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Home arrow.gif (67 bytes) Features arrow.gif (67 bytes) Patrick Hession's book

Hession's Sessions Guide to consistent, reliable and somtimes, Invincible Chops! For the sake of lead trumpet playing.

I don't typically review books on this site, particularly trumpet "method" books, and this is no exception. I haven't played trumpet since college, I'm no expert. However, I did recently get a chance to read Maynard Ferguson lead player Patrick Hession's new trumpet book, and it interested me enough to write a little segment on it.

Upon reading this book, you are left with one resounding impression about Patrick: he is deadly serious and extraordinarily committed to being the best trumpet player he can be. This book focuses on attitude and mental approach to playing the trumpet (or any brass instrument, really) more than any other method book I've seen. Rather than discuss minute technical specifics ("eee" vs "aah", for instance), Patrick focuses on concepts that he recommends players visualize and internalize. Granted, there are dozens and dozens of specific exercises in the book designed to improve your range, stamina and control, but what interested me more (since I no longer play) were Patrick's philosophies.

Both Patrick's writings and the "testimonials" in the book feel much more honest than most writing you would tend to find in a trumpet book. Nearly all of the testimonials mention Patrick's ability to shut obstacles out of his mind (such as criticism, fatigue, etc...) and focus purely on the task at hand. Many mentioned that Patrick does not have a lead trumpeter's stereotypical ego, but is genuinely interested in learning from every musical experience.

Patrick's chapter on breathing was particularly interesting, as he uses Maynard as an example of "breathing perfection" when it comes to trumpet playing. We've all suspected as much, but it's fascinating to hear these thoughts expressed by someone who stands 15 feet behind him on every gig.

If you're interested in reading the book (and trying out the exercises), the book is now available to order on Patrick's website (click the image below to visit).