Wulf's Webden

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Blowing My Horn


When I got my tuba, I also got a trumpet and a marching euphonium (which looks like a massive cornet). Tuba is the one I’ve been learning properly but I thought I’d get the trumpet out today and see if the low-end experience has given me progress on the trumpet too.

I certainly can’t play trumpet just as well as I can play tuba, and it would probably be fair to say that I’m still some distance from playing tuba particularly well. However, I can now say that I can play tuba and I can get a range of recognisable notes out of the trumpet.

I only have so many hours in the day but what would I need to progress my trumpet skills? One step is to ask one of the trumpet players I know to check it out – is it a reasonable instrument to learn on or are there features which would be an impediment to even an expert. I also need to find out the process for tuning a trumpet. Which slides do I adjust? One has about 3mm of adjustment so I expect that is probably left alone while another has an attached ring and I think it is often moved up and down on the fly by expert players. Thirdly, what are the fingering patterns for a three valve instrument. My tuba has four valves so, even apart from the size of the instrument and mouthpiece, there are also other things that don’t transfer directly.

I haven’t got the ambition to become a full-on trumpet player but it would be useful to learn a bit more about it and also, as an ancillary benefit, get used to playing an instrument that is typically using transposed music instead of concert pitch scores.

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