Are you or someone you know 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.
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.
**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.**
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
Other Posts related to the trumpet:
- Introducing the Instruments of the Brass Family
- Instrumental inspirations: Famous Jazz Trumpet Players of the Past
- Plastic Brass instruments! What?