The Mystery to Mastery books have literally helped thousands of trumpet players improve their playing. Here’s a small selection of customer testimonials.


Hi Greg, sorry for my terrible english, consider my small donation just as a little symbol cause i really wanted to thank you some how  for what you’re doing. I’m not joking when i say that the knowledge and the information that you’ve decided to  share in such as generous way really changed my life not only as a player but also as a person… Please continue in doing what you’re doing: maybe you don’t even imagine the incredible importance of your job but i’m sure in the future you’ll be considered one of the great innovators of the brass playing like Arnold Jacobs. thanks a lot again!

Michele B


Dear Greg, THANK YOU! I am a 52 yo professional player, teacher, composer etc. I have studied with many great teachers (a few lessons with Bobby Shew, Mario Guarnari, and more consistent study with Gary Guthman, Peter Bond of the NY metropolitan opera, and professor William Fielder at Rutgers University) but you have a true gift for making things clear. Many of your statements are a reaffirmation of concepts I learned some of what you say clarifies what I learned, but then I hear you make a comment that I honestly don’t recall learning before and it all makes sense! I thought my playing was more or less set, I was playing well, performing, recording, etc., but I am amazed that I have made such quick and dramatic improvement. I know it’s not an overnight success (I’ve been playing for 37 years) but it feels like it at times. I have been incorporating some of your ideas into my teaching and will order the ebook soon and watch the rest of the videos. Thank you again.


From Jim Manley,

Greg – great to meet you here – checking out your website – amazing stuff on there to help us fellow trumpet players – a ton of great information on there and I am going to check out all the videos!

then…

Greg – wow I am blown away by the videos – I discovered the leadpipe thing and no buzzing but just air in the mouthpiece about a year ago and never looked back – these videos hit the nail right on the head – amazing information!

and then…

Greg

I think you did an amazing job on the book, video and sound bits – it had to take a long time to do!!

It’s funny because I play and use a lot of the same teaching ideas but have never been able to put them on paper. Even in print most players here have no idea what I am saying to them until they experience it for themselves in a lesson.

One difference is I tongue between my teeth but have been experimenting with the tip behind the teeth now interesting.

I’ll help spread the word and hopefully guys will pick your book up (although you know everyone wants all the info for free!!!!)

I’d say that 99% of the players here overblow and load up on the air – and very few still don’t believe I won’t buzz my lips and play on an open setting!”

Jim Manley.


From Rob Sims (ex-Melbourne Symphony Orchestra player and University of Melbourne V.C.A Head of Brass)
Dear Greg,

I love what you’re doing with your web site etc. It’s marvellous for all ages and levels. It’s transforming my playing and an old student of mine who is 84. We’ve both noticed big changes in all areas of our playing. I can feel a Double high C of quality is just around the corner.

I’m playing much easier and what I hear is more pleasing as a result of your videos and the time I have spent on the visualiser and the lead pipe.

My 84 year old student had the biggest break through in his playing after working through your book and pinching my visualiser.

People just need to focus on what you are saying and demonstrating on the videos. It’s all there.

The breathing aids are also a great help.

All the best
Kind Regards
Rob Sims


From Mark Curry at Curry Mouthpieces

Greg!

Haven’t yet received the hard copy yet (coming from OZ, I assume), but if it’s anything like the E-book on the web-site I’m sure it will be First-Rate!

re: Presentation and Content- Superb! You cover a lot of different things very well and combine them in a very entertaining and positive manner.

For instance, teaching players via the visualizer how to “grip” the air to create “thick air” proved very useful to me as I’d never worked extensively with one. The key phrase in that lesson is “put the mouthpiece in Exactly the same place as the visualizer.” Just that one concept has helped me immensely (I’d been cheating a little). I’m walking around with my visualizer in my pocket these days. Worth the purchase price right there, and not bad for helping a quick warm-up.

Also of particular interest to me was the lesson on “Shaping the Note”. This is something I’d really forgotten over the years. That lesson has me confidently playing in the lower register once again. I had been passing parts with exposed low note passages (that’s how bad it was getting) but now my total range from top to bottom is much more secure.

I also “play the pipe” fairly often now.

I recently coached our local Reno Jazz Youth Orchestra trumpet section and tried the Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 breathing exercises before we started, combined with a little bit of leadpipe work. They perked right up! Young trumpet players often lag behind trombonists and sax players in terms of playing with a big overall sound, also having some difficulty learning to play “fat” quarter notes in the big band. I used some syllables like “Zot, Daht, Buh-doo Wee-daht” on them and they quickly started to get a fatter sound. This technique was first shown to me by Ray Sasaki, one of my Professors at Illinois (and a 1 O’Clock Band North Texas alum, mid ’70’s).

Might be worth a quick video on the syllables.

Also, using hand vibrato to sing a note and add presence and sizzle. I tried this on the kids and they quickly caught on! Once they got the hand vibrato, I taught them how to turn that into a big band shake (that was a little more difficult for some of them, but they were all motivated to try).

In short, Greg, you’ve done a Wonderful job with the videos and the content. You certainly have a knack of explaining technique and the enthusiasm you have for the horn really comes across on the videos. Most trumpet instruction in the past was merely the written word. Your *new* approach combining the written word with concise video explanations of the exercises and techniques make it so much more enjoyable. You can tell somebody a million times how to do something and they never *get* it . Most people really need to be shown:)

Keep it up- I’m hoping you’ll sell a million!

Best regards,

p.s. You may use any or all of my comments or ideas listed here, if any are applicable. I expect nothing in return. Your teachings have far exceeded the purchase price I paid!

How come we never had stuff like this when I was a kid?

Mark Curry

Curry Precision Mouthpieces
8665 Spearhead Way
Reno, NV 89506-9701


Thanks for this enlightening teaching!


I am a beginner and after seeing your lessons 1 to 5, In one evening I was able to cut the cycle of tightness and high pressure to get higher notes out (the lead pipe lesson was particularly helpful). Now comes the practice and reprogramming. Bravo and thank you!


Greg,

Just wanted to say. I think you may have changed my life!

Playing really well at the mo. I’m trying to tie in a few of your ideas into my warmup. My sound, sounds very different. Alive! Tonguing, keeping the tip behind the teeth is weird, but I’ll get there.

It’s my soft playing that suffers, but I think I’m heading in the right direction.

Reading, I recognise lots of Claude Gordon stuff, going to try and re read some of that later. Your writing seems to make things very clear.

Whens books 2 coming out?

Thanks again

Ashley


There are books of the past, this is the book of tomorrow!

Intelligent, easy to understand, basic principles are clearly explained and the videos and mp3 sounds help a lot to demonstrate the goal of each exercise.

Bravissimo, Mr Spence!!!


Dear Greg,

I appreciate the depth of knowledge and a concise set of procedures that produces natural sounds on the trumpet. I have been playing for over thirty years, had many terrific teachers, however have not attained the ease a purity of sound that I have after working in your method. As a beginning band instructor, I am using these same techniques with my students with many happy surprises and smiles from my students. Please let me know when you come out with next book, as my Master’s degree is integrating technology into the classroom, and your online method with the additional recordings, videos, and online tools are right up my line of work. Thanks!

Sincerely yours,

Chris


Hello,

It’s been some time since I wanted to write to you my remarks and ask some questions.

The method you have written is, for me, what was the best so far.

I am a trumpet player for 27 years, and I played professionally in classical orchestras, jazz lead, salsa lead, EuroDisney etc. …. Having worked hard and read, I came to the same conclusions as you, and it is a pleasure to read a method also well organized!

Eric


I received this message from my big brother John. It warmed my heart enough to make it worth the while to share it with others.

I will call this “The Quiet Loud Hello!” because it softly speaks a depth of meaning into the word “Hello!” that rings out loud and clear. If you received this from me I consider you my friend. I say that with a SMILE.

Israel


Hi Greg

Have made significant progress with my playing in the last 3 months, using your teaching methods – thank you so much. I am looking forward to your new book, for sure. Have been working away on your mouth compression concepts and I think a video of you demonstrating the harmonics with the trumpet would be useful – getting from the expelling water to trumpet. If you can find time – please view my website – the soundclips (not video) were recorded since I have been studying with you and I think illustrate my progress.

Cheers

Ruari


I got this book just last night and read through it three times. Note that I found out about this book by reading through and playing the 19/30s exercise the last few days. I bought this book on its ebook special right now. Needless to say this is one of the better purchases I’ve made. The book is very clear and concise about what you need to do. There are sound clips along with almost all of the pages (with pages that have exercises) and Greg has given a great sound to model yours after. I’ve been working through it today and I can already hear a difference in sound. It resonates through my whole room. My dad even commented that my sound was better (thanks for never saying anything before dad!). While simple, the books principles really seem to help. I recommend ordering this book!


 

I followed the directions on your Website, went downstairs and played Trumpeter’s Lullaby and Fanfare for the Common Man better than I ever have! Top notes clear as a bell and so easy! Whoa! Can’t believe I’ve been playing so wrong all these years. Thanks! Jim H


The best book so far is title “Mystery to Mastery by Greg Spence” please go see his web site and you will play better right away,

I have been playing trumpet for 40 years and let me tell you, i play so much more relax and confident just by trying that book. Make a leaving playing as a freelancer.


(In response to being a Win-A-Windpack WINNER)

Wooowww, sounds great!

Actually it is your enthusiasm and absoluut clear explainations that work great for me and that’s what makes my enthusiasm even greater (so actually we both win). As I already mentioned: for me there is finally a connection between reading stuff regarding how you should make the trumpet work and what you actually have to DO to make this happen. As you’ve already noticed, the last part happened after buying and working with your concepts.

And yes my desire to learn and improve is absolutely there (and has been over the past 30 years . . .). In the past weeks I became much more enthusiast because the noticible (not only to me) results and improvement in my trumpet playing.

I’m looking forward to the windpack. I’ve never tried products like this and hope to improve “the flow-side” of you concepts using them!

Again: thank you very much!

Best regards

Theo


Hi Greg,

Thanks for the new videos – I just wanted to let you know that after working on your stuff for about a month now, I’m really starting to make some good progress in reprogramming the way I play.

I’m 48, and have played incorrectly all these years, so it’s quite a job to undo those deeply ingrained bad habits. The hard part is that the music I play on a regular basis is more demanding than what I can handle while doing the new approach, at least for a full 3 hour job, but it’s developing and getting better.

Anyway, thanks again for all the great help, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book whenever it becomes available.

Take care,
Joel


Hi Greg,
Your book arrived yesterday. Thanks so much! It will be a welcome addition to my routine. And the breathing aids also arrived. Been using them.
I had gotten a bag from Arnold Jacobs years ago, but it started leaking a while back. For the geek in me, what horn and mouthpiece are you using?

Thanks again,

Mike


Greg,
Just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the work you have done. Excellent!!! So nice to see someone else who has paid the dues, done the research, and has done such a wonderful job of explaining the truth about brass playing. Kudos! Best success in your efforts.

Cheers,
Les


A few weeks ago there was a thread concerning a book entitled Mystery To Mastery by Greg Spence. I followed the link to his site and downloaded 5 free lessons along with a few other pages. After a few days of applying his principles my sound started to clear up, and playing seemed to require MUCH less effort, so I decided to order the book, (it comes with a CD).

Greg’s approach is a well thought out logical “system.” He stresses playing with a beautiful sound ala Arnold Jacobs, and the CD provides an excellent sound model to follow. I should mention however that his approach will assist anyone to get a good sound out of this piece of plumbing we call a trumpet regardless of whatever method they are using.

One last thing—this is NOT a paid endorsement. I am just so happy to finally find something that is really helping me make a comeback to the trumpet that I had to announce it.


“Mystery to Mastery” is a great book. Too bad it’s not as well known in the U.S. as it apparently is in Australia. That’s one of at least two things the Australians know more about than we do.

The other is how playing football WITHOUT a helmet actually reduces head injuries. (Motivates players to stop using their heads as battering rams and, thereby, reduces concussions.) But that’s a story for another Forum.


I’m still seeing great results from focusing on sound. Another thing that has worked seamlessly with that approach (I know… it’s sort of thinking about the chops… but it’s kind of a set-it-and-forget-it thing), is the no-buzz, airstream, relaxed thing you can see demonstrated in the Allen Vizzuti Yamaha clinic. It’s also explained very well at the link below, by Greg Spence in his “Mystery to Mastery” thing.

This has helped so much in letting me forget about chop issues and focus on sound. That may sound backward to some, but it’s really been great for me. Just in the last couple weeks, approaching things this way, all kinds of things have been a lot more solid; range, endurance, fat sound, flexibility, articulation. Don’t think I’ve ever felt so positive and excited about playing. Two hard-playing gigs this week, and each ended with me wishing we could play a while longer. Really satisfying!


These videos are really excellent, and make me very enthousiastic!!!

I have also bought the method, and all that I can say, is to say that it is for me the best trumpet method never made! Videos and mp3s are great bonus, good recordings quality and very useful, and it is a perfect book for beginners, comeback players and struggling players (and teachers too!)

Greg Spence’s advices are great, and as for any method, read it many times before to practice it!


This set of free lessons completely changed how I viewed the mechanics of playing trumpet. It changed how I thought of embrouchure and airflow. I immediately had more endurance and range. I revisit it from time to time. So simple and so powerful.

The concept of the air releasing easily and naturally instead of being compressed or pushed really helped me. The concept of the lips vibrating against the mouthpiece independantly instead of “buzzing” together helped me keep everything relaxed and easy.

It really is sometimes counter-intuitive how seemingly effortless playing trumpet playing can be if everything’s relaxed. It’s not that it’s easy, but I tend to over-complicate the mechanics which only makes it harder.

Thanks again. Great stuff. -Erik


This morning while I was waiting for my sweet wife to return from early mass and take me to work, I took out mouthpiece and horn and gave it another go.

This time I forgot about trying to keep my lips together. I followed Greg Spence’s 5 lessons suggestions as best as I could w/o a visualizer. Then when I finally put the mouthpiece in the horn, took in a nice easy breath, and let it go through relaxed and parted lips, spitting rice at the outset, I got some sound, not a very nice sound, but sound all the same – C(ish) below the staff.

BINGO! EUREKA!! WOW!!!

I worked on this a bit and the sound BLOSSOMED, and I was able to get G in the staff, and work it down a few steps. I could tell that my aperture was OPEN, and when I took the mp off my lips I could stick my tongue into the opening.

My wife entered at that point and I played it for her. She could tell the difference in sound, and she noticed that my face looked really relaxed, not straining.

At lunchtime I will continue, and I optimistically believe that today will mark the turning of a corner for me in my long struggle to find a way to take the tension and strain out of playing the trumpet.

I am PSYCHED! (how that dovetails with not trying to think is a question for professionals of another ilk)

I want to thank Fleebat for the well-thought-out and cogently written article and all the follow-up he’s provided. And I want to thank the rest of you who have been so supportive all through this thread, and Urban Agnas and Greg Spence who have, as has RR, done yeoman service to us fellow trumpet players.

This is the best of the best of TH, IMO, by a long shot. So thank you, TH!


You just have to check this out!!
I have not seen this site before, but it contains really great info, and knowledge.

It looks like it has been around for awhile, pity I did not see this 3 years ago when I started back.

Cheers


I have found that website VERY useful. I think it is an important contribution. Your writings have enabled me to make some really important connections. For example, the picture you have about what constitutes “the corners” just to name one. Keep up the good work. I will be a patron of the website soon.

BrotherBACH


Dear Greg,
Greetings Mate! I have played the trumpet since 1970 (some 41 years) I’m from NY and am teaching Elementary band (grade 5) and playing with a great R&B group in the Boston area. I have always struggled with range and endurance issues. I found your web link on the Trumpet Herald site and have been watching your instructional videos for the last several days and have tried your breathing, release, and open aperture technique and I “think” I’m beginning to get it. I was trained to tongue behind my top front teeth in the Tu fashion but trying the anchor tonguing with your technique makes my sound a bit brighter and easier when I do lip slurs upward. . .I notice more of a “sparkle” in my tone, and less of a pinched feeling as I ascend. I have a decent F, F# and sometimes high G and these note did come out quite a bit easier. . . AND You finally made the Adams Pipe exercise understandable!!!! Thank You Sir! If you’re ever in the Boston area please e-mail me for a lesson… I unfortunately don’t have a skype camera…


Hi Greg,
Are you coming to ITG in Minneapolis? If you are, I’d like to see if I can arrange a lesson.

Thanks much for taking the time to put the book/videos/mp3’s together. I decided to commit to the process, and I am having good results. Overdoing air has been an issue for me, and I’ve had difficulty noticing where I’ve been adding the extra tension in my body. I have training in somatics, and your “body feeling” references have helped me make the connection to what relaxed feels like, so I finally have a frame of reference for making the refinements I’ve wanted to make for some time.

I’m still making progress with the current set of exercises, though I’ll eventually want to learn more about using this approach to develop an open, relaxed extended range. In particular, I’m curious about how diaphragm support (lock or leave alone) does or doesn’t enter the picture when playing upstairs.

Anyway, let me know about ITG, and I know I can always do a Skype lesson when I need additional help.

Regards,
Dave


Hey Greg,

I am using your concepts with my students and I am using them in my own practice as well. I have used your videos during several of my student lessons and that really helps with their understanding. I also show them ideas from the book.

I do have some questions about your practice aids. I am considering purchasing them but would like to see a video of how you use them. Is that on your website? Also- you mention a possible video on mouthpieces coming soon. I have my standard recommendations for students but I always like to get new ideas.

Finally- most of my playing is jazz soloing in big bands and combo work and I use a Monette B4 for that. I do get asked to do an occasional lead gig and even though I have tried many lead mouthpieces I always have the same problem of bottoming out on the shallow cup. I have been told that this is due to my “cupid’s bow” shape to my top lip. Ever heard this before? Is it just my technique?

Thanks for your help!

Steve


Hello!

I am Vladimir from Moscow, Russia. Now I am 49, but many years ago I made enough efforts attempting to play trumpet. But without deep understanding of trumpet sound’s physical nature and other causes I had no chance to achieve good results. Now I’ve got 12 years old son who wants to study to play trumpet, too. I deeply desire to help him. After I have learned your web-site content I found your basis explanation of playing trumpet very logical and I dream to meet your book “The Only No Mystery Guide To Trumpet Mastery” and demonstrational disk. I would appreciate you for sending these book and disk by post to Russia. I’m ready to pay for it by any convenient way.

Best regards,

Vladimir


Greg,

Thanks for checking in on me. I have truly enjoyed your book and videos. Your lessons are full of wise and logical trumpet playing advice that is presented clearly with just enough detail. I’m passing it along to students that I coach at the local elementary school and the look on their faces when they play full rich notes is priceless. Thank you.

I’ve been through the book twice (earning gold medals both time : ) and im forming new good habits. It’s no surprise to me that when I get my wind working and my body free of negative tension that my tone and range improve. Your lessons are so good that I have to stop myself from overplaying the new notes above my normal range. I slip back into old habits. It’s just too tempting to hit big fat Gs that never existed before. Patience is key. Playing quietly as I ascend is important. Proper rest is mandatory.

I’m ready to pursue this new path further and have incorporated the concepts into my previous routines. I’m looking forward to your next book.

Steve


Hi Greg, no questions just to tell you that your web site is fantastic, great presentation and so much information, Best regards, Jim


Dear Greg

I quite accidentally came across your website.
I’m a british amateur trumpet player living in Denmark.

Before now, I have never come across any AUSTRALIAN trumpet players!

Although I do a lot of classical trumpet in my old age(59), I found your videos very captivating. I must compliment you on your teaching style: very relaxed and informative!

I do listen to, and have played (in my younger days), a lot of jazz and
I sincerely hope that you have heard Cat Anderson play “Madness in Great Ones” from Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” (not to mention Clark Terry on trumpet and violin).

I have often wondered what styles and techniques THEY use.

Best regards!
Keep up the good work!

Yours Sincerely Stephen


Hi Greg I bought your book about one year ago I trie and I like very much….you are simply great—could you do some lesson via web like Skype or Ichat…..i will pay via PayPal in advance if you want.
please let me know
all the best
Walter from Italy


Hi Greg,

I want to thank you so much for all the incredibly hard work you’ve put into your website. I just purchased your ebook and am very excited to use it. I am a professional trombone player in San Diego, CA. I have made huge strides in my playing but feel like I hit my limit lately. I feel like all of the incredible information you present will finally be the final combination to open up my “safe” and play the way I’ve always dreamed.

Thanks again for everything!
best,
Sean


Hi Greg,

Thanks for the quick response.

I understand the notion that horn players can be closed off to new ideas.They are not like trumpet players always looking for the best method, the best horn and the best mouthpiece.. Being married to a trumpet player, I’ve been introduced and have applied Bill Adam concepts, James Stamp method,etc,etc,etc.

But not until Mystery to Mastery did I really understand what the lips are actually doing when blowing through the mouthpiece. No instructor has ever explained it as simply as you have. Thank you!

I will tell you that when I combine your method with Randy C Gardner’s, Mastering the Horn’s Low Register, my chops feel great. So, I look forward to the Horn book and hope to see emphasis on the low and pedal registers(often neglected) as well as middle and high.

Good Luck with the trombone book!

Best Regards,

Maria


Dear Greg,

I appreciate the depth of knowledge and a concise set of procedures that produces natural sounds on the trumpet. I have been playing for over thirty years, had many terrific teachers, however have not attained the ease a purity of sound that I have after working in your method. As a beginning band instructor, I am using these same techniques with my students with many happy surprises and smiles from my students. Please let me know when you come out with next book, as my Master’s degree is integrating technology into the classroom, and your online method with the additional recordings, videos, and online tools are right up my line of work. Thanks!

Sincerely yours,

Chris


Hey Greg,
I have actually had a bit of an epiphany the last couple days. The idea of not trying to force the air is really helping! The visualization that you used to describe the Maggio monkey with the focused/relaxed embouchre has worked wonders and on Saturday I was able to put in 7 hours and still have chop left after they kicked me out of the music building! (it was closing) 🙂 I’m getting more and more excited every day about playing now. Thanks so much for the helpful insights on your channel!


Dear Greg,
Greetings Mate! I have played the trumpet since 1970 (some 41 years) I’m from NY and am teaching Elementary band (grade 5) and playing with a great R&B group in the Boston area. I have always struggled with range and endurance issues. I found your web link on the Trumpet Herald site and have been watching your instructional videos for the last several days and have tried your breathing, release, and open aperture technique and I “think” I’m beginning to get it. I was trained to tongue behind my top front teeth in the Tu fashion but trying the anchor tonguing with your technique makes my sound a bit brighter and easier when I do lip slurs upward. . .I notice more of a “sparkle” in my tone, and less of a pinched feeling as I ascend. I have a decent F, F# and sometimes high G and these note did come out quite a bit easier. . . AND You finally made the Adams Pipe exercise understandable!!!! Thank You Sir! If you’re ever in the Boston area please e-mail me for a lesson. .

Paul