Trumpet Method Books & Solos

Grow your library, grow your skill

The list below, like all other lists on THQ, is a starting point to many more trumpet method books and solos. If you don’t know where to start, start here, If you’re stuck in your study, continue here. If you’ve run out of ideas on what to play, tackle something from here.

Note that most of these books contain a big range in difficulty. That’s why it’s hard to classify these in difficulty levels. So, if you’re an absolute beginner stick to the beginner and band methods. On the other hand, if you’re an intermediate or advanced player feel free to jump into the other books. I’ve included a bit of help with skill levels in each category.

These methods are exactly what the title suggests; methods meant to be played with a band. However, most of these books come with CD’s or have digital downloads available to play along with an accompaniment. As long as you’re also working on fundamentals, using play-along material is great for your ears and keeping time. These books also have instruction on basic music theory and even history spread throughout all the volumes!

  • Accent on Achievement for Bb Trumpet Book 1
  • Accent on Achievement for Bb Trumpet Book 2
  • Accent on Achievement for Bb Trumpet Book 3
  • Essential Elements 2000 for Bb Trumpet Book 1
  • Essential Elements 2000 for Bb Trumpet Book 2
  • Essential Technique 2000 for Bb Trumpet  Book 3
  • Standard of Excellence for Bb Trumpet Book 1
  • Standard of Excellence for Bb Trumpet Book 2
  • Standard of Excellence for Bb Trumpet Book 3
  • Yamaha Band Student for Bb Trumpet Book 1
  • Yamaha Band Student for Bb Trumpet Book 2
  • Yamaha Band Student for Bb Trumpet Book 3

If you’re a beginner or intermediate player and want to expand your skills, definitely pick something from here. These are written for trumpet, not band, and follow a comprehensive order to slowly help you acquire new skills.

  • “Elementary Studies for Trumpet” by Herbert L. Clarke
  • “My First Arban” by Robert E. Foster
  • “Physical Approach to Elementary Brass Playing for Trumpet” by Claude Gordon
  • Rubank Elementary Method for Trumpet
  • Rubank Intermediate Method for Trumpet
  • Rubank Advanced Method for Trumpet Vol. 1 
  • Rubank Advanced Method for Trumpet Vol. 2
  • Student Instrumental Course for Cornet Level 1 by Vincent & Weber
  • Student Instrumental Course for Cornet Level 2
  • Student Instrumental Course for Cornet Level 3
  • The Sigmund Hering Trumpet Course Book 1
  • The Sigmund Hering Trumpet Course Book 2
  • The Sigmund Hering Trumpet Course Book 3
  • The Sigmund Hering Trumpet Course Book 4

Etudes are melodies. They can be short, long, easy or difficult. It’s important to practice etudes to put all the things you practice in your warm-up and routine to work. Books suitable for beginners will be marked with a (*), intermediate with a (**) and the very difficult with a (***)

  • “60 Studies for Trumpet Book 1” by C. Kopprasch ***
  • “60 Studies for Trumpet Book 2” by C. Kopprasch ***
  • “36 Etudes Transcendantes for Trumpet” by T. Charlier ***
  • “24 Vocalises” by M. Bordogni **
  • “Brandt Etudes for Trumpet (Orchestra Etudes and Last Etudes)” edited by W. Vacchiano ***
  • “Characteristic Studies” by Herbert L. Clarke ***
  • “Concert Studies” by Philip Smith **
  • “First Book of Practical Studies” by Robert W. Getchell *
  • “Forty Progressive Etudes” by Sigmund Hering **
  • “Lyrical Studies” by G. Concone **
  • “Second Book of Practical Studies” by Robert W. Getchell **
  • “Thirty-two Etudes” by Sigmund Hering **
  • “Top Tones” By Walter M. Smith ***
  • “Twenty-four Advanced Etudes” by Sigmund Hering ***
  • “Vingt Etudes Mélodiques et Techniques” by L.J. Vannetelbosch ***
  • “Vingt Quatre Vocalises” by M. Bordogni (for transposition! Not a regular etude book) ***
  • “Russian Etudes” by V. Blazhevich **

These books cover many areas of trumpet playing in one book. They’re like an all-in-one trumpet book. However, I do not recommend working out of just one book as it will limit your perspective. The Arban is one that should be in your book bag regardless of your current level. You will use it eventually! All three books range from intermediate to very difficult.

  • “Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet” by J.B Arban
  • “Grand Method” by L.A Saint-Jacome
  • “Methode Complete” by P.F Clodomir

The following are methods spread out through volumes. I still consider them to be full methods based on the quality of the content.

  • The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method Book 1, Technical Studies
  • The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method Book 2, Harmonic Studies
  • The Allen Vizzutti Trumpet Method Book 3, Melodic Studies
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 1, Warm-Up Exercises and Etudes
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 2, Fingering Exercises and Etudes Part 1
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 3, Fingering Exercises and Etudes Part 2
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 4, Tonguing Exercises and Etudes
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 5, Flexibility Exercises and Etudes
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 6, Low/High – Power/Strength Exercises and Etudes
  • Plog Method for Trumpet Book 7, Intervals and Chords Exercises, and Etude

This list has books on the basics of jazz, transcriptions, jazz duets and play-alongs. When playing jazz and improvising its important to listen to jazz and to know your scales and their variations, this way you can have a variety of sounds available. Some of these books are just for fun, which to me is a very important factor in music learning. The books I recommend for JAZZ beginners with a minimum intermediate playing level are marked with a (*). “PA” stands for play-along available.

  • “A Jazzy Christmas” by Hal Leonard PA
  • “Best of Christ Botti” by Hal Leonard
  • “Great Jazz Duets” by Hal Leonard PA
  • “How to Play Jazz and Improvise Vol. 1” by Jamey Abersold * PA
  • “Jazz & Blues” by Hal Leonard * PA
  • “Jazz Trumpet Duets” by Greg Fishman PA
  • “Jazz Handbook” by Jamey Abersold (this is like a jazz manual, no sheet music)
  • “Major and Minor in Every Key Vol. 24” by Jamey Abersold PA
  • “Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method” by Dean Sorenson & Bruce Pearson * PA
  • “The Jazz Method for Trumpet” by John O’Neill & Steve Waterman * PA
  • “The Latin Brass Soloist” by Gabriel Rosati

These books range from warm-ups and drills, to flexibility and multiple tonguing. They are dedicated books, usually concentrating on one or two areas of trumpet playing. Most of the time the focus of the book is in the title. All of these books range from intermediate to very difficult, except for “Rhythm Bootcamp” which is rhythm development for beginners.

  • “A Systematic Approach to Flexibility” by James Ackley
  • “A Systematic Approach to Trumpet Playing” by Claude Gordon (for warm-up and routine)
  • “Advanced Lip Flexibilities” by Charles Colin
  • “Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet” by Max Schlossberg
  • “Double and Triple Tonguing” by Sigmund Hering
  • “Lip Flexibility on the Trumpet” by Walter M. Smith
  • “Rhythm Bootcamp” by Philip Johnston (rhythm for beginners)
  • “Setting up Drills (Calisthenic Exercises)” by Herbert L Clarke (for endurance and strength)
  • “Technical Studies for the Cornet” by Herbert L. Clarke (for dexterity, speed and air control)
  • “The Art of Trumpet Playing” by Mel Broiles & Charles Colin
  • “The Complete Sight Reading Etude Collection” by Mark Ponzo
  • “Warm-ups and Studies” by James Stamp

Trumpet Solos

There are soooo many solos out there that I decided to do a starter list. Here you will find 3 easy solos, 3 intermediate solos, 3 advanced solos and a few solo compilation books (books with many solos in it). As you can see, I’ve included some information about each solo to give you a better idea of what to expect, including tempo, range, key and time signature and my personal notes. The tempos here refer to tempo changes throughout the piece, so if it says 52-152bpm be prepared to play that full range. These solos are what I consider to be checkpoints for technique and general skill, so if you want to see where your are, tackle these!

“Calm as the Night” by Carl Bohm (available in the book “Concert and Contest Collection”)
Tempo: quarter note at 86
Range: Fifth line F
Key Signature: no flats, no sharps
Time Signature: 6/4

“Country Dance” by F.J Haydn (available in the book “Kendor Recital Solos”)
Tempo: quarter note at 110
Range: 1 sharp
Key Signature: fourth line D
Time Signature: 3/4

“Pastorale” by Charles Burney (available in the book “Kendor Recital Solos”)
Tempo: quarter note at 88
Range: fourth space E
Key Signature: no flats, no sharps
Time Signature: 3/4

“A Trumpeter’s Lullaby” by Leroy Anderson
Tempo: half note at 60bpm
Range: A above staff
Key Signature: 1 sharp
Time Signature: cut time
Other: must be able to jump from low to higher notes with ease and have good breath control.

“Adagio and Allegro Marziale” by G.F Handel
Tempo: quarter note at 69, half note at 112
Range: G above staff
Key Signature: up to 1 flat
Time Signature: 3/4 and Cut Time
Other: must be able to read and play 16th notes in cut time

“Petit Piece Concertante” by Guillaume Balay
Tempo: quarter note at 72-112bpm
Range: G above staff
Key Signature: up to 4 flats
Time Signature: 2/4
Other: must be able to read a lot of accidentals, have quick fingers and good understanding of 16th note rhythms.

“Fantasie en Mi Bemol” by J.Ed Barat
Tempo: quarter note at 76-96
Range: A above staff
Key Signature: up to 4 flats
Time Signature: 4/4, 6/8, 3/8
Other: must have a clear understanding of rhythm in 6/8, very good general rhythm accuracy and reliable flexibility over a wide range.

“Concert Etude” by A. Goedicke
Tempo: quarter note at 132-156bpm
Range: A above staff
Key Signature: no flats, no sharps
Time Signature: 4/4
Other: must have clean double tonguing throughout the range of the trumpet, the ability to read fast and quick-moving fingers.

“Caprice” by J. Turrin
Tempo: quarter note at 52-152bpm
Range: high C#
Key Signature: 2 sharps
Time Signature: 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and cut time
Other: excellent dexterity (finger speed and control) is required for this solo, as well as a comfortable high C#. Some tricky rhythms will demand rhythmic accuracy.

“Ultimate Movie Instrumental Solos for Trumpet” by Alfred Publishing
About: This book has movie solos from easy to intermediate with a play-along CD. It’s fun to play for trumpet hobbyists who have no interest in “serious” music. Personally, I love this book and I’m a professional musician!

“Classic Festival Solos for Trumpet” by Alfred Publishing
About: If you’re preparing for solo & ensemble or an audition to a summer program this may be the book for you. It offers solos from easy to intermediate+, including some very fun ones like Halagueno and Fantasy for Trumpet.

“Standard of Excellence Festival Solos” by Kjos Publishing
About: There are 3 levels of this book and each level gets a bit harder. The first book is very easy and the third book about intermediate. These are a great introduction into solos, playing with accompaniments and longer pieces.

“Concert and Contest Collection” by H. Voxman
About: Great solos for solo & ensemble, more in the intermediate leaning to advanced level.

“Solos for the Trumpet Player” ed. by Walter Beeler
About: This is a great compilation of advanced solos and best of all, they come with the piano part!