So You Are Buying A Trumpet! Here Is Your List Of Must Haves!

Are you or someone you know buying a trumpet?

Buying a Trumpet

Do you want to make sure you have all the necessary accessories and equipment to get started?

Well if you have answered yes to one these questions then you are in the right place. Regardless of whether you have purchased a new or used instrument, there are a few items you will want on hand right away. Today’s post will assume that you have already chosen your instrument. If you have not chose your instrument please visit  “How to Buy an Instrument” to help you get started.

Todays post will cover the variety of maintenance supplies and accessories that are available for the trumpet. The first section will cover all the maintenance must haves to ensure your trumpet is in tip top shape all of the time. It is highly recommended that you purchase the items in the first section when you purchase the trumpet.

Items in the second section are accessories. These items do not need to be purchased right away. They all serve a variety of purposes to assist the player while playing and storing the trumpet.

 Maintenance Must Haves when Buying a Trumpet

The items discussed below are absolutely necessary. No matter what model, finish or brand of trumpet you have it is crucial that you take care of your instrument. This means that you need to clean it and refresh the oil and grease on a regular basis. If you do not you will soon have a trumpet with sticky valves, stuck slides, and a ton of resistance due to build up. Overtime all of these issues will affect the performance of the instrument. Sticky valves will make faster passage almost impossible, slides that are stuck will affect the tuning, and resistance will make it harder to move air through the instrument. These problems will create frustration for all players. These items will help to omit these issues. 

Valve oil

Maintaining the valves of a trumpet is an absolute must. They need to be oiled on a regular basis to ensure they work properly. There is nothing worse than discovering you have no valve oil when you have one valve that is sticking like crazy. Every trumpet player should have a bottle of valve oil near bye. Nobody wants to be the annoying one in the trumpet section who never has their own valve oil.

There are many different brands of valve oil on the market. Most professional trumpeters will discover their favorite and stick to it. The brand of oil you choose can greatly affect valve action. Since all trumpets are different you may need to experiment a little but here are my favorite brands that I use with my Bach Stradivarius Model 37. You will always find a bottle of each in my case.

Blue Juice


**It is always a good idea to rinse your valves with warm water before applying new oil. Too much oil on the valves can also affect the valves movement.**

Slide Grease

Many beginner trumpet players forget about slide grease. It is extremely important that a trumpet player maintains all of their slides. The slides need to move freely for tuning and cleaning. If these slides become stuck you may need to visit an instrument repairmen to get them moving again.

Like valve oil, there are many different brands of slide grease. You do not need to go overboard with price when it come to slide grease. just make sure that it is meant for trumpet slides. Do not use a grease if it is not intended for instruments as it could damage the slides and lead to hefty repair bills or even worse…..destroy the instrument. You also do not want to put valve oil on the slides as they will get too slippery and the slides could fall out of the instrument and dent the metal.

Cleaning/Maintenance Kit

A cleaning kit can be purchased for most instruments. It contains all of the items required to clean the inside and the outside of the instrument. Cleaning kits for trumpets will include brushes to clean the inside of the instrument including the valves. It is important to treat your valves with the utmost care. Even the smallest scratch could affect their reaction time. Some cleaning kits will also include slide grease, a polishing cloth and valve oil.

Maintenance Kit

Polishing Cloth

If the polishing cloth is not included in the cleaning kit or the one you get is not for the specific finish of your instrument you will want to pick up one these as well. All musicians like to have shiny instruments. Polishing clothes will make it possible to shine that bell on the fly.

You will need to purchase a polishing cloth that is meant for the finish on your instrument. The common finishes on trumpets is lacquered and silver plated. Lacquered trumpets are most often a gold color and silver plated trumpets are silver. I know from experience that a polishing cloth meant for a lacquered finish will not be as effective on a silver plated instrument.

Accessories To Consider When Buying a Trumpet

These items do not need to be purchased right away. They make playing the trumpet more convenient (Except for mutes).  These can make great gifts for a trumpet player. They can  be purchased overtime as additions to your “tool box.”

Trumpet Stand

Trumpet stand - Buying a Trumpet

I went years without a trumpet stand. I never really thought it was necessary but boy was I wrong. Trumpet stands are so small and compact that they can be stored in the bell of your trumpet in the case. When you need to lay your trumpet down you can trust the trumpet stand to keep it safe and always at your fingertips. Having to grab my pencil and make some notes on my music has never been easier. Not to mention that it avoids having it knocked off a chair. (I have had that happen too! The bell will buckle if it hits the floor.)

Click on the picture above if you like to purchase a trumpet stand like the one I am using.


If you want to join an ensemble you will want to have your own set of mutes. Mutes basically change the sound of the instrument when they are placed in the bell. They come with cork around the end that enter the bell to keep them in place. The most common mutes are straight, cup and Harmon. Many trumpet players also have plungers. I consider them the cheapest mute of them all. You can find one in almost all hardware stores in the bathroom section. Many companies do manufacture plunger mutes but I am happy with my trusty bathroom plunger. Just make sure it has never been used. :)

Here is a photo of my personal mute collection. They have been used a lot in the past 15 years.

Trumpet mutes

Mute Holder

A mute holder does exactly what it says. it holds mutes. These are extremely helpful when performing. It simply attaches to your music stand. You can place all your mutes in the holder for easy access.

Mute holderClick on the picture above if you want this trusty mute stand by Hercules.

Extra Case

Most trumpets will come with a case, but you may have a specific type of case in mind. Some cases can big, bulky and heavy, while others can be designed to be small for easy traveling.

Extra mouthpieces


There is a large selection of mouthpieces available for the trumpet. I will not get into details about how size affect the mouthpiece but many players experiment until they find the mouthpiece that best suits them. Many instructors have their own opinion regarding whether a trumpeter should stick to one mouthpiece or switch. I personally feel that once you have discovered you mouthpiece of choice, you should stick with it.

Most trumpets purchased brand new will come with a standard 7C mouthpiece. I suggest that all beginners use this size when starting off. There is lots of time to experiment. You can however, purchase different types of mouthpieces. Plastic mouthpieces are becoming very popular these days. The photo above shows a plastic(black one) and metal mouthpiece.

Check out the variety of plastic Kelly trumpet mouthpieces, like the one pictured above, here!

Buying a Trumpet Just Got A Little Easier!

Now that you are equipped with a trusty list you can be sure you have all the things you need to start playing the trumpet right away. Whether you are Buying a Trumpet for yourself or someone else this list will guide you in making the right decisions. If you are still unsure you can always ask a question in the comment section below or ask the person who sold you the instrument. Make sure you do not get roped into buying more then you need. If the person receiving the trumpet is a beginner chances are they will not need all the accessories mentioned above right away. If the salesperson is trying to sell you something that is not for maintenance then he simply trying to sell, rather then help. If this article has helped you in anyway, please leave a comment below. It is also great to get other musicians input so if there’s something I have missed I would like to know about that too!

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19 thoughts on “So You Are Buying A Trumpet! Here Is Your List Of Must Haves!

  1. I am no trumpet player but, I AM a sucker for a horn section ; ) This post caught my eye because I have a lot of musician friends and I’ve been singing as long as I can remember.
    The stand section gave me a giggle because I have almost batted a few horns off of random surfaces when I was helping coach an afro-cuban vocal ensemble that just happen to stand right next to the horns. So, I hope your readers will take your advice!

    I got to help out with merch for Mr. Chubby Checker and his band this summer. You wouldn’t catch his sax player without a stand to be sure! Any horn player I’ve ever known or know treats their instruments like a guitar player treats his guitars….if you are in a band you will get the reference ha. Get the stand!

    I was in a speech class a few years back and a fellow student gave an entire speech about trumpet mutes and performed for us. It was super cool. Thank you for the reminders on what I learned and for new information as well.
    Music is and always will be my heartbeat. I love when I see a passion for it even with complete strangers <3

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! Yes, instrumentalists are very protective of their instruments. For many of us they are not just our passions but also our living. I cringe when I see people treating instruments poorly. They have the potential to last a lifetime if cared for. All of my instruments get the utmost care. Even my guitars. :)

      The stand is a must. I had my student model trumpet knocked off a chair in high school and the bell was completely bent in. I had to have it straightened but it never looked the same after that. I can’t tell you how much I cried. I loved that trumpet. I’ve since donated it to a school where apparently the students fight over who is going to play it for the year. I am thrilled that 20 years later it is still getting the love it deserves.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Please stop back often to see what instruments I discuss next. They all require love and I intend to share how to love each and everyone of them.

      1. 20 years later?! Such an awesome testament to prove why this article’s information is so important! I definitely look forward to your upcoming posts!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your list of must haves for trumpets . I feel that you have provided all the information needed for someone who is looking to buy a trumpet .

    1. Thanks Tara! This list will certainly get you started. It is extremely important to have all the maintenance items when starting out. Trumpets are a significant purchase so they should be well cared for. A trumpet that has been cared for will last a really long time. I have owned my trumpet for almost 15 years and it still has many more years left. A friend of mine is playing a trumpet from the 1940’s and it still sounds and plays like a dream. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Boy was this thorough! Excellent source of information. I didn’t know how much went into buying a trumpet but it seems like you certainly covered all of the bases! There is also a lot of enthusiasm in your copy, I like it. It’s very personable and engaging.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Well Thank You so much!!! A properly cared for instrument really can last a lifetime. Musical instruments are a major investment so it is imperative that we take care of them. We would’t purchase a new car and never get the oil changed. I like to think of my trumpet as my baby and I would hope that other musician would feel the same way. Thanks for your lovely comment. The feedback is greatly appreciated. :)

  4. Your post about buying a trumpet brought back memories. After seeing Dizzy Gillespie perform when I was a kid, I wanted to play the trumpet. But money was tight and my uncle had an old battered trombone and, because it was free, that is what I learned.

    If I could do it over, I’d find a way to learn the trumpet. Maybe when the grand kids are older I can encourage one to learn. I’d happily get them a trumpet just for the pleasure of watching them learn.

    Thanks so much for your post. I think you’ve answered every possible question I might have about buying a trumpet and accessories.

    1. So happy I could bring back memories for you. The trombone is also a fabulous instrument. I’ve never been that great on the trombone. My arms just are not long enough to reach all of the positions.

      I have a great article for you if you would like to get your Grandchildren a trumpet. No need to wait until their older. Here is a fabulous article about plastic trumpets and trombones that have created quite the stir.

      Thanks for reading! I am jealous that you got to see Dizzy Gillespie. :)

  5. Hi Melody,
    Your post is a nice eye opener into the world of trumpeting. I have deep respect for all people that can play any musical instrument. I do not ever take such people for granted. One if the reasons is that an untrained eye might despise/think playing a particular instrument is easy- wait until they are told to try a note or 2. They literally shrink.
    I try learning guitar and I bought myself a semi-acoustic to help speed up the process. For tuning, it’s inbuilt tuner does the job. For trumpets, I only see and listen to experts doing it; never tried even once. Is it a hard thing to learn to play a trumpet/wind instruments?

    1. Hello and thanks for commenting! Actually it is no harder to learn a wind instrument then any other instrument. It is actually quite fun and the possibilities of what you can do with the skills is endless. All is required is some patience, determination and the instrument of course. :)

  6. Hi Melody, although I’m not a trumpet player I do have a passion for jazz and swing music, such as Louis Armstrong and Donald Byrd. So I enjoy the sound of the the trumpet. I do play guitar and banjo myself so I enjoy reading articles about any musical instruments.

    I had a hunch that the trumpet would be quite a high maintenance instruments as it has quite a lot of moving parts.

    It seems the cost of the spare parts and the maintenance can be almost as costly as the price of another trumpet, maybe even more during it’s lifetime. I can’t even begin to cost how much replacing guitar strings and setups has cost me.

    Your overall article is very polished (No pun intended) and very informative to someone with very little knowledge of the actual workings of a trumpet. I will call back again :)


    1. Thanks Jay! If the instrument is well cared for it doesn’t cost that much to maintain them at all. A bottle of valve oil lasts for an extremely long time. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought some. The polishing clothes will last too if they are kept in a clean place. Once you have all the items required you can just sit back and play. The costs start rolling when the valves are mishandled or the slides are neglected. I actually have a flugelhorn that needs its slides looked at right now. I purchased it second hand and the slides were already ceased. Good thing it was a good price. :)

  7. Love your site! I really enjoy trying different mutes as well as other accessories . Have tried several different mouthpieces but always end up back with the original that came with the horn as I get the most range with it. Also enjoyed your info on plastic instruments as I’ve never known whether to take them seriously or not. Same with the pocket instruments. Again, great site!

    1. Thank you for visiting! I have played with many different mouthpieces over the years. I haven’t returned to the original but I have finally settled on one that suits me. I am sure I will try more in the future but for now I’m happy.

      You know the plastic brass instruments were a complete surprise to me. I wasn’t surprised that they existed but I was surprised of the quality and sound. They are fantastic. I just can’t wait to get a pTrumpet for my girl. Just last night she was jamming on my mouthpiece in community band. She’s lucky I was the conductor for the evening. hehe

  8. We did buy a mute but we didn’t know that we should buy a mute holder! My sister is going to start playing the trumpet with her school band. Maybe that wasn’t on the list of things she needed because they already provide those. I will make sure she asks but I’m glad we now know that mute holders are important for trumpet players.

    1. Hey Thanks for stopping by. The mute holder is not an absolute must for a beginner but is a handy little accessory to have. I played the trumpet for many years and didn’t have one. The holder is great for keeping your mutes safely in one place. I have four mutes so they can easily be kicked when sitting on the floor. I have also discovered that bending over to grab them gets a little harder as we get older (Especially in swing band. The trumpets all stand for an entire performance and sometimes mute changes come fast). The holder attaches to your music stand, thus eliminating the need to bend over. I am sure there are others who can relate. I am pretty sure her band instructor will tell her there’s no need for one right now.

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