Things Every Trumpet Player Needs

Over the years, I have found that certain things keep showing up in my gig bag. Some of which can be debated as "necessary," but most of it seems to have a purpose. Here is a list of items that I have found to be useful at some point:

  • Advil (ibuprofen) - Not only used to cure a headache, it also contains an anti-inflammatory that reduces swelling in the lips from hard playing. 
  • Rubber Bands - Spit valves springs don't last forever and when they do break, a rubber band is a quick fix.
  • Valve Oil - Definitely a must, even if you clean your horn regularly.
  • Slide Grease - Not a must for a gig situation, but you want to have your horn in proper working condition at all times.
  • Stand Light - You never know when you'll be playing in a dark room. These lights can be very small, easy to pack, and useful when you need them.
  • Extra Mouthpiece - Always carry an extra mouthpiece in your gig bag. If for some reason you leave your regular piece at home, you'll always have a backup. I keep a middle of the road, semi-shallow mouthpiece in my bag. Something that will allow me to play lead if I have to, but also gets a good sound. 
  • Music Stand - Most club dates nowadays do no provide enough music stands.
  • Toothbrush/Paste - Taking care of your trumpet will ensure reliability and longevity. Brushing your teeth after a meal and before your play prevents unwanted particles from getting stuck in your horn. 
  • Clothes Pin/Clips - If you're playing outdoors with music that is loose, have some way to pin it to your stand.
  • Ear Plugs - If you're doing a club date in a small room, chances are you'll be near the drums. You can get really good musician's ear plugs at Sam Ash for $10.
  • Nail Punch - These are only a few inches long and are the right shape (conical) to fit the shank of a dented mouthpiece. Just insert the nail punch into the mouthpiece and gently tap on the end until the shank is smooth and round. Try to use a soft mallet when doing this. 
  • Smart Phone - Essential for the working musician. Never get lost on the way to a gig, have emails about the gig available, look up music that might be called at the last minute, etc.
  • Mic Shield - These can be made pretty cheaply out of lexan glass. They slide onto the mic and allow your sound to bounce back at you in loud venues. 
  • Pencils/Erasers - Always have these in your bag for performances and rehearsals. Changes are always made such as cuts or extra repeats. 
  • Business Cards - Make it easy for people to know how to get in touch with  you. The ultimate networking tool.