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Best Beginner Brass Books - How Brass Players Do It!


How Brass Players Do It

In this new series of blog posts, I am going to review a selection of brass books that I personally use for teaching beginners, resources for intermediate players and even some study books which I use with

students up to grade 8.


These blog posts will contain Amazon 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.


To view this book on amazon click here.


Lip flexibility work is essential for all brass players, whether beginner or advanced. It makes everything you do easier and makes you be able to play with more control and more lyricism. This book starts very basic and can go up past grade 8 ability.

Range for book

It covers a range from low G to high C (in brass band treble clef) and while there are books that take you higher and lower out there, I wouldn't use this book for directly developing my range. This book is designed to develop your flexibility, which will also in turn develop your stamina.


How Beginner Brass Players Develop Flexibility


The book starts with crotchets and minims covering the range of only a 5th and works up to more complex rhythms and range. Exercises that many brass players would use as their warm up can be found at the start. The book is laid out in a clean and simple way. The book was written in 1975 by trumpet player John Ridgeon.


There is a lot of text and images on the first few pages which is useful to read but is somewhat dated. It does however, have a big focus on developing breathing. Something I do with a breathing device such as those I have written about in the past, see here. Some of the exercises are long, which challenge you to cover more ground with one breath.


The beauty and simplicity of this book are contained in the fact that you can take it at your own pace. Using a metronome, you can make every single exercise more or less challenging and it really helps you fill those weaknesses in basic slurring fundamentals. Regular work in this book, will help stamina and will help range. It certainly has for me.



How Brass Players Do It page example

A Must Have Book For Any Brass Player


When I was a child, some of these slurs were used for graded exams such as Trinity, but now they are not, which is a shame, because if a student only has to learn one exercise for an exam, they are potentially narrowing their technique by not working on lip flexibilities such as those contained in this book.


So, if you want to learn how the best brass players do it, then get this book, because almost every brilliant brass musician will have spent a long time working on these sorts of studies.


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

24/10/2023

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