TRUMPET VALVES – Everything you need to know about valves

What Are Trumpet Valves?

The trumpet is one of the most fun musical instruments to own and make music with, that being said, there are certain trumpet parts that are essential to producing those excellent sounds and these are known as trumpet valves.

The valves are the rounded buttons at the top of the instrument – in case you are not sure of what we’re talking about yet! The trumpet valves are responsible for the varieties of sounds the trumpet makes.



This is a simple question. A trumpet has just three valves. However, there are some instances where some trumpets have four valves. If we consider the majority of trumpets, the trumpet has just three in general.



trumpet valves stickingThere are usually three of these valves on every instrument, and they are used in different combinations to produce different sounds. Mathematically, there are eight different combinations. The combinations include valve 1 only, 2 only, 3 only, 1 and 2, 1 and 3, 2 and 3, 1 and 2 and 3, and no valve.

This means that there are supposed to be eight sounds only, but that’s not completely true. You can produce up to 45 more sounds just by changing the intensity of the air blown into the trumpet. Playing with no valve produces the low C, middle G, and high C.

Each trumpet valve opens and closes a side path. The side path changes the total length of the trumpet. This change in length is what alternates the sounds produced. However, one limitation is that the player is responsible for his limits on the trumpet. This means that high notes are only produced by those that can blow the trumpet with great force.




The valves of the trumpet sticking is one of the age-old problems of the trumpet. Valves in good condition are supposed to move up and down smoothly to make playing easy and smooth. However, there are times certain valves, if not all, begin to stick and become hard to press.

The common ways that these valves get stuck are halfway through pressing or at the normal standby position. Sticky valves would ruin your play, and it is best to find methods to fix them as soon as possible.


How To Oil Your Trumpet Valves Video Tutorial


One of the best and simplest ways to fix the valves when they stick is to oil them and keep them lubricated all the time. There are a lot of trumpet valve oils in the market, and the best type available is the Blue Juice Valve Oil.

This oil is one of the most frequently used valve oil by most trumpeters. Players are advised to oil their valves once a week if they play or practice their trumpet every day. Players that play for longer periods each day should oil their trumpets valves more often.


How to Clean The Valves of The Trumpet In 6 Simple Steps

This is one important thing you can do for yourself and your trumpet. Cleaning the valves of the trumpet is quite simple and not time-consuming at all.


  • Remove the valves from the trumpet
  • Put the valves in a bowl with lukewarm water and dishwashing soap
  • Clean the outer part of the valve to remove grease
  • Clean the inside of the valves with a snake brush
  • Dry the valves with a towel and leave them to dry
  • Oil the valves with valve oil and put them back in the trumpet


Now that you are an expert on trumpet valves and you have thoroughly cleaned them, you are ready to play and make some great music. That being said, you may also need to tune them first so go on and read the following post guide on how you can do that using a Trumpet Tuner.

There are many more trumpet types which you can read about in this comprehensive and detailed post. So, if you are looking for your first beginner trumpet or want another trumpet type, read on using the following link – Types of Trumpets