece pressure.
I developed a new way to reduce facial tension in ONE day.
I did the 1st rewrite of music to The Arban Book in 150 years and brought the techniques into the 21st Century.
I am the 1st person to do a Thermal Imaging study of people while they were playing trumpet.
I am the 1st to do a study on resonance and spectral analysis of the entire Trumpet Family, Flugel, cornet, Bb, C, Eb, Picc and on how embouchure tension relates to resonance.
I met "POPS" on the Internet and he helped me through some frustrating problems that I was struggling with on the horn, and he was always available.......
It was a pleasure to work with you Herb and I LOVE the Remix CD “Whipped Cream and Other Delights: Re-Whipped” that you recorded during our relationship. Congratulations on the CD making it to #5 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. You continue to be an inspiration to all brass players.
Lynn Asper: Author of “A Physical Approach to Playing the Trumpet”; Trumpet Professor @ Grand Rapids Community College - http://www.trumpetbook.com
Thanks for the opportunity to be in your book.
Rick Baptist - Los Angeles Studio Trumpet player with 850 Movie and over 1000 TV and cartoon recordings.
John Bennett: 33 years playing lead trumpet in Vegas. Over 20,000 Shows
Seneca Black: Trumpet @ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; - http://www.jazzatlincolncenter.org
" Pops is one cool trumpet teacher. Here I am, a long time student of Claude Gordon and what's my problem?? Tongue levels!! Pops diagnosed me right away and helped me out tremendously in a short time. And he didn't even have to change my embouchure!"
The Really Big Student Songbook
The Arban Manual
Tongue Level & Air
Joseph Bowman: Trumpet Professor @ Mahidol University College of Music - Host of 2005 International Trumpet Guild convention
Jim Buckner: Trumpet Professor @ Henderson State University; - http://fac.hsu.edu/bucknej/
Sam Burtis: Author of “The American Trombone”
Barbara Butler: Trumpet Professor @ Northwestern University - http://music.northwestern.edu/people/faculty/wind_perc/ wind_perc4.html
I was truly honored to have been asked by you to contribute to your trumpet book. I was named a Bach performing artist several months ago, it was in some part due to my contribution to your book.
Thanks again, - David Champouillon: Trumpet Professor @ East Tennessee State University; - email@example.com;
Thanks for asking all of us to contribute to such an interesting study. I hope that we all learn something from the collection of ideas and opinions.
Kevin Cobb Trumpet @ American Brass Quintet - http://www.americanbrassquintet.org/ John Daniel: Trumpet Professor @ Lawrence University - http://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/
Many, many thanks to you and your knowledge of the trumpet and the embouchure. It has helped me immeasurably since my lesson with you!
Mark Curry - Curry Precision Mouthpieces - http://www.currympc.com and former lead trumpet player with Ray Charles.
Charles Decker: Trumpet Professor @ Tennessee Technological University - http://plato.ess.tntech.edu/music/trumpet/
I've been a pro brass player for nearly 25 years, Pops' tips and advice are always well thought out, useful, and lacking in the emotionalism, personal bias and hyperbole that are so common on the net. He's definitely an experienced trumpet player and teacher, and a resource to be valued.
Vince DiMartino: Trumpet Guild President 2002; Trumpet Professor @ Centre College - http://www.centre.edu/web/academic/faculty/dimartino.html
Nick Drozdoff: Author of “Embouchure Design”; Former lead trumpet with Maynard Ferguson - http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/3698
When it comes to trumpet pedagogy (and my doctorate was in trumpet performance and pedagogy) Pops' information is excellent.
Regards, - Bryan Edgett - Trumpet Professor @ Eastern University - http://www.eastern.edu/academic/trad_undg/sas/depts/ music/BryanEdgett.html
Jon Faddis: Trumpet Professor @ Purchase College, High Note Trumpet Artist - http://www.purchase.edu
You have single-handedly given me the confidence and the ability to meet - EXCEED my wildest dreams. When I first came to you I never would have believed I would tour with Maynard Ferguson!!!
Mic Gillette: Former Trumpet @ Tower of Power 19 years - http://hometown.aol.com/newvokid/links/index.htm - http://www.thefundamentals.com/"
Pops, you're a wealth of information on trumpet equipment & embouchure. I'm writing a new textbook for future public school music teachers (published by Prentice Hall), I'd like to quote you:
Thanks. - Thomas W. Goolsby, Coordinator Music Education Georgia State University - http://education.gsu.edu/coe/
George Graham: Academy Awards Trumpet Player - http://www.trumpetgeorge.com
Matt Graves: Author of “Fundamental Flexibility Studies” - http://mattgraves.netfirms.com
Thanks for recommending the Berp. It seems to fit very well with your approach to practicing the trumpet.
Mario Guarneri - Trumpet fifteen seasons with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and hundreds of T.V. and motion picture soundtracks - http://www.berp.com
Nick Hansinger: Assistant Personnel Manager, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Pops; Your book is just fantastic and thank you for inviting me to offer up some of my thoughts on the subject. Congratulations on a job well done.
John Haynie - Author of "How to Play High Notes, Low Notes and All Those In Between". Professor Emeritus of Trumpet @ University of North Texas 1950-1990
"Clint McLaughlin is one of the leading experts on embouchure. His books discuss many of the embouchures used by leading trumpet players. I consider his publications excellent resources!"
David Hickman Author of the new book "Trumpet Pedagogy".
David Hickman is a Regents' Professor of trumpet at Arizona State University, recording artist, author, past President of the International Trumpet Guild, founder of Summit Brass and as a trumpet virtuoso has appeared with over 400 orchestras around the world.
Clyde Hunt: Author of “Sail The Seven C's” ; Many CDs of trumpet Methods like Brandt or Schlossberg - http://www.bflatmusic.com
International Trumpet Guild Journal review of "Trumpet FAQ's". From a teaching standpoint, the questions asked are interesting, not only with respect to the various levels of performance, but in how topics are addressed by the author. Many answers are based on the philosophies of the late Don (Jake) Jacoby and his well known teachings and methodology.
Full review found in Vol. 26, No. 2 January 2002 Trumpet Guild Journal
"Congratulations to Clint McLaughlin for this informative collection of professional opinions. "The Pros Talk Embouchure" is a helpful tool for better understanding both the differences and the common ground relating to the embouchure. It will hopefully lead to further candid discussions about this vital aspect of trumpet/brass performance.
Trumpet Guild Journal June 2004 - http://www.trumpetguild.org/
Walt Johnson: Author of “Double High C in Ten Minutes”; Trumpet high note artist; replaced Bill Chase on his band; many movie soundtracks - http://members.aol.com/vikster288/jazz/johnson.htm
All the air and chops instruction is right on...just like Jake would've done it!
John Julian - Long time trumpet student of Don Jacoby
It is absolutely wonderful!!! May be the most complete book on embouchure ever compiled. You have done trumpet players a wonderful service!
Bill Knevitt - Author of several trumpet method books including: "The Truth About How To Play Double High C On Trumpet". - http://www.ultratrumpet.com/
John LaBarbera: Trumpet with Buddy Rich band; Professor @ University of Louisville - http://www.louisville.edu/music/jazz/
Lucinda Lewis: New Jersey Symphony; Author of “Broken Embouchures” - http://www.Embouchures.com
It was only after reading/playing your books, did I get the range thing! I assure you that it was only your book (and Mr. Jacoby's) which gave me the help I needed.
Roddy Lewis - Author of "Embouchure Enhancement" vol 1,2 and 3, 12 years playing trumpet in the West End in London - http://www.R-o-d-d-y-T-r-u-m-p-e-t.cC
John Lynch: Author of “A New Approach to Altissimo Trumpet Playing.” Inventor of the "Asymmetric trumpet mouthpiece” - http://www.asymmetric-mouthpiece.com
Check out Pop's trumpet books.
This guy knows what he is talking about and can write it!!!!
Thanks for all your intelligent advice.
Gordon Mathie: Author of “The Trumpet Teacher's Guide” & “Drudgeries” (Routines for advanced wind players); Professor Emeritus of Trumpet @ Crane School of Music
If they don't get it from reading this; then they should take up the sax.
Leon Merian - Author of "Trumpet Isometrics", "The Man Behind the Horn"; Jet-tone personal trumpet mouthpieces. - http://www.jet-tone.com/merian.htm
Gary Mortenson: Trumpet Professor @ Kansas State University, Publications Editor Trumpet Guild - http://www.ksu.edu/music/mortenson
Dennis Najoom: Principal Trumpet @ Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Trumpet Professor @ University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; Trumpet Leadpipes and mouthpieces - http://www.Najoom.com
Vaughn Nark: 20 years lead trumpet with Airmen of Note - http://www.vaughnnark.com
I have played trumpet with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, and Buddy Rich. I was on Stan's band with Mike Vax and Jay Saunders. I've played trumpet at Universal studios on shows such as "Hawaii 5-0", "Gunsmoke", "Quincy", and "Incredible Hulk". I am delighted, and also more than just a bit nervous, to have a chance to share my thoughts on embouchure in such distinguished company.
Dennis Noday - author of "High Velocity Trumpet Playing" - http://www.cyberjaz.com/noday/
Flip Oakes: Wild Thing Trumpet - http://www.flipoakes.com/ (This is the best Trumpet I have ever played. Pops)
Jim Olcott: Trumpet Professor @ Miami University, Former Trumpet Guild President - http://www.fna.muohio.edu/musweb/faculty/olcott/
Don't waste any more time searching for the *ultimate guide to trumpet playing*. It has already been done.
Jeanne G Pocius - Author of new book "Trumpeting by Nature", Teacher, Player and trumpet embouchure clinician - http://abel.hive.no/trompet/jeanne/
Chase Sanborn: Author of "Brass Tactics", "Brass Tactics Companion" & "Jazz Tactics"; Trumpet Artist; mouthpieces; Professor @ University of Toronto - http://www.chasesanborn.com
Arturo Sandoval: twelve Grammy nominations for trumpet playing; Trumpet Professor @ Florida International University - http://www.arturosandoval.com
Carl Saunders: Played trumpet with Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Harry James - www.carlsaunders.com
Jay Saunders: Trumpet with Stan Kenton, Army band in D.C.; TV and movies - Professor @ UNT - http://www.music.unt.edu/;
You have said two things which have really helped me and have brought about an instant improvement in my trumpet playing. It's all 20% easier! So thanks again for your positive contribution to the brass world.
Eddie Severn - Author of "Trumpet Solutions" and European trumpet artist. - http://www.eddiesevern.com
I think you're doing a great service for the brass community. I once heard that the art of teaching is in finding out how to explain the same thing in different ways to have it hit home for each individual student.
Matt Shulman — Trumpet Player, Composer, Inventor of the ShulmanSystem for Brass - http://www.ShulmanSystem.com
Karl Sievers: Trumpet Professor @ OU School of Music, Principal Trumpet Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Board of Directors Trumpet Guild - http://music.ou.edu/applied/trumpet/trumpet.htm - http://www.selmer.com/trumpet/karl_sievers.html
"After nearly thirty years of pro and semi-pro trumpet playing, I thought I had seen it all. Clint is, without a doubt, a pro's pro! His "cyber teaching" has made him a living legend to all of us who have benefited from his vast knowledge of brass playing.
"Thanks Clint!" - Don Smith
Richard Smith: Smith Watkins Trumpet - http://www.smithwatkins.com/
Dave Stahl: Lead Trumpet with Woody Herman, Count Basie, Buddy Rich - http://www.davestahl.com
Marvin Stamm: Trumpet with Stan Kenton and Woody Herman bands - http://www.marvinstamm.com
Michael Stewart: Author of “Courting the Upper Register” - http://www.stewmuse.com/ - www.geocities.com/Vienna/3612/StewHome.html
Andrea Tofanelli: Italian High Note Trumpet Artist; many TV shows in Europe - http://www.andreatofanelli.com/ - http://www.trumpetstuff.com/Home.html
Mike Vax: Lead Trumpet with Stan Kenton; Yamaha Trumpet model and mouthpieces. Recorded over 70 Albums - http://www.MikeVax.com - http://www.bigbandjazz.net
Robert Weast: Professor Emeritus of Trumpet @ Drake University; Author of “Keys to Natural Performance” and “Trumpet Players, Principles, Quotes and Commentary of Trumpet Players and Pedagogues From 1584 to the Present“.
I have already gotten a boost in range and endurance from the one session that I had with you, and several of my students have gotten a similar boost. Pops keep putting that information out there.
James R. West
Louisiana State University - http://www.music.lsu.edu/
James West (Associate Professor of Trumpet).
John L. Worley, Jr.: Trumpet Professor @ San Francisco State University - http://johnworley.com/
Improving your high range and how to play the trumpet
Posted on November 8, 2017 by Clint McLauglin
Article by Clint “Pops” McLaughlin – reprinted from Windplayer Magazine issue #64
I think the biggest problem with playing high and endurance (both go hand-in-hand) has to do with being impatient.
When you start learning how to play the trumpet as a kid, you want to get a bigger sound immediately, so rather than take the months and years it takes for a regular embouchure to get a big sound, you start opening your mouth wider than it really should be.
And so you immediately get a bigger sound, but there is no way to add compression and get range out of it.
The hole (aperture) is too big. Then when younger students try to play high, they use mouthpiece pressure and pull the horn into their face, because their lips are so open.
It’s pretty much like stepping on a dough-nut: teeth on one side and mouthpiece on the other; you squash the hole. But it takes you a long way. You can get to where you’re playing Ds and Es, but you’re not going to play double high Cs.
So the solution is twofold: you have to learn how to form the proper embouchure and then build the muscles that were never built up in the first place.
Both of those solutions are remarkably easy. Here are six steps toward achieving these goals:
1. Lip Buzzing. Although lip buzzing (no mouthpiece) is slightly different than the way you actually play, when you learn how to lip buzz correctly, you can buzz a 3-octave scale and if you can buzz it, you can play it.
Lip buzzing actually teaches you to make your own mouth corners. Most people think the mouth corners are where the two lips meet, but they are actually where the buzz stops inside the mouthpiece. Playing the trumpet never enables you to make the buzz point closer in toward the center. The only way you can manage this is through lip buzzing. The goal is to bring the corners in toward the center. Buzzing is a BASIC of learning how to play the trumpet.
2. The Pencil Exercise. You put anunsharpened pencil between your lips.Push your bottom lip up toward the top until the pencil is elevated at about 45 degrees up from the ground. At first you’ll probably be able to do this forabout 30 seconds. The lead players who can really hit the upper register all night long can do it for four minutes.
It’s a real amazing exercise. The muscles that get sore are the ones you will need to workon for range.
3. Soft Playing. Another aspect of how to play the trumpet is playing really, really softly. I suppose Herbert L. Clarke was the first person to really teach soft playing. In his first exercise in the Clarke Technical Studies, he recommends starting pianissimo and decrescendoing until you can barely hear it. When you play it loudly, you don’t get the full benefits.
When you play it really softly, it teaches you how to focus your lip aperture to a fine point so there’s just a thread of air coming through.
4. Proper Abdominal Support. You should think of the body as if it were a tube of toothpaste. When you take the cap off, the toothpaste doesn’t come out. The only way to get it out is to make the tube smaller, which means you push. The only thing we can do to push with ourbodies is to pull our stomach in. Bypulling the stomach in and up as youplay above the staff, it forces thediaphragm up into the bottom of thelungs, making the chest cavity smallerand putting the air under pressure,resulting in the compression needed toplay high notes.
5. Air Projection. You are actuallysending the note into the airwaves. So you want to give it energy. Take blowing out a candle, for instance. If it were right in front of you, you could blow it out with a warm “ha,” but if it were acrossthe street, you would pull your stomach in and really speed up the air and give it a fast blow. On the trumpet, if you want to actually move the note farther out, you want to give it more impulse so that when it leaves the horn it has more energy than it needs, so it can make it all the way to the back of the hall. So increased intensity results in increased projection.
6. The “Lip Setpoint” (TM). If you are playing a three-octave scale starting on low G, the lips will be open and loose and there will be two spots where you can hear a difference in tone quality.
But if you play the G above the staff first and set your lips for that note and then relax to play the low G, you stay relaxed to play the two lower octaves and tighten just for the third octave. It cuts that spread into a third of the size it would normally be and it helps you connect the registers without having any kind of change in sound quality. Many players use middle C for their “Lip Setpoint” (TM).
The combination of playing musical exercises utilizing the above steps and the isometric benefits of doing the pencil exercise will lead to a more efficient range fairly quickly. And when you learn to traverse the range efficiently, you will have improved endurance.
There are 4 physical things that act like Octave Keys for Trumpet players. Sadly many players don't use any of them and 99% use 2 or less of them. I show you these things quickly. That is why my students get such a jump in ability even from the 1st lesson.
Most players have a misunderstanding of how physical actions work for each register. They use the wrong physical action in the wrong register and it doesn't work. They don't know what to change, when to change, or how to change their actions. I can help you with that FAST.
In the last 40 years, I have helped thousands of trumpet players to enjoy playing again. I have also helped comeback players to become full time professional trumpet players.
One such comeback player was Herb Alpert who had a 12 year layoff. Herb has released 8 CDs and done countless live shows since I worked with him in 2005.
What makes me different from other trumpet teachers?
I have been featured in articles in "The International Trumpet Guild Journal", "Wind Player Magazine", and "Overture" an American Federation of Musicians publication. I have been mentioned in over a dozen books written by other trumpet teachers, in clinics, dissertations, forums, magazines, web sites and even you-tube videos posted by other teachers.
Trumpet Playing Tips.
A combination of 6 things are NEEDED to play trumpet well. They are a close lip setting (aperture) + mouthpiece pressure (just enough to make a seal) + lip compression + lip tension + tongue arch (forward) & Air (speed and support). These 6 points control the range of the trumpet. There are many variations available in how these can be added together to play any one note.
It is possible to play a double high c on trumpet with a close setting and compression only. The Stevens' static exercises are played that way. Adding some mouthpiece pressure to that can flesh out the notes yet these can be done with almost no tension.
On the other hand lots of people play high c on trumpet with an open lip setting using lots of lip tension and mouthpiece pressure. With the lips pinned open there is no compression. This is tiring because of muscle fatigue from the tension and impaired bloodflow through the lips caused by the mouthpiece pressure.
In order to move from the open setting to a closed setting; the player has to learn to relax the tension and back off on the mouthpiece pressure. Compression works far better than tension so both range and endurance on trumpet improve.
Now to obtain a big full sound on trumpet you need a balance of lip setting, compression, tension, mouthpiece pressure, tongue arch and air usage.
This balance changes by register. For example the low register needs more air mass to fill the bigger aperture but less air speed or pressure. The lips require little tension or compression. I have found that people can put the close setting to real use quicker by learning to relax the chops.
There is natural muscle tone (tension), there is loose and flabby, and there are stages of tightness (tension). You have certain levels or amounts of tension that you rely on for each register. (Some brass players change tension every note, others by the difference in the harmonic series and still others by octaves.)
Tension is tiring. It also adds stiffness to the lips and prevents a free vibration. Added stiffness is how tension helps to play higher notes on trumpet but it restricts and limits the ease of tone production of the mid and low register.
Lip compression is the act of 1 lip pressing against the other. Like pinching the thumb and forefinger together. In order to do this with your hand the thumb must be touching the finger (there can be no air space between them), It works the same way with the lips.
There are 5 main ways that this lip compression is obtained for trumpet playing.
1. The entire chop setting is drawn toward the center. Corners pulled in and top and bottom lip pulled together. Like the drawstring example in the Farkas trumpet book or the making a fist in Jacoby's trumpet book or the diagram in Callet's trumpet book. Three different embouchures that all use the same method of lip compression.
2. Using the muscles of the chin to push the lower lip into the top lip. This creates a knot of muscle at the chin and it moves the center portion of the lower lip.
3. Using the muscles of a frown to compress the lips together. The Roy Roman bulldog face. A frown will pull the top lip down slightly as it pushes the center part of the bottom lip upward.
4. Using the jaw to assist register changes. This is the way Roy Stevens taught. He started with a very open jaw (tooth) position. That way he could bring the lips in toward each other in more compression by moving the jaw upward. (This is fine if you make sure to keep the teeth apart at all times.)
5. Is done by use of a pucker. The compression is partially created by the lips in their pucker and partly by the mouthpiece holding them in place. This can only be used in 2 of the 4 main embouchure systems.
Using Lip Compression is described in several trumpet books found on my site and in my trumpet lessons.