Best Trumpet Sheet Music to Learn With

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Are you looking to become the next trumpet virtuoso? You need to have the best trumpet sheet music to learn with to help you reach that goal.

Whether you start with a beginner book or are ready to learn a concerto, you should know your limits. Then, you’ll be able to get better at the instrument.

Best Trumpet Sheet Music to Learn With

When learning how to play the trumpet, you need some sheet music. Of course, you may learn some things by ear, but knowing how to read music is also essential.

That way, you can learn more music, and you won’t have to worry about getting notes wrong. And you’ll learn how to hit the different partials on the trumpet successfully.

Here are a few books and pieces to consider when looking for the best trumpet sheet music to learn with.

Rubank Elementary Method

The Rubank Elementary Method is an excellent beginner book of sheet music for the trumpet. It starts from the first note you need to learn to begin playing the trumpet.

Along the way, you’ll get to learn some music theory concepts so that you can read music easily. The book also has a progressive format, so the lessons and songs slowly get more difficult.

If you’re on a tight budget, this is a great first sheet music book to get. You can buy it for relatively cheap, and the book will last you for at least a few months to perhaps a year, depending on how fast you learn.

Pros

  • Progressive layout
  • Easy to read
  • Affordable

Cons

  • A little boring

Rubank Intermediate Method

After you complete the first book, it makes sense to move on to the Rubank Intermediate Method. This book starts right where the elementary book left off, so you can continue learning.

You’ll get to learn new music theory concepts and improve your trumpet playing. If you started learning with another beginner series, you can use this book, but there may be a few gaps in content.

The intermediate book is great for players with a bit of experience but who aren’t quite ready for more advanced music. But this book can help you reach the level you need to be at to play famous trumpet works.

Pros

  • Great for advancing players
  • Easy to follow
  • Pretty affordable

Cons

  • Not for absolute beginners

Rubank Advanced Method

The Rubank Advanced Method continues the series, and it comes in two volumes. You focus on a few keys in the first volume, while the second volume builds on the first volume and covers more keys.

Both books follow the same structure, starting with a practice log and a list of units to complete. Each unit includes exercises such as scales, articulation, and ornamentation.

You even get a few full-length solos at the end of the books to start exploring longer pieces. You can use the unit and practice trackers to log your progress as you go through each volume.

Pros

  • Comprehensive structure
  • Easy to track progress
  • Great for advanced students

Cons

  • Not all in one book

Standard of Excellence Book 1

If you’re learning trumpet in a concert band setting, you can’t go wrong with the Standard of Excellence Book 1. A lot of band directors will use this method because there’s a book for every major band instrument.

The series works well to teach beginners in a group setting. You can learn the fingerings and how to read music from your trumpet book.

Throughout the book, there are short pieces that you can play with the other members of your band. That way, you can learn to play with people from the start of your trumpet playing journey.

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Useful for groups
  • Easy to read

Cons

  • Not the best for private study

Standard of Excellence Book 2

Once you complete the first book, you may want to continue with the Standard of Excellence Book 2. Like the Rubank series, this series has a book that follows up on your initial studies.

It’s a great choice for trumpet players who are in a school concert band. You’ll be able to play even more songs with the rest of the ensemble.

While you can use this book when studying on your own or in private lessons, it’s not the best for that. Still, it can be an excellent resource to supplement your trumpet lessons.

Pros

  • Progressive format
  • Good for band students
  • Easy to read

Cons

  • Not for absolute beginners

Arban Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet

Once you reach an advanced level of trumpet playing, you should check out the Arban Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet. It includes over 400 pages of trumpet etudes and exercises to help you improve.

The editors re-engraved Arban’s original edition to be easier to read. And the editors also included some thoughts on trumpet pedagogy and how it’s changed since Arban released the book’s first edition.

However, the book remains true to Arban’s original ideas, so it’s great for advancing trumpet players. Plus, you’ll get recordings of some of the material in the book to help learn how you should sound.

Pros

  • Great for advanced students
  • Comprehensive
  • Easy to read

Cons

  • Not for beginners

Arban 14 Characteristic Studies

Part of his overall trumpet method, you can also buy Arban’s 14 Characteristic Studies separately. This can be a good option if you want to focus on etudes or if you don’t want to carry the massive book around with you.

If you’re preparing for a trumpet audition, for example, you may want to use a smaller book like this one. That way, you can practice the etude of your choice without a ton of extra bulk.

Plus, this book is a bit more affordable than the entire trumpet method. As long as you don’t need the rest of what comes in the full method, you can get by with these studies.

Pros

  • Standard etudes for trumpet
  • Affordable
  • Not too bulky

Cons

  • Nothing unique for players with the Arban book

Schlossberg Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet

The Schlossberg Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet is another essential book of sheet music. If you want to create a daily practice routine that helps you improve, this book is an excellent tool for that.

You can use the book to make sure you practice all of your trumpet fundamentals. That way, you’ll be able to learn other pieces of trumpet music more easily.

As you go through the book, you can find exercises that are harder for you. Then, you’ll force yourself to work on elements that aren’t as easy, so you can improve more.

Pros

  • Great for daily practice
  • Suitable for advanced players
  • Helps you learn music

Cons

  • Not for new trumpeters

Charlier 36 Etudes Transcendantes

If you’re looking for some etudes to study, you should check out 36 Etudes Transcendantes by Theo Charlier. The etudes cover different keys, time signatures, and articulation patterns.

They’re an excellent set of etudes to learn how to play the trumpet well. And if you want to audition to play the trumpet in college, these etudes are some of the most common audition pieces.

Some of the etudes even have written explanations to help you play them. Just be sure you either can read French or have an app that can translate the text to help you read it.

Pros

  • Variety of studies
  • Great for advanced players
  • Easy to read

Cons

  • Written text is in French

Arutunian Concerto

The first “real” piece of trumpet sheet music you can use to learn the instrument is the Concerto by Alexander Arutunian. He was an Armenian composer who took a lot of inspiration from the music of his home country.

While this concerto doesn’t have as many folk melodies as the composer’s other works, it’s still great. This piece is a showpiece, so it requires a lot of technical and expressive prowess.

You need to be able to play at different tempos and in various styles. The entire suite is composed as a single movement, so there isn’t a break to account for those changes.

Pros

  • Great for serious players
  • Show off your skills
  • Standard work

Cons

  • Not for the faint of heart

Haydn Concerto

If you want a piece that’s not quite as demanding, you may prefer to play the Haydn Concerto. This piece is one of the first trumpet works that required a keyed trumpet.

That means it’s one of the first pieces that explores the full chromatic range of the instrument. Other early works only used one harmonic series, so melodies had to hang near the top of the range.

However, Haydn wrote the piece so that the melody extends down to the middle and lower registers. It’s an excellent piece to play if you have to study music from the Classical era.

Pros

  • Not the most difficult
  • Great for studying music history
  • Full range

Cons

  • A little simple

Kennan Sonata

Along with concertos, sonatas are an important format of music to know. The Sonata by Kent Kennan is an excellent part of the standard trumpet repertoire.

It contains three movements that each offer a different character for you to explore. Like many other sonatas, this one has movements that are at different tempos.

That can help you learn how to play fast and slow, and you can improve your sense of rhythm as well. Soon enough, you’ll be able to play other advanced pieces.

Pros

  • Standard sonata form
  • Different tempos and characters
  • Helpful for learning rhythm

Cons

  • Not for beginners

Top 50 Orchestral Audition Excerpts for Trumpet

If you want to get into music school or a professional orchestra, you need to be able to play a few orchestral excerpts. Top 50 Orchestral Audition Excerpts for Trumpet covers a lot of the standard solos you should learn.

The trumpet has a lot of orchestral parts, but some are more important to know than others. A good excerpt book takes care of choosing what excerpts to learn, so you just have to focus on studying them.

While you can find or purchase the full orchestral parts, it’s nice to start with a book of excerpts. That way, you can learn some of the more standard solos for the trumpet, such as the opening to Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

Pros

  • Contains standard excerpts
  • One comprehensive resource
  • Great for advancing players

Cons

  • Not for newer players

What Makes Trumpet Sheet Music Good?

When looking for the best trumpet sheet music to learn with, you should consider what makes music good or bad. There are a lot of books and individual pieces for the trumpet, and not all of them are worth your time or money.

But unless you’ve done a lot of research and have played the trumpet for years, you may not know which music to choose. Luckily, there are a few things that you can look for to find the best trumpet sheet music for you.

I used these same factors when choosing sheet music to include. So you can use the same review process when shopping for your trumpet sheet music library.

Level

First, you need to consider the level of playing that the sheet music is for. If you’ve never played the trumpet, you may want to start with something like the Rubank Elementary Method or the Standard or Excellence Book 1.

As you advance, you can move through those book series. Eventually, you’ll want to get a trumpet etude book, such as from Arban or Charlier.

You might also need to start playing a concerto or a sonata, especially if you want to get into school or a professional orchestra. So consider your current abilities on the trumpet to help choose the right music for your current situation.

Goals

As you consider your level, you may also want to think about your trumpet playing goals. If you want to become an orchestral player, you will need to get a book of excerpts at some point.

On the other hand, if you see yourself playing jazz trumpet, you might want to get a copy of The Real Book. I didn’t share this in the list since it’s not specific to the trumpet, but having the Bb edition can help you learn jazz music.

Think about where you want to be as a trumpet player in the next few years. That can help you determine what sheet music is best for you to learn and improve.

Readable

You should also look for sheet music that is easy to read. Some books, especially older versions, may have some fading or other issues that make it hard to see the notes.

Sure, you could deal with that and figure out the notes for yourself. But getting music that’s easy to read will save you a lot of time and frustration.

That way, you can spend more time actually learning and practicing your instrument.

Affordable

Another essential factor is the cost of the sheet music. You don’t need a ton of music at first, but your library will grow over time.

Think about how much money you’re comfortable spending each month or year on new trumpet sheet music. It may not be a lot, and that’s fine.

Once you have your budget, you can look for sheet music that you can afford and that will help you meet your goals.

FAQs About The Best Trumpet Sheet Music To Learn With

Question: Why does having good trumpet sheet music matter?

Answer: Having good trumpet sheet music can help you progress as a trumpeter more efficiently. If you choose music that isn’t a good fit for you, you might spend a lot of time trying to learn it or having to learn other concepts first.
Good sheet music will help support you at your current level, and it will challenge you a bit. That way, you’ll be able to learn the music that you need to learn to improve your skills.

Question: How much trumpet sheet music do you need?

Answer: You don’t need a ton of trumpet sheet music, especially as a beginner. When you first start playing, one or two beginner trumpet books will be enough to help you start learning.
As you progress, you will need to buy more books so that you can learn new things. Eventually, you’ll have a lot of trumpet sheet music, but you can use a lot of the same methods and etudes over and over.

Question: How much does trumpet sheet music cost?

Answer: The cost of trumpet sheet music depends on the piece or book in question. You can find some sheet music for less than $10, which is great if you have a small budget.
However, you might also come across trumpet sheet music that costs over $50 for a single book. A lot of this depends on the music, such as if it’s still under copyright protection and how much music you’ll get with your purchase.

Question: How can you save money on trumpet sheet music?

Answer: You can shop around to find the retailer with the best deals on trumpet sheet music. If you want to play music in the public domain, you might be able to find it for free on a site like IMSLP.
Another option is to look for sheet music collections that have a few pieces, and the cost is less than buying each piece separately. If you have a teacher, they might even be willing to let you borrow music when you need it.

Question: Can you teach yourself to play with trumpet sheet music?

Answer: You can use trumpet sheet music to teach yourself the instrument. However, you’ll need to have a lot of discipline, and you may want to set a practice schedule so that you play regularly.
That way, you’ll be able to learn and improve, even without the accountability of a teacher.

Final Note On The Best Trumpet Sheet Music To Learn With

The best trumpet sheet music to learn with depends on your level and other factors. So consider those things to help choose music.

As a beginner, you should use the Rubank series of books. On the other hand, an advanced player will benefit from the Arban book. So make sure you consider a variety of sheet music to choose what works for you.

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