Where do I start with learning the trumpet?
The most famous trumpet players hail from the world of jazz, the most obvious being Louis Armstrong. However the trumpet is also played in classical, blues, pop and rock music. So the trumpet is a versatile instrument which can be played over a variety of musical genres.
Online tuition is no substitute for a music tutor, but many websites can aid learning. We’ve reviewed some of the best websites to help you learn the Trumpet such as Learn It Online Today, eTrumpet Lessons and Trumpet Studio. They have a wealth of information for trumpet players. And if you are not interested in the tutorials, you will find practice sheet music available to download free of charge.
Gaining a good grounding in basic trumpet skills is key to future success. Whilst it can be tempting to simply pick up the horn and have fun playing, to really improve and develop your technique it is essential to develop your skills. Skills include perfecting tonguing, scales and range. Only practice will improve your tonguing technique as the muscle memory needs to be developed. Skills training should be part of your everyday practice.
Top tips for beginners:
- Wet lips or dry lips? There is no simple answer to the question as both ways have their advantage. Wet lips will allow you to slide under the mouthpiece and are allowed to adjust to current dynamics and register more freely.
- Breathing in from the diaphragm will enable you to take deeper and more full breaths,
- Posture. Try to relax but be careful not to slouch. Keep your arms a little way from your body and don’t point the bell to the floor.
- Think about your finger positions. It is important to press the valves down with the cushions of your fingers, if you press the valves diagonally they will eventually become jammed.
When choosing your first trumpet, it is important to remember that there are variations of trumpet. If you are unsure, the most common option for musicians is the trumpet in B flat. It is important to consider the bore size which is the tube which runs throughout the instrument. For beginners it is recommended to buy a trumpet with a smaller bore. There are trumpets which are aimed at the student, the intermediate learner and then the professional. Starting with a student trumpet is good idea as they are cost effective and durable. We have a selection of Trumpets in our online store – click here – however, as we always say it’s best if you can make it down to your local music shop, there you ask questions and try a few out.
When it comes to practising the trumpet, there needs to be a focus on the resting. Whilst everyday practice is important, you should ensure that you do not practice over a prolonged period of time, as this could cause damage to the lips. To ensure you are not overdoing it, consider the following warning signs:
- You are practising but not making progress
- You seem to be using too much pressure
- Your range gets worse not better
- Your tone is inconsistent