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Learning To Play The Trumpet
The trumpet is a popular choice for people who wish to begin a journey into the musical instrument realm. The trumpet has a familiar sound and is seen all throughout pop culture, making it instantly recognizable. The trumpet is one of the oldest instruments and dates back to 1500 BC. Oftentimes, people decide to learn to play the trumpet because of the false assumption that its three valves are easier to learn than other instruments that use several different keys, but this is a false assumption, as several different factors go into playing a note, including mouth formation.

The average person begins learning the trumpet around the ages of 11 or 12. While this is the normal age for a person to begin practicing the instrument, there is certainly no reason why someone younger or older cannot learn to play the trumpet. A person with previous brass instrument experience, especially tuba or baritone playing, will have an easier time learning to play the trumpet, as the mechanics are very much the same. Other brass instruments, such as the trombone, do not use the same valve mechanism, but use the same type of brass mouthpiece, which is also an important aspect to learn. While experience playing a woodwind instrument may be helpful, the differences between brass and woodwind instruments are great, and a person may find themselves having to learn an entirely new system.

For people learning to play the trumpet for the first time, it’s a good idea for them to practice on just the mouthpiece before practicing on the entire instrument. Trumpet mouthpieces come in several different sizes, and its best for people to find out what size fits their mouths the best. Some people may never be able to use the trumpet’s smaller mouthpieces and may need to switch to a bigger instrument, such as the baritone or tuba.

Unlike woodwind instruments, people do not simply blow through the mouthpiece of a brass instrument. In order to play the trumpet and other brass instruments, people must push their lips together and blow air through their lips, emitting a sort of buzzing noise. The trumpet, because it uses a smaller mouthpiece and creates higher pitched notes, must be played with “tighter” lips than most other brass instruments.

By using the three valves and different positions of the mouth, people are able to play different notes on the trumpet. Some notes may have the same valve configuration, but are differentiated by the position of the mouth. For higher pitched notes, the player’s mouth must become tighter, while lower notes are played by loosening the mouth. Once a person learns what each note should sound like and what way to position their mouth to elicit the correct note, playing becomes second nature.

Playing the trumpet can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it may not be the correct brass instrument for everyone, due to the need for a player to keep their mouth tighter than other brass instruments. Once a person learns the correct valve order and mouth position of each note, they should find themselves halfway down the path of trumpet playing. With enough practice, anyone should be able to master the art of trumpet playing.

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