30 minutes a day: How to improve on trumpet with a limited schedule




Over the years I’ve had thousands of people ask how and what to practice when you only have 30 or so minutes a day.

Is there a way to maintain your skills or even to improve some of them.

Well now there is 😉

It is all about working both hard and smart. Not wasting 1 second of valuable practice time. And more importantly working each and every muscle and skill we need to play well.

This book does that.

30 Minutes A Day to Better Playing is all about working both hard and smart.

9 unique Musical Trumpet Music exercises that will work the mind, fingers, tonguing skills, breathing, breath support, tongue arch, tongue hiss, flexibility, range…. In short everything.

Just a quick note to review Clint McLaughlin (Pops’) recent book, “30 Minutes A Day to Better Trumpet Playing”. This is necessarily a pretty slender volume (30 minutes ain’t long!), but it covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
There’s a very compact warm-up, a tonguing exercise, major/minor scales, lip flexibility, wide interval studies, compression/tongue arch/hiss exercises, and the atonal study designed for target practice (“sensation drill”), along with some specific instructions for how to approach the exercises, technically and physically.
It’s a pretty grueling workout, even with rests inserted. I’ve elected to use it every other day or so, and it feels like it covers alot of bases I wouldn’t otherwise necessarily cover in a regular practice session.
(For the record, my practice session sometimes consists of picking up the horn, warming up, and sight-reading some material or working on improvisational material…not very focused, in any sense. This method seems like a good way of touching alot of bases in an organized way.)
There are “options” that extend beyond my comfortable range, and obvious flexibility to increase speed on various exercises, so I feel like there’s room to grow.
There are also some good diagrams discussing tongue arch and tongue hiss that I hadn’t seen before.
Anyways, thought you folks might be interested.

Jeff Helgesen, trumpet
Jeff played in the Ray Charles Orchestra (1987-1990) along with much more and several recordings.

This book put it all together for me. I became a better, stronger player in a couple of days.
I really had misunderstood the concept of the tongue arch, and now I know why I struggled for so long. I can only get to the horn every couple of days (if I am lucky–working for a living really screws up my leisure time), but I honestly got so much more efficient that my range and endurance are both VERY much increased.
I went from having a weak G above high C in the practice room to centered double high Cs, and an A that I can wail at the end of a gig.
Everybody in the band hears the difference and I get encouraging looks from each of them.
Easily the best thing I ever did for my playing. Buy the book, if you need range or endurance. Its cheap but worth more than you can afford.
BTW, Pops doesn’t even know me. I ain’t working for him.

Gary Comingore

I received your “30 Minutes…” book and I’ve got to tell you that at first I thought I bought a bottle of snake oil! But, after reading the material, popping the mouthpiece in the horn and starting the routine, this book was good…very good!
At the 20+ minute mark I felt I had a real workout on my hands. Your book will become a part of my daily routine (gigging day or not). Many of the examples can easily be modified or varied to make it all more interesting.
Great work!