The trumpet is a wildly popular brass instrument dating back centuries. It’s vibrant, loud, adaptable to many genres of music, and relatively portable. While it’s not necessarily the easiest instrument to pick up, it is learnable, especially with help from online tutorials. Anthony P. Orlich reviews the steps to mastering this enjoyable instrument.
Finding the Best Online Trumpet Tutorial
One of the easiest ways to master the trumpet – outside of paying for private in-person lessons or learning as part of a school curriculum – is through online tutorials. There are many to choose from. Students should choose the format, style, and schedule that makes the most sense for them to be able to practice consistently and not get frustrated or overwhelmed.
Online course company Udemy offers a Learn to Play the Trumpet course, with six hours of on-demand videos plus 78 downloadable resources.
Those looking for more individualized online learning can find a tutor through companies like Wyzant or Lessonface, both of which offer one-on-one video lessons with live instructors.
Learning How to Make a Sound
Brass instruments like the trumpet can be a little trickier to master than reed instruments in terms of mouth placement. One must press their lips together tightly (with the corners of the mouth tight), make a buzzing sound by pushing air through the lips, and blow into the mouthpiece. Practicing on the mouthpiece on its own before it’s attached to the instrument is a smart way to prepare.
Mastering the Valves
The trumpet has three keys, called “valves.” These are how one changes the notes that come out of the horn. One should hold the trumpet with their left hand wrapped firmly around the bottom, and their right hand resting on top to press down the valves.
Blowing into the trumpet without pressing any valves will produce a “C” note. Buzzing one’s lips harder and faster in the same position will produce a “G.” From here, one can learn which combinations of buzzing and valve pressing will produce all the other note options to form a melody.
As one begins to advance their skills, it might be time to learn how to read music. This is a whole other lesson for another article! But in the meantime, one can look up some easy tunes to play on the trumpet going by note letter only. Watching, listening, and playing along to YouTube videos will help the trumpeter learn the rhythms and how long to hold the notes even before they learn how to read actual sheet music.
Common tunes for the trumpet that are great for beginners include popular classics like “Happy Birthday” or Ludwig van Beethoven’s simple “Ode to Joy.” Then, one might tackle easy but iconic pop trumpet tunes like “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles or Camilla Cabello’s “Havana!”
With a little research, at-home practice, and maybe a lesson or two, one can master the trumpet in no time!