How to Learn Scales on the Trumpet

One of the first things learned on a trumpet is scales. There are various major and minor scales. Scales are important because they are the basis for all western music. Scales are practiced by novices and used by all trumpet players to warm up and tune the horn. Begin with the major C scale.


    • 1

      Begin by playing the open note C. You may need a piano, keyboard or electronic tuner to recognize the notes in the beginning. Once the first C is found, the rest follow in a melodic pattern. The C is open, meaning no valves are pushed.

    • 2

      Move onto the next note and play a D. Playing the note D requires pressing the first and third valves. The first valve is the one closest to you.

    • 3

      Next play an E. An E is played by pressing the first and second valves.

    • 4

      Move up the scale by playing an F by pressing the first valve, then an open G.

    • 5

      Play an A after the G by pressing the first and second valves. After the A is a B pressing only the second or middle valve.

    • 6

      Finish the scale with another open C. This C will be an entire octave higher than the C you began with.

    • 7

      Practice this scale often until the fingering is memorized and you can move from one note to the next easily. Once this scale is mastered, you may move onto to simple songs like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or to another major scale. You may also try and continue with this same major C scale by playing D, E and so on after the high C.

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