You have probably heard many times that the trumpet is one of the most difficult instruments to play. Maybe you play the saxophone and you’re wondering where the famous trumpet ego comes from, or maybe you’re thinking about learning the trumpet. Either way, there’s something to what people say about it, let’s learn why.
The trumpet is considered a difficult instrument because the sound of the trumpet is reliant on the delicate embouchure. The brass embouchure, particularly the trumpet embouchure, must be capable of producing frequencies upwards of 1000 HZ.
Who Makes The SoundMusic is practically the same as vibration. The way sound works is vibrating air (or another medium… bone-induction headphones prove that.).
The vibration from an instrument vibrates the air which in turn vibrates our ear drum which in turn vibrates our inner ear’s cochlea which in turn excites nerves that our brain can understand.
For a trumpet to make sound, the trumpet player’s lips must produce the vibration.
It helps to understand the challenge here if we compare what is required of a trumpet player vs. other instruments.
Again, so what? Why are higher notes hard to play?
As you play higher, the trumpet player has to buzz higher frequencies. To play High C, the trumpet player has to buzz around 1046 times per second!
To be able to play this frequency takes an enormous amount of practice. In fact, culturally, being able to “hit the high notes” is a huge deal for many trumpet player.
The embouchure is so complicated that there are entire books and theories written specifically for training an embouchure. Not all experts agree on the best system for developing an embouchure because there are so many complicating factors. Everybody’s mouth and lip configurations (shape of mouth, placement of teeth, etc) are different. Therefore, everyone’s embouchure and embouchure development is different.
What further complicates matters is that many trumpet players in K-12 school programs do not get formal embouchure training, and so get bad habits.
This can lead to several problems.
All this is to underscore that the trumpet embouchure is difficult and tricky enough to get the hang of that if you don’t learn decent enough technique you could struggle for months or even years with endurance, good tone, and range.
Although it’s not unusual to learn to play around 15 notes for a beginner with 6 months, it can take much longer to play with good tone.
Embouchure Shelf LifePerhaps one of the more unfortunate aspects of the embouchure is that if you don’t use it, you lose it. Very similar to athletic conditioning–advanced trumpet technique (or chops as they call them) will be lost quickly if you are not continuously practicing. Some experts experience a noticeable difference even after only a day or two of not practicing.
But even with the trumpet being so difficult to learn, it is majorly worth it! Would recommend looking into finding a great teacher like ours to help you push past these obstacles and become an amazing Trumpet player.
If you're interested in taking Trumpet lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, we have some of the best Trumpet lessons in Los Angeles. Our Trumpet instructors are picked by interviewing hundreds of Trumpet instructors and we have really high standards on both their teaching ability as well as their personality. If you'd like to talk to one of our instructors or set up a first lesson we have a guarantee that if you don't absolutely love your first lesson you don't have to pay for it. Please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/contact-us-for-info.html
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