HOW TO PLAY THE TRUMPET
Love for the trumpet is not equivalent to playing the trumpet.
As a trumpet enthusiast, you should learn how to play the trumpet and do so properly. Playing the trumpet is fairly easy, once you can blow air through the mouthpiece to make a sound, you’re good to go!
How to Play The Trumpet – Blowing Techniques
Let us take a look at a blowing technique
Before you blow into a trumpet, make sure you take a deep breath. This helps you to store enough air to blow into the trumpet. In this technique, try to release your lips to a lightly closed position. As you do so, exhale steadily. A common rule is that you should try not to puff out your cheeks. This makes it hard for you to apply pressure to your lips and exhale air into the trumpet.
How To Blow Into The Mouthpiece of A Trumpet?
Since we should not puff out our cheeks, how should we now blow into the mouthpiece?
This is a common question because it seems impossible to exhale while applying pressure to the lips without puffing out the cheeks. This is how you do it –
Place the mouthpiece at the center of your lips. Ensure it is at the center! There is no point putting it at the edge of your lips, just like what you saw that pro doing at that concert. He is a pro, you’re not yet, so chill! Now take a deep breath and steadily exhale into the mouthpiece. If your lips begin to vibrate as you blow, then you’re good to go. You should hear a honking sound as you blow air into the mouthpiece.
Now that you know how to blow the trumpet let us move on. Learning how to play the trumpet involves a lot more than blowing the trumpet. You have to know how to hold the trumpet too and do it the right way.
How to Hold a Trumpet?
This is easy…
Support the trumpet with your left hand and position your right hand without applying force. Make sure to relax your shoulders as you grip the trumpet. We would discuss this in detail later in the article.
Since you know how to play the trumpet, you should be able to play “Toh, Tay, Tee.”
Changing the sound of a trumpet to produce different notes is dependent on the amount of pressure you add while blowing the trumpet. You can sometimes change the sound by vibrating your lips differently each time, but this is required when you do not intend using fingers. Check out our article on Trumpet Notes to find out more on not using fingers to play.
To produce low notes, try to vibrate your lips slowly. The speed of vibration affects the note you want to play. Therefore, you would need quicker lip vibrations to play higher notes. All in all, just try your best not to press your lips on the mouthpiece too firmly.
The next thing you should learn is to produce sounds with your fingering. This is only expected of you if you have mastered the blowing technique – do not skip to this step before mastering the blowing technique.
Here is the B-flat scale fingering chart
- To play an A#/Bb: hold the first valve only
- To play a B: hold the middle valve (second valve)
- To play a C: do not hold any of the valves on the trumpet
- To play a C#/Db: hold the first two valves
- To play a D: hold the first and third valves
- To play a D#/Eb: hold the last two valves
- To play an E: hold the first two valves
- To play an F: hold the first valve only
- To play an F#/Gb: hold the middle valve (second valve)
- To play a G: do not hold any of the valves
- To play a G#/Ab: hold the second and third valves
- To play an A: hold the first two valves
Trumpet Fingering Chart
Once you have mastered the fingering for each note on the major scale, you should try out some common songs with it.
One song that keeps coming to mind is “When The Saints Go Marching In.”
Trumpets come in several types based on the keys they produce, with the most popular being the B-flat trumpet. There are trumpets in C, D, E-flat, E, F, G, and A. The most popular one is the C trumpet and it gained its popularity from use in American orchestras. The B-flat is also used in American orchestras, but only alongside the C trumpet.
It is expected that an orchestral trumpeter adapts to reading transposing music at sight. The commonly written music is usually for the A, B-flat, D, E-flat, E, and F trumpets, but are played on the B-flat and C trumpets.
The smallest trumpet is the piccolo trumpet. It is built to play on A and B-flat, and it involves using separate lead pipes for each key. Other piccolo trumpets include C, F, and G trumpets, but they are not as common as the A and B-flat piccolo trumpet.
Trumpets pitched in low G are known as the soprano trumpets. Bass trumpet is usually pitched at C and B-flat. They are transposing musical instruments that sound an octave or a major ninth lower than the sheet music.
The key of the trumpet a player would use is dependent on the area it is used and their transposing skills.
How To Play The Trumpet Video Tutorial
HOW TO HOLD A TRUMPET
Using your left hand
- Place your ring finger through the trumpet ring
- Wrap your index finger and middle finger around the casing of the valve
- Place the thumb on the slide close to the first valve
- Grip the trumpet firmly
Using your right hand
- Rest your thumb between the casing of the first and second valve
- Place your index, middle and ring fingers on the valves
- Keep your fingers curved, like claws
- Avoid resting your little finger on the hook, as it would reduce dynamics
All in all, try your best to relax your wrists, and you should not have any issues holding the trumpet for a long time.
There are many more types of trumpets which you can read about in this comprehensive and detailed post. So, if you are looking for your first Bb trumpet or want another trumpet type, read on.