qPress was originally born out of necessity. Our most used grand methods alone total well over 1000 pages, and every student in the world needs these for each of their lessons and daily practice sessions. With modern distribution and digital devices it is now possible to carry your library with you, and that is what we have done. Through the course of this project, though, I have come across many books which are exceedingly short. Some as little as 5 pages. What astounds me is that these short books hold some of the most useful daily routines in publication today. To make this blog post I dug through nearly 500 books in the qPress collection and found the top 10 shortest books in the trumpet canon. Have a look around and click through for in-depth descriptions. I think you will like what you find. These books below are ordered from shortest to longest, all are between 5 and 10 pages.
SIX STUDIES FOR TRUMPET by Jules Levy
At 5 pages this is the shortest of the lot.
Jules Levy was one of the finest cornetists to ever play our instrument. He was a recording pioneer, and the music he left behind for us set the bar for trumpet performance for the next century. He left behind two methods, one is his instructional cornet method, which will be available soon, and the second is this set of 6 studies. It is a short volume, but it is a fantastic record of the dexterity, flexibility, and technical aptitude Levy expected from trumpet players. The ability to perform these 6 studies would be a feather in the cap of any trumpeter.
THE TRUMPETER’S DAILY STUNT by Richard Shuebruk
7 pages of pure joy.
According to Richard Shuebruk, a working trumpeter needs from 15 to 20 minutes practice every day. I would argue that that first line shows the age of this book, but the next few lines are as solid today as they were back then. He suggests that all players need lip work, attach, intervals and slurring every day, along with tonguing and finger work to round it all off. I would say he is right, and this short routine can be thrown immediately into anyone’s daily practice to keep them honest.
10 CHARACTERISTIC STUDIES by Franz Blaha
8 pages of rare studies.
Here is the deal with this book: It is exceptionally rare. There is one copy of it in a public collection, it does not circulate, and it is in terrible shape. I was lucky enough to have an audience with this book and was able to reproduce 9 pages from the 10 Characteristic studies. Why is this interesting? It is incomplete. It has all of study #1, 2, 3 and 10, but does not have the middle studies. This is bizarre because the page numbers are sequential, going from pages 1-9 through etudes 1, 2, 3 and 10 without a break, suggesting that there are no pages missing…my question to you is this: Do you know is there are actually 7 more etudes, or is this some kind of conspiracy?
20 ETUDES FOR TRUMPET IN D by H. Duhem
8 Pages of D Trumpet.
Duhem’s Etudes are some of the most wonderful trumpet studies that you have never played before. Finding a hidden gem is such a wonderful feeling! I just finished reading through this entire series and had such a blast I couldn’t wait to get editions up for sale. I am attaching the first study in the samples for each book so you can give them a try yourself. Once you play the first few pages you will be hooked for life. Great for intermediate to advanced/professional players, covering a wide range of styles, technique, articulation, transposition, and so much more.
This particular volume is etudes specifically for the D trumpet. Each one is quite difficult but short enough to not cause extreme fatigue when playing the small trumpet. An innovative and interesting addition to the repertoire of method books. How many books are written specifically for D trumpet?
ARBAN’S DAILY GYMNASTICS by Benedict Vansek
10 Pages, repeated daily.
Benedict Vansek’s book “Arban’s Daily Gymnastics for Cornet or Trumpet,” is subtitled “the personal daily studies used by JB Arban, famous artist and author of the world renowned Arban Method.”
I give the extended subtitle because it is a perfect description of what the book is. It outlines a series of exercises done personally by Arban each day to maintain his facility on the instrument and keep him in tip top shape. The book covers Long Tones, Slurred Intervals, cycle of major scales, dominant 7th chords, extended intervals, descending harmonics, triplet lip flexibilities, cycle of major chords, chromatic studies, chords of the diminished 7th, then “Ancient Trumpet Studies”. The whole set can be practiced in about 20 minutes and is a wonderful daily routine to get you started.
6 STUDIES FOR TRUMPET by Piet Nuten
10 Pages of modernism.
I thought I knew all of the modern trumpet study books out there. I research them for a living and I have played professionally for so long I thought there were no more surprises. Enter Piet Nuten and his book of 6 Studies for the Trumpet. These are unapologetically modern, technically challenging, breathtakingly musical, and such a perfect edition to the repertoire that I don’t understand why you don’t see them beside the Charlier and Brandt on the shelves of every music store. The only problem I can see is that there are only 6…60 would have been much better!
8 STYLE ÉTUDES FOR TRUMPET IN C by Robert Breard
10 Pages of C Trumpet etudes.
This is an extremely rare and very little known work by composer Robert Breard entitled “8 Style Études for Trumpet in C” or in the original French “Huit Etudes de Style pour Trompette en UT”.
These studies bring a welcome variety of style, rhythm, range, and more difficult key signatures than you tend to see from etudes of this era. They are quite taxing and will push you endurance-wise as much as they will musically and technically.
QUINZE ETUDES by Alexandre Petit
10 Pages, but an extreme challenge.
This short book of studies by Alexandre Petit is a continuation on his grand method for cornet and offers up a set of more challenging studies as a progressive step up in difficulty from his previous large method. The etudes are short, about half a page, but each presents a different technical application, from unusual meters to challenging tempos. There are 3 etude books that follow part one of his complete method, and all are available at qPress.
24 STUDIES FOR CORNET OR TRUMPET by H. Saro
11 Pages of fun.
Saro’s book of 24 Studies for Trumpet is an interesting example of a wonderful etude book disappearing from circulation after a successful early run after its publication. Many books from this time period would actually advertise this book of studies on their back cover, along with a host of others from the same decade. The interesting thing is that while the others survived, this one all but disappeared. I was able to find a copy in exquisite shape and I am very happy to get it back into circulation again.
These studies are inventive and interesting, very idiomatically written, and fulfill and important role in the repertoire. Intermediate players are often left with sub-par etudes to work from, but this book gives them something that is as much a musical challenge as it a technical one.
DAILY EMBOUCHURE STUDIES by EF Goldman
11 Page daily embouchure strengthening guide.
Let’s see what EF Goldman had to say about his book “Daily Embouchure Studies”. You can have a look at some sample pages to the left and grab a PDF download above. From the author:
“These exercises were written twenty five years ago. I have just looked them over carefully with a view to improving upon them if possible. After careful thought and study I have no wish to alter or add a single note. Before writing them I had consulted the greatest cornetists and other brass authorities in the world-including the famous cornetist Jules Levy- and they were all agreed upon the proper method for improving the tone, securing power and endurance, and perfecting the technic. These exercises should in reality become the “Daily Prayer” of every brass instrument player. The playing of sustained tones is the most important form of exercise on any instrument whether it be brass, reed or string.”