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Five Ways To Practice Trumpet Quietly

September 8th, 2022 | 2 min read

By Ewan Moore

Children holding musical instruments.

While we obviously adore brass instruments and the music they make, there's no getting around the fact that it's one of the loudest families of instruments out there. The trumpet and trombone are usually the loudest instruments in an orchestra! 

In a performance, the trumpet can range between 80 and 110 decibels, while the trombone can peak at around 115 decibels. Need some more context? Here are a few other noises that typically hit around 80 decibels:

  • A hairdryer
  • A busy downtown street
  • A loud alarm clock
  • An old vacuum cleaner 
  • A dishwasher 

But please don't let the fact that brass instruments are loud put you off from playing and practicing! If you’re conscious of annoying the neighbours while you master your brass instrument at home, there are loads of things you can do to reduce the noise. In this article, we'll take a look at five easy ways to keep the noise down. 

Trumpet Tip #1: Buy a Trumpet Mute!

The first (and possibly easiest) option is to purchase a mute. You can buy mutes for various brass instruments online for anywhere between £25 to £100 depending on the level of quality and sound you’re after. You can learn more about the quality mutes from Denis Wick on their website.

No matter which mute you choose, it will quieten your instrument. Just remember that some mutes require extra pressure to play, which could affect your technique once removed. It's also worth noting that mutes work on pInstruments too, so you don't need to take any special steps if you've a pTrumpet or a pBone

Shop brass mutes here

Trumpet Tip #2: Practice Using Only The Mouthpiece 

You should definitely try playing on just the mouthpiece, removing the brass instrument from the equation. While this might seem a bit silly at first, it’s a great way to try out some simple buzzing exercises and strengthen your embouchure - this is what we call the all-important position of our tongue, teeth, and lips while playing. Check out online resources like BrassTabs and the Brass Blast UK YouTube Channel for simple and accessible exercises you can try just on your mouthpiece! 

You can also buy individual pInstrument mouthpieces from our spare parts page.

Trumpet Tip #3: Perfect Your Embouchure

You can perfect your technique without ever picking up an instrument! Embouchure, which we just talked about, is incredibly important for brass playing. The good news is that it's very easy to practice this technique at home, quietly, without an instrument. BrassTabs and Brass Blast UK are, once again, great resources that provide a bunch of fun exercises you can use to work on your embouchure, so give it a go! 

Trumpet Tip #4: Play Softly  

The good thing about brass instruments is that you control how much air is blown into them, which means you do have some degree of control over the volume. While it's possible to try playing more softly at home, this is probably an option for the more experienced players who have more control over their playing. Newcomers might struggle a little with this particular option, but definitely see how it goes! 

Trumpet Tip #5: Soundproof Your Room

If all else fails and you really just want a place in your home to let rip, consider soundproofing the room you practice in. Be aware that this is the most expensive and time-consuming option, but it will allow you the peace of mind to simply play and not be afraid that you're annoying anyone. 

We'd recommend playing in a room that has lots of carpets, furniture, curtains (the thicker the better!), and rugs already, as this will go some way towards absorbing the sound. A smaller room will also be best, and if you can pick up a draught excluder or two to cover the gaps beneath the door, that'd definitely help. 

One final thing to add here is that you need to check with a friend or family member that your soundproofing efforts have actually worked! It's no use to anyone if you do all of the above, start belting out tunes like there's no tomorrow, and it turns out everyone can still hear you clear as day. 

Ewan Moore

After seven years writing about video games, Ewan made the jump to the music instrument industry to stop his family asking when he was going to get a real job. Mostly, though, he adores music and is passionate about its vital role throughout life - especially in education. He also played guitar in several bands with deeply embarrassing names that won't be revealed here. With a degree in journalism from an NCTJ-accredited university under his belt, Ewan uses everything he learned as a writer over the last decade to help answer any questions you might have about pBone Music in an accessible (and hopefully entertaining) way. Because if you can write 1,000 words on SSDs and ray-tracing, you can explain why plastic instruments are accessible, sustainable, and fun.