Tyro Tykes Easy Trumpet Quartet

posted in: Trumpet Ensemble | 0

by Eddie Lewis


Easy trumpet quartet sheet music for Tyro Tykes is available at:


Tyro Tykes

Tyro is the name of our second skill level in a system of seven different skill levels. As a naming convention, we tend to call these “easy” pieces, as opposed to “beginner” pieces. When you see the word “easy” before the instrumentation, you will know that this means it is probably a Tyro piece. In this case you have two confirmations, the word “easy” before “trumpet quartet” and the word “tyro” in the title.

As you might have guessed ,Tyro Tykes is something of an educational piece. But don’t wince at the thought of it. Educational compositions don’t have to sound like beginner band music. That’s one of the reasons why I spend so much time writing these beginner level trumpet pieces. I want the youngest trumpet students to have good music to perform. I don’t want them to only have to play Hot Cross Buns or stuff like that.

With Tyro Tykes you have a march that “travels” through some fairly advanced harmonic landscapes. The skill level of the piece is still easy, but the piece does not sound like beginner band material.

Advanced Harmonies with Enharmonic Spellings

Tyro Tykes utilizes chromatic harmonies that I wouldn’t normally write for trumpet students of this level. The way I made this work was to spell the chords enharmonically. At the Trumpet Tyro level we don’t use D flats or G flats. For this composition I changed all of those pitches to their enharmonic equivalents.

Let me be clear about this! I would normally never write that way. I believe that that composer’s choice of enharmonic spelling should be consistent with the harmonies, both vertically and horizontally. I believe that, when a musician learns to read proper enharmonic spellings, it can actually speed up their reading because it becomes easier to recognize groups of notes at a glance.

In contrast, when you spell notes in a way that seem “easier to read” on the surface, it may be easier to read the individual notes, but it is a lot more difficult to read groups of notes. And the latter of these is what we want. We want to recognize entire passages in an instant. When we learn to do that, our sight reading is now at virtuoso level.

It is the people who shy away from the correct spellings (for the sake of making individual notes easier to read) who have difficulties becoming great players.

And that’s what I believe, as a teacher, I need to pass on to my students.

So I typically would never respell the notes to make them “easier to read”. And in fact, that’s NOT what I’m doing here. I’m not “making the notes easier to read”.

I make an exception here simply to conform to my skill level system. Trumpet students who follow my system have not learned D flat and G flat yet. They don’t get to those notes for a few month yet.

So yes, I’m respelling the notes in this Tyro Tykes easy trumpet quartet and plan on doing more of that with future trumpet pieces in this skill level.

Please Note: the students do not need to perform Tyro Tykes at the tempo at which I recorded it in the video. It should sound fine at a slower tempo if the students need that.

Easy Trumpet Quartets

Tyro Tykes Easy Trumpet Quartet Sample Part

At this point we have a lot more easy trumpet trios than we do easy trumpet quartets. There’s a practical reason for this. Writing for more parts for trumpet players with limited range presents difficulties you don’t have at the higher skill levels. Trying to squeeze four trumpet parts into such a small range is not easy.

Add to the range issue the fact that the students at this level also have other limitations. One answer to the range issue can be the use of counterpoint. Unfortunately, students at the Trumpet Tyro level will struggle with contrapuntal writing.

An easy trumpet quartet could also include seventh chords, which can also help with the range issue. And I’ve done some of that. But the beginner ears are lest accustomed to that sound. And in fact, I prefer for them to hear the triads more, for the sake of their development. It’s like starting kids off writing with thick pencils. As an educator and a composer, I want to introduce greater levels of dissonance slowly, as they develop.

So, as a general rule, the higher the range and the greater the skill of the trumpet players, the easier it is to add more parts to the ensemble. At least that’s how I see it. The lower the range and the lesser the skill of the students, the more cramped the parts become. It creates a great deal of difficulty in writing easy trumpet quartet music.

I’m not complaining. I actually appreciate the challenge.

Not Just for Beginners

I also want to remind you that you don’t have to be a beginner trumpet student to enjoy these pieces. I write the music to be REAL music. This is part of my talent as a composer and as a teacher. I write REAL music that conforms to the skill limitations of the seven different levels.

That means even if you are a very advanced trumpet player, you can still perform these easier pieces and do so with dignity. This is not “dummied down” music.

It’s interesting to me that many of my easy compositions are being performed around the world, and not only by beginner students. I once received a royalty check for on of my beginner level trumpet trios for $800. That composition was performed on a TV station in France. So these are not just bad nursery rhyme like pieces that beginner band kids normally play. They are legitimate compositions.

Often times professional trumpet ensembles will beef up their mall concert repertoire with junior high dchool level trumpet pieces. I have played more than my share of these kinds of gigs. Making the music easier takes a lot of risk out of the gig. These are often sight reading gigs and pieces like Tyro Tykes can give you something that sounds good but doesn’t sound like you stole it from your local junior high band hall.

So, please, if you like the way Tyro Tykes sounds, I encourage you to buy it, even though it is technically a beginner level trumpet piece.


Easy trumpet quartet sheet music for Tyro Tykes is available at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.