I received a message from a beginner-level player who asked some pretty good questions, so I've decided to share his questions and my answers to him in the hope of helping others in similar situations:

Quote Originally Posted by a wise beginning trumpet student

I'm a beginner in trumpet and i've just bought "physical approach to elementary brass playing".

At the end of the lesson six, he's referring to "saint jacome's Grand method for trumpet or cornet"
Is this book a complement to the lesson or do we need to get the book to apply correctly the teachings of claude gordon?
as a beginner should I buy "Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing" as an introduction to trumpet concepts?
Thank you for your answers
Hi there,

Congratulations! You've made a wise decision, and if you follow through and practice the material regularly, you are going to be a WAY better player than the other beginning players in your music program. "Well begun is half done."

Actually, after Claude wrote "Physical Approach", he realized that the assigned material from the Saint-Jacome book progressed a little too rapidly in difficulty for the beginning player. So instead, starting with Lesson 6 he would assign the lessons from Herbert L. Clarke's "Elementary Studies" book (published by Carl Fischer) as supplemental material. You should get this book, and when you do Lesson 6 in the "Physical Approach" book, also do the Fourth Lesson in "Elementary Studies". Then, when you move on to Lesson 7 in "Physical Approach", move on two the Fifth Lesson in "Elementary Studies."

One of the main reasons that Claude Gordon's approach to brass playing and ability development is because he always utilized a well-rounded approach, using just about every available trumpet book with his students. This is why it is important to do the supplemental material, such as the Clarke "Elementary Studies" book in the case of players who are going through the "Physical Approach" book material.

And yes, you should definitely get Claude's text-only book "Brass Playing Is No Harder Than Deep Breathing." It contains a wealth of good information that will explain everything you will ever need to know about how to develop ability on a Brass Instrument.

Your questions were very good, and very valid, so I am going to post your questions and my answers for everybody to see. (I'll keep your ID private).

Best wishes,

John Mohan