About Me

Clint Pops Mclaughlin

Allow me to introduce myself I’m Clint Pops McLaughlin an American trumpet player, trumpet teacher and author of brass music and brass instruction manuals. My specialty is brass embouchure and embouchure development.

I was born October 21, 1957 in Tyler, Texas. I attended Texas Tech and The University of Texas System and have 2 degrees in music. My main trumpet teacher was Don ‘Jake’ Jacoby.

I studied under two instrument designers, one of Mr. H.L. Clarke’s students, one of Dr. Stevens students and finally under Don “JAKE” Jacoby (Listed as one of the top 5 trumpet players of the 50’s & 60’s & a graduate of the E.S. Williams School of Music).

I’ve had written correspondence with 41 Trumpet & 38 Mouthpiece Manufacturers. (By this I mean ongoing discussions and not just asking for a suggestion or an opinion.)

I have had conversations with people who did big research projects about trumpet playing. These have been in writing and in person so I could ask questions that were not obvious from reading the papers that they published. John Haynie (fluoroscopic study of tongue arch and trumpet playing) and Robert Weast (extensive embouchure studies using rubber lips) both wrote sections for one of my books.

I’ve also gone over hundreds of method books as well as over 1,000 articles. These studies covered all major trumpet embouchure’s & more than 700 stock mouthpieces. They were written in a 400 year time period from the 1600’s to the year 2014.

Even now I look for new Dissertations every year and read them. This consistent study has actually caused me to rewrite sections of a couple of my books, so that I could stay current and accurate.

Through High School and College I took lessons from the school professor and took outside of school too. Many semesters I took lessons from 3 outside sources weekly, meaning I was taking 4 lessons a week.

The experiences that most influenced my books center around the following people: My first teacher was Arthur Ford. He was an elderly retired college band director. He was also an engineer and had designed some instruments for Conn in the 40’s and 50’s. He had 2 trumpet teachers J.P. Sousa and H.L. Clarke. I learned about Lip Buzzing from him. To this day I experience things that I realize he had told me about.

I had a friend (David Wright) who spent a great deal of time in NYC and took 65-70 lessons from Roy Stevens. He is the person who showed me how things that were poorly described in the Stevens book were really done. I also learned that some of the absolutes in the Stevens book were NOT so absolute in person.

Dr. Ken Muckelroy (who had studied under Ghitalla) and Dr. Richard Tolley worked with me on the Farkas embouchure. I realized that some of what Farkas wrote about in his book (about aperture control) actually was taught by Stevens. I was introduced to the Pivot System (by Dr. Reinhardt) and how it was utilized.

Jack Smith was the band director and trumpet teacher at a local college. He had learned the Maggio method and wanted to see how it compared to the Stevens that I played. I did something very few trumpet players would do. I did an unneeded embouchure change for the sake of an experiment. (I was a double major in college and the Physics side of me loved to experiment.) I spent 1 semester playing only the Maggio and the next playing both the Maggio and my old Stevens. It was here that I added a pucker to MY version of the Stevens Embouchure. That not only helped the endurance but it also rounded out the aperture giving a more pleasing sound than is normally associated with those 2 embouchures.

I had a friend (Mike Johnston) who started taking lessons from Don ‘Jake’ Jacoby. He made more improvement in his first 2 or 3 lessons than he made in the 7 years I had known him. This interested me so I started taking lessons from Jake. I learned the proper way to use air and the value of playing relaxed. I wanted to be a teacher instead of a player. So I asked lots of questions about problems I didn’t have, but I had seen in members of my college band. Jake even let me sit in on some other lessons so I could see how he fixed different problems.

Lastly When I finally decided to turn my notes into the book A-Z (I started in 75 and finished in 95) There was yet another embouchure out there that I had not yet played. This is when I studied and learned the Super chops embouchure. I had some phone conservations and written correspondence with Jerry Callet as well as his book. Again I did this for the experience and NOT out of a need to change embouchures.

A great deal of what I know came from the people I just mentioned. However some of it I acquired as a result of having gone through so many different embouchures. It is this experience that makes me different from so many other teachers. And I think it shows in my teaching and writing.

After teaching for 20+ years I started writing books about how to develop embouchure on brass instruments. I have written 18 brass books and video courses and I still teach in Grand Prairie, Texas. I also has a brass news magazine on-line BbTrumpet News

The significant difference between me and other brass teachers is that I include info from all 7 main brass embouchures that are taught today. [7] My view is that since all players have physical differences; it is logical that no “one” embouchure can be effective for all players. [8] Each player should find the embouchure that best fits them and work from there.

My books and videos go to great detail when explaining how a brass embouchure works. As an example; I was the first teacher to explain and discuss the “Aperture Tunnel” (TM) in print and explain how this helps to create resonance on a brass instrument. [9] [10] I was also instrumental in writing about the 3-D nature of the brass embouchure in my 2002 book “How the Chops Work”. I explained in text, pictures and diagrams how the vibrations differ in thickness (front to back); in height (up and down); and in length (side to side). This was a great contrast to the concept of just the length of the vibration affecting pitch.

I have also documented and written about the adverse effects of tension and mouthpiece pressure, In doing this I showed how working with a didgeridoo or tuba mouthpiece is a good way to overcome these problems because of the size of the vibrations they create. I also wrote about how tongue levels aide in playing and I described a hiss register that is a big benefit for high note playing. [11] I have been credited with helping to explain differences in breathing techniques for high note playing. [12] [13] [14] [15]

One work that made a great impact for brass teachers was “The Pros Talk Embouchure” which interviews 70 Pros about embouchure. [16] [17] The book “How the Chops Work” used pictures, diagrams and in depth discussion to teach the differences in several different trumpet embouchures. [18] Five of my books and my web site have been heavily referenced in other books like “Trumpet Pedagogy” by David Hickman a Regents’ Professor of trumpet at Arizona State University and past President of the International Trumpet Guild. [19] I have also been included in The book “Trumpet Greats” By David Hickman. [20] This book talks about the most influential people in the trumpet world from 1600 to today.

Trumpet Books

  • The No Nonsense Trumpet From A-Z (1995)
  • Trumpet FAQs (1998)
  • The Next Level (1999)
  • Air on the Move (2001)
  • The Pros Talk Embouchure (2002)
  • How the Chops Work (2002)
  • Chops Builder (2003)
  • Get a Gig (2004)
  • 30 Minutes A Day (2004)
  • 6 hour Learning Audio (2005)
  • 5 Sleep Learning Audio Subliminals (2005)
  • More Power More Range (2009)
  • Be Your Own Teacher Video (2011)
  • No Nonsense Improv Video (2011)
  • Lip Curl Embouchure Video (2011)
  • AIS (Ass in the Seat) (2011)
  • Tongue Arch and Aperture Tunnel (2012)
  • The New (Expanded Range) Arban Book (2012)
  • High Gear/Low Gear (2013)
  • Tensionless Playing (2013)
  • New Expanded Range Clarke Technical Studies Book (2013)
  • The 4 Trumpet Octave Keys (2014)
  • Mouthpieces: What Will It Sound Like? (2015)
  • Trumpet Range Pyramid (2015)
  • Brass For Africa: Learning to Play the Trumpet: A Textbook (2016)
  • Brass For Africa: Pops’ Daily Trumpet Practice Music (2016)
  • Trumpet Concerto Key and Range Study (2016)
  • Play The Trumpet; Don’t Play With It (2017)

Other books

  • Self Defense: Easy Self Defense Moves That Could Save Your Life (1986, 2010)
  • Self Help Marriage: How To Put A Marriage Back On Track (2010)
  • Don’t Gamble With Dating: Get Better Game (2011)
  • Curious Things: That People Do (2012)
  • Gay In America: Punishment 24/7 Without A Trial (2012)
  • Write On: How To Write and Publish A Book (2012)
  • Why Atlas Shrugged? (2013)

Articles and web sites

Books available for purchase

Check out the Shop to get your copy of my books!


Some accomplishments that set me apart from others:

  1. I am world famous for teaching and have been mentioned in magazines and books written by other teachers.
  2. I have helped players to become full-time Professional Players.
  3. I am the first person to ever write about The Aperture Tunnel (TM).
  4. I am the first to both explain and give musical exercises to learn about Lip Setpoint (TM).
  5. I am the first to write about different embouchure systems as a 3-D model (Farkas, Maggio, Overlap, Stevens, Superchops, TCE.)
  6. 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 players but almost no hobby players use them.
  7. I have written about which facial muscles to use and which ones hinder playing. This enables you to play and be relaxed, when you stop the facial tug of war.
  8. I wrote about and connected the SS or hiss to tongue arch and wrote about how arch relates to anchor tonguing.
  9. I created a new way to hold the trumpet that helps to reduce mouthpiece pressure.
  10. I developed a new way to reduce facial tension in ONE day.
  11. I did the 1st rewrite of music to The Arban Book in 150 years and brought the techniques into the 21st Century.
  12. I am the 1st person to do a Thermal Imaging study of people while they were playing trumpet.
  13. 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 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

My Life Story

Book about my life. Clint Pops McLaughlin


  1. Hickman, David (2006). “Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching Techniques”, page; 260. Hickman Music Editions.
  2. Harnum, Jonathan (2006). “Sound the Trumpet: How to Blow Your Own Horn”. Sol-Ut Press.
  3. Fiala, Keith (2011). “Secrets to Efficient Brass Playing!: From Trumpet to Tuba…A Common Sense Approach”.
  4. Pocius, Jeanne G.; “Trumpeting by Nature: An Efficient Guide to Optimal Trumpet Performance”. Outskirts Press
  5. The International Trumpet Guild Journal: Jan 2002, page 59.
  6. Utes, O.J., Trumpet Resources. http://abel.hive.no/trumpet/pops/ 
  7. Hickman, David (2006). “Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching Techniques”, page; 100. Hickman Music Editions.
  8. Bergantino, Len ED., A.B.P.P: Overture Magazine: American Federation of Musicians vol 20; July 2001.
  9. Windplayer Magazine issue #64, 2002.
  10. Hickman, David (2006). “Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching Techniques”, page; 106. Hickman Music Editions.
  11. Bolvin, Eric (2007) “Tongue Level and Air”. Faded Duck Publishing.
  12. Lewis, Roddy (2003). Embouchure Enhancement
  13. https://web.archive.org/web/20150923172344/http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1903187 
  14. Bolvin, Eric (2007) “Tongue Level and Air”, page 4. Faded Duck Publishing.
  15. The International Trumpet Guild Journal, Jan. 2009, page 76.
  16. Hickman, David (2006). “Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching Techniques”, pages; 46-47. Hickman Music Editions.
  17. The ITG Journal: June 2004.
  18. Hickman, David (2006). “Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching Techniques”, page; 433. Hickman Music Editions.
  19. Hickman, David (2006). “Trumpet Pedagogy: A Compendium of Modern Teaching Techniques”, pages; 46, 47, 95, 96, 115, 106, 110, 199, 201, 205, 260, 433, 434, 437. Hickman Music Editions.
  20. Hickman, David and Tarr, Edward (2013) “Trumpet Greats: A Biographical Dictionary”, Hickman Music Editions.

References come from real players you know:

I met “POPS” on the Internet and he helped me through some frustrating problems that I was struggling with on the horn.

– Herb Alpert

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.Thanks!!~

– Eric Bolvin

Hey Pops, keep up the good work. Even us “old pros” need a little help every now and then. I check in with your site regularly. Thanks.

– Bill Churchville

Pops: I’m so glad I got your books – some great stuff in there for every trumpet player!!! Keep up the great work!!!

– Kiku Collins

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

Pops: 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!!!

– Keith Fiala

“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

It was only after reading/playing your books, did I get the range thing!

– Roddy Lewis

Check out Pop’s trumpet books. This guy knows what he is talking about and can write it!!!! Thanks for all your intelligent advice.

– Jim Manley

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 von Roderick

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
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