As a trumpet player, selecting the right instrument is just as important as selecting the right piece of music to play.
It is highly advisable to purchase a trumpet designed for the player’s strengths.
Not only will the player be able to play well and to their abilities, one will get to produce a quality and pleasant sound.
Did you know that the first trumpet can be traced back to 1400 B.C?
Over the years, the trumpet has undergone different modifications not only in terms of design but in terms of performance too.
Today, it is featured in different of musical genres. This includes orchestral music, jazz, rock and pop.
As one of the most popular musical instrument, every aspiring musician needs to know everything about the trumpet, from the type of materials used in its construction to its different parts.
Having this knowledge in mind allows the user to learn how to play the instrument properly, how to maintain and how to select the best one from the store.
This is one of the most important parts of the trumpet. Without it, no sound can be generated.
It is also important to clean your mouthpiece regularly.
Today, the mouthpiece is available in a wide variety of builds and sizes. These are designed for both professionals and students.
Many players will select a mouthpiece purely out of personal preference while others will select one according to skill level.
The mouthpiece is composed of the following parts:
Rim – this is the round edge where players set their lips
Cup – This is the area inside the rim where the player blows through
Throat – This is the opening that leads to the cup
Back bore – Refers to the chamber used to transfer breath to the horn
The lead pipe is a metal tube which extends from the mouthpiece to the main tuning slide.
Majority of lead pipes are fixed but after market changes can make the pipe to be detachable.
When it’s changed to be detachable, it allows the changing of keys.
The compression levels of the instrument change according to the individual playing characteristics.
This permits the player to select different tonal characteristics. Just like other parts of the trumpet, it is made of brass.
It is located after the lead pipe towards the front of the brass instrument.
The tuning slide has a c-shape used to slide in or out allowing the player to fine tune the instrument.
When the tuning slide is pushed in, it raises the pitch and when pushed out, it lowers the pitch.
To ensure proper maintenance, the tuning slide needs to be greased frequently. Experts recommend greasing once a month.
This helps to prevent deposits or particles from jamming the slide.
Without the grease, not only will the slide get stuck but it will cost you a lot in terms of repairs. Usually an acid bath is required and this needs to be done by a professional only.
This metal part is covered with large and small holes. The holes are bored through its cross-section while the ends have small finger pieces.
They (pistons) are usually organized into the hollow cylinders which are known as valve casing.
These are located at the middle of the trumpet. The first one among the three valves is close to the player while the second and third follow the first respectively.
To allow better performance, they move once up and once down at the press of a finger.
These helps to generate a wide range of clear sounds. The pistons works according to the air pressure from the player breathe.
When a piston is depressed, the holes bored through the pistons move re-routing the flow of air.
This means that- if the route of air is longer than the tone will lower too.
A water key is a tap that is used to allow the drainage of accumulated fluid that consists of condensed breath moisture.
It is also known as a spit valve.
On a trumpet, it is located on the main tuning slide. It mainly consists of short hollow cylinder which is transversely mounted on the tuning slide.
The button of the cylinder which operates a stopper enclosed valve is held shut by a spring.
A hole is also available on the back side to allow water out.
This is a sturdy metal hook located at the top of the trumpet.
The finger hook allows the player to hold onto the instrument with one hand while allowing the other hand to depress the valves.
It also allows the player to control the trumpet while the other hand is free to turn music pages.
The casings are cylindrical in shape and are designed to hold the pistons. They are located at the center of the trumpet.
Just like the valve pistons the first casing is located close to the player followed by the second and third.
Since they hold the pistons in place, they allow the production of a wide variety tones.
This happens through the use of different combinations of finger press. Thanks to the changing air pressure from the player, performance gets to vary.
This is the front part of the trumpet.
As the most visible and eye catching part, it is not only highly polished but it is made with high quality materials.
This allows the bell to gleam as it reflects light.
The bell is also the part where the manufacturer’s logo is etched.
It has a wide mouth that extends outwards. Its unique profile allows it to amplify and shape sounds.
Brass trumpets plated with silver usually sound brassier while those plated with gold have a rounded tone.
It is important to ensure the cleanliness of the bell. Polish it with a soft cloth to remove fingerprints, oil and moisture.
Avoid any scratches on the bell tool.
This is a small metal cylinder that is fused to the end of the lead pipe.
The receiver connects the mouthpiece to the lead pipe. It is designed to be removable making it easy to clean and store.
To ensure proper installation, you need to gently press the receiver onto the lead pipe before playing.
Do not apply too much pressure as it could get stuck or become damaged.
If it gets stuck, do not attempt to remove it. Visit a professional repair shop.
Finding the right one will allow better control and performance.
Cleaning extends the life of the trumpet by removing particles, oil and moisture.
If you want the best deal when shopping for a trumpet, learn about the parts of a trumpet.
It will allow decision making to be much easier.