Music 101: Trumpet

This instrument, I have not personally played myself, but i know many friends and acquaintances that are professional/student musicians mastering the instrument. You have most likely seen this instrument if you’ve ever been to a jazz concert, or maybe even a rock concert sometimes a band will have something called a “horn line” with a trumpet, trombone, saxophone, etc.

The trumpet is made up of multiple parts. Starting at the mouthpiece where you use your lips to make a buzzing sound to making a note on the instrument all the way to the bell at the end of the instrument where the notes expel from the instrument. In between we have three valve casings that hold the valve pistons. The valve pistons are cylinders with holes in them that you press down into the casings to make a note. there are three valve slides that can be removed to be cleaned and are positioned to help the musician playing the trumpet change the pitch. The long tube that starts from the mouthpiece all the way to the bell is the leadpipe. Any bumps made to the leadpipe can create a change in the tone of the trumpet.

A trumpet is easy to clean, I hear friends who play trumpet how they give their trumpets baths. Now that is something your’re unable to do with a woodwind like a clarinet or a saxophone because that can ruin the padding that covers the holes in the instrument. Now a brass instrument like a trumpet or a trombone can be exposed to water because there are no padding or water sensitive pieces to the instrument.

Playing the instrument is a interesting transition from a woodwind instrument to a brass instrument. The mouthpiece is round that has an opening that gets smaller. You have to put your lips together and make a small opening at the center of your lips to make a steady stream of air. To change the notes you press down on the valve pistons to make a combination of notes. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next Miles Davis or Louie Armstrong, you don’t know unless you give it a try.



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