How to assemble your trumpet step-by-step

by ReverbLxnd in Trumpet

Here's how to assemble your trumpet straight out of the case step-by-step. There is a labeled trumpet diagram, and there's also a little information about how your trumpet works.

I’m so excited because today I will show you how to assemble your trumpet, so if you are trying to put together your trumpet, this is just what you need.

The trumpet is the best instrument there is.

It is the instrument I started on, way back in the day, when I started playing horns and I’ve been playing this thing ever since.

There’s just no better horn than the trumpet.

Somebody else might tell you something different but he is just totally wrong, the trumpet is the coolest. I’m just saying. I’m just saying.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to take it out of the case and assemble to start playing your first notes or how to assemble it back after disassembly.

So let’s get started.

How to Assemble the Trumpet Step-by-step

Before we get started, make sure you are sitting at the front edge of your sit with your feet flat on the floor, back straight, with both your hands on either thigh.

Simple stuff.

Step #1 — Take it Out of the Case Using the Lead Pipe

First of all, it is actually really important that you take your trumpet of its case the right way.

First of all, you need to make sure that your case is open. You’re never going to open your case on your bed or on your lap.

The only place you open your case is on the floor.

If it’s not on the floor, you don’t open that case. If you open it up on your lap or something like that, it easily slides off.

You need to make sure that before you open it up, it’s on the floor. Only then can you unzip it or unlatch it or whatever.

When you open the case, you’re going to see two parts only. You’ll see the mouthpiece and you’ll see the trumpet itself.

What you’re going to do is your going to start with your right hand. Make sure you use the right hand, it’s actually really important.

Hold the lead pipe of the trumpet with your right hand to take it out. Pivot it with your thumb so it doesn’t spin in your hand.

Whenever you pick it up, you need to immediately point the bell of the trumpet up. You don’t want to knock the bell or any delicate part on something.

Step #2 — Slide Your Left Ring Finger Into the Ring

When holding your trumpet with your right hand, with the bell pointed straight up look for a ring on your trumpet.

Your trumpet with a ring on the left side of it immediately after the three valves. This ring is called the 3rd valve ring.

So still pointing it up, slide your left ring finger into that ring.

Once that’s there, you’re going to put the index and the middle left fingers in between the 3rd valve and the 3rd valve ring right beside your left ring finger.

The valve closest to the bell is the 3rd valve and the one furthest is the 1st.

When putting your left-hand fingers you don’t have to slide them in all the way in, you’re going to put them in about a third of the way in.

Then you’re going to put your thumb in the saddle next to the 1st valve. The palm of your left hand should now be running across all three bellies of the trumpet valves.

Pay attention to where your left pinkie finger sits. It not going to be down any of the slides. It never will be. That’s actually a really bad habit you can pick up.

Your left pinkie should be up, sitting right next to your left ring finger.

And your left hand should now be in the correct position. This right here is how all professional trumpet players hold their horn.

You’re now going to hold that trumpet with only your left hand.

You’re not going to do anything else with that left hand for the rest of the assembly process except hold your trumpet.

But you can rest the back of your left hand on your left thigh/knee, with the trumpet, while you proceed or whenever you need to, so the bell dangles right between your knees.

Step #3 — Put Your Mouthpiece On the Lead Pipe

Then with your right hand, you’re going to reach down into your case and grab that mouthpiece, and stick it on the only spot that it fits—the tip of the lead pipe.

To insert the mouthpiece, take the long thin end, called the shank and slide it into the lead pipe end of the trumpet.

You need to be careful here.

The lead pipe is very delicate. Do not hit or bend it. Do not push the mouthpiece into the Lead pipe too hard either, or tap on the mouthpiece, as it may get stuck.

Gently twist it to get it in place.

Just like that.

Step #4 — Make a C with Your Right Hand

Then what you’re going to do is make a big old C with your right hand, like you are holding a giant apple.

You’re going to stick that right thumb underneath in between right in between the first and second valve.

Then you bring the fingers of your big old apple right on top of the valves. Only the tips of the fingers should come into contact with the top of the valves.

The index, middle and right ring fingers each get a valve.

Make sure that only the tip of the fingers touches the top of the valves. They are never flat. They are curved all the time.

Whenever you push a valve there, you are actually pushing it down with curved fingers.

Just past the third finger, you will notice there is a finger hook.

You don’t put your right pinkie finger into that finger hook, you rest it on it. On, not in.

It looks like you are supposed to put your pinkie finger in the hook. But no. It’s actually designed for you to rest your pinkie on.

And that’s it.

Parts of a Trumpet: Labeled Diagram

How to assemble the trumpet guide above is targeted to the complete beginner that is handling the trumpet for the first few times. So it makes sense to look at some parts of the trumpet.

In this section, I want to go over the different parts of the trumpet and give you a little information about how your trumpet works.

parts of a trumpet

IMAGE CREDIT: Parts of a trumpet illustration by Tracie Noles-Ross

The trumpet has two primary sets of moving parts.

The first set is the three piston valves which are used to route the air stream through different links of tubing while the instrument is being played.

When a valve is pressed, it redirects the air stream past an additional length of tubing which changes the pitch of the note being played.

The other major set of parts on the trumpet is the tuning slides which are used to tune the individual notes played on each valve.

These slides are moved only when tuning is needed for a specific note.

There is also the main tuning slide (not labeled, but it’s the slide immediately behind the bell) which is used to tune the entire trumpet relative to other instruments.

Now you know a little bit about how the trumpet works.

I hope that helps.


I've been a musician and brought in my stuff for mixing and mastering, I've been my own producer where I wrote, recorded, mixed and sold my own stuff. Now, I'm *mostly* an audio engineer, where I only record and mix for clients. I'm currently based in Berlin, Germany, where I operate ReverbLand out of. Got a question? DM me on Instagram or Twitter @reverblxnd everywhere, or shoot me an email [email protected]. I'd love to hear from you.

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