How to Remove Stuck Trumpet Mouthpiece

Written by contributing writer
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Having a stubborn trumpet mouthpiece is an extremely frustrating experience for a horn player. Often, you might not even realise the mouthpiece is stuck until you really need to remove it, such as after a gig or while packing your trumpet for travel. Regardless of how the mouthpiece became stuck in the first place (typically by dropping the horn on the mouthpiece or simply pressing it in too tightly), you can remove it with relative ease.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Drumstick or wooden dowel
  • Ice cube

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  1. 1

    Place the ice cube in the cup of the mouthpiece. Angle the trumpet downward so that the melting ice will drain to the floor.

  2. 2

    Hold your trumpet securely on your lap horizontally.

  3. 3

    Lightly tap your wooden stick against the trumpet's mouthpiece receiver. Work in a circular motion around the circumference of the receiver, being extremely careful not to accidentally strike the lead pipe. Increase the velocity of your blows gradually, and gently twist and pull on the mouthpiece simultaneously.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply a small amount of wax to your mouthpiece receiver to prevent the mouthpiece from getting stuck in the first place.
  • Bring your trumpet to a horn shop if the mouthpiece is still stuck, or if you feel like striking the receiver any harder would damage it. Horn shops will typically have a tool specifically made for this sort of job, called a mouthpiece puller.
  • Do not under any circumstances use pliers to remove a stuck mouthpiece. You're likely to damage the mouthpiece or the horn itself.

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