Bruce Haag,

A fine player, teacher, and friend.


Claude Gordon

1st Trumpet CBS Los Angeles, 12 years
Los Angeles studio musician and conductor, 35 years
Virtuoso trumpet player
World famous brass teacher
Author of 11 books on brass playing
Instrument designer

Take a lesson with Bruce!!!!  You’ll get over 30 years of experience and a real mentor.  Bruce has played with all the great ones:  Split-lead for Stan Kenton, and even for Elvis!  Years in Las Vegas, when it was the place to be for brass players, puts Bruce next to many of the great players of our time.  Claude Gordon was Bruce’s biggest influence and teacher for over 15 years.  I’ve known and played with Bruce for nearly 25 years, and can vouch for his abilities as a jazz, lead and legit player.  He demonstrates great compassion, understanding and insight with each of his students.  His high ethical standards and trustworthiness contribute to his long years of success as a teacher and player.

D. Larry Miller, MD, FAAP
Professional Trumpet Player and teacher
Fellow American Academy of Sports Medicine
Founding Director Paradise Sports Medicine Research and Treatment Clinic
Former member of Loma Linda University Heart Surgery Team
Author of several articles on the physiology of Brass Playing
20 year student of Claude Gordon

I have been studying with Bruce Haag since January of 2014.  I have a Bachelors of Music Education and have studied with some very fine teachers throughout my career of playing trumpet.  Bruce is a certified Claude Gordon teacher and knows how to get results by passing on firsthand what he has learned from Claude.  Bruce has brought my playing to an amazing level, way beyond my expectations.  As a trumpet teacher, Bruce is in a league of his own.  I went from playing high “G’s” on good days, but now to double “C’s” and my tone went from average to powerhouse.  Bruce has taught me how to play with more ease, more air, and more stamina.  My range is now double high C to second pedal C.  When I play jobs, my colleagues have been amazed at the difference that Bruce has brought to my playing.  Bruce gets results!!!

Bob Dreyer BM Ed

Florence, Kentucky
Professional trumpet player and teacher

Bruce is an extremely talented musician with a great insight to the physical as well as mental aspects of playing brass instruments. I have been studying with him for over 6 years and his tutelage has brought my trumpet playing to a whole new level. He was a student of Claude Gordon and has been certified by Claude to teach his method. I have also purchased several mouthpieces from Bruce as well as a new Kanstul Flugelhorn.

Kevin Thornton
Solo Eb Soprano Cornet, Chapel Brass Band
Cincinnati, OH

Bruce Haag is one of the premier players and disciples of the Claude Gordon systematic approach to daily practice; he has used his years of playing and teaching experience to further more players than anyone I know.  His students excel because of his firm grasp and understanding of how to use Claude’s teaching methods.  Bruce is a fine musician and teacher; it is always a pleasure to work with him.

Larry Souza
Currently 1st trumpet, American Musical Theatre in San Jose, CA
1st trumpet, San Francisco theatres and shows
Co-owner and Repairman of Hornucopia, San Carlos, CA

My name is Ron Michaels. I am a professional trumpet player who did study with Claude Gordon for a time, but I had to leave California to go back home to New Jersey because my father needed help in the family store. So I missed some important information from Mr. Claude Gordon.

I was having problems with my tonguing, sound, and accuracy, but I didn’t know what the trouble was. What I did next was to call Claude Gordon on the phone, but I found my teacher sick and unable to explain to me what I was doing wrong, so he directed me to Bruce Haag, one of his best students who also teaches his method. Not only did Bruce diagnose the problem over the phone, but he also explained how to fix the problem I had. He checked with me from time to time and made sure I understood his instructions to the letter.

The rest is history. I now play better than I ever have. I even do the Aleve commercial on TV that went nationally, in which I played a passage from “The Flight of the Bumble Bee.”

All I can say to Bruce is “thank you!” and that would never be enough. He literally saved my career. I am glad that he has started teaching online and I’ll be taking some more lessons. What more can I say except that he is the best!

Musically yours,

Ron Michaels
Professional Trumpet Player and Teacher
Brass Clinician
Leader and Soloist, Harry James Tribute Orchestra

“After retiring I decided to dedicate myself to learning to play the trumpet the right way in order to build range and endurance. A 34 year career in electronics and raising a family did not afford me the luxury of progressing on the horn. I looked around Silicon Valley for the available trumpet instructors. In the meantime I had also done some study of the methods and there are many of them. Bruce Haag was the first to reply to my emails to several instructors. His reply was informative and he emphasized his long relationship with Claude Gordon himself and that he was a certified teacher of Gordon’s method.

I have been taking lessons now over two years and have made important strides in the right direction. My range was stuck at high Eb, I was playing incorrectly and had a thin tone. Now I am able to play correctly up to F# or G in my daily practice. Also I can now survive a two hour big band gig playing second trumpet whereas before I was wiped out after 30 or 40 minutes.

The best part is working with Bruce’s teaching style which is relaxed, to the point, patient and encouraging. I would recommend Bruce to anyone wanting to learn or improve themselves on this most difficult instrument, the trumpet.

When Bruce announced he was moving to Ohio, I thought I would need to find another trumpet teacher. But he had a solution in mind. I now am able to continue my lessons with Bruce on the webcam and it’s working very well. I am not going to claim it’s the same as being in the same room as Bruce but it comes very close…..and I don’t have to drive to a lesson….I just have it in my own home in my computer room.”

Mike Bottini
Saratoga, CA

My son Josh is the first chair and high brass leader of the CNE Band, and has made every honor band he’s tried out for. He has been in the Ohio State Fair Band for 3 years now at the young age of 17. He performed a trumpet solo last week and about blew the crowd out of the stadium. The band director told me that he was just about blasted out of his high perch. He has one person to thank for those skills and the confidence of knowing he’s capable of doing that well, Mr. Bruce Haag, the finest trumpet instructor in the U.S.A.

Roger Pollock

When I first took up the French horn in the 7th grade, it was emphatically recommended that I study with Bruce Haag. This was when he was still living in California. Even though Bruce was not a specialist in the French horn, it did not stop him from being a phenomenal teacher. His techniques and methods apply to all brass instruments, and I know they helped me improve exponentially during my studies with him.

As a high school student, I became principal horn player not only at my school, but also in prestigious Bay Area bands and orchestras. I was playing with greater ease than other kids who had played French horn for more years. This was due in no small part to Bruce’s breathing exercises and musical daily routines.

I also bought my Conn 8D French horn through Bruce at a discounted rate, a purchase with which I was completely satisfied. In short, Bruce is not limited to the trumpet. Do not hesitate to call him for instruction or purchases regarding other brass instruments, because you won’t be disappointed.

Connie Sung
Saratoga High School Wind Ensemble Principal 1st Horn
Saratoga High School Orchestra Principal 1st Horn
Santa Clara County Honor Band Principal 1st Horn
California Youth Symphony Principle 1st Horn

I have had the good fortune of studying trumpet with Bruce Haag for nearly 9 years now. Before that time some serious health issues had forced me to quit playing for many years. When I came back I tried lessons with a number of top players in the area but surprisingly, I found none of them to be good teachers. Now with Bruce’s help and lots of good practice I am back playing better than ever! I studied with Claude Gordon back in the 80’s and I am glad that Bruce is carrying on his teaching.

My lessons are online now and it’s working great. I would recommend Bruce to any brass player who wants to learn to play correctly and easily.

Perry DeVincentis
San Jose, California

I have known Bruce Haag for over 30 years.  I first knew of Bruce when he came back to the San Francisco Bay Area from Las Vegas where he had been a great player at many of the hotels and had toured with Elvis Presley. I then played next to Bruce for over 25 years in various big bands in the Bay Area. That is how I learned to play a lead trumpet. He had a sound that was brilliant over the band. His accuracy was perfect and his phrasing was an education to all.

Both Bruce and I took lessons from the great Claude Gordon for many years. I was the director of the Claude Gordon Brass Camps for 12 years and Bruce was on staff for 9 of those years. Bruce practiced faithfully under Claude Gordon’s tutelage and understood everything that Claude taught. Bruce has taken that knowledge from Claude and has taught and produced many excellent brass players over the years.

Tom Brozene
Freelance Trumpet
Music Educator
Band leader

Though at first skeptical about taking trumpet lessons online, I soon realized that it works great for Bruce Haag’s systematic approach to teaching. The skills he has taught me by way of the Claude Gordon method have noticeably increased my playing abilities and have challenged me to view the music I read from a whole different perspective. Using the web-cam has proven to be just as effective as when I was taking lessons with Bruce live. Anyone who is intent on being a good musician should consider taking lessons with him.

David Creel
Boston Festival of Gold Honor Band 2006 (First Chair)
ACSI Honor Orchestra 2006 (Principal trumpet)
Santa Clara County Honor Band 2006 (First Chair)

Bruce Haag introduced me to the Claude Gordon method of brass playing. It has opened up a whole new understanding of making music for me.  I majored in tuba/euphonium in college and now I am playing trumpet full time since Bruce got me started with the Gordon method.  The approach to daily practice laid out in this program has kept me motivated and most importantly excited about playing.  Bruce also has a complete line of brass products for your every need. Mouthpieces, instruments, method books, and any other accessory.  Bruce has taught many of my public school band students as well with terrific results.

Darren Webb
Music Teacher & Band Director
Sunman Dearborn Intermediate School
West Harrison, Indiana

I am a guitar player who decided that I wanted to play trumpet so I bought one and started blowing. I soon found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked !! So I asked around for a good teacher and Bruce Haag came highly recommended. I started taking lessons from Bruce and found that his breathing and technique exercises made a startling difference in my tone and technique. I play many gigs now on trumpet and I do it comfortably and with ease. Not only do I have the advantage of his excellent teaching, but I also have bought several instruments from him at great rates. He’s a super teacher and a great guy.

Jack Herschkorn
San Jose, California
Jazz Trumpet
Guitar, vocalist, arranger

What can I say about my teacher, mentor and good friend Bruce Haag!  I found Bruce online and began taking lessons in 2010 shortly after I started to play again after a 25 year hiatus.  From the very first lesson, I knew I was dealing with a very special kind of teacher.  Bruce is kind, encouraging, understanding and diligent.  He is the kind of teacher that develops players over time into fine professional level musicians.  Whether or not you are trying to get to that level is up to the individual, but Bruce is the kind of teacher that can take a student from beginner to professional.  His ability to troubleshoot chop issues and recommend successful strategies to resolve those issues is unmatched.  Bruce combines the depth of his professional experience and overall knowledge of music theory in general with his encouraging and kind demeanor, producing a powerful resource for music professionals of all levels. 

From our initial discussions I discovered that the CG method was going to change everything I knew about playing the trumpet.  I played quite a bit in High school and accomplished much and had the desire to play like that again. However, with a different life style now (family work etc.), I did not have the luxury of 8-10 hours a day to devote to the horn. So, I figured if I was going to make a change in the embouchure, this was the time to do it. After almost four years I can honestly say I have never played better and I have a bright future ahead of me.

When I started with Bruce, here is where I would say I was playing-wise:

Range:                  I could play to Eb above high C and down to first pedal C, had a working upper range of about an A above the staff.

Tonguing:            Sloppy and slow

Sound:                 Brittle in the upper register and notes not slotting.

Technical:           Poor

Flexibility:          Stiff

Sight-reading:     Forget it!

Four years later… 

Range:                  I can play to G# above high C and down to third pedal D,  Have a solid working upper range of about an F above high C.

Tonguing:            Crisp and fast

Sound:                 Fat and full in the upper register and notes are slotting nicely.

Technical:           Much improved!

Flexibility:          Smooth and slotting correctly from the pedal range up to F# above high C

Sight-reading:     Immensely improved!  I sight-read my first gig a couple of months ago.  Never in my life did I ever think that was possible!

Anyway, I just wanted to share some personal experience with Bruce and the CG method. I have heard other players say they tried it, and then moved on to something else. I would say, if you are honest and really focus on it, the payout is well worth the effort. And, work with a great teacher like Bruce. I cannot stress enough the positive impact he has had on my playing.

Jeff Beights
Fort Wayne, IN

I have studied with Bruce Haag since 2008. If you become his student, you can count on experiencing devotion and adherence to Claude Gordon’s teaching method. If you follow his lessons plans, you WILL develop the knack of trumpet (brass) playing over time. Bruce gave me the best price on the internet for a new Schilke trumpet, and I’ve ordered books and accessories from him over the years. I am very satisfied with Bruce Haag Brass Studios.

David Roberts
Ocean Springs, MS


I’m a comeback player of sorts. I have been playing semi-professionally for over 40 years and I am a recording engineer and studio owner. I have never made my sole livelihood from playing the trumpet, hence the “semi” tagged to the front of the word professional.

A couple of years ago I put my horn down, thinking my playing days were pretty much over. I was wrong. I was contacted to play lead in a Dixieland band. I knew a couple of the guys already in the band, and because I knew them to be quite good players I said yes, of course.

The first band rehearsal showed me to be woefully inadequate for the playing required. In short I was a long way behind. So I decided I needed to kick start my practice and “get up to speed”.  I designed my own practice routine and started in. After 3 months of practice I was progressing, but at a pretty slow rate. I knew I was doing something wrong, but didn’t know what.

So I set out doing some homework on how to play the trumpet. I reviewed a number of different “methods” and decided for me the Claude Gordon method made the most sense. I had no idea how to implement the method so I needed to find a teacher.

After a search, Bruce Haag’s name surfaced many times.

I decided to sign up for trumpet lessons via Skype and see if he could help me.

Well it has turned out to be an incredibly good decision. I have been taking lessons now for approximately 4+ months. My endurance is up, range is increased by 1.5 notes and overall playing has been much improved.

I can highly recommend Bruce, and the Claude Gordon method. Bruce knows the method well, and has a great deal of insight into trumpet playing. He has helped me improve. He’s patient, understanding and knows what areas of weakness your playing has and what to practice to correct it.

In short, he knows the Claude Gordon axioms of “know how to practice and what to practice.”

Thanks Bruce.  You’re a goldmine of knowledge and a great resource for anyone looking to improve their trumpet playing.

John Hoekstra
Senior IT Project Manager (ret)
Recording Engineer and studio owner
Live sound FOH engineer

I have played trombone since I was in the fourth grade, and studied music in college for one year before deciding having a day job was likely the best path for me. I have played at a fairly high level since leaving college but a few years ago I started to have significant embouchure issues and struggled to try to solve the problem on my own for over 2 years with no luck. What I believe happened is I had played alto and tenor trombone exclusively for all of my career but about 5 years ago had the opportunity to pick up bass trombone. I listened to the deep and resonant sound of good bass trombone players and I tried to mimic this strictly on my own, and this I believe is what eventually led to my problem. I made radical changes in my embouchure to try and get the real low pedal notes but in the process completely lost my upper range on bass or tenor trombone and could barely play F above the staff. I experimented with all sorts of things trying to fix this but it just got worse and more frustrating. I practiced more but got worse. I was scouring the internet and I found several articles on Claude Gordon and his teaching methods and one thing led to another and I found Bruce’s website.  I decided “what did I have to lose?”, so I set up a Skype lesson with Bruce even though I was a trombonist and he is a trumpet player. I’m pretty sure he does the same with all new students and the first lesson was mostly talking about Claude’s teaching philosophies and tongue positioning and use of air. After the first meeting Bruce set me up for my next lesson and I started on “Systematic Approach to Daily Practice”. In just two lessons Bruce solved the problem that I had spent two years of frustration and anger trying to figure out on my own. The supposed embouchure problem really turned out to be a tongue positioning issues (dee versus daw) not a lip issue. It worked so well I have continued to study with Bruce and he continues to force me to work on things I haven’t done since college, which is making me a better player. I now take my lessons, and do most of my practice on bass trombone, yet my significantly improved upper range is the same on bass as it is on tenor.

Dwight Klappich



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