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What Are the Best Tips for Playing the Trumpet?

A trumpet player might want to start with simple music before trying out for bands or other groups.
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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
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The trumpet is a common and important instrument in many different types of bands and orchestral groups in genres as diverse as jazz, punk, and classical music. Playing the trumpet, however, can be quite difficult for beginners, as it requires finger dexterity, technical ability, and the development of various facial muscles that one would generally not otherwise use. Practice is absolutely essential for those interested in playing the trumpet well. With practice, one can develop the technical skills necessary to follow complicated musical pieces and the physical skills necessary to actually play such music. It is also important that one does not strain oneself too much while practicing, as it is possible to impair one's ability to play by striving to reach particularly high notes that require a great deal of strength and control in certain facial muscles.

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For the new trumpet player, producing any sound through the instrument at all may be difficult. One must master the basics of "buzzing" his lips in the trumpet mouthpiece before he can play notes. Learning to do so does not even require the music student to have a trumpet — simply carrying a mouthpiece around and practicing when he has a spare minute can greatly help him to start playing the trumpet. Later, when he is capable of properly producing sound, practicing by playing the trumpet will be more valuable. He can attempt to play simple songs or can simply use a tuner to try to play certain notes in tune, thereby improving his ability to control the sounds produced.

One can only improve technical ability and finger dexterity by actually playing the trumpet and learning songs. A student should find songs or exercises that are difficult but not totally impossible to play. Through repetition, he can, over time, master the difficult parts of such songs and exercises. Doing so will help bring about improvement in his ability to play the trumpet, so he should be able to start practicing more difficult pieces of music. Though time consuming, actually playing the trumpet is the best way to improve.

Most trumpet performers are interested in playing the trumpet with a band or orchestral group. Joining such a group is a great way to practice one's personal skills and to learn the skills involved in playing the trumpet with a group. Many schools have bands that exist primarily to educate students. Someone learning to play the trumpet might benefit substantially from joining such a band.

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