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Tongue Level & Air

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)


Efficient trumpet playing is a balance between three elements; air, tongue level, and embouchure. This balance cannot be explained in scientific terms, therefore it must be accomplished by feel through proper practice. That is the purpose of this book; to provide trumpet players with a course of study which will enable them to find their balance and become more efficient in their playing.


Available in the following formats:

  • PDF Edition - Digital Download
  • Print Edition - Shipped


Trying to describe the balance with statements such as “The balance is 1/3 air, 1/3 tongue level, and 1/3 embouchure” is pointless. The balance is in a constant state of flux, changing from day to day, gig to gig, and note to note. Your balance can change when you change instruments, when the playing environment is unfamiliar, when you are sick or tired, or for many other reasons. It is best not to over analyze your balance, but to develop it naturally over time and by feel.

You will discover early in your study of these materials and after viewing the videos below  that we have plenty of air to play the trumpet. The secret to efficiency lies in the control of that great reserve of air power. When doing the breathing exercises in Lessons 1-3 Part 3, don’t hold back the first time through. On the repeat control the air and go for the musical result.

Tongue Level & Air Downloads:


6 reviews for Tongue Level & Air

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thomas E.

    Back on the horse so to speak and making a conscious effort to practice this year. Had a CG Certified instructor who started to really unravel this mystery but money is tight. I began looking for more material in this area as I have felt it was one of my biggest weaknesses as a player. With Eric’s background with Claude I felt after looking at the samples, this was the book! It starts of slow and progresses logically. It was everything I was looking for giving me ample time to really concentrate on my tongue and air like I should without the other stuff getting in the way. I am combining this with his St Jacome manual for the start of this years practice routine and look to add material from his other works soon. Does it replace a great teacher, no, but good explanations combined with his videos makes for clear understanding of what to do and already starting to make progress with much cleaner octave slurs and picking out notes and knowing where they are.

    Eric Thanks for an excellent work and providing the direction I needed

    Thomas E.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Kevin Miller

    My students and I are enjoying the book. I especially like the break down of the different tongue placements and your notes on issues to watch out for. For the past decade I have been trying to find a smooth and easy approach to tongue and air placement for my students and self and finally you put together the answer. Crystal clear of an answer to be exact. Thank you for your contribution and ideas to help make the trumpet as efficient as possible.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Professor Chris Gekker

    I’m up in NYC for some concerts this week, and had the chance to really go through your tongue level book. It’s very well done, I can see the Claude Gordon influence, and the way you present everything is really compact, efficient, and clear. You obviously have a knack for communicating ideas in a way that we could all learn from.

    Professor Chris Gekker – University of Maryland – International Soloist

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Scott Diamond (Huntington, NY)

    Eric Bolvin’s new book Tongue Level and Air is a very logical, systematic approach to improving the trumpet player’s tone, endurance, range and accuracy in all registers. Each lesson is preceded by a full page of well written instructions which address each aspect of the lesson. The lessons are progressive and each contain breathing exercises and several different tongue level exercises from breath pushes to intervals to lip (tongue) trills and, later, range elevators and glissandos.

    I’ve already noticed improvement in my playing during the short time I’ve had these studies (thanks Eric!), and I think that this fine collection of exercises is very worthwhile to anyone who wants to improve their level of playing. At less than $14, the price is right!

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Howard Sisson (Belmont, MA)

    I am a comeback player of 79 yrs.I got your arban book first and am enjoying using it. I believe it has helped me beyond expectations. Super book! Highly recommended for all grades of players Very good as a refresher course for experienced players. The tongue level & air book is beginning to give a good boost in my playing. I am struggling from the results of a serious lung infection contacted in the hospital after cancer surgery which went well. I am adapting as well as I can with reduced lung capacity. I would recommend both books for all players. They are great and an exceptional buy for all trumpet players.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Alan Ochiai (Santa Ana, CA)

    Thank you for your wonderful work. I enjoyed your youtube instruction and the free lessons you offered on your website. They were certainly instrumental in my decision to purchase your book.

    I am an amateur player in two concert bands and one swing band. I have been playing for over 35 years. I have always suffered from endurance problems. I sound great at the beginning of the evening and get progressively worse. I think my embouchure is a problem as I roll my lower lip under my upper lip and eventually beat up my upper lip until it is swollen. I have rather large lips.

    Your program has been very helpful. I feel that I have better air support and much better focus, tone and projection. My endurance is gradually improving too. The tip with the Harmon mute was very enlightening! I never thought of the body working in “sympathy” with the trumpet. I don’t feel like I’m fighting my horn anymore.

    I’m on lesson three right now, trying to stay patient and not jumping to later lessons. I’ve tried many programs, but your ideas are the first to help me improve significantly and given me hope for continued improvement. I’m a golf teacher myself and I know the value of giving hope to a student, especially amateurs.

    Thank you so much for helping me with my playing. I had actually considered quitting playing because I didn’t think I’d ever get any better. It is truly a joy to improve again.

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