Tuneful Triggers

The trumpet is a common choice for musicians with limb differences.  After all, it only has three valves.  Players usually press the valves with whichever hand has more fingers and hold the trumpet with a stand, or, if possible, their other limb.  End of story.

Almost.

When trumpet players reach an intermediate level of playing, they adjust their intonation using tuning slides.  Notes using the third valve tend to be sharp, so players extend the first valve slide and/or the third valve slide to compensate.  Typically, the valves are pressed with the right hand and tuning slides are extended with the left hand.

trumpet-slides

 

For players with limb differences, this can be difficult or even impossible.  Unless…

…you have a trigger first valve slide!

selmerkbefore

Selmer K Modified Trumpet with a trigger first valve slide

Some trumpets are made with a trigger on the first valve slide.  It is possible to push the trigger with the same hand that presses the valves.  This gives the trumpeter with one hand more control of intonation.  

michael-2

Michael plays trumpet with his left hand

When I was in seventh grade, I switched from playing trombone to trumpet in the school band.  The man at my local music store told me how important it would be to use tuning slides.  He sold me a used Selmer K Modified trumpet with a first valve trigger, and it was a great instrument for me.  Thanks, wise man at the music store!

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