Miles Davis. Chet Baker. Saskia Laroo. These famous trumpet players couldn't play so well from birth - they had to work hard for it. If you just got your hands on a trumpet, start practicing today! Over time, you can impress your friends, join a band, or just play for fun. Playing the trumpet is a hobby - one that you can enjoy for a lifetime.
Part 1 of 5: Choosing a trumpet
Step 1. Buy/rent a trumpet
Go to a music store and say you want to buy or rent a study trumpet. Ask if it's a berry trumpet (which is the most common). You can also take a different tuning, but a Bb trumpet or Bb trumpet is ultimately the most useful. Maybe it's not a well-known brand. Do not worry; many of the study trumpets are of an unknown brand. It's fine to start with that. Before renting/purchasing your new trumpet, make sure to check the following. Know that buying a trumpet can be expensive.
- Make sure there are no dents in the valve housings
- Try to see if the valves can move up and down smoothly, without making much noise
- See if all sliders can move back and forth
Part 2 of 5: Practicing without the trumpet
Step 1. Leave your trumpet in its case first
Say the letter "M", and hold it for a long time. Keep your lips in this position. Now blow through your lips and make a buzzing sound. It may sound strange at first, but this is the way you should hold your lips while you play.
Step 2. Follow these tips to master the buzzing:
Pretend there is a small piece of paper on the tip of your tongue. Stick your tongue out a little bit, just the tip, and now pretend to spit the piece of paper out of your mouth. Your lips should be vibrating against each other very quickly, making it sound a bit like a fart.
Part 3 of 5: Practicing the trumpet
Step 1. Grab your trumpet
After you've assembled it, inhale through your mouth, position your lips, place the mouthpiece against your lips and let your lips vibrate, making the buzzing sound. Do not press the valves yet. You should feel the tension in your lips change when you blow a note. Do not press the valves yet!
Step 2. After playing your first note, try to tighten your lips a bit and press valves one and two
Note that the valves are numbered from one to three. Valve one is closest to you, and valve number three is closest to the bell. The tone should now get higher.
Congratulations! You have now played your first two notes on the trumpet
Step 3. Always bring a mouthpiece, because blowing can be difficult to learn in the beginning
If you can buzz your mouthpiece well, you'll get a cohesive sound. It may sound like Donald Duck, but that's actually a good thing. If you sound like Donald, you're doing well.
Part 4 of 5: Your first scale
Step 1. This section contains links to other websites to support learning
You may notice that the names of the tones given here are different from those on the external websites. That's because the tone names on those websites are for piano, not trumpet. They have been "transposed" so that they are the correct notes for trumpet. You'll learn more about this after you've been playing for a while.
Step 2. Learn your first scale
A scale is a collection of notes ascending or descending according to a specific scheme or intervals.
Step 3. Play your first note
Go to http://www.musikit.com/Merchant2/SOUND/Midi/Bb3.mid. Play this note on your trumpet without pressing your valves. This is the C.
Step 4. Depress valves one and three
Play the D. If you can't play the D, tighten your lips a little more.
Step 5. Depress valve one and two
Tighten your lips a little more, and play the E:
Step 6. Depress the first valve
Tighten your lips a little more and play the F:
Step 7. Do not push any valves now
Tighten your lips even more, and play the G:
Step 8. Depress valves one and two, tighten your lips even further, and play the A:
Step 9. Depress valve two only
Tighten your lips even more, and play the B:
Step 10. Finally, release all valves, and play the high C:
Step 11. Take a moment to realize what you just did
Congratulations! You played your first scale of C on a trumpet.
Now it's a good idea to start practicing higher scales as well. That will be difficult at first, but with a little practice, persistence and the help of an expert, you will start hitting the high notes as well
Part 5 of 5: Practice and move forward
Step 1. Practice the scales as often as possible
Try to practice for at least 15 minutes every day, although it's even better to play for an hour every day if you stick with it. If you are just starting out and can only play one scale, fifteen minutes is enough.
Step 2. Buy a music book for beginning trumpet players
Follow the instructions to get beyond what you've learned here. What you have learned here is just one of the twelve scales; in a music book there are more, and a lot of songs, and then you can move on to the next book. Good luck! The trumpet is a beautiful instrument, but you will need a lot of practice to learn to play it well.
Go to a music store and ask what music book they recommend for beginning trumpet players
- If you feel like your lips are about to bleed, or if you feel your lips are tearing, stop playing that day. If you continue with a busted lip, you may not be able to practice for the rest of the week.
- Keep your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Also breathe from your stomach, and not high in the chest.
- Here are again the fingerings for the scale of C: C (all loose), D (first and third), E (first and second), F (first), G (all loose), A (first and second), B (second), C (all loose).
- Before playing the trumpet, you need to blow air through the instrument to "warm it up", and pick up the correct mouthpiece.
- If you must play a higher note, don't tighten your lips, tighten the corners of your mouth. A well-known misconception among brass players is that you have to tighten the lips, which increases muscle tension. You will have much more success if you firm the corners of your mouth and use the muscles next to your mouth to support your vibrating lips.
- If you want to get really good, private lessons can be very helpful. It's worth the investment. Find a teacher who has a lot of knowledge and experience and who you like.
- If you've been at it for a while and you've been playing some more difficult music, you'll find that you can't play very high notes right away after you get your trumpet out. That's because your lips aren't warm yet. To warm them up without damaging them, first play lower notes like C, D, E, F, G, then down again. Once you've done that for a while, you can try the higher notes. Don't practice buzzing; then you develop a nasty habit. Everyone says to buzz, but you're better off just blowing air.
- The most important tip of all is that you need to find a good teacher.
- It is easier to breathe in through your nose, then the air warms up better. But if you need a lot of air quickly, it's better to inhale through your mouth.
- Your trumpet may have some kind of pinky ring. This ring is intended for more experienced players. It is used to better keep the third valve depressed.
- Never play right after eating! If food gets into your trumpet, it will be damaged.
- Don't push the mouthpiece too hard against your lips if you want to play higher notes.
- Don't bust your lips. Practice regularly, but not all the time. Try to exercise at least three times a week, taking breaks in between.
- Find music that you want to be able to play, and that is within your reach.
- Try not to get frustrated. If you get frustrated, take a few deep breaths and try again.
- Don't drop or break your trumpet. A repair can be very expensive.
- If you want to get rid of bad habits when playing the trumpet, put a small note on the bell so you can see it, but the music teacher can't. Take your note off after a few weeks, or if you think you've broken the bad habit.