The trumpet is an awesome instrument. For me, it has a semi-permanent association with atmospheric jazz and instrumental music, where it really seems to shine (also see below), but that isn’t to say it hasn’t made its way into pop and other genres with great success.
As well, it is possible to play just about any melody on the trumpet. You just need to get to the point where you’re comfortable and adept with the instrument (there’s no shame in starting with nursery rhymes!).
In this guide, we look at numerous easy trumpet songs for beginners. Some are indeed simple, some – admittedly – are a little more on the aspirational side, but either way, the following should serve as solid inspiration on your learning journey.
“All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
It's rather gratifying to know that there are Beatles songs you can tackle as a beginner trumpet player. “All You Need Is Love” is the perfect example, and it can sound quite nice on the trumpet.
When I think of “All You Need Is Love,” I think of a Beatles song that may well be the closest thing to bubblegum pop they ever created. Then again, The Beatles had the greatest influence on modern day pop, more so than any other band you can name, and you can’t blame them for little bit of love-drunk late 60s idealism.
Obviously, it would be possible to tackle different parts of the song on the trumpet. The melody (without flourishes) is probably the best place to start though. The video below does not represent the easiest adaptation, but rather an expertly crafted professional approach to the tune.
That said, you can hear that the verse and chorus melodies are somewhat monotonic, which is really what makes this a good pick for beginners. Don’t be too eager to emulate the below. Instead, focus on the simplicity of the melody first, and then add flourishes later.
“Ode To Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” is a practical essential for every musician. It is so much a part of mainstream consciousness that failing to assimilate it into your musical vocabulary can only do you a major disservice.
As with any other song, there are simpler, easier versions, and more complicated, harder versions. Fortunately, the video below represents the former.
You can tell that the melody is mostly made up of equal length quarter notes. The hardest part is probably the eighth notes in the 10th and 11th bars. Keep an eye out for those and you’ll do okay!
As a beginner, it’s always advisable to keep the tempo moderate so you can focus on the notes. Once you’ve done enough repetitions to feel comfortable with the melody, then and only then begin to work on the rhythmic aspect of the song.
“Romeo And Juliet” by Dire Straits
Trumpet players often choose Dire Straits songs to play on their instrument and that’s not on accident. “Romeo And Juliet” opens with a laid-back banjo spelling out a major chord progression. Funny how it sounds just a tad melancholy, though, isn’t it? And maybe it’s that aspect of it that makes it so appealing to a trumpet player.
The version you hear in the video below probably doesn’t represent the easiest adaptation of this song. That said, it does focus on the melody, and that’s always the best place to start for a beginner. The flourishes and riffs should not be (and usually aren’t) attempted without hours upon hours of practice behind you.
“Romeo And Juliet” is a great song, though, and a fun one to play, even if it is a little more aspirational and a little less immediate.
“Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra
“Fly Me To the Moon” is one of those songs every trumpet player should aspire to learning. This jazz standard endures, and for good reason. If you one day hope to play in a jazz band, or even participate in jazz jams, you should have this one on lock.
A close look at the melody gives you a good idea of what to expect. It’s not the easiest song ever written, but not the hardest either. As I always say to my students, though, “you can always learn one note at a time.” And never have I embraced that philosophy more than in recent years, after gaining nearly 20 years of experience as an instrumentalist. That should tell you something.
“Fly Me To The Moon” is simply beautiful when performed competently. But if you don’t feel like you can tackle it yet, no worries. This is, at least, an intermediate level song all told.
“Blue Bossa” by Joe Henderson
“Blue Bossa” is another jazz standard that exhibits some similarities to “Fly Me To The Moon,” if you listen closely. It is, perhaps, a little more beginner oriented, but overall, still more on the side of intermediate level playing. It’s still a good song for every trumpet player to add to their repertoire, especially if they’re planning to play in a professional capacity or anywhere jazz is played.
At the risk of repeating myself, you can learn any piece of music one note at a time, and that holds true for “Blue Bossa” too. The first seven notes, at least, are basically a simple descending melody line. Things do get a little more challenging with larger intervallic jumps after that, mind you.
“Penny Lane” by The Beatles
As I said, The Beatles songs tend to be relatively popular choices for trumpet players. “Penny Lane” has that classic, bouncy Beatles vibe, with multiple twists and turns to keep the listener engaged. A staple.
I make no claims of “Penny Lane” being easy, but the easiest part, overall, is probably the chorus. If you’re thinking about tackling this song, that’s where I would begin.
The video below is a great demonstration of what’s possible. The verse sections are performed quite expertly and beautifully by the creator. Again, a good source of inspiration for developing trumpeters.
“Amazing Grace” by John Newton
Given that “Amazing Grace” features a simple melody, it is a great song for most beginners of any instrument to tackle. Its depth isn’t calculable, and there are innumerable powerful, soulful versions with greater sophistication. But that, in a way, is a function of its simplicity. Simple songs always leave more room for layers of complexity to exist below and even on top.
Again, I make no claims of “Amazing Grace” being the easiest song in existence. But it will teach you a great deal about melody, rhythm, and song construction in general. A song every trumpeter should strive to learn sooner rather than later. So, begin work on it when you’re ready.
“We Will Rock You” by Queen
Now for something a little more on the fun side (not that the songs we’ve looked at so far haven’t been fun, but whoa, some of them weren’t exactly easy). “We Will Rock You,” on the other hand, should serve an excellent starting point for all beginners. And that’s because it only takes four notes to play. Or, should I say, it only takes four notes to play the version seen in the video below.
There is no trumpet in the original, minimalistic “We Will Rock You” (claps and stomps are what made the song). But learning the melody, of course, can only help and not hurt your learning journey on the trumpet. Plus, who doesn’t like rocking out to “We Will Rock You?”
So, if you’re struggling with everything else, give this a try. You shouldn’t get stuck on this one. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
“Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
The spirit of soul and funk remains in pop culture. But I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say it was Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars who brought it back to the forefront with their 2014 smash hit “Uptown Funk.” It captured the essence of everything that was good about classic 70s funk without adding an unnecessary modern flavor.
“Uptown Funk” is funky, and at one point or another, most trumpet players find themselves exploring the depths of funk music. After all, what could be more fun? You get to play staccato, rhythmic riffs that sound amazing layered in with other instruments all acting as “percussion.” That’s the essence of funk!
If you’re looking for an easy song / riff, go with the earlier “We Will Rock You,” but if you’re ready to take on more, then “Uptown Funk” is worth a look. But fair warning – there are a lot of notes and riffs in this song. It’s a great challenge, but depending on your comfort level on your instrument, you may not be ready for it yet.
The below video is still a great guide.
“Mary Had A Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale
If you’re at a loss for easy songs to learn, then guaranteed, nursery rhymes and children’s songs are a shoe-in. They don’t make them a whole lot easier than “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” even if, as the video below points out, it takes some work in terms of articulation. That said, the video tutorial takes things at a relaxed pace that’s perfect for novice players.
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” by Jane Taylor
It might seem silly, but yes, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is nice and easy for a beginner, and whether you’re a child, adult, or somewhere in between, it’s a deeply ingrained melody worth adding to your repertoire. Although the melody isn’t a straight run through the major scale, it’s close, and that’s part of what makes it easy.
Notice that the melody is largely made up of groups of two (i.e., C – C – G – G – A – A, etc.). That is another aspect of what makes this melody so straightforward!
“What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
“What A Wonderful World” was immortalized by legendary trumpetist and vocalist Louis Armstrong. Its melody is like a study in triplets, and to be fair, that isn’t the easiest thing for complete beginners to pick up.
Although “What A Wonderful World” is probably more aspirational than anything, it is a song every trumpet player should consider studying at some point. If you’re thinking about tackling it now, then take it in chunks. Don’t try to play the entire song all at once, because that’s a sure way to feel discouraged. Armstrong is a legend for a reason.
“Take On Me” by A-ha
Here's another great place to look if you’re looking to add a little fun to your routine. We all remember the mid-80s synthpop hit “Take On Me” (I suppose, unless you’re a little older), which features a memorable synth lead riff and lyrics that don’t quite add up (that does have something to do with the fact that A-ha was a Norwegian band, mind you).
Obviously, the signature riff is alittle fast, so if you’re thinking about learning it, I would recommend slowing it way down before attempting it at full speed.
As the video below demonstrates, though, there are some slower sections that are easier to play too.
“Roxanne” by The Police
English rock band The Police is famous for having incorporated reggae style influences in their music. The supergroup was made up of consummate musicians, perhaps most notably primary songwriter, singer, and bassist, Sting.
The video below demonstrates the “simplest” part of The Police’s “Roxanne.” It does contain some sixteenth notes, mind you, and that isn’t necessarily “easy.” Start out by taking it at a moderate pace, and you will enjoy more success.
“La Cucaracha” by Unknown
“La Cucaracha” has a well-recognized melody, and familiar melodies always make for “easier” songs to learn versus those you’ve rarely heard or never heard before.
This riff does contain some intervallic jumps, but aside from the highest notes, it’s not all that bad. Plus, the riff was practically tailor made for the trumpet.
Use the video below as your guide and you can’t go wrong.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley
No, you’re not getting Rick Rolled (though internet trolls never seem to tire of the joke…). “Never Gonna Give You Up” really is a great song to check out. Maybe it’s not your thing, and that’s fine, but if you learn it, there might be an opportunity to Rick Roll others, just for fun.
This is a fun song, to be sure, but certainly not the easiest for beginners, even if we’re just looking at the main melody. You’ll want to take this at a slow pace if you’re thinking about getting going with it right now.
“Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock
Like I said, the trumpet has had its moments in the spotlight. But I can’t adequately express my appreciation for a song like “Cantaloupe Island.” It’s jazz, but it’s urban. It’s atmospheric yet evocative. And of course, that is a result of the sum of its parts, not just the trumpet. But the trumpet really is the perfect lead instrument for this tune.
Let’s be honest. This song is more aspirational than realistic for most beginners. But it is a great source of inspiration, don’t you think? And even if you can’t play all the riffs and solos heard in the video below, you could start learning the melody. And that’s the great thing about music. We can always return to the basics, and there is always something to be gained from it.
Easy Trumpet Songs For Beginners, Final Thoughts
The trumpet isn’t necessarily an easy instrument. My father loved the trumpet and often spent his spare time practicing it. He was not a bad player by any means, but watching him, I really got the sense that there were no shortcuts to mastery, and it’s a long road just to get to the point of being a competent player.
So, don’t ever get frustrated by the idea of “easy” songs. Easy really is a relative term as applied to an instrument like the trumpet, because the breathwork is probably the most crucial, and most difficult aspect of playing the trumpet to begin with.
That said, this guide features plenty of great songs, both simple and aspirational. Use these tunes as inspiration to become a better trumpet player, and never get down on yourself. A persistent attitude of learning and discovery should serve you well.