2020-2021 TMEA All-State Trumpet Etude Notes


  • Healthy, high-quality trumpet playing is more important than these etudes. Warm up properly. Take care of your chops. Craft your sound. Be diligent with fundamentals. Being an outstanding trumpet player and musician is more important than playing the etudes over and over.
  • Address any issues or weaknesses in your playing outside of practicing these etudes. Ask for help and find exercises to address your weaknesses.
  • RECORD yourself as often as possible. Don’t wait to get “good” at the etudes to start recording yourself. Start now. You will gain a healthier perspective on your playing and notice things you otherwise might have missed.
  • START WITH MUSIC. Listen to recordings and begin crafting your musical interpretation of the piece at the beginning of the process. What emotions are being expressed? Is there a story being told? Make up your own title or backstory to establish as much musical context as possible.
  • ALWAYS SOUND GOOD. It doesn’t matter if you’re sightreading or if you’ve been working on the etude for months. Always produce a wonderful sound. Play slowly enough to produce a great sound. Speed is easy once habits of tone are established.
  • DIRECT THE LISTENER’S ATTENTION TO THE MUSIC. If you play like a robot, the listener will judge you like a robot and focus on mistakes, technical deficiencies, etc. If you deliver an emotional and musical experience, the listener will be absorbed in the music, and small mistakes will become irrelevant.


  • Arpeggios are collections of intervals. Make sure you are hearing each one.
  • Always go slow enough to produce a great tone.
  • Practice short sections slurred. Also try on the mouthpiece or singing to train your ears.


  • This is the most music musically interesting etude. DO NOT leave any emotion or expressiveness on the table.
  • FULLY understand the rhythms and be able to play everything in time. Once you can do that, give yourself the freedom to add rubato.
  • VIBRATO: Make sure the core of the tone is established, and then add tasteful vibrato around the core of the sound.
  • The chromatic scale in the cadenza is a musical event, not just a technical one.


  • SUBDIVIDE. Dotted eighth and sixteenth notes are not triplets.
  • Play this etude with a sense of sustain to establish your best tone. If you choose a shorter style after a good tone is established, that’s up to you!
  • It’s a march, so groove is everything. Practice with a metronome or drum app regularly.
  • Practice short sections slurred to make sure you are efficiently centering all intervals.
  • This piece is repetitive, so use dynamics to your advantage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s