For many, the trumpet is a jazz staple or reserved for orchestral and instrumental music. But for me, a brass section has a place in just about any genre.
A trumpet can brighten and add the cherry on top of any song.
It is a little instrument with a big presence and a bright tone that adds color and flavor to music shining from inside the mix.
For that reason, it has slunk its way into ska, pop, rock, soul, and even disco with great success.
Every beginner starts somewhere typically with a nursery rhyme or two and there is no shame in that!
But hopefully, today’s guide will take you through a few easy trumpet songs for beginners that will help you progress and hopefully won’t bore you to death.
1. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” by Jane Taylor
Okay so you were warned but we promise there are more interesting options to come!
Kindergarten songs make for great beginner trumpet essentials whether they seem beneath you or not.
For one thing, you know how the melody sounds as it is ingrained in you.
So you know when you hit a bum note or hold it too long.
The melody line of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is constructed with double blows so it is a good trumpet song for a beginner.
It isn’t too fast and follows the C major scale which is an important first scale to learn on any instrument.
Keeping things straightforward is key.
Other easy trumpet song suggestions like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Happy Birthday” are also recommendable but we’ll skip those and try for something a little more mature from here on out.
2. “Ode To Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven
As it is quite often used in an orchestral setting it is never a bad idea to master some classical music.
An easy classical song for beginners on the trumpet to start with is “Ode to Joy”.
So it isn’t much of a leap from “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” but adult learners might feel a little more comfortable playing it.
The melody features equal-length quarter notes with a couple of eighth notes thrown in.
Don’t let them trip you up when developing your speed and finger agility.
Keep your tempo moderate and then work on the rhythmic aspects once you have the notes secured.
There are simplified versions and harder versions you can work your way up to.
So it’s a good starting point.
3. “When the Saints go Marching in” by Louis Armstrong
Another classic and simplistic melody that everyone is familiar with is “When the Saints go Marching in”.
Still ever-popular with marching bands, this one began life as a hymn and was made famous when recorded by Louis Armstrong.
He took it to higher heights with his agile trumpet skills.
So you again have something to set your sights on and inspire you while you learn the basic tune structure.
“When the Saints go Marching in” is like a skeleton that you can revisit and flesh out as you progress in learning to play your trumpet.
4. “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Legendary Louis Armstrong gets a double mention in today’s article, hardly surprising as he is such a well-known trumpet player.
The beautiful and hope-filled track “What A Wonderful World” has a lot to offer for a trumpet player.
While it is a little above a complete beginner, it is a great aspirational piece to work on in small bite-size pieces.
There are simplified versions to be found specifically tailored to beginner trumpet players.
Once again it is a recognizable melody now immortalized as a classic.
The tempo is nice and slow allowing for practicing holding those notes and breath control.
The triplets might be a little tricky at first but slow it down and keep putting in the practice.
5. “Amazing Grace” by John Newton
“Amazing Grace” is another easy trumpet song as it too features a simple melody that we all know by heart.
The simplicity and soulfulness of the piece once again allow you to embellish and add complexity as you get familiar with your instrument.
There are some sophisticated versions but in its stripped-back form, it’s ideal for a beginner to learn.
Some of the ends of the lines are going to push you with the rhythm of the notes.
It is by no means the easiest place to start but if you are a beginner trumpet player who appreciates something with a bit more of a challenge to tackle then fill your boots.
6. “Summertime” by George Gershwin
Another classic with a similarly soulful edge and a melody easy enough to wrap your head around is Gershwin’s “Summertime”.
There are many renditions of this old favorite so take a listen and have fun improvising with it once you are comfortable with the core melody notes.
Try to follow along with Chet Baker’s performance here:
7. “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra
We can’t skip over “Fly Me To the Moon” when we are looking at jazz standards.
This song again has been recorded umpteen times by various crooners and still manages to endure.
We would rank this one again moderately, but if you hope to play jazz it is certainly a great starting point.
It offers a faster melody to play around with so we suggest slowing it right down while you are finding your footing.
8. “Blue Bossa” by Joe Henderson
Something else composed in a similar vein to “Fly Me To The Moon”, “Blue Bossa” is another jazz standard that is beginner-oriented.
Again it is probably a little more intermediate-level but every trumpet player has this one in their repertoire so why not start early?
Break it down.
Any piece of music can be learned one note at a time.
This one kicks off with a descending melody line.
Why not try just mastering that and use it as a motivational finger practice exercise to learn more later?
The song features some intervallic jumps which are considerably more difficult later on that we recommend steering clear of until you have some experience playing easy trumpet songs.
9. “Autumn Leaves” by Joseph Kosma
One last jazz standard that isn’t super-difficult is “Autumn Leaves” by Joseph Koshma.
The video above is a slowed version ideal for a less proficient player.
It is another great piece to have in your arsenal if you are looking to follow in the footsteps of other jazz trumpet players.
There are many recordings of this one and one day when you have put in the effort you can take a look at Chet Bakers’ solo in more detail.
This one won’t be the easiest trumpet song but it will be rewarding to work on and serves as good inspiration helping you to stay motivated as a learner and continue plugging.
See also: Songs About Fall
10. “Jurassic Park Theme” by John Williams
Other well-known melodies that make good first songs to learn on a trumpet include theme music.
One movie theme that is fairly easy and repetitive making it ideal to learn is “Jurassic Park”.
It is fun and you can show it off to friends with less embarrassment than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.
It is immediately recognizable.
Film music is usually played by orchestras so you can have a go at playing parts by other instruments as well.
11. “James Bond Theme” by Monty Norman
Much like the suggestion above, this is another well-known theme song that features brass.
Another instantly recognizable melody to learn that everyone will be familiar with even if they aren’t fans of James Bond they will know this one without ever having seen a movie.
It begins with short notes that mark the beat and then you may have to work on your speed before the key riff kicks in that is probably slow enough to master.
This video has a sheet music arrangement to follow.
Skip over the harder bits this is considered a grade-3 piece to play from start to finish.
Some other special mentions for theme songs to learn on the trumpet while we have your attention include the Star Wars theme or “cantina” song and for something very easy that progresses in difficulty, why not try “The Theme from Jaws”?
All recognizable and above all fun!
12. “Tequila” by The Champs
Although this one was written for the sax it features an iconic repetitive riff that most are familiar with making it a great practice piece to get the ball rolling as a trumpet player.
It is a little faster than some of our suggestions but as we have mentioned you can slow things down in the early days and build up the speed to tempo.
The opening shouldn’t be too challenging aside from the aforementioned speed of key changes.
13. “La Cucaracha” by Unknown
Like “Tequila” above, “La Cucaracha” has a familiar melody. Now we’re not going to lie, this one might take a little time and effort but you’ll be pleased with yourself once you have it.
It’s a happy little riff that explores a lot of higher notes.
You will have some intervallic jumps to contend with but little by little you’ll get there.
14. “We Will Rock You” by Queen
In the world of rock and pop, it doesn’t get much more memorable for simple melody lines.
Queen wrote this one to be an “everyman’s” anthem, something anyone can sing along to.
This makes “We Will Rock You,” straightforward enough to be a good contender for an eBay trumpet song to learn.
The recognizable descending riff is super simple to learn and it is fun to rock out with Freddie while you practice.
15. “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
For something a little more pop that has a bit more to sink your teeth into you can try the monotonic and dreamy “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.
Ignore the flourishes and stick to the bare bones of the melody.
It features a beautiful opening riff and you can practice your ostinato notes and interval jumps as you brave the full version.
16. “Take On Me” by A-ha
If you want some pop options that offer something a bit more iconic then you could have a go at “Take On Me”.
The signature lead riff might be a bit more than most beginners can chew.
But it is undeniably fun to learn and quite an achievement.
Slow the speed down to a crawl with this one as it will take a lot of gusto to go full-speed even for a seasoned trumpet player.
As the video below demonstrates, though, some slower sections are easier to play too.
17. “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
If you fancy rick-rolling at a band or orchestra meet then why not commit to learning this one?
Despite its cemented meme hall of fame status “Never Gonna Give You Up” is another iconic song for the trumpet.
Replace the synth string riff, or have a go at the melody.
Whatever you do make like Rick Astley and don’t give up.
You’ll improve on the trumpet in no time.
18. “Cheerleader” by OMI
So what about iconic riffs that are specifically for the trumpet?
Well, how about the opening of “Cheerleader” by OMI or the lively sample that features heavily throughout as a hook?
Some parts are pretty easy to learn.
This video demonstrates it with the music.
Remember you don’t need to learn the entire melody as a beginner, how about the introduction and impressive hook?
19. “Havana” by Camilla Cabello
You only need six notes to learn the six different phrases used in Camilla Cabello’s debut hit “Havana”.
It is neatly broken down into six chunks for you from the get-go.
This streamlines the learning process keeping it simple and making it an easy song for the trumpet.
Here’s an informative tutorial that starts you off with the scale and a little bit of beginner’s theory that any trumpet learner who is starting will benefit from.
20. “Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock
So this last one is more of an aspirational track to leave you with.
We can’t recommend songs to learn on the trumpet without presenting the funky-laced, atmospheric urban jazz song that is “Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock.
Many of the riffs you should rule out but some are a little easier than others and it’s good to have goals right?
Why not try the melody line itself if the sections and solo’s laid out in this video are overwhelming?
What Makes an Easy Song for Trumpet Players?
First up, we should warn you that an easy trumpet song idea for a total beginner isn’t necessarily going to be that exciting.
The song needs to be simplistic, using fewer notes and slower in speed, possibly even repetitive to the point that you are going to get bored practicing.
However, these are the building blocks towards playing something much more engaging and impressive enough to show off to your friends and family.
An easy song for beginner trumpet players should be;
- Not too fast
So don’t get disheartened scrolling through some of the suggestions, read our reasoning.
We have tried to add a balance of well-known classical, jazz standards, TV, and movie themes as well as recognizable pop and rock options that don’t take much to master.
Of course, remember that any song can be simplified.
You don’t necessarily need a song that features a trumpet line or riff.
You can take the melody of any song and give homage to it on your new instrument.
You can build up from a basic melody adding flourishes as you flourish as a trumpet player!
Easy Trumpet Songs for Beginners – Final Thoughts
So there you have it; 20 songs to try and learn on the trumpet for beginners.
Learning to play the trumpet is by no means easy.
With correct embouchure, breath control, and fingering to think about, you need to start with some straightforward tunes.
Hopefully, today’s selection will have at least given you food for thought.
Sometimes the idea of an “easy” song can be frustrating.
We want to run before we can walk but with a lot of other crucial things to bear in mind you need to start off with easy trumpet songs.
Remember there are many songs where the brass section chimes in with merely a few notes.
So perhaps focus on a few well-known riffs if the songs suggested seemed immature or aren’t your style.
It doesn’t have to be a trumpet part either, why not try “Smoke on The Water” by Deep Purple with its main riff?
Whatever your inspiration, now that you have more than a few trumpet songs for beginners to choose from you can get practicing.
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