Dear Paul, Your book is a very serious work! We appreciate your dedication and effort to helping us all to be more efficient on our practicing and be a better trumpet player. I really hope that your book gets into the hands of everyone that would like to improve their playing.
“Miles Davis once said that he could tell how someone played by how they took their horn out of their case. Miles probably meant this more symbolically than literally, but the truth is, there is a lot that can be learned quickly. I met Paul Baron once, some years ago, doing theatre work in the Washington DC area, the details long forgotten – but I do have a clear memory of how impressed I was: his playing combined beauty of tone, impeccable phrasing, absolute integrity of rhythm and style, and power to spare. A wonderful musician, who has rightfully garnered the highest praise wherever he has worked.
Trumpet Voluntarily is full of long-term concepts and also the kind of short-term advice that only a top pro like Paul can give. These real-world insights are well worth repeated readings and study. The day-to-day issues that Paul raises can only come from someone who has “walked the walk” for so many years, and the long-range concepts are expressed with wise perspective, applicable to busy professionals as well as serious college and high school trumpeters.
Many confuse “lead trumpet” with the kind of stratospheric pyrotechnics that are often featured in big bands. As Roger Ingram points out in his excellent Clinical Notes on Trumpet Playing, when Cat Anderson was with Duke Ellington and Maynard Ferguson with Stan Kenton, they were not playing lead – they would unleash their spectacular skills on cue while playing lower section parts most of the time. It is true that Bill Chase (with Woody Herman) somewhat changed this template, being asked to cover both duties, but for the most part the responsibility of lead or first trumpet has always demanded detailed and constant attention to leadership in all areas of performance: rhythmic feel, style, pitch, dynamics, intervallic integrity, even comportment on the bandstand. Early in my career, I had the great honor of standing next to Al Porcino, and will never forget him playing simple figures in medium swing tempo: the authority of how he would shape a basic figure like four quarter notes, square in a rhythmic pocket that absolutely showed the whole band how it would be playing – there would be a sense of unity all around me in the band. I could even feel a collective boost in morale. Other experiences working with Jon Faddis, Laurie Frink, and Jim Hynes have reinforced this perception, that true lead playing is ultimately about intelligent leadership and the ability to artistically inspire everyone in the ensemble. This quality can also be heard on recordings by the greats: Snooky Young, Conrad Gozzo, Al Killian, Wayne Bergeron and others.
Milt Jackson once wrote “Association leads to assimilation.” Trumpet Voluntarily is ultimately a work of generosity on Paul Baron’s part: he opens up his own world of experience for all of us to share and learn. His book allows us to associate with him, albeit from afar, as an artist and trumpet player, and any resulting assimilation is a gift to be grateful for.
Chris Gekker, Author and Professor of Trumpet, Maryland
“Paul Baron’s “Trumpet-Voluntarily” is a must have book for players of all ages and levels. He covers wide range of topics, chop maintenance, equipments, ensemble playing, how to practice, styles, and even shares his point of view on professionalism.
The book is very well organized, tons of information on all things trumpet, but most of all, you can truly feel Paul’s love for music through out your reading!! I my self was able to rediscovery the things I learned through out my career, and am having fun (well…difficulties) with many of the exercises in the book. (especially the “Third valve exercise”). I highly recommend having this book in your library! congratulations Paul on your great book!!!”
Eric Miyashiro, International Yamaha Performing Artist
“I’ve had the good fortune to know Paul for three decades. Over that time I’ve witnessed him constantly striving to continually maintain the highest level of musicianship and craft. His book, “Trumpet Voluntarily”, is a window to that process. It is a thorough, concise and thoughtful volume with advice relevant to any trumpet player. I highly recommend it.”
James Ross, Trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
I have just finished reading through Paul Baron’s “Trumpet Voluntarily” and find myself being transported back to a time when I was taking lessons, socializing with and getting tips from some of the best trumpet players in the world who have long since passed. How so?
Paul is one of the finest, most consistent and tasteful players I’ve ever known and his combined experiences are distilled into a book packed full of wisdom and practicality. This is not a method book. There are plenty of those out there. While it has some exercises in it, “Trumpet Voluntarily” is full of practical advice from a musician’s musician who has to have great chops every night he’s on the road with a Broadway show.
I cannot list everything that is covered in Paul’s book, but his advice on how to practice, how much time to practice even when you don’t have any time, maintenance, equipment and more is priceless. He gives several ways to approach each subject so you can understand what can work for you, the individual, setting you on the path to the ultimate goal of being an efficient and consistent trumpet player.
Back to the “how so?”… In my instance, I’ve heard almost all of this before from the older, great players I’ve been associated with. The key word is “heard” and when you hear something, you sometimes forget it and unfortunately that wisdom is lost when it isn’t applied. In “Trumpet Voluntarily” this wisdom is written down so you can’t forget it. If you’re serious about playing, buy this book!
Geoff Winstead, Author of “The Real Way to Play the Cat Anderson Trumpet Method”
“Trumpet Voluntarily” by Paul Baron offers an insider’s view of professional trumpet playing, specifically for theatre and commercial work. Think of this book as a survival guide coming from one of our most successful survivors. The title itself shows a depth of experience and wisdom, as if to say, “this is the passion WE have chosen, so let’s make the best of it!” Theatre or pit work has long been one of the most reliable sources of income for trumpet players, since the days of silent movies. So it is a bit surprising that we haven’t had a book appear on the market until “Trumpet Voluntarily”, that offers so much wisdom for trumpet players in this field. The book offers two major contributions: 1: A thorough presentation of “the issues”. Virtually every challenge that a professional theatre or show musician is likely to face is mentioned in this book. 2: The author offers his personal thoughts and solutions to the given issues, not as “the answer,” but as a possible solution based on thought and experience. The book ultimately teaches us “what the problems are” and “how to problem solve.” I would highly recommend this book to all trumpet players who want to be more consistent, play more in tune, enjoy their job more, or be appreciated more by conductors and colleagues.
John Daniel, Associate Professor of Trumpet, Lawrence University
“Paul Baron’s “Trumpet Voluntarily” is a treasure trove of information from his many years experience as one of the top lead players on the Broadway Road-Show circuit (and of course many other playing scenarios). Spoken from first-hand knowledge, the language is straightforward and accessible. His concepts and designs on playing the trumpet are considered to be the ‘standard’ in the professional world and should be acknowledged by all students of the trumpet. Well written, concise and most helpful. Bravo Paul!”
Gary Guthman, International Trumpet Artist
“I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time. Paul was my first private teacher, and his passion and knowledge inspired me to follow in his footsteps and become a professional. I only wished I had taken better notes as his student. Lucky for me, and all trumpeters, his lessons are now available. A must read for all of us who sometimes let this instrument take over our lives!”
Jamie Hovorka, LA studio musician – Family Guy, lead player with Paul Anka, Brian Setzer, John Tesh.
“I really enjoyed this book! Paul has (openly and honestly) shared many of the new challenges that face a professional trumpet player in today’s world. From the aspiring student (amateur) to the seasoned professional, this book is a must have!”
Doug Michels, Lead Trumpet for Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine“Paul is one of the best lead trumpet guys in the country – I’ve done three CDs with him and he never misses!”
Phil Kelly, Composer and Arranger for Films, TV, symphonies, big bands (etc) including the Dallas Symphony and Doc Severinsen’s Tonight Show Band
“Paul Baron is one of the ﬁnest lead trumpet players working today. His huge sound puts a glorious shine on everything he plays.”
Tom Keenlyside, Director of Artist Jazz Recordings, composer, multi reed performer, Vancouver, Canada
Gunther Schuller, on several occasions over many years, when the subject was at hand, would emphatically state that “Paul Baron was one of the very ﬁnest lead trumpet players he ever had the occasion to work with.” I would add, humbly, that in the nearly ﬁve decades of my music career, I concur completely.
Craig Volosing, Orchestra Contractor, Band Leader, Trumpet, Spokane Jazz Orchestra
“I first met Paul when he came through Baltimore on the show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was so impressed by his sound and accuracy. His sense of pitch is right on, his phrasing is so musical, he was so easy to follow.”
John Blount, Trumpet virtuoso, author of Trumpet Solfeggio, recently retired lead trumpet of the Commodores, the United States Navy’s premiere jazz ensemble.
“Paul has total command of his horn, no matter the situation, and his musical leadership leaves no one wondering where the time, pitch, and phrasing are supposed to be.”
Alex Kundakcioglu, National Sales Manager of Jupiter Canada, Freelance Trumpet Performer
“Paul Baron is a terrific lead trumpet player and an excellent teacher. During a recent clinic at the University of Toronto, he put our students (and me!) through the paces, sight-reading the second trumpet parts from the musical, Spamalot, as Paul played the lead. is effectively demonstrated the range of challenges facing a pit orchestra trumpet player and gave our students the experience of playing in a section with a strong leader who knows the music like the back of his hand.”
Chase Sanborn, Yamaha trumpet artist/clinician, Jazz Faculty of the University of Toronto, Author of Brass Tactics
“Paul Baron handles the high notes with as much precision and skill as Duff Goldman and his Charm City Cakes”
Mark Beachy, review from Examiner.com of “In The Heights” in Baltimore.
“Paul is one of the ﬁnest lead trumpet players I’ve heard. He is in demand for Broadway shows and as a clinician…. and a really nice guy!”
Geoff Winstead, Author of “The Real Way To Play The Cat Anderson Trumpet Method” and student of Cat’s for over 10 years.