Learning to play the trumpet requires knowledge and practicing of different things: from music theory to the correct technique on how to make the trumpet sound better, you will need to be constantly improving in different aspects.
After you’ve got your beginner trumpet, it is also really important to understand how the instrument works and what are the must-have trumpet accessories that can help you perform better and assist you on the exciting journey of playing this instrument. After you have gone through the most important decision, which is buying the instrument itself,
So, what do you exactly need for a trumpet?
First, let us start with the basic trumpet accessories which are essential for all trumpet players. At the end of this list, we also identify some accessories that aren’t mandatory but can either be helpful in certain situations or just fun gadgets to have.
There is no trumpet or cornet or flugelhorn that can be played without a mouthpiece (even if there are exceptional cases and techniques, but those cannot be treated as a conventional way to play the trumpet – check this fun video example)
Choosing the right mouthpiece should be done with the help of a professional teacher.
There are hundreds of mouthpiece manufacturers on the market and there are many different sizes and concepts for different embouchure setups and different occasions.
Check our guide about student mouthpieces, their sizes, and how to choose one for beginner players.
A concise piece of advice would be to choose a mouthpiece that allows you to play the nicest sound most effectively with minimum tension.
A trumpet is not only played at home, as we also have to visit our teacher, go to a rehearsal or perform at a concert. Transporting it from one side to another requires that we need a trumpet case to carry and protect our instrument.
When choosing a trumpet case consider how many trumpet gadgets and accessories you normally carry with your instrument and what transportation method you normally use.
Generally, the harder and more protective the case is, the heavier it is (there are exceptions such as carbon fiber cases, but those usually belong to a higher price category).
A similar scenario is true about size: the more trumpets and gadgets you can pack, the bigger the case is.
Some cases can be used as a backpack which can be useful for a student who carries a heavy instrument.
Some types of cases can carry more trumpets or a trumpet and a flugelhorn, while some have a special box for a laptop.
You should aim for the following characteristics on trumpet cases: protective, light, and with an inner structure that can be modified with velcro divisions. Those will get you closer to the best case alternatives in the market.
We’ve done a full guide on trumpet cases that you can check here.
As a student and beginner player, you will mainly perform by reading sheet music, so it is a mandatory element for your trumpet studies and classes. You might need scale or etude books, however, there are nowadays play-along publications of today’s pop songs, where a collection of backing tracks is included in the brochure.
When studying to play the trumpet it is important to find the right method to follow. This should mainly be suggested by a professional teacher and be accompanied through all stages of development. At later stages, you will be able to try new methods on your own and dedicate some time to improvisation techniques.
Music Stand / Marching Music Stand
As soon as you have sheets of music to read, you will also need to hang them on a music stand.
Cheap music stands usually break down soon, and since these trumpet gadgets are normally used in daily practice, it’s worth choosing a quality one. Bigger stands are often more robust. However, they are also harder to carry.
Young trumpet players often have the opportunity to practice music in a typical school band, where such music stands are normally present already.
Either there, or in a marching band, where a marching music stand can be required. Marching music stands are light, small-size stands, which can be applied to the trumpet and helps you to hold a special small-size music sheet during a parade.
Metronome / Tuner
We need to play in the right tune and tempo, at whatever stage of learning the trumpet we are. Getting them right can be practiced and developed along the trumpet learning journey.
Two very useful trumpet practice gadgets for that, are the tuner and a metronome.
Nowadays both can be downloaded to smartphones as apps, however, in some cases, you might need a separate gadget for that.
A trumpet stand where you can safely rest your instrument is not a mandatory accessory; however, it can be very useful especially for young players.
When you practice, you need to turn pages, or sometimes you just need a rest break. For such moments, a music stand can ensure that securely hang the instrument while it is not being used.
A trumpet stand can be very helpful in other scenarios, especially in performances where you play more than one instrument, for example, a Bb and a C trumpet or a flugelhorn.
Another useful accessory for the trumpet is a pencil holder.
When we practice, we often mark some parts and notations in the music sheet. It is quite practical to have something to hold a pencil so that we have access to it just when needed.
Cleaning Aids and Accessories
We already stressed the need for accessories that protect our instrument – the trumpet case and the stand – but one of the most important ways to keep our instrument in perfect condition in the long term is to keep it clean regularly, with some cleaning procedures and kits.
Brass instruments are made of a combination of copper and zinc, which can tarnish and corrode over time due to exposure to oxygen and moisture. The corrosion can lead to a damaged lacquer, blue-green buildup, or even the so-called “red rot”. That might cause the complete breakdown of the alloy to occur from the inside of the tube towards the outside.
Such degradations and corrosion can be prevented, for example, by brushing our teeth before each practice. That reduces the acids that can contaminate the instrument.
Cleaning our trumpet regularly at home and at least once a year by a professional technician (using acid-based or ultrasonic cleaning) is essential for extending the life of your instrument.
For cleaning it at home, you might need a mouthpiece brush and a snake brush to reach all inner parts of the trumpet and clean it from moisture and corrosion. The trumpet’s body can be cleaned by a polishing cloth based on the trumpet finish material (raw brass, lacquer, silver, gold…).
Instrument Grease and Oil
Apart from cleaning there is the need to use an appropriate oil for the valves and grease for the slides.
Since the first and third slides are more often used it is recommended to use a lighter grease for them and a heavy grease for the tuning slide.
The accessories identified and briefly described above should be giving young students a quick overview of some of the must-have trumpet accessories, that can help them in their learning process while playing the trumpet.
Other Trumpet Gadgets and Accessories
Apart from those necessary accessories mentioned above, there are also other kinds of gadgets that can be very useful for improving or helpful in a certain situation, while others bring some personalization and uniqueness while playing the trumpet
Gadgets or Systems for Improving
- P.E.T.E. (Personal Embouchure Training Device)
- B.E.R.P. (Buzz Extension and Resistance Piece)
- CTS (Compression Training System)
Helpful Gadgets and Fun Accessories
- Trumpet Mutes (with special holder), practice mute, silent brass
- Light for Sheet Music
- Tablet for Sheet Music (with special holder)
- Reflector Shield (plastic acoustic monitor disc)
- Audio Interface
- Studio Software/DAW app
- Trumpet Tone Enhancement
- Heavy Valve Caps, Boosters
- Unique Trumpet Finger Buttons
- Lip Balm
What Accessories Are Necessary to Play the Trumpet?
The necessary accessories to play the trumpet are a mouthpiece, a trumpet case, a music stand, music sheets, a metronome, a tuner, a trumpet stand, instrument grease and oil, a pencil holder, and cleaning accessories.