Skype Lessons with Mark Hendricks

SkypeSkype Lessons with Mark Hendricks

The great thing about the internet is how it makes it possible for me to serve people all over the world.

If you have an interest in studying music with me, whether it be trumpet lessons, composing/arranging, jazz improvisation for any instrument, or general music theory… you can contact me and we will do a free 30 minute session just to see if I can help you (this can be done on Skype or the telephone).

If you find that the time we spend together has been valuable, then we can set up a scheduled time we meet by way of Skype each week.

Click this link for more details:

And you can read more about my background and experience here:





Tom Hall comments about Skype lessons and ATP

The Advancing Trumpet PlayerTom Hall comments about Skype lessons and ATP

It’s always really nice getting comments from people like Tom Hall, here’s what he wrote…

I am 68 years old.  I have played trumpet since I was 11 years old.  I graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, IA, with a Bachelor Of Music Education degree in 1971.  Trumpet was my major instrument.  I taught instrumental music in the public schools for 35 years, mostly at the middle school level.  I have played in pit orchestras for over 30 Broadway musicals, mostly at the high school and college level.  I have played in numerous bands in our immediate area (north central Iowa) as well.

I first saw some things about Mark on Facebook, and started following his MPH Music page.  After reading about some of Mark’s teaching techniques, especially in working with players that want to get back into shape, and seeing something about Skype lessons a couple of months ago, I decided to contact Mark and try a few lessons.

The best part for me has been working one on one with Mark.  He concentrates on the basics, which is what I need to do.  I have always been involved with performance based playing, so I have gotten away from working on the little things – which are not little at all, but very fundamental.

Mark’s book, the Advancing Trumpet Player, is a very simple approach to improving your playing.  I have no doubt that if I follow it I will become a much better player.  I can already see improvement in 2-1/2 weeks!

My last lessons were with my college trumpet instructor over 40 years ago.  Again, most of his instruction was performance based.  Mark encourages playing passages slowly and he’s got me listening much more carefully to what I play, and he really emphasizes that resting is just as important as playing.

I have recommended Mark to a couple of friends already.  I explained how Mark approaches playing, and showed them the ATP book.  Mark is very professional in his teaching, but friendly.  He knows his subject well, and is able to explain how to deal with problem issues.  In the past 2-1/2 weeks since I started lessons, I have been very impressed with Mark and the ATP method book.  The book is laid out in a way that makes it easy to follow, and keeps my interest from day to day.

My goal in taking Skype lessons with Mark was to regain the excitement for playing trumpet.  In recent years, I have been playing in a few groups, but I have not been able to get excited about practicing on my own.  Mark has really helped me get back that enthusiasm for playing.

I think Mark has developed a good, solid system!  I would highly recommend it to anyone who is not satisfied with their current level of playing.

Tom Hall
Iowa Falls, IA

It’s Mark here again…

Thanks Tom for your kind words. It really helps and encourages others to get back in the game, or to brush up on their game of playing their trumpet too (and other music making too).

If you’d like more info on my trumpet and trombone books, check them out here:

And if you’d like more info on Skype lessons with me (yes, it really does work well), take a peek here:

And you can read comments from other people too at

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks



Skype lessons with Mark – comments from Ralph Marks

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerHere’s some comments I received from Ralph Marks regarding the trumpet lessons we did over Skype… Ralph’s been playing for decades and never stopped along the way, so some may not consider him a “Comeback Trumpet Player” but he did purchase “The Comeback Trumpet Player” book and we used it in our lessons along with some other materials I created for him to practice too.

Here’s Ralph…

Thanks LOADS Mark.

Yes, I thought our time was valuable and helpful in terms of knowing what needs to be done and how it needs to be done to increase one’s skill level.

Like an athlete needs to keep honing his skills and keep them sharp, you’ve been helpful, Mark, in giving me a perspective of where I’d like to get…in terms of sound, consistency, air flow, control, and resonance…and how to fine tune those skills and incorporate them into my playing style.

Oftentimes, we play notes and take the rest of that for granted. Thanks for helping me again to focus on not only playing notes, but playing MUSIC and making MUSIC.

In addition to the book The Comeback Trumpet Player, I also appreciated the added exercises you made available to me right in the middle of the Skype lesson. That was ADDED VALUE to your commentary.

One final thing: the explanation of why we do it this way was helpful, and a reminder to not only play exercises, but play them correctly (and often slowly) to get the desired results.

Thanks for the four weeks of lessons. I’ll be back again after a little break and I work on some of these things.

And oh, thanks for being “picky”.

Ralph Marks
Brass From the Past
West Lawn, PA

Mark here again…

If you’d like to consider having lessons with me as your coach via Skype (it’s really easy to do), click on over to this page for more info…

And you can read comments from other people too at

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks

The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #1

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #1

Thanks again for ordering your copy of  The Comeback Trumpet Player.

I hope you’re progressing step-by-step through the lessons, if you’ve had the book for a while. If you haven’t received it yet, simply start with lesson one when you get it, and progress at your own speed (at least one week per lesson).

The reason I’m writing is to let you know that you can contact me with any questions you might have, and I will answer yours and share the question and answer with other CTP users. Of course, your question will be confidential and your name won’t be mentioned.

Here’s a few responses I wrote to recent questions…

Mark, what tempo should I do the exercises?

For tempo, pick a moderate tempo for the exercise you are doing, with the most important thing is that it is slow enough for you to hear your sound on every note and respond to that sound.  It doesn’t have to be real slow, but slow enough for your natural learning feedback system to make adjustments and for you to be able to be aware of problems and improvements.

Try playing the exercise a little slower and faster also.  Different tempos yield different insights. Like I said in the intro comments in the book, it is possible to play the exercises too fast, but not too slow.  Some exercises you will want to go for more speed, like the scales, arpeggios, lip slurs, but always work incrementally to the faster speeds, keeping the resonate sound on each note as your ultimate goal.

Also to work on your air flow, slowing things down will help there.

One concept that is not explained well by someone saying use more air is this…

It’s not so much the volume of air, but rather the speed of the air coming out of you through the horn and resonating the room.

Think…. fast air … while you play slow exercises so it becomes a natural thing to do.  Think of moving the air quickly all the way through the horn to outside the bell as soon as you begin blowing air into and through the horn.  Never think of just air getting to your lips and mouthpiece, always through and out.

It also helps to think… resonate the room.

Get your sound to fill all corners of the room you are in.

This is not equated to playing loud, but rather full and resonate.

One other tip….  when descending keep the lips together, in other words don’t let the aperture get spread. This is so when you go back up, the aperture is still ready for the notes above.  In the warmup you will notice a lot of descending lips slurs, they are there for this purpose.

And another…. for low and middle range (up to G on staff) think the vowel sound of A, like in the words   dAd  or At. Not a nasal sound but rather just in your oral cavity.  This tends to help get the resonance right and the overtones that are in the note you are playing to vibrate. Experiment with subtle changes in the vowels you think while playing some long tones, like on 2nd line G.  Think  aw … oooo … oohhh…  eeee..    ah….  and dAd  (don’t put a D on the cutoff).

I think you will find that the dAd sound resonates the best.

Hope this helps.

One other thing.

In session 2, I talk about choosing a track, 1 or 2.

If you can play low notes ok, start with track 1 … if low notes are really difficult, use track 2. Then stay on a tonality for at least a week, then move to the next one in the track for the first 12 weeks (or 24 weeks)… after that you can do one a day in rotation, or do them for a week again. You will know which you need to do, just listen to yourself and make minor adjustments.

In session 3, Arbans, when you get to the page 125 intervals studies 1-6, you may want to start at the top of the page instead of the middle.  Then the first day, just play half of the lines and add an extra line each day.  Why?  The interval studies tend to show embouchure weaknesses and if you continue into the higher ones before you’re really ready for them, some bad habits develop in reaching the notes. Patience is better than learning bad habits that need fixing later.  With that in mind, patience is quicker than fixing.

Mark, do you give lessons on Skype?  — yes I do… see this page for details:

Keep in touch,  let me know when you have more questions, and let me know your progress.

And we always love getting great testimonials from our customers, so if you’ve gotten results that you like, tell us about it… others who are considering the books will find your stories helpful in making their decision to get their copies too.

If you don’t have your copy of The Comeback Trumpet Player, get yours now at:

As always, my best to you —

Mark Hendricks


The Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #2

The Comeback Trumpet PlayerThe Comeback Trumpet Player – Tips #2

Some good questions from Jim…

Q1:  For the first “Lesson #1-12”  under session “2” Tonality Study,  it asks me to choose a Track and stick with it for the first 12 lessons.  —   does this mean for 12 days?  12 days for each of the first 12 lessons?

A1: For Track 1 (building range from the bottom up), stick with one tonality for session 2 of each of the lessons 1 through 12. So session 2 for the first lesson would be G…. session 2 for the second lesson would be Ab…. session 2 for the 3rd lesson would be A… and so on through lesson 12….  Each lesson taking one week or two (or longer), depending on your progress.   At lesson 13, you can start doing one tonality per day as a review and maintenance – just work straight through the book starting with the C tonality study, then F… Bb… Eb… and so on – and then loop back and go through the cycle again and again.

Q2:  Under “Lesson #1, Session 2” again  where the book describes the Tracks, It states Track 1 will build the range from bottom up – G Ab A Bb B…etc.. But the track 1 series of pages is only written in key of G.  I see no progression?

A2: Track 1 equals one week (or two) on the G tonality study…. then Ab tonality study…. then A…. then Bb… and so on… to F#… thus building the range from the bottom up.

If your lower range is difficult, the optional way is to do Track 2. Start with the C tonality study for a week (or two)…. then B tonality study… then Db… Bb… D… A… Eb… Ab… E… G… F… F#  –  you will build your range in both directions with Track 2

Feel comfortable in contacting me with any CTP questions, and I will write back to you and post the answers for all the CTP Gang to see and benefit also.

And if you wish, I am available for Skype lessons