CARING FOR THE TRUMPET
PLAYING THE TRUMPET
The trumpet is the smallest member of the brass family. It has the highest voice in the family. All brass instruments are made of metal, have different lengths of tubing or a mechanism to change the lenghth of tubing, and use a metal mouthpiece to produce the sound. There are different types of trumpet within the family. The smallest trumpet is called the piccolo trumpet. This trumpet has half the length of tubing of the full sized B flat trumpet. Another member of the trumpet family is the flugelhorn. This instrument has more tubing than the B flat trumpet and a lower sound. One more member of the trumpet family is the cornet. This instrument is often substituted for the trumpet by beginners. The tone produced on the cornet is more mellow than the bright sound of a trumpet.
* Note that the mouthpiece is missing from this picture
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Caring For The Trumpet
There are two things that need to be done to care for the trumpet. One must be done whenever it is played and the second is only needed once a week. Every time you play, the trumpet water key must be emptied. If it is not, moisture will remain in the instrument and could cause damage to it. The water keys are emptied by opening the key or valve and blowing a strong puff of air through the trumpet. This will usually get rid of most of the moisture in the trumpet.
Once a week, the piston valves on the trumpet must be oiled. This is a multi-step procedure that your children have learned and demonstrated in the classroom. We oil the valves once a week to maintain the instrument, much like changing the oil in your car.
Follow the link to see Mrs. Morin's steps to oiling the valves.
It is important that no food or liquid (other than water) get into the trumpet. Students are reminded to take a drink of water before practicing their trumpets. There is no need to wash or clean any part of the trumpet except for wiping off finger prints. The instrument will pretty much take care of itself.
- Stuck mouthpiece - If the mouthpiece is stuck in the mouthpiece receiver, please DO NOT attempt to use household tools to remove it. This could cause severe damage to the soldering on the trumpet. I recommend that you bring your instrument to a local music store where they are equipped with a mouthpiece puller. You can also bring the instrument to the school where Mrs. Morin will also have this tool.
- Stuck valves - Sometimes, even with regular oiling, the valves will be sticky or sluggish in returning to their upright position. Your child may have to oil the valves more often that once a week if this occurs.
- Springs popping - When the valves are not turned CLOCKWISE to be set into place, the top of the valve may be unscrewed and the inner working (spring) may fall out. If this occurs, the valve should just be screwed back on and the child will ask Mrs. Morin to check the valve during the next class.
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Playing The Trumpet
Sound is produced on the trumpet by buzzing your lips into the mouthpiece. The mouth shape, or embouchure, will affect the pitch and tone produced. To make lower notes, your lips will be looser and the air a little slower. To make higher notes, your lips will tighten up and the air may be a little faster. By lengthening and shortening the length of tubing the pitches are also changed. The piston valve mechanism changes the flow of the air through the different slides on the trumpet. Different combinations of valves produce different notes on the trumpet. Changing the embouchure will change the notes in the same valve arrangement.
Follow the link to a trumpet fingering chart.
A person who plays the trumpet is called a "trumpeter" or "trumpet player."
Click on the name or picture of a well-known trumpeter to learn more about them.
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