First of all things, is that the trumpet is considered by most musicians to have the highest range of all brass instruments, and one specifically pursues the trumpet as their instrument of choice is considered a trumpeter or a trumpet player.
The trumpet is first figured through bending brass tubing into a rough spiral shape, it starts out slightly a bit cylindrical, but is more accurately a complex series of tapers that begins smaller at the mouthpiece and gets much larger before the flare of the bell of the horn.
The tapers are critical in the creation of the tones that the trumpet happens to be capable of, and this is standard of all trumpets.
To play a trumpet, one must blow through the mouthpiece with pursed lips to produce a buzzing sound that reverberates through the instrument, and that creates that steady sound that the trumpet is well known for.
This creates a standing air vibration through the air column inside of a trumpet, and the trumpeter can change the pitch through the lip aperture, as well as through the three pistons that change the length of the horn when engaged which lowers the pitch.
Alone and in combination with each other, the valves can reach the variety of tones called chromatic, and is possible of playing all the pitches of Western music by projecting them through the bell of the horn.
Many trumpets are pitched in several of the standard tones of concert pitch, which makes them a transposing series of instruments, and the middle C trumpet is the commonly played variety for orchestral purposes.
Many trumpeters use smaller mouthpieces with trumpets that reach higher ranges, like those notes capable through the use of a piccolo trumpet, and the bass trumpet is often played by a trombone player because of their similar mouthpieces.
The trumpet is often confused with the cornet because of similar appearances, but the cornet is far more cone-shaped as opposed to the trumpet, otherwise the two are nearly identical.
How to Play The Trumpet – Beginner’s Tutorial
A Few Warnings
– Don’t pat the mouth piece into your trumpet. It may get stuck and you will have to pull it out with pliers.
– Don’t drop your trumpet on the bell. The bell is like a soda can and can be crushed very easily, and you may not be able to get it repaired.
– Don’t drop it! If the thing that connects the air with the 2nd valve gets dented just a bit, it will ruin your whole trumpet up already.
– Don’t pop out the pieces of the trumpet
– When it needs to be washed out, don’t get the valves wet. Only the part where the air goes through.
Here’s a list of care and maintenance for your trumpet
– You must clean out the trumpet at least every one a month, and be sure all pieces are able to be moving like your main tuning slide, your tuning slide, and your valves.
– If your valves get stuck when you try to play, it may just need some valve oil. Screw out the valve, and drop just a small drop of it on the valve. When putting it back in, you should make sure the number on the valve is facing the mouth piece or else it will obstruct the wind.
– Wash your mouth out before practicing or the food from your mouth will get stuck in the trumpet and dirty it up.
How to Play Your First Note
Well the first thing you should learn to do is blowing, or buzzing on your mouth piece. It’s really quite simple. What you need to do is purse up your lips to where you look like you are saying “Mmmm .. ” Next, just blow fast air, but not to fast or else you’ll blast it and it won’t sound to pretty. Just gradually add or lessen the air as you try to play. If nothing comes out but the sound of air blowing, you need to put your tongue down and rest it on the tip of your teeth. Not your whole tongue, just the tip of it.
if all goes well, it should make a buzzing noise. Just keep trying and trying until you get it.
Learning Your First Song
Learning your first song is quite easy, if you know your notes. There are many notes as you will learn while learning to play the trumpet, but for now just worry about the first 4 beginning notes. G, F, E, D, and C.
G – open. Don’t hold down any valves.
F – Hold the first valve as you play. On the picture, it’s the lower one.
E – Hold down the first and second valve. The lower one on the picture.
D – Hold down the first and the third valve.
C – Open, but loosen your lips a bit. it’s not the C on the picture.
Guide to buying a beginner trumpet
The purpose of this post is to give a quick guide to buying your first trumpet. I will give you some ideas of some of the good brands to buy without breaking the bank.
The trumpet is a great instrument to play but can be difficult to get started on as the blowing action is quite different from the flute or clarinet and it takes a bit of getting used to.
First and foremost, you will want a trumpet of reasonable quality. Otherwise you will just get frustrated and will probably end up throwing the trumpet at the wall. You will want a trumpet with accurate intonation and tuning, otherwise it will just never sound right.
All the parts should move easily and freely. The trumpet should also sound nice, and above all else it should feel right in your hands, otherwise what’s the point?
The other argument is that you may not want to spend to much as if it is something you don’t pursue, your money is down the drain.
100 – 200 Budget
There are a few beginner used trumpets available in this price range.
If this is your budget I would recommend the Wagner Bb Trumpet.
It is a ‘Bb’ student trumpet.
It has a superb tone and is damn nice to play. It also features an adjustable slide.
It comes with a case and accessories – all for around $100. This really is incredible value and they are great trumpets for the money.
I would recommend these trumpets more than any other trumpets in the $100 – $200 price bracket.
200 – 500 Budget
You will probably get a slightly better trumpet if you spend a bit more.
The main difference will probably be slightly better materials, a better case but not necessarily a better tone.
I would recomment the Thomann TR-800
It costs $600 at the time of writing.
It is a Bb trumpet and also features an adjustable slide.
It uses monel valves, 2 Amado waterkeys, abalone shell finger buttons, and gold plated valve caps.
This would be a good buy if you have a bit more to spend.
Would you go silver or gold? Personally I like the silver finish.
You can obviously spend a lot more on trumpets and Yamaha or Jupiter are good brands, but I would only recommend spending this type of money if you know for sure that you will stick at it, or possibly you could upgrade after buying a cheaper trumpet first.
The Great Trumpeters
There are a lot of great trumpeters in the world. In addition to the many living legends, so many great players have left us. But their music will live forever. In my opinion, really top the charts for various reasons. These are musicians that all great trumpet players should listen to regularly because they have so much to teach us. Without further ado, let’s check out these extraordinary talents!
Wynton is probably the best trumpeter alive right now. He is so versatile! Many musicians excel at one particular style, but Wynton Marsalis sets the standard in almost every style. He can play Classical, Jazz, The Blues, Pop,…whatever. It’s all great. He’s a super intelligent guy that really knows his stuff when it comes to playing trumpet. He’s easy to recognize by that Monette trumpet he usually plays. It has a very unique look, and believe me, that’s one expensive horn!
Louis Armstrong a.k.a. “Satchmo”
Louis Armstrong is another legendary trumpeter. He’s one of the few trumpeters that actually sings as well as plays. He switches between voice and horn so naturally. His growling voice and charming smile are just as famous as his instrumental skills. He was one of the early jazz greats. If you don’t smile when Louis plays you should check your emotions. He’s a powerhouse of a player with a very distinguishable personal style.
The guy who took trumpet to a completely different level. It took me a long time to appreciate Miles Davis. When I was younger I always saw him as this sporadic player who always played with a mute and bad posture. Now, I understand his genius. Although he never really liked to be labeled as a jazz trumpeter, there is no doubt this is where he began. Later in his life he began to expand that repetoire, and really experiment with the possibilities of the instrument. He’s very unconventional and was constantly pushing the boundries with his music. He’s another player that is instantly recognizable, both through his appearance and his music.
I remember seeing Dizzy Gillespe play for the first time on TV. He looked unreal with those HUGE cheeks! The next thing that caught my eye was that funky horn of his. He’s definitely a character. More than that, he is an incredible musician. He developed the style of jazz known as BeBop. It is a rather complex musical form that relies heavily on improv. There aren’t many people that can wrap their head around a solo like Dizzy. A Night in Tunisia is one of my favorite songs by him.
Maynard Ferguson is known for his screaming high notes. Unlike many who sort of lose control up in the stratosphere, Maynard plays very accurately in this range. He’s most well known for the songs “Maria” and “Maleguena”. However, he has done many great works, including the theme for Rocky. Maynard was also a great advocate for music education, and he taught a lot of master classes for high school students. Just listen. He is unbelievable!