Trane for Trumpet was originally a box of paper scraps I collected with notes to myself about how I would like to approach learning to improvise on the tune called Giant Steps. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this song, you can hear it on John Coltrane’s CD by the same title. Giant Steps features what was ground breaking, trail blazing new harmonies at the time, based on a cycle of major thirds.
(Some say that the inspiration for the harmonies on Giant Steps was the bridge to Have You Met Miss Jones, which features the same cycle of major thirds.)
In my efforts to learn Giant Steps, I purchased books and asked questions when I was hanging out with other players, but all of the advice was intended for saxophone players. While there are a lot of great reasons to practice sax music because of the challenges it offers us as trumpet players, I have a policy of not doubling up on challenges. That never made sense to me. Giant Steps is hard enough. I would rather not add the difficulty of playing sax lines to the task.
So I set out to write more idiomatically correct exercises for the trumpet that would help me improvise better on Giant Steps. Trane for Trumpet is the final compilation of all of those exercises. It progresses from simple cycle of thirds patterns to through composed jazz etudes, 79 exercises in all.