How to Change Your Trumpet Valve Pads

trumpet valve pads

Are your trumpet valves loud and clanky? You may need to change your trumpet valve pads. Jonathan Harnum from Talking Trumpet shows us how in this trumpet care video tutorial.

What Are Trumpet Valve Pads

trumpet valve padsAt the very top of a trumpet piston valve and just below the valve cap is a small felt pad. This trumpet valve pad cushions and protects the top of the valve kind of like a mini-shock absorber.

Over time the felt pad becomes compressed and loses it shock absorbing ability. When this happens a trumpet valve will sound loud or make a clanking sound as it returns to the top of the valve casing.

A valve pad can also lose its' shock absorbing ability if it gets wet. This can happen when cleaning a trumpet. If you recently soaked your trumpet valves and they now sound loud - you may have got the felt pads wet.

How Trumpet Valve Pads Help With Valve Alignment

In addition to keeping valves quiet, trumpet valve pads also help align (vertically) the holes in the trumpet valve with the ports in the trumpet valve casing. As the valve felt pads compress, this alignment can be thrown off and affect your play.

Changing A Trumpet Valve Felt Pad

As Jonathan demonstrates, it's a pretty simple process to change your trumpet valve felts.

Step 1 - Unscrew valve cap and remove valve from trumpet.
Step 2 - Unscrew and remove valve button. Do not use pliers!
Step 3 - Slide off valve cap.
Step 4 - Slide off and replace felt pad.
Step 5 - Slide valve cap back on and screw on the valve button.
Step 6 - Re-insert valve in trumpet. Be sure the engraved number on the trumpet valve is facing the trumpet mouthpiece. Also, avoid twisting the valve in the valve casing, this can scratch the valve.

Felt or Synthetic Pads?

It should be noted that there is an alternative to traditional felt trumpet valve pads. Synthetic pads or washers, as they are often referred to, offer the advantage of not compressing over time. This not only keeps your valves quiet longer but also helps keep your valves in better alignment.

So if your trumpet valves are a bit loud or clank take a moment to inspect and replace your trumpet valve pads. You can pick up some traditional trumpet valve felts here or some of the newer synthetic trumpet valve washers here.

Enjoy!