For the average guitar player or drummer, walking through your local music store is similar to being a kid walking through a toy store. There are so many toys and gadgets available to them to enhance their experience as players. Well, we trumpeters may not have quite as many "toys" available, but there are probably more than you've thought of!
Perhaps "toys" isn't the right word. I'm really talking about very useful accessories that fall beyond the normal "must-haves." This article is just a brief introduction to some of the many available accessories that the trumpeter can use to better themselves as players and enhance their enjoyment.
Mouthpiece Pouch – Most horn cases offer a slot or two for mouthpiece storage, but once you start exploring multiple mouthpiece options you may need more. And you certainly want to protect your mouthpiece from dings and damage. Check out this multiple mouthpiece pouch from Cavallaro and this Bach holder for several mouthpieces. If you want a single mouthpiece case, here's a very economical leather mouthpiece pouch.
Mouthpiece Visualizer - Are you a trumpet teacher or are you working on your own embouchure? The Bach Trumpet Mouthpiece Visualizer can go a long way in helping you see what's going on behind the rim of your student's (or your) mouthpiece. Simply hold the mouthpiece visualizer's handle and watch the position and movement of the lips as they buzz the simulated mouthpiece.
Plastic Mouthpieces – When plastic horn mouthpieces first came out they were presented as somewhat of a novelty, but they can serve a practical purpose as well. Aside from being dent resistant, plastic mouthpieces are ideal for performances that take place outdoors in cold weather, because they do not react to temperature like metal mouthpieces. And that isn't just an issue for our friends in snowy climates—I remember having to do marching band practice at 7 a.m. in cold California weather, and I always hated having to put that freezing mouthpiece to my lips—not to mention the pitch issues! I would have loved one of more comfortable mouthpieces back then. Plus, the color choices are a great way to show school spirit! But plastic mouthpieces aren't only for cold weather and marching bands—I keep one in my car at all times and use it as my "buzzing warm-up" mouthpiece on the way to gigs. It's very inexpensive to have a few of these mouthpieces in handy locations to get your lips going! Take a look at these plastic horn mouthpieces from Kelly Mouthpieces.
Spitballs – No, these aren't for spitting at the back of the trombone player's heads. Herco Trumpet Spitballs are handy little things that are a great way to do a quick pass through your horn to remove the gunk and morsels that invade your pipes every time you play. While Trumpet Spitballs shouldn't take the place of a thorough cleaning, they can be a great help to your regular maintenance.
Mouthpiece/Leadpipe Sleeves – Having a mouthpiece/leadpipe sleeve available is perfect if you are switching between multiple horns and mouthpieces, since not all make and model combinations work well together. A leadpipe sleeve is ideal for helping the player optimize their gap for sound and pitch when the mouthpiece doesn't quite fit in the horn. Bob Reeves Sleeves for Trumpet Mouthpieces are a great product made just for this purpose.
Buzz Extension – Buzz Extension – The BERP Buzz Extension and Resistance Piece for Trumpet is a clever devise that is simple yet brilliant. It's a wonder it wasn't invented years ago! Buzzing on your mouthpiece is a crucial step in warming up, but it's hard to get the same resistance holding only your mouthpiece as when you've got the whole horn up to your face. The BERP allows you to buzz while using the full weight of the horn in its appropriate position. This is especially ideal when you need to warm up without making much noise, like in an apartment or backstage during a church service.
Weighted Valve Caps - Many players swear by Curry Sound Sleeve Magnum C Caps for Trumpet. They claim these heavy caps give them a bigger sound, more control and better intonation. Some even claim it helps their range. The Curry trumpet caps are very popular, and available for most brands of trumpets.
Trumpet Care Kit – No excuses….why don't you have all this stuff in your case? A trumpet care kit contains all the basics of care and maintenance for your instrument, and you should consider purchasing one of these kits right now, before we kick you out of the trumpet club! Kidding aside, taking care of your horn is vital, and this trumpet care kit from Giardinelli gives you the essential tools.
Mute Corks – You might not need to buy a new mute, your old one may just need some new tires! These simple trumpet mute replacement corks from JoRal can add a few more years of usability to your mute.
Polish Mit – Not only does this standard polishing mitt for trumpet announce to the world how much you love your horn with its "I Love the Trumpet" stamp, but it looks fabulous with a tuxedo or for a night on the town. Well, maybe not. Your date might not want to be seen with you wearing this while out dancing. But the trumpet polishing mitt is a handy thing to have in your case to do a quick once-over on your horn before you put it to bed in its case after a performance.
I hope this helps you find some cool items for your trumpet arsenal. Take a few moments to explore these and many other fun and useful accessories for your horn on the Woodwind & Brasswind website. Why should the guitar players have all the toys?