How to Get Your Octave Louder on a Trumpet

A trumpet player who wants to increase the volume of the octave has to use her diaphragm to push air out. Without the diaphragm, the lower octave will sound fuller than the upper octave. But it's not quite as easy as it sounds; it takes practice and discipline. Trumpet players must aim for a consistent and balanced sound throughout the range of the instrument. And the only way to achieve this is with effort on the part of the musician.

Step 1

Play middle C on the trumpet and hold the pitch for four beats. Keep your stomach firm but loose. It doesn't require much breath support to play lower pitches.

Step 2

Slur up to the C one octave higher than middle C and hold the pitch for four beats. When you transition between the lower and higher octave, flex your stomach firmly to help add breath support and push out extra air to achieve a solid sound.

Step 3

Drop back down to the original pitch, relaxing your stomach and decreasing the airflow slightly. Hold the bottom pitch for four beats. Take a deep breath.

Step 4

Slur up an octave and a half to the G directly above the staff. Feel your stomach punch air to supply the necessary airstream to play the higher pitch. Hold this pitch for four beats. Slur back down to low C.


Experiment to find the right amount of air that is required to play the higher pitches and keep the volume the same.
Record your playing to listen to your exercise and pinpoint anywhere you need to use additional air.
Practice daily to ensure that you learn this technique thoroughly.


"Hession's Sessions"; Patrick E. Hession; 2004


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