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Trumpet Talk By Chris Gekker


Digital Download

I can’t mince words here, Chris Gekker is my favourite trumpeter and author of all time. His latest book “Trumpet Talk” is special for so many reasons. He has compiled 29 different trumpet essays and articles in one place, creating a treasure trove of material unlike anything else. He also included an extention to his book “Focal Point Exercises” by writing 25 new Focal Point Studies, plus a new collection of 25 Long Sets that take Schlossberg, Irons, and Stamp to a whole new level.

Today you can buy the book, or you can buy the full study book bundle that includes nearly every study book he mentions in chapter 5 “Etude Practice.” This bundle is only available during launch month and gets you an incredible 65% off the 19 study books that every single trumpeter must have.

Below I am quoting from both Chris Gekker’s preface and the foreword by Eric Ewazen. If you buy one book this year, let it be this one.

Samples to the left, excerpts below. Enjoy!

“A number of the following pieces have appeared in journals, magazines, and books. In every case, I’ve made changes and clarifications, large and small, for this printing. Others have never been published, though I’ve always freely shared with anyone asking. Some are closely related: the intro to the Slow Practice book grew out of the previously published article A Free Walk on Firm Ground – the “free walk” statement from Anton Rub􏰀nstein is a favorite of mine, quoted in several other articles. A Short History of the Trumpet was originally written to my students as a basic source of background – it is not a scholarly or refereed document, but it has been read and edited by a number of learned colleagues, both in the fields of trumpeting and musicology. There are four examples of CD program notes, and two private letters, answering questions from fellow trumpeters – activities I have done many times. The three summer practice guides also come from a number I’ve done over the years, basically letters to my trumpet students during the school year, with suggestions on how they might use their summer practice time. The final entry comes from a 2018 convocation at the University of Maryland where I received the award of Distinguished Professor.

While fairly light in the area of formal education, I have never stopped exploring and being immersed in the subject of music, the trumpet, and the music business. All of us who are fortunate to be in this environment are part of something bigger than ourselves, and the continuing perception of that is a key to having a fulfilling career. In the following pages you will read many thoughts and observations, but please understand that I am not setting myself up as any sort of authority – opinions are not facts, and I am always eager to keep learning and growing. My own family tree of trumpet teachers reaches back to the pedagogical giants of our cultural community: my teacher in high school, Emerson Head, studied with Clifford Lillya; during my years at Eastman, Sidney Mear related much about his time as a student of Herbert L. Clarke; and two extremely influential mentors and idols, Gerard Schwarz and Adel Sanchez, both studied with William Vacchiano, who was a student of Max Schlossberg. Years later I had the opportunity to interact and work with Mr. Vacchiano, and significant influence of George Mager was also passed along, reflecting Mr. Mager’s studies in Paris with Merri Franquin, whose background extends back to being a student of Jean-Baptiste Arban. In the late 1980s I had the good fortune to meet with Laurie Frink for eight sessions where she generously shared a series of deep insights from her close work and long association with Carmine Caruso.”

~ Excerpt from Chris Gekker

“On a personal note, I have Chris Gekker to thank for introducing me to the world of brass solo and chamber music composition. It was thanks to him that many of my very first works for brass came to be written. He suggested to me, in the early 1980s, that I consider composing a brass quintet for the American Brass Quintet, of which he was a new member — the esteemed and legendary ensemble famous for commissioning, programming, and recording new works — and that became my Colchester Fantasy. My entire career as a professional composer came about through that piece!

Chris’ current, extraordinary and comprehensive book is noteworthy not only for the wonderful musical examples and exercises, but also for its historical perspective. The idea of the complete musician, a consummate performer who is well-versed in the wide world of music, the technique, history, repertoire and perspective of their instrument and the music they play is the philosophy that Chris espouses with his fascinating discussions of the origins and fascinating development of the trumpet throughout the centuries. Subjects include discussions about various issues of trumpet pedagogy, the physics of trumpet playing, the music business, and also range from the most iconic trumpet repertoire of Taps to a particular detail in Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece L’Histoire du soldat, the beautiful Ewald Quintets, (which I myself studied in detail before I wrote my first brass quintet), and the world of jazz with its uniquely American origin which has led to international recognition as one of the great musical languages of the 20th century. What is fun, fascinating and informative is Chris’ own autobiographical perspective on all of these topics, and his relationship with learning the music, being influenced by it and letting it be part of his own wonderfully informed, and consequently fantastic interpretations and performances.”

~ Eric Ewazen


Table of Contents

1. Preface to Endurance Drills
2. “A Free Walk on Firm Ground”
3. Slow Practice (Intro)
4. Focal Point Exercises (Intro)
5. Etude Practice
6. Articulation
7. Damage Control
8. Practicing During the Pandemic
9. Transposition
10. Air
11. Perspective
12. Ensemble Etiquette
13. Auditions
14. Scales and Chords
15. A Short History of the Trumpet
16. Charlier Etudes
17. Taps
18. Piccolo Trumpet
19. Summer Practice 2002
20. Summer Practice 2015
21. Summer Practice 2019
22. Improvisation
23. Endurance Letter I
24. Endurance Letter II
25. Program note- Ewald Quintets
26. Ghost Dialogues CD note
27. Moon Marked CD note
28. Timequake CD note
29. 2018 Convocation
25 Focal Point Exercises
25 Long Sets


Books Included in the Study Book Bundle

1. Gekker, Trumpet Talk
2. Charlier, 36 Transcendental Studies PLUS
3. Arban, Complete Conservatory Method
4. Maxwell, The First Trumpeter
5. Goldman, Practical Studies For Trumpet
6. Brandt, 34 Orchestral Etudes for Trumpet
7. Gekker, 24 Etudes
8. Bordogni, Vingt-Quatre Vocalises
9. Caffarelli, 100 Studi Melodici
10. Caffarelli, 16 Advanced Studies for Trumpet
11. Pottag, Preparatory Melodies to Solo Work for Bb Trumpet
12. Wurm, 40 Trumpet Studies
13. Kopprasch, 60 Selected Studies for Trumpet
14. Smith, Top Tones for the Trumpeter
15. Longinotti, Studies in Classical and Modern Style
16. Clodomir, Modern Trumpet School 1, 70 Little Exercises
17. Bousquet, 36 Celebrated Studies for Cornet
18. Paudert, 24 Modern Virtuoso Studies
19. Honegger, Intrada (Trumpet in C & Piano)

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