I realized that when starting a note on trumpet, It always, especially with lower notes like low C (Bb) to start making the sound it comes a stream of air first. I wonder how I can do to start the note from the beginning. I came up with using a lip attack like saying a "P" but I'm not sure if this is correct or I should do it in other way.

Should I use the tongue like TA, TU, TI, KA, KU, etc? The problem is that when trying to use the tongue I tend to make a b it of spit.

  • As always -- get a qualified teacher and take lessons. Apr 1, 2019 at 13:57
  • @CarlWitthoft I could not find teachers in nearby.... Apr 1, 2019 at 17:49

3 Answers 3


You should always tongue each note, unless it's a slur from the previous note. "Tah" is a good syllable to think in general, and especially for low notes. "Tee" may work better for high notes, since leaving the tongue high in the mouth forces the air to go faster.

As for unintentional spit, it's just a matter of managing how moist your mouth is. Do a quick swallow before playing and it shouldn't be an issue.

  • 1
    Whilst I agree with the suggested consonants, I'd always advise against using different vowel shapes for high and low notes. Should be "Ah" for everything - the reason is that if you arch your tongue you constrict the air flow. Using an Ee shaped tongue is often an exasperated teacher's "quick fix" solution for high notes, and is counter-productive (i.e it has to be unlearned) in the long run. Apr 1, 2019 at 12:07

Think about the sequence of things that must happen each time you start a note on the trumpet:

  1. Form your embouchure and place the mouthpiece.
  2. Breathe in through the corners of your mouth so your lungs inflate.
  3. Plant the tip of your tongue in the angle between hard palette and top teeth (not between your lips or behind your bottom teeth). This seals your mouth so no air can escape.
  4. Contract your chest, increasing the internal air pressure within your chest and mouth.
  5. Draw your tongue back sharply as though pronouncing the syllable "Tu!". Your tongue should then be flat in the bottom of your mouth. Don't let it get in the way of the air stream.
  6. The note starts immediately with a beautiful crisp attack.
  7. Follow through with your chest contraction so the wind speed stays constant.

The sequence is the important thing here. If you do step 4 without first doing step 3 then there will be no air to produce the note. If you tongue first and only then try to produce a stream of air the production will be unreliable.

Having read this you may already know what the problem is in your note production.

One other thing to do is to practise producing those low notes. Set your metronome going and then play 8th notes on a low C. The goal here is to internalize how it feels to produce those sounds. Good notes feel different to bad notes and you need to repeat often enough that the good happens more often than the bad. Do this for a few minutes a day for a couple of weeks and you'll hear the difference.

Acceptable consonants for starting the note are "Tu!", "Du!" and sometimes "Ku!" (if you're double-tonguing). But don't use "P" or "B" sounds because they disturb your lips.


As a beginner it is important to use your tongue, but you can also train to get a sound only by breath (p,pf,f,h). You can explore your instrument and your body experimenting as much as you like, as far as you don’t get bad habits.

enter image description hereHere arise the "PS" which tries to bring as lossless as possible to the lips. A very efficient exercise for this is the "Breath Attack". The lip is closed, the sound is only played with the air. Make sure that the use of the "support" and the beginning of the sound are exactly the same. One way as m

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