How to Play High Notes on the Trumpet

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The trumpet is one of the more difficult instruments to play and a skill that few can master. One of the hardest parts of playing the trumpet is playing high notes with a fluid and sharp sound. Once you have learned how to play the trumpet, you can accomplish beautiful high notes if you follow these steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Exercise your lip muscles on a regular basis with two specific techniques. Buzz your lips without the trumpet mouthpiece for 15 minutes a day for about four to eight weeks, switching to one minute a day after that. Also, place a pencil between your lips and hold it straight out for a maximum of three to four minutes a day.

  • Play so softly when you practice that the notes are barely audible. This will help train your lip muscles to the small lip aperture that is required to accomplish high notes on the trumpet.

  • Relax your stomach muscles to release tension. Tension damages the sound that you will produce.

  • Position the tongue properly by making an "ee" sound. This will help to release a faster stream of air, which is necessary to play high notes on the trumpet.

  • Keep your cheeks from puffing out while playing. If you can't control your cheeks, hold them in with your free hand until the muscles strengthen.

  • Maintain the proper lip position while playing. Curl your lower lip over your bottom teeth and your upper lip slightly overlaps the lower lip.

  • Practice every day. While the above steps are important, you can't reach your goal of playing beautiful high notes on the trumpet without consistent practice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't attempt to learn how to play the trumpet by starting with high notes. You will be more successful if you start with the basics and learn high notes later.
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