Clarke’s Technical Studies Redux



  • I struggle with fast chromatic and semi-chromatic runs in some of the pieces we play in community band. For some time my practice routine has consisted of long tone major scales to the top of my range, Arban’s first studies, next concert numbers, and then a few favorite songs. But I wasn’t making much progress on those irksome runs.

    Last night I was fiddling around on my iPad and found a free source for Clarke’s Technical Studies, which I downloaded. I had not used Clark’s in decades, believing it was just too boring. Well, now, after working through page 1 of First Study, I am thinking Clarke’s may be just the tool I need to master those runs - we’ll see, of course.



  • Another really good source for exercises is the series at the end of St. Jacome Trumpet Method. Lots of runs and intervals working through the entire range. I find them great for pretty much everything.



  • Hi Comeback,
    Yes! Clarke has been around for a long time which suggests it has use. What I'm about to tell you will probably get me Baker Acted (held against my will for psychiatric evaluation) but here goes!
    When you work on the difficult fingering parts from your community band library,

    1. Play the part slowly. The slower we go, the quicker we learn it. Increase your speed as you feel comfortable to do so.
    2. Finger your trumpet with your non-dominant hand .
      To give an idea of what I'm talking about, play the chromatic scale (or any scale) with your left hand 6 or 7 times.
      Next play the scale with your right hand. You'll probably notice that the task of playing the scale with your right hand just got somehow easier. There's a neurological reason for this phenomenon but I'll leave researching that up to you if you wish to know. I don't want to get too deep into neurological jargon that's as thick as peanut butter and only a few on this site will understand. For most, this simple temporary reversal of hands helps the dominant hand work with more ease.
    3. If it doesn't please don't have me Baker Acted!


  • I think I would find playing them with the left hand fruitless but YMMV. If it's productive for you, go for it. I'll give it a try, though. Maybe playing left-handed French Horn has had an influence I wasn't aware of.

    Clarke BTW works very good for those who improvise, also. I've used it as a fundamental exercise since I was a kid (back when Pterodactyls roamed the Earth). Many jazz tunes run the gamut of scales. Because of Clarke, I've had very few problems since maturing in my playing, in both classically oriented or jazz ensembles.





  • Info - is that a Yamaha "Z"?



  • @Kehaulani said in Clarke’s Technical Studies Redux:

    If it's productive for you, go for it. I'll give it a try, though.

    Cool Beans! Play with the left hand for a while and then switch back to the right hand. See if your right hand works a little better or with more ease. Let us know how it works for you. Here's a small snippet from YouTube by Jeff Lewis that helps explain.



  • This guy's vocabulary works better for me. "Weird". "Voodoo". Cause and effect and just general descriptors not getting bogged down, or diverted by, egg-headed micro-facets.

    I've had multiple strokes and my left hand coordination is compromised. That's why I don't play piano or French horn at the present. But worth a try, nonetheless.

    BTW, I used to do this in my distant past. Don't know if I just got tired of it or just didn't need it anymore.



  • @Kehaulani said in Clarke’s Technical Studies Redux:

    I've had multiple strokes and my left hand coordination is compromised.

    And you still play the trumpet!?! Now that's grit that I can respect. Bravo!!!!



  • Thanks, I try. Still practice about five times a week. Ref trumpet. it's about the only thing I've been left with.



  • The 4 books I use most of the time for working on various playing aspects are Arban's, Clarke, Schlossberg, and Brandt.



  • We could debate the best books,,Arban, Saint Jacome, Schlossberg, Williams, Glantz, Hering. Probably any one of these would be all you need when you reach a certain level (no I never will be there..lol)

    But the Clarke series: "Elementary Studies", "Characteristic Studies", "Technical Studies", and maybe the all around best for daily maintenance "Setting up Drills" are worth a second look.

    I have so many books I could literally start at Arbans and go through them all just once and could not live long enough to finish.

    I really do love though playing Arban with my oldest horns. You gotta wonder how well the best players of the day (1870's) managed with the quality of the valves/lubricant then.



  • has anyone here used Saint Jacomes? I have done some. My music teacher I don't think uses it so I don't do much of it.



  • It's not about what kind of lubricant you put into your horn. It's about how much lubricant you can put into yourself before you touch your horn. Then it doesn't matter. 😀



  • @adc said in Clarke’s Technical Studies Redux:

    has anyone here used Saint Jacomes? I have done some. My music teacher I don't think uses it so I don't do much of it.

    You can get a copy in PDF for free off the intreret and judge for yourself.


Log in to reply