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Finger Technique (Comprehensive Trumpet Skills) By Daniel N. Thrower


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This 218-page book is a marvelous and extremely well-organized addition to the world of trumpet pedagogy! It is an essential edition for all serious students and teachers of the trumpet.

What makes this trumpet technique book different from all other technique books on the market? This book was designed as the finger technique book for undergraduate university trumpet students. Often lacking in the undergraduate curriculum are required scales and arpeggios, and adequate training of the notoriously uncoordinated third finger. This book contains a rich, rare resource for all standard scales and arpeggios from major and minor to jazz scales and ninth chords. It also addresses third-finger training extensively in creative ways found nowhere else. As an example of curricular use, a freshman should pass off, and memorize, major and minor scales and arpeggios, as well as the chromatic scale beginning on any note. Sophomores should become fluent in the modes. Juniors and seniors should master the advanced scales and arpeggios. Other portions of the book should be divided up according to level as well, with the goal of completing it within a four-year degree. Graduate students should master it in two years.

This volume is intended to expand any trumpeter’s dexterity and useful knowledge of elementary techniques. It is an extensive preliminary study before improvisation can be mastered, and for the “classical” player to become more conversant in the instrument’s overall language. It is not intended to be a jazz improvisation book. Today’s overall music market demands stylistic versatility, and seeing that music is very much a language, vocabulary lists are crucial. That is what this collection of plainly presented scales and arpeggios offers. Further improvisational tools include Book 6: Music Literacy, and Book 10: Repertoire and Style.

There is much more to this book than scales and arpeggios, as those resource pages constitute a mere 17.6% of the book’s content.

No trumpet book on the market so thoroughly addresses the anatomy of the hand, or the training of the third (ring) finger—the trumpeter’s greatest handicap to dexterity. Instructive and explanatory text with numerous illustrations comprises a full 20%—one-fifth of the book. The original studies (exercises and drills) are fun, fresh, invigorating, and gratifying to learn, and makeup nearly one-third of the book at 31.4%. And of course, the highly creative “etudes,” which are really unaccompanied performance pieces, and which vary greatly in style and technical demands, are the other 31% of this volume. The etudes have received great reviews from seasoned teachers and students of all levels.

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