Choosing your First Trumpet
The rules for choosing the best trumpet are similar to choosing other musical instruments.
You need to balance your budget with what is available, what instrument really suits your needs, and most importantly, that you like the sound of the particular trumpet.
To hear what a trumpet should sound like listen to the wonderful Alison Balsom playing the trumpet. Let us start by looking at how old you or your child should be before starting the trumpet.
You can actually start the trumpet from about 6-8 years old, although it is always a good idea to wait until the child’s front teeth have come through 🙂
Trumpet Sales How much does a trumpet cost.
Realistically one wants to spend as little as possible, as you may not be sure that your child is going to continue, however, a cheap and poorly made trumpet can actually hinder the learning process by making it more difficult to play.
Weighing the balance is the trick.
These instruments can knock/dinged by your child as they become used to their size/weight. Yamaha (models 1335/2335) and Besson (model 1010) seem to be the most popular instruments for beginners. They are reliable, have a good sound, and are easy to play.
You should attempt to stay away from the cheap Indian/Chinese instruments as seen on Amazon- although cheap, they are unlikely either to last any length of time or stand up to the rigors faced by a new instrument. Trumpet cleaning is probably the BIGGEST failing for trumpet owners! Maintenance/cleaning can break down daily, frequently, and occasionally.
Not much needed to keep a trumpet in good shape.
- A polishing cloth – it sounds obvious, but use a silver polishing cloth on a silver instrument or a lacquered cloth on a lacquered instrument – do NOT mix them up! Do not use “Brasso” on a lacquered instrument – it lacquered, so its use will actually remove the lacquer and make go dull in time.
- Valve oil
- Slide grease
- A trumpet snake (No it’s not a REAL snake,
- Valve brush
- Mouthpiece brush
7. Lint-free cloth/cheesecloth (most if not all of this will come with your trumpet if purchased new or as a kit/outfit) Any water used should be warm, NOT hot – hot water can affect and destroy lacquer and plating
The trumpet should keep clean at all times
Daily the trumpet should keep clean at all times – this encourages the child to respect the instrument and becomes part of the overall maintenance routine. Wiping the trumpet clean after playing will remove sweat (acid is corrosive to the lacquer/silver plate) in addition to keeping the trumpet looking good and making it easier to sell come step uptime. Correct operation of the valves should check and oil if required.
Depending on the frequency of playing, this could be from a number of times a day to every 3 days – leaving valves un-oiled will slow them down until they start to stick. Sticking valves require a more lengthy process of cleaning and in some cases can lead to more serious and expensive valve problems.
Use a good quality valve oil regularly (Al Cass -Fast) and there is unlikely ever to be a valve problem (if a quality trumpet used).
ours advise people (especially beginners) that one should not play the trumpet immediately after eating crisps/chocolate or other such stuff unless they first clean their teeth and get all the bits from their mouths – it will and does go down the instrument, it starts to collect and breeds germs – this smells, makes it more difficult to play and can start to rot the insides of the brass.
The worst substance is known to the brass player
Coke (or similar) is probably about the worst substance known to the brass player – it will rot your trumpet! Frequently In order to battle against the onslaught of food and drink debris, the mouthpiece should be washed out and cleaned with the mouthpiece brush once a week you will be amazed at what a difference this alone can make.
Next, to clean regularly is the lead pipe – this is the pipe running from the mouthpiece receiver to the tuning slide and is the place where the majority of debris and dirt collects.
Some people advocate the cleaning of this after every play- I do not, and suggest that every week sufficient. There are specific lead pipe swabs available, these are very good, but if you do not have one of these, use of the snake is required.
In the sink, remove the tuning slide, run some warm water through the lead pipe with a bit of soap. Push the snake through just the lead pipe and clean the inside – simple.
Put the tuning slide backing and if necessary-grease the slide. Occasionally Bath your trumpet! (About once every 3 months). Fill the bath with warm water and add some liquid soap -you can get special brass soap if you like, but I just use washing up liquid (lemon because I like the smell).
Trumpet completely making sure
Disassemble the trumpet completely making sure that you know where everything comes from – until laying all pieces out in shape so that I know where they go.
Pay attention to the valves making sure that if they are un-numbered you know from which hole they came and how they were orientated.
Put everything (EXCEPT THE VALVES) in the bath – I lay a towel or a bath mat in the bath so that the parts do not move around when in the water. Let them soak- have a cup of tea.
Come back and you find the parts ready for a scrub. Works logically clean each part. Clean the outside with your fingers and use the snake for cleaning the inside of each tube.
When using the snake only push as far as it will go, do not force the end of the snake around a corner.
If your snake becomes bent or starts to break, remove it carefully and check it – if in doubt, don’t use it, buy another – they are less than £5 and that is cheaper than having a broken one removed.
Use the valve brush for cleaning the valve tubes (do not use the snake as it’s bristling are too hard – likewise, do not use the valve brush for cleaning anything other than valve bores). Once everything is clean rinse
Thoroughly with the shower, head Leaves to dry thoroughly before reassembling. Re-grease slides and re-oil valves. Check everything is OK and off to practice 🙂