How to Do a Scale on a Trumpet

by Steven J. Miller
Learning to play scales on trumpet are the basis for solid technique.

Learning to play scales on trumpet are the basis for solid technique.

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Learning to play a scale on a trumpet will help you increase your finger independence, technique and tone production. The best trumpet players in the world play scales daily since scales help to refine and develop your skill as a trumpet player. When first learning to play scales, it is best to start with one scale and then slowly add scales as you develop proficiency. This will ensure that you developed a solid understanding of all 24 major and minor scales.

Step 1

Start on the written pitch C below the staff. This note establishes the key of a C major scale. To play this pitch, relax your embouchure and leave the valves in open position.

Step 2

Play the next three notes in the scale by holding down valves one and three for the note D, one and two for the note E and the first valve for the note F.

Step 3

Learn the fingerings for the notes G, A and B. The note G is an open position, with no valves depressed, A requires holding down valves one and two and B uses just the middle valve.

Step 4

Play the final note in the scale, C, by using an open position. You have now played a complete scale. Move backwards through the scale to descend back to lower C.

Tips & Warnings

  • Breathe from your diaphragm and sit up straight when you play. This will help you to achieve good tonal quality.
  • Locate a fingering chart to learn the rest of the scales once you have mastered this scale.


  • "Arban's Complete Conservatory Method"; Jean-Baptiste Arban; 1982

About the Author

Steven Miller graduated with a master's degree in 2010. He writes for several companies including Lowe's and IBM. He also works with local schools to create community gardens and learn environmentally responsible gardening. An avid gardener for 15 years, his experience includes organic gardening, ornamental plants and do-it-yourself home projects.

Photo Credits

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