Playing the trumpet: Lesson One – Music Essay
Your first objective, before actually playing a trumpet is too find the right beginner instrument for you. As my middle school instructor told me when I arrived to my first class, get a least used instrument. I would
recommend an Bach Starter trumpet. Least used will run you about six hundred to eight hundred fifty depending on the seller.
Now that you have a decent instrument, what do you do to make it sound? Most will try to blow air directly into the instrument which will result in no sound. The correct way is to place your lips (the top slightly over the bottom) a little tucked against the mouthpiece and push them together as you blow, resulting in your lips “buzzing” creating the desired sound. Most likely your first sound will be little more than a grunt, this is normal since learning good “tone” takes quite awhile.
Now, how will you ever get this “grunt” sound to become a beautiful, deep, rich sound? The answer lies in practice, training your ear and strengthening your lips and lungs. The best way to start is by holding this “grunt” for longer periods of time. After you have mastered making a sound, you will need to learn to change the pitch so that you can create different “notes” when the time comes.
This is best done by blowing air faster (do not get this confused with tightening your lips) through your lips, resulting in higher pitch. Slowing the air flow will result in a lower pitch. Practice bringing the pitch “up” and “down” so that the resulting sound is like that of an fire truck without a skipping or bumping but smooth sound.
Now that you have become accustomed to varying pitch, we have to complicate things. Finally it’s time for you too place the mouthpiece into the area designed for it on the trumpet. Once placed (never force the mouthpiece in or twist it too hard in as that will result in it getting stuck and having to apply a mouthpiece “puller” to remove it) place your left ring finger in the ring on the left side of the trumpet, the pinky along the third valve tuning slide, your middle and index around the third valve and the thumb around the first valve. Now place your right hand pinky around the pinky half –ring, the three middle onto the designated keys and your thumb where it will rest comfortably. You are now set to play.
Place your embouchure (placement of your lips 2/3 top and 1/3 bottom on mouthpiece) and inhale (fill your lungs bottom to top for best results). Now hold one pitch for as long as possible. The most relaxed note (probably the one you just played) is usually G. Lowering the pitch to the next pitch down with no keys pressed will result in a C. Raising your pitch one octave up from G will result in C also, though they are one octave apart.
Purchasing a book for beginners when their is no instructor present will also help, especially in these first important lessons. Use your book to learn your first “scale”, usually the b flat scale and your first exercises to be prepared for lesson two.