Trumpet Lessons - My Home Studio or Online (FaceTime)

Dave with a student
  • Over 20 years teaching experience
  • Beginners to advanced students
  • All ages are welcome
  • Reasonable rates
  • Flexible scheduling throughout the week
  • Comfortable studio setting
  • Assignments tailored to specific playing abilities

I have studied privately with

  • Carmine Caruso, New York: author of Calisthenics for Brass
  • Ian Racey, Los Angeles: Stan Kenton alumnus and “first call” studio trumpet player
  • Chuck Marco, Oakland: professional trumpet player and teacher
  • Charles Kreuter, Oakland: former director of 6th Army Band at the Presidio

Formal Education

  • Associate of Arts Degree from Oakland City College - Meritt Campus
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of California, Berkeley


Dave teaching a group class In addition to giving private lessons, I am also available to conduct trumpet clinics from beginning to advanced levels. This can include working with as many as twenty trumpet students at one time. Clinics usually range from 45 to 60 minutes. Specific subject matter depends on the group's proficiency level, and can include various technical aspects of playing, improvisation, reference to trumpet literature, and listening recommendations.

Jazz Ensemble Classes

I am available to conduct small jazz ensemble classes at the high school or adult level. Emphasis will be on learning basic music theory, playing jazz compositions and improvising on standard chord progressions. Depending on the school's program, classes can be scheduled on a regular or intermittent basis.

for private lessons, clinics, or jazz ensemble classes. Lessons can be in my spacious home studio, or online in the comfort of your own home.


Learn the basics of trumpet playing

  • Correct body posture when playing
  • Proper maintenance of the trumpet
  • "Buzzing" the lips in the mouthpiece
  • Breathing with the diaphragm
  • Warming up with long tones
  • Learning to use the tuning slide
  • Developing the embouchure with lip slurs
  • Tonguing in staccato and legato styles
  • Playing with good intonation
  • Counting the “correct” tempo
  • Studying scales and arpeggios
  • Developing basic finger control
  • Reading from standard beginners books

Beginning exercise books include Accent on Achievement, the Yamaha book, Ed Sueta, and Standards of Excellence.

for available lesson times.

Dave with a student

Beginners lessons are 30 minutes long and usually take place on a weekly basis. If the student is currently enrolled in a school band program, we will work out of the book being used by the class.

Supplemental material will be introduced as he or she progresses. This includes slur and tonguing exercises, a rhythm studies page, performance pieces, and elementary playalong CDs.

Dave with a student

Intermediate lessons, like beginners, are 30 minutes long and once a week. In addition to regular assignments, we will prepare for school auditions, tests and performances.

At this level of playing, we will start to explore a wider range of musical styles, from jazz to classics, and latin to pop.


Expand your basic skills

  • Improved tone quality
  • Increased range in the upper register
  • Double octave scale and arpeggio exercises
  • Exercises for finger dexterity
  • Ear training studies
  • Breath control exercises
  • Daily lip slur routines
  • Basics of double and triple tonguing
  • Chromatic scale runs
  • Studies in sight reading
  • Basic rhythm studies
  • “Big band” jazz arrangements
  • Modern jazz compositions
  • Basic classical literature
  • Gospel, pop and movie theme CD “playalongs”

We will be working out of the more advanced volumes of books started as beginners. New books will include Rubank’s Intermediate Studies, Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method, and Clarke’s Technical Studies. There will also be a wide variety of performance pieces. Weekly assignments are made with the purpose of keeping a good balance in each student’s musical development. If most students can commit to 15 or 20 minutes of practice time per day, they should expect to make steady progress with their trumpet playing.

regarding the type of music you have been practicing and performing.


Become an accomplished player

  • Develop strength and accuracy in the upper register
  • Increase double and triple tonguing skills
  • Play fast 16th note patterns in all 12 keys
  • Practice lip slurs ranging from half notes to sextuplets
  • Learn to play lip trills in the lower and upper registers
  • Practice complex and challenging sight reading exercises
  • Study the appoggiatura, gruppetto, mordant and portamento
  • Develop ability to phrase well in all styles
  • Practice orchestral excerpts from major classical composers
  • Perform major works for trumpet, e.g. Haydn and Hummel Concertos
  • Play duets, including works by Bimboni, Haag, Telemann, Gatti, Stamitz, and Clodomir
  • Become proficient with whole tone scales
  • Study basic chord progressions like I vi ii v and ii v I
  • Practice improvisation with jazz CD playalongs
  • Play lead and "inside" trumpet parts from big band jazz arrangements
Dave with a student

Advanced lessons are weekly and can range from 30 to 60 minutes.

We will continue to study out of Arban’s and Clarke’s Technical Studies, going with the more challenging exercises. This will include the “Fourteen Characteristic Studies” in Arban’s.

New books include Selected Duets by H. Voxman, Develop Sight Reading by Gaston Dufresne, and various volumes from A New Approach to Jazz Improvisation by Jamey Aebersold.

At this point in your development you will have enough technique and proficiency to play a wide variety of music on the trumpet. You may also have developed an interest in a specific area of music, like jazz or classical. We can spend as much time as you like in that area. The choice is yours. And whatever the area of concentration, we will continue to expand your overall trumpet playing skills to help you develop into a truly polished and refined player.

about the specific area of music you are interested in.