New Orleans Trumpet

A Down-Home Conservatory Method

by Jim Thornton

This book offers an insider’s view of what you need to know about playing New Orleans-style trumpet. Along with details about living the good life in the Crescent City, this book presents often-elusive music theory concepts in an easy-to-understand, enjoyable manner.

This method:
  • Provides a personal explanation of all the building blocks necessary to play New Orleans-style jazz trumpet.
  • Does not contain page-after-page of technical exercises; rather, it teaches how music works, so you can create your own!
  • Provides correct chord charts for essential trad jazz songs, to be used in conjunction with the iReal Pro play-along app.
  • Gives a local’s perspective on the Big Easy’s history, culture, food, and customs and how these all relate to jazz.
  • Spiral-bound, 110 pages!

Sample Tracks

Download Tracks


This book is an indispensable guide to nearly everything a trumpet (or cornet) player needs to know about playing traditional jazz. It's taken me a lifetime to learn much of the material in Mr. Thornton's book – which is a treasure trove of information covering everything from the basics of playing the trumpet, to the theory of traditional jazz, to how to lead a band. This is required reading for anyone interested in playing traditional jazz. It is heart-warming to know that someone cares enough for the music I've played and loved for a lifetime to put such a volume together. I could've used the book 50 years ago when I started playing!”
— Chris Tyle, jazz educator, early jazz expert, and trumpet/cornet player who's recorded 50+ New Orleans style jazz albums

I have looked at the book and think it is wonderful. You simplify and present many unspoken and overlooked facets of New Orleans trumpet playing. You are creating an approach for building music vocabulary, not only theoretically but also by valued life experiences. I wish you the greatest success!”
— Kevin Ray Clark, Dukes of Dixieland trumpeter and bandleader

An excellent book, which deserves to be read cover to cover by any trumpet player, amateur or professional, wishing to learn about New Orleans trumpet. Its use of modern technology is highly useful for today's student of the genre. Instead of specific manuscript examples of what to actually play, a system of learning and discovery is laid out so a path can be followed to reach the desired aim. The chapter on modern day N.O. trumpeter/bandleader requirements is also very informative and accurate. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a valuable insight into the world of the New Orleans trumpet player.”
— Peter Rudeforth, trumpet player with the legendary Chris Barber Band (UK)

For fans of the music of New Orleans and the History and 'Mechanics' of American Music in general (which hopefully means YOU!), this book is interesting and quite different in approach. There's something in here for beginners, intermediates, and pros alike.”
— Randy Brecker, jazz recording artist