I have been playing the trumpet for two years now. I decided on May of the current year to buy a Trombone and play the Trombone as well.

I was getting a really nice tone on the Trumpet but now, for the past month it's very hard for me to get to some high notes that I was already getting with no effort. It's very rare nowadays if I get a nice clean tone on the Trumpet and I am practicing even more.

Is it realated to trying to play two brass instruments? I usually practice the Trumpet in the morning and in the afternoon and the Trombone afterwards.

  • 1
    It's more than likely your embouchure has suffered a little, as it's rather different for trombone than trumpet. If you stick to just trumpet for a while, I'd be surprised if it didn't improve. James Morrison appears to have solved the problem - he plays just about all the brass family of instruments - damned well - and can swap around quickly. Maybe ask him - I think he's an educator, too.
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 7:22
  • 1
    Are you taking lessons for both? You're at risk for destroying both your trumpet embouchure and 'bone embouchure if you don't. Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 11:32

3 Answers 3


When you say your trumpet range is suffering, what range are we talking? Double C's or G above the staff?

When I was working on cruise ships, I bought a trombone and my range improved. I thought about the extra blood flow and how it was helping me. I imagined I was getting better and I did.

Playing the trumpet is 20% technique and 80% attitude. You have to be confident and positive. Thinkong that you may "destroy your embouchure" is just bad advice. Noticing a negative change and doing something different to get that "happy feeling" again is a much more positive way to look at things. Stay away from all negative thought and negative people.


It is common to experience what seem like setbacks even when playing just one instrument.

Often thiis merely means that an early easier-but-more-limited habit, such as crushing the lips with mouthpiece pressure for high notes, is being replaced by a more-versatile improved new technique, such as developing balanced muscle tone throughout the lips. Each improvement will progress from being awkwardly unfamiliar to eventually being another dependable habit to progress beyond, again with a temporary setback.

Switching between trumpet and trombone is a perfect time to learn more about the huge role that your vocal tract plays on any wind instrument. I consider my euphonium and trombone to be only the visible halves of the whole instruments.

If you haven't already, try alternating between playing some high notes and just singing them. If you can whistle, try that too. Singing and whistling train your mouth, tongue and throat to resonate each note just as much as your horn does.

Then pretend that you are singing, or whistling, while playing.

You will likely not only hit high notes with less effort, on both instruments, but also realize that you can more deliberately color your tone with sweetness, mystery, punch, swing, twang, and plain old brass razz, along with other moods and special effects.


You might have to become more conscious of your embouchure, modifing it for each instrument rather than just 'slap it on and blow'. Certainly be sure you're not relying on pressure for the high notes.

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