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Thinking of buying your first trumpet?

Published: Wed October 22, 2008  News Feed

Here are some tips for the beginner:

  • Check the rim. The rim is a part of the mouthpiece and varies in diameter. Rims that are larger in diameter allows more airflow, smaller rims tend to restrict airflow.
  • Check the cup. Another part of the mouthpiece that you should look at. For beginners, a cup that is neither too deep nor shallow is suitable.
  • Look at the backbore. Also found on the mouthpiece that is tapered in design. The degree of the backbore's cut or taper affects the quality of sound produced.
  • Look at the shank. Another essential part of the mouthpiece that should be correctly fitted.
  • Trumpets that are lacquered tend to chip off. Silver-plated trumpets last longer.
  • Look for a bell that has a medium flare.
  • Check the leadpipe and make sure that there are no dents or damage.
  • Check the valve pistons. The valves must be functioning well and responsive when you press it.
  • Look at the valve casings. Make sure that there are no damage or dents.

(See below for more information on these parts)

Other Buying Tips:

  • You must set a budget if you want to buy a trumpet. Good quality trumpets are more costly but will prove to be a smarter choice in the long run.
  • Be very careful when buying a used trumpet. Unlike other musical instruments, the trumpet is very "personal" since it is played by mouth.
  • When buying a trumpet, look and try different brands first before making your final decision. Pick the one that fits you comfortably.
  • Bringing along your own mouthpiece when trying out trumpets is not only smart but also a safe idea.

Parts of a Trumpet

Knowing the parts of an instrument is important when you're first starting to learn how to play. Among the musical instruments, the trumpet has a lot of parts that work together to produce its unique sound. Here are the parts of a trumpet:

  • Bell - The part of the trumpet where the sound comes out of. Mostly made of brass and can either be lacquered in gold, which produces a more mellow sound, and silver-plated, which produces a brighter sound. Other trumpet manufacturers create specially made bells such as those made of sterling silver. Alterations to the bell of the trumpet affects its sound. The size of the bell, otherwise known as the flare, also affects its sound. Smaller bell flares sound sharper while bigger flares sound mellower. Higher-end trumpets uses tuning bells which are removable. The musician can alter the sound by adjusting the tuning bell.
  • Finger Hook - It enables the other hand of the player to be free and perform other musical tasks.
  • Valve Casings - It is also referred to as the three cylinders that is attached to the pistons.
  • Valve Pistons - When you blow into a trumpet's mouthpiece, the pistons reroutes the air path into different slides. There are three pistons: the first one is the one closest to you, the second is in the middle and the third is the farthest. These three pistons aren't interchangeable, so you should take note of their proper positions when aligning them.
  • Leadpipe - The tube from the mouthpiece to the tuning slide.
  • Tuning Slide - The part of the trumpet which can be pulled or push to adjust the tune.
  • Valve Slides - It helps the trumpet produce sound as well as adjust the pitch of notes. There are three valve slides: the first slide lowers the highest note a whole step (also called a fundamental, which is produced when you're not holding down any valve), the second slide lowers it a half step and the third slide is commonly used to produce notes that are lower in register.
  • Mouthpiece - This is the part where the player places his lips and blows into. Mouthpieces are made in varying sizes and different materials such as brass.
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