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Best Beginner Brass Books - A Tune a Day for Trumpet (or any instrument)


Tune A Day Cover Page

In this new series of blog posts, I am going to review a selection of brass books that I personally use for teaching beginners.


These blog posts will contain some affiliate links to help support my blog but always browse around for similar products on the internet or in your local music shop.


I have found that I never use one whole book with students but dip in and out of a few different ones to suit the needs of the student, so look out over the coming weeks for my blogs specifically targeting other beginner brass resources.





The A Tune a Day book is also available in bass clef for euphonium or trombone. You can also get it for many other instruments in various clefs and there is also a new version called 'A New Tune a Day', again available for many instruments but I haven't used that book yet so will not comment on it.


This book is old. Pictures look dated and the language used is quite old fashioned, even to the point where some text is capitalised, almost to give WARNINGS. That being said, I like a no nonsense approach and I like the idea of modern students learning in a more regimented way. Do the colourful images and flashy song titles found in some newer books actually encourage students to play or to improve any more than an older book like this, probably not.


How a Good Teacher Uses A Tune A Day with Beginner Brass Players


Regardless of which book you use, I think the teacher is the person who motivates and encourages the progression of a student. I have used this book with some beginners and find it to be just as good as Team Brass or others. However, I also find that this book would work especially well for older children or adults who want to try and teach themselves.


A Tune A Day goes into a lot of detail and describes accurately how to make a sound on a brass instrument, how to hold it correctly, how to breathe and basic rudiments of music theory.


It is however, useful as a musician to engage in some sort of musical theory lessons. Sometimes it can be taught through the practical application of playing an instrument but if you ever felt you needed a more structured course, I recommend the Music Matters grade 1-5 theory course which you can find via this link.


I like how the book is broken into lessons and you could very easily work your way through it, following the instructions for each lesson. From reading some Amazon reviews it seems that this is what many people have done.


Tune A Day page example

A Tune a Day has a lot of Christmas melodies to play, so it is useful to have it around that time of the year, perhaps for students to use in a performance or just for sight reading practice.


There are duets as well and I really like how the lessons encourage players to 'think'. It is a great book for taking small steps forward, learning the basics well and gives a beginner brass player a huge amount of knowledge and understanding.


Look out for the next post in this series of reviews and I hope you have found it useful.


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Thank you for reading.



Mark Glover


03/11/2023


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1 Comment


robin
Nov 03, 2023

I had "A Tune a Day" (Volumes 1 and 2) at school in 1965. It's curious that you think it looks old fashioned because we were the bee's knees of the future. The Beatles were in the charts. And guess what's going to be number one for Christmas 2023? You and I have discussed many aspects of learning and teaching. The concept of "the teacher" is incorrect because it's based on the verb "to teach". The verb is "to learn" and it's up to the student to make the necessary effort. The teacher's role is to inspire and motivate. You, Mark, do that. The other important role of the teacher is to steer the student in ways such as repertoire, demons…

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