I play the Trumpet for school and I'm done. I started to learn B's and B flats and Low C's and highs C's and sharps and it all became a blur. Most of the notes are played on the same valve so I'm lost. I can't play when they're on the same valve because I don't know what those notes sound like. I've been playing this for a year and every time I can't play with the class because I don't know what the song sounds like. My teacher tells me to play louder and I can't play it at all. Worst of all I still can't read notes! My notes also sound so raspy and I can't hit high notes. Next year we're going to be playing from an even harder book but I don't know what I can do. I also can't go to Trumpet lessons because my parents can't afford it.

  • Sounds like you need to work on embouchure, breath control, scales, and reading music. It needs practice, no way around it. Watch tutorial videos on youtube. I've tried and failed to even play a note on trumpet, so good luck! Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 22:07
  • What is the title and author of the book you're using?
    – Aaron
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 23:32
  • 1
    A year is a very short amount of time on a musical instrument. It’s normal that you’re struggling. If you keep at it, you will overcome each problem, possibly one at a time and it may take a few years. Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 23:55
  • What exactly is your question?
    – mkrieger1
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 17:34
  • @mkrieger1 I think the question could be as simple as, how do I get started without a teacher
    – nuggethead
    Commented Jun 3, 2023 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


Number one, do you want to play the trumpet? If so, read on! I ask this first because you will only improve if you work at it, and you are only likely to work at it consistently if you want it.

  1. Put down the book. You don't need it yet and if reading the notes is too hard for you it's not doing you any good.

  2. Put down the trumpet. All it does is make the sounds you are making into the mouthpiece louder, and if you're not doing that right your trumpet will only make a poor buzz sound like a loud poor buzz.

  3. Pick up the mouthpiece, sit up tall, take a good breath, and buzz for as long as you can. Try to make it steady, strong, and full. It will sound like a buzzing mosquito or a crazed duck. Do this many times, each time for as long as you can keep it going.

  4. Again with the mouthpiece alone, buzz but see if you can make it go up and down in pitch like a siren. Higher notes take more air, focused more. Repeat until you can make a smooth siren from low to high ad back down again.

  5. Now try to play a song, still mouthpiece only. Start with easy, little kid songs. Mary Had a Little Lamb. Hot Cross Buns. Claire De La Lune. You are learning to use your air/tongue/lips to create high and low notes, and this is how trumpets work.

  6. When you can do this, try to find these songs in the book. Follow the instructions for which valves to press down for each note and you're on your way.

As for the band teacher, tell them that you want to be a trumpet player and you're working hard. Tell them how much you practice and what you have been working on. They are probably over-scheduled and can only teach you in large groups, not one-on-one. Can you offer to spend recess/lunch/after school with them once or twice? If they are worth their salt they will recognize your efforts and move heaven and earth to get you going.

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