Bass Clef 30 minutes a day: How to improve on trombone with a limited schedule


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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 😉

After I released this for Trumpet I had lots of Bass Clef players ask for the 30 Minute book in Bass Clef. This is a transcription of my 30-minute trumpet workout, written one octave lower, in bass clef, for non-transposing instruments.

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 Trombone Music exercises that will work the mind, slide positions, tonguing skills, breathing, breath support, tongue arch, tongue hiss, flexibility, range…. In short everything.


These reviews are for the trumpet version:

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!