Trumpet Fingering Chart with Short Physics Explanation

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Knowing the trumpet fingering chart is essential for playing the instrument. Right when you’re beginning to learn to play your horn, fingerings are going to be the second thing you need to know. First, you have to know how to buzz into the mouthpiece (start with a lip buzz, then a mouthpiece buzz). But right after that, you have to know which of the three valves to push down to get which notes.

Your First Trumpet Fingering Chart

When you first begin playing, you’ll have a lot to concentrate on with respect to your brass instrument. You’ll be paying attention to embouchure, tone, posture, dynamics, and phrasing. So at first, you won’t want to worry about anything but the basic fingerings below. Memorize up from the G to the double-high C, and then down from the G to the low G sharp.

Easy Trumpet Fingering Chart

Music theory becomes extremely important as you’re learning to read music for playing as well. You have to learn about key signatures, and when to sharp or flat a note. You’ll note that your instrument is known as a b-flat trumpet. This means you should be aware of the idea of using concert pitch as you begin to play in a group or with a band.

Songs For Beginners To Practice For Help Memorizing

For very early beginners, the classic tunes to work on memorizing are standards like Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Happy Birthday, and Amazing Grace. These melodies are easy to remember, so you’ll be comfortable memorizing your chart.

The Science and Physics of Trumpet Valves

Trumpet Fingering Physics

Once you have your first chart memorized, you can get a much deeper understanding of learning to play the trumpet by reading about the physics of the trumpet. With this knowledge,you’ll understand why alternates fingerings are possible. And though it does take a bit of memorizing, if you learn all of these valve combinations, up and down the major scales, minor scales, and variations, that gives you extra flexibility. This flexibility is helpful when it comes to getting better finger dexterity during runs and arpeggios, and also gives you additional control when it comes to tone quality and pitch.

Understanding how a trumpet is made will also give you a psychological advantage to playing the instrument!

The simple act of being able to follow the physics of small or large bore tubing, and how notes are higher or lower based on frequency and distance of vibration will help you clean up your mechanics.

Valve Drops
Tone drops for each valve.

This image of the tubes and valves of your instrument taken apart will give you a better understanding of why and how the notes change as well. The length of the tubes and construction of the valves make the transitions between notes possible. This knowledge translates directly to understanding value of your trumpet fingering chart.

Trumpet Valves
The valves and slides that alter the tones after the buzz from your lips comes into the piping.

Long Form Fingering Chart With Complete Alternates

As a beginner, you’ll just learn the above chart in order to keep your practice set with the concept of ‘one fingering per note’. However, as you become more advanced, you’ll learn to use alternate fingerings to your advantage. The chart below shows every possible combination of fingers to achieve any note on the trumpet.

Full Trumpet Fingering Chart

Conclusion

Ultimately, you want to familiarize yourself with every possibility with regard to the note values and valve combinations of your instrument.  You may find that knowledge comes in handy during particular runs, scales or melodies that you play during practice or performance.

Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you don’t even have to think about what your fingers are doing, or what any trumpet fingering chart looks like. Your brain will be on automatic, and your embouchure will have solid muscle memory as well. At that point, you’ll feel the real pull of musicianship!

Try working through your trumpet scales using different fingerings, and see if you are more comfortable one way or another. Also listen for changes in tone quality, and pay attention to your embouchure to see if you note any differences in ease of playing.

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