WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Trouble reading sheet music for the trumpet

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    • #54239


      I still have some trouble reading sheet music for the trumpet, this “concert pitch” still confuses me a lot. I recently bought my first book with some scores and I started by this one:

      The book is called “Big Book of Disney Songs” and it’s made for trumpet. So I thought that since it was made for the trumpet I don’t need to to any transposing, thus for the score above I just have to play b flat whenever a b note appears and this b flat is not concert pitch. Before learning it, I transcribed the score on the software musescore, but after I chose the key of one b-flat the software displayed this:

      as I was to play f sharp instead of f…

      I’m really confused! Should I play f sharp? Should I play b flat? Why can’t I find a reliable place that teaches thoroughly how to read sheet music for the trumpet?

    • #54299

      Most likely, you should just play the music as it is written as music written for Trumpet most often means Bb trumpet. There are trumpets made in the keys of C, D, Eb and other keys, but most often it’s Bb for popular music.

      If the music is written in Concert pitch, that means written for C instruments (i.e. Piano, strings). In such instances, since a Bb is one whole step below C, we should play one whole step higher than the music is written.

      So, in the example above, you would play starting on a G, not an F#, and the key would be G (one sharp, F#).

      Hope that helps clarify. Good luck and have fun–learning how to play melodies you like is a big part of the fun and development as a player.

      • #54302

        Wait, since the above score is written for the trumpet, shouldn’t the first note be an F (1 or XOO fingering)?

    • #54348
      Ronald Carson

      Many of the books put out for the trumpet are just taken from the score for instruments in C such as piano scores. The book you bought was not transcribed for B flat trumpet. I believe if they sell a Disney songbook for trumpet, you should be able to play along with the Disney recording. Sure, you can play the melody from this book, but try to play it with a Youtube recording and you are flat by a whole step. I did check on Amazon. If a flute player bought the same book, you could play together, but you both could not play with the original recording for the movie.

      When a director says, “Play a concert B flat.” A trumpet player plays their C because, what is called a C on the trumpet, matches a B flat played on a piano. John is correct.

      Trumpeters in orchestras learn to transpose in their heads. Your software correctly transposed the correct key signature. Music that is written in the Key of F for an instrument in C should be transposed to the Key of G for the trumpet player. The software however did not change the notes. It should be G (OOO) F# (OXO) G (OOO) E (XXO) F# (OXO) G (OOO). I’ll bet the software could get it right, but something went wrong in using it or the software is flawed.

      Here is a link to the piano score.
      You can see the book you bought did not transcribe the part for the trumpet based on the movie music.

      If you just want to play the melody on your horn and do not care to play along with the recorded music, play it without transposing. Play F (1) E (1,2) F (1) D (1,3) etc…

      If your friends bought the same book, they will be able to play the melodies together. I checked flute, alto sax, and trumpet books. So no worries.

      • #54382

        Thanks a lot! Your answer really helped me. I knew that the names of the pitches of the trumpet are a whole step up, but I was never taught how to transpose from one key to another for the trumpet (why F major goes to a G major, no idea).

        You said that my software correctly transposed to the right key, but

        The software however did not change the notes.

        I figured now how to correctly use it. There’s a button labeled “Concert Pitch”, I just have to click it, write the whole score in concert pitch and click it again, then it goes to the transcribed trumpet version. Just tried it and it worked, it says now G – F – G – E – F – G – …

        Thanks a lot! I really don’t know why the methods book I have simply don’t spend 1-2 pages explaining about this..

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