Trumpet Care & Maintenance Videos

Trumpet Care & Maintenance Page

The Basics


Sit on the edge of your chair, and always keep your:

  • Spine straight and tall
  • Shoulders back and relaxed
  • Feet flat on the floor

Breathing & Airstream

Breathing is a natural thing we all do constantly. To discover the correct airstream to play your instrument:

  • Place the palm of your hand near your mouth.
  • Inhale deeply through the corners of your mouth, keeping your shoulders steady. Your waist should expand like a balloon.
  • Slowly whisper "tah" as you gradually exhale air into your palm.

The air you feel is the airstream. It produces sound through the instrument. Your tongue is like a faucet or valve that releases the airstream.

Producing The Essential Tone

"Buzzing" through the mouthpiece produces your tone. The buzz is a fast vibration in the center of your lips. Your embouchure (ahm'-bah-shure) is your mouth's position on the mouthpiece of the instrument. A good embouchure takes time and effort, so carefully follow these steps for success:


  • Moisten your lips.
  • Bring your lips together as if saying the letter "m."
  • Relax your jaw to separate your upper and lower teeth.
  • Form a slightly puckered smile to firm the corners of your mouth.
  • Direct a full airstream through the center of your lips, creating a buzz.
  • Buzz frequently without your mouthpiece.


  • Form your "buzzing" embouchure.
  • Center the mouthpiece on your lips. Your teacher may suggest a slightly different mouthpiece placement.
  • Take a full breath through the corners of your mouth.
  • Start your buzz with the syllable "tah." Buzz through the center of your lips keeping a steady, even buzz. Your lips provide a cushion for the mouthpiece.

Taking Care Of Your Trumpet

Before putting your instrument back in its case after playing, do the following:

  • Use the water key to empty water from the instrument. Blow air through it.
  • Remove the mouthpiece. Once a week, wash the mouthpiece with warm tap water. Dry thoroughly.
  • Wipe off the instrument with a clean soft cloth. Return the instrument to its case.

Trumpet valves occasionally need oiling. To oil your trumpet valves:

  • Unscrew the valve at the top of the casing.
  • Lift the valve half-way out of the casing.
  • Apply a few drops of special brass valve oil to the exposed valve.
  • Carefully return the valve to its casing. When properly inserted, the top of the valve should easily screw back in place.

Be sure to grease the slides regularly. Your director will recommend special slide grease and valve oil, and will help you apply them when necessary.

Getting It Together

Step 1: Put your left thumb and fingers around the valve casings and pick up the instrument. Your left hand supports the weight of the instrument.

Step 2: Place your left ring finger inside the ring of the third valve slide.

Step 3: Hold the mouthpiece at the wide end with your right hand. Gently twist the mouthpiece into the mouthpiece receiver.

Step 4: Arch your right hand to form a backwards "C." Place your thumb between the first and second valve casings. Place your little finger on top of the hook.

Step 5: Always sit or stand tall when playing. Hold the trumpet as shown above.

Information above provided by Hal Leonard from the Essential Elements Methods Books.

Demonstration Videos

Trumpet Assembly

Trumpet General Care

Trumpet Finger Placement

Trumpet Embouchure

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