Ten Great Gifts For Trumpet Players

If you're looking for something cool and also useful for the young trumpet player in your life here are some good ideas.  

1. Protec Trumpet Case with Mute Compartment

You bought your child a quality beginner instrument or maybe even a professional Bach or Yamaha trumpet. Unfortunately most of those cases aren't up to the daily wear, tear and abuse of getting back and forth to school every day.  I've had too many students to count who have used these Protec cases for years to protect their trumpets to and from school.  This particular case has a large internal storage compartment for mutes also.  There is plenty of room for them to store a straight and cup mute with getting them banged up.

Monster Oil is my preferred valve oil and I've tried them all.  As a bonus the company is run by it's three founders each of whom are all excellent professional trumpet players.  Read about them HERE.  In addition to making the best trumpet lubes, these guys run the most excellent BRASS CHATS series of interviews with the heaviest of heavy hitters in the trumpet world.  Go with the Monsters...Blue Juice is for Smurfs!


3. Monster Oil Trumpet Care and Cleaning Kit

Okay, you're impressed.  You love the monster's oil but your kid's trumpet smells like a dumpster on a hot day.  What do you do? Seriously though...keep that horn clean.  It's gross.  You wouldn't go months without brushing your teeth.  You wouldn't...right??

The monster cleaning kit has everything your young trumpeter needs to keep that horn cleaned and lubed on the inside and out.

I know, I know...There's an app for that.  You're right.  There are several.  I'm sure your little trumpeter would rather save that battery juice for Clash Royale and Instagram.  This small tuner has all the settings for both tuning and the metronome that you need.  The tuner sensitivity is great and the price is right.  I always have mine in my case ready to grab for my own practice sessions as well as while teaching.

If you've graduated past beginning trumpet class you'll be needing a straight mute.  Don't cheap out.  You'll just end up getting a better mute anyway.  Dennis Wick has been the go to straight mute sound with good pitch and response in all registers for decades.  Make sure you've got a way to get it back and forth from school safely.  This thing WILL dent and easily.  Check out the ProTec case I mentioned above if you need a good case.  By the way...you have heard Dennis Wick play.  He was the Principal Trombonist in the London Symphony Orchestra for many years.  You've seen Star Wars, right???

These don't have to be too fancy or too expensive but you do need one.  Propping up music with pillows and hunching over isn't going to cut it for long.  Gotta sit up nice and tall to fill up those lungs to play the King of Instruments!  I got this one when my 20 year old Manhassat stand finally looked like it had fallen off a dump truck.  Looks sharp and does a good job of counter acting the effects of the Earth's gravity on music.

So you got the straight mute.  It's lonely.  You know it...I know it.  You'll need a cup mute also and if you haven't guessed already Dennis Wick's is one of the best and has been for many years.  The cup is adjustable so you can choke in tight to the bell or move out farther to experiment with the tone color.  If you're studying with me you know we're going to be hitting the Arutunian with that nasty F# octave slur sooner than you think and you don't want some cheap funky cup mute with compressed octaves.

This stand's legs unscrew and store inside the stand so it can be stored in the bell of the trumpet in the case.  It was cool when I got my first one in 9th grade (1989) and it's cool now.  I've never knock a horn over on one of these stands and I've used them daily for almost thirty years.  Kids always feel super cool when they bring one to the lesson for the first time and are always bummed that they don't really need to bother with it in the lesson.

The conflict of a loving and supportive parent.  You want your child to be successful.  You want them to practice...lots!  Let's face it, lessons aren't cheap.  BUT...the sound.  Even the most talented of kids doesn't truly sound pleasant for the first couple years.  The pursuit of ease and beauty can be a slow crawl at the beginning.  Oh...and there's vacations.  Don't forget vacations.  

There are lots of practice mutes out there and most of them...well...they aren't worth the bother.  Too much resistance and horrible pitch.  I picked up one of these a year ago and it's actually useable without wrecking my chops.  I love it!

Recording yourself is one of the most important tools we have as trumpet players.  It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or if you've played for three decades like me.  I remember recording my trills on the Haydn Concerto when I was in 9th grade and being shocked to realize that not only was I playing enough notes in my trills, I sounded like I was spazzing out and getting in double the amount needed.  Don't even get me started on my vibrato in 9th grade!

This Mic is awesome.  It's a stereo mic and it plugs in to the lightning port of any iPhone or iPad.  Give yourself an advantage on all those emailed and uploaded playing tests in school.  Don't settle for the crummy compressed audio of a built in cell phone mic.  I used the previous version of this mic to record all of the Getchell Etudes on my youtube channel and just picked up this new version.  It smokes the old one.  I love it!

I hope this list is helpful.  If you're wondering what i consider "essential" for a young trumpet player. I would make a different list.

  1. Decent Trumpet
  2. Supportive and loving Parents
  3. Supportive and loving teacher
  4. Recordings and live concerts
  5. Friends that also have all of the above 

All of the things I've listed are super helpful but nothing can top support and encouragement at home.  Oh...and reminders to prepare for each and every lesson like they matter.  That too!

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Clear Tune iOS tuner

I use Clear Tune every day.  It was one of if not the first full featured tuner app on the App Store.  It's been updated regular and I've never had compatibility issues as iOS has been updated.

Driving in to teach in the mornings I set my iPhone in the dash mount and use the drone feature to buzz along.  I usually do a little Stamp free lip routine in the car after the kids get dropped of at day care and Stamp #1 at the red lights.  The tuner is great but I probably use the drone more.  I don't do mouthpiece work with my kids a ton but when I do it's always with Clear Tune droning away.

Not much else to say...I like it, it's stable and it works great.  If you need a tuner and run iOS get clear tune.

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