Play-a-long recordings – where you play with a recorded accompaniment – have been around for many years. I’ve used them extensively and highly recommend them as a way to:
Play-a-long recordings for the trumpet are available for various genres of music, the most popular being classical and jazz.
The company I have used for over 30 years is called Music Minus One. They cover other styles as well, but I’m most familiar with their classical recordings.
Music Minus One has developed a huge list of recordings for all instruments. For the trumpet, their classical recording cover the following categories:
SOLO TRUMPET WITH PIANO ACCOMPANYMENT - A great tool when preparing for an audition. These recordings often include tracks with a world class trumpet player performing the piece as well, which really helps you get a better idea of how specific passages are phrased. Without exception, the pianist is outstanding.
My personal favorites:
SOLO TRUMPET WITH ORCHESTRAL ACCOMPANYMENT - For an exhilirating experience, these are my favorite recordings. There is nothing like having the sound and power of a full orchestra accompanying you. Again, like the pianist, the orchestra is always top notch.
AS A MEMBER OF A BRASS QUINTET - Another fun way to play beautiful music in a group setting! Particularly useful in learning how to blend with a smaller group.
DUETS WITH ANOTHER TRUMPET PLAYER - Again a fun and productive way to work on a variety of duet pieces, making sure that you're in tune with and blending properly with your fellow trumpeter.
Without question the most popular series of jazz play-a-longs is the Jamey Aebersold series. I’ve also used these for close to 30 years and have a bunch of them. By now there are over 100 recordings available.
The series covers a wide range of difficulty levels, and is an excellent practice aid for everyone.
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