Introduction: Make a Homemade Trumpet/Bugle

Picture of Make a Homemade Trumpet/Bugle

Here's how to make a trumpet out of household items. It sounds just like the real thing, except for the fact that it has no valves.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Ya need...

O Small length of garden hose
O Medium sized funnel
O Trumpet mouthpiece (found at any music store) OR use the metal connector at the end
 O Duck Tape

Step 2: Prepare Hose

Picture of Prepare Hose

Make the hose into a circle (Picture 1). Cut both it's metal head off, and you're ready! Now, tape it as shown in picture 4. If you don't have a mouthpiece, only cut one part off.

Step 3: Funnel and Mouthpiece

Picture of Funnel and Mouthpiece

Stick the funnel in one end and if necessary, tape it. Do the same with the mouthpiece.

Step 4: Playing

Picture of Playing

Play it just like you would a trumpet or bugle, if you know how. If you don't, here are snippets from

Begin by wetting your lips and press your lips lightly together as if you are about to say "m." Your teeth should be slightly apart. Hold the mouthpiece to the center of your lips, and blow until your lips vibrate. Your lips should be flat and not pursed as in blowing a kiss. Keeping your lips in the same position, move your tongue as if you are about to pronounce the letter "t" (press the tip of your tongue slightly between your teeth without allowing it to stick out of it). Next, slightly withdraw your tongue and simultaneously blow, again creating a vibration. You should just as quickly return your tongue to the "t" position and repeat the steps several times. This movement of the tongue is known as tonguing. Tonguing is important in order to distinctly start and stop between the notes in the music you will be playing. To increase the pitch, you will also need to press your lips more tightly together.

Have fun with your new trumpet/bugle.

Original idea from a book called: "101 Great Science Experiments" can be found at:,,9780756619183,00.html?strSrchSql=101+great+science/101_Great_Science_Experiments_Neil_Ardley

Attached is a demonstration of the three major notes it can play.


ousmane10 (author)2016-02-23

What if you don't have the materials to do it.

BunnyN2 (author)ousmane102017-07-01

PVC pipe works well as a substitute for a garden hose

49ersfan18547 (author)2017-05-09

I'm going to make one

trevoro9 (author)2016-10-17


I had to do some research to find this out. you might find this very helpful

wendycorduroy12 (author)2016-02-15

Would this work for me? I have never played a trumpet in my life, but I want to. Would this be a good "beginning" trumpet/bugle for me? I don't want to rent a trumpet, so this is the closest I can get.

BlakeO2 (author)wendycorduroy122016-05-26

I don't recommend it either, it wouldn't give you the full experience of having an actual trumpet as a actual trumpet has 3 piston valves that extend the length of tubing to get a different sound each time. As poobajones said, you could go on eBay and buy a used one, but if you wanted to be cost effective, but a plastic one, they work the exact same.

Unfortunately I would not recommend it. It is very hard to play, even with seven years of trumpet experience. If you are interested in learning trumpet, I would check eBay for a used horn in decent condition, that may be your cheapest bet!

TL11 (author)poobajones2016-04-18

Rly This is my first yr playing trumpet AND I GOT INTO JAZZ BAND... so really u don't need 7 years of experience. (i dont have some of da materials xD)

Kerimcana (author)2015-11-10

Hi! There is no music store in Izmir, Turkey. Is trumpet working fine if i use Metal Connector?

Kerimcana (author)Kerimcana2015-11-10

Or hose connector

poobajones (author)Kerimcana2015-11-10

You should be able to use anything your lips can make a buzzing sound on.

Kerimcana (author)Kerimcana2015-11-10

Or hose connector

quadracer (author)2012-11-01

Garden hose does not work well for this. Use automotive vacume line like shown in the photos.

Kzummo (author)2012-07-24

I know a guy who made one of these

sageserver (author)2009-07-13

you forgot the keys...

bigjeff5 (author)sageserver2011-10-01

It's a natural (valveless) trumpet, not a bugle.

For those unaware of the difference, a bugle is has a conical shape from bell to mouthpiece, while a trumpet must be cylindrical for at least 2/3 of its length.  Most trumpets are cylindrical for 5/6 of the length, which this trumpet is closer to.  The coronet is sort of between the trumpet and bugle - more conical than a trumpet but less than a bugle.  The valveless version of the cornet is the posthorn. 

A bugle or coronet would be extremely hard to duplicate with garden hose.  A trumpet, however, is easy, and I like the sound better anyway.

Aar000n3y (author)sageserver2009-07-13

bugles don't have any valves, you're probably thinking of a trumpet

sageserver (author)Aar000n3y2009-07-14

well the title suggests its a trumpet.

LexiLovesPie (author)2010-06-13

just to be clear everyone a TRUMPET has valves which are used to make different notes a BUGLE has NO VALVES and the note is controled entirely by the players embachure (the position of his mouth and lips) so technicly this a bugle and also trumpet mouth prices are kinda expensive new so you would have to get a used one or not have one unless you already have one or the cash to get a new one I'm a trumpet player myself it's a great instrument 

bigjeff5 (author)LexiLovesPie2011-10-01

Actually a valveless trumpet is known as a natural trumpet. They were extremely popular in the baroque period, and are not at all bugles.

A bugle is more closely related to the coronet, and modern bugles are often valved anyway.

Calling a natural trumpet a bugle is about as bad as calling a coronet a mellophone. They are similar but distinct instruments.

Pryo Chain (author)LexiLovesPie2011-02-24

You spelled 'embouchure,' 'controlled, and 'technically' wrong. Besides, trumpets are high pitched and whiny sounding, and they always want to cover up everything else. They're like the guitar solo of a rock band; the bass and drums are the cake, it's the solo that is the icing on the cake. But nobody wants to eat a cake made of just frosting. There can be too much of a good thing...

LexiLovesPie (author)Pryo Chain2011-02-25

well pyro as you can see spell check has failed me. I play trumpet as you might have guessed and as trumpet can sometimes be high and whiny it can also be mysterious and dark, or jazzy or bluesy type feel. I'm Just gonna guess you don't play trumpet because it is a wonderful instrument and in a jazz band, a swing band, or a big band is great to have even in classical music. and while we trumpets want to "cover up everything" good players know the importance of maintaining a reasonable volume.

Pryo Chain (author)LexiLovesPie2011-06-13

Just so we're clear... I was kidding. You seriously just need to take a chill pill... And as a professional jazz musician and music major with years of experience, I know what I'm talking about when I say that trumpets are great instruments, and they have their uses. Lower sounds have been scientifically proven to be more pleasing to the human psyche. However, I'm not in any way trying to call them terrible instruments. They're more likely to sound whiny because the embouchure is more difficult than some instruments and a lot of musicians don't have that much muscle support, or play without proper embouchure. You'd be a fool to say that "Green Hornet" performed by Mnozil Brass is freaking amazing... so I'm not saying their bad, simply that I don't like them.

And I suppose you could assume that I don't play trumpet... but you'd be wrong... I've been playing for 7 years with private lessons, and I play in a professional jazz band... I also play everything but edge-blown flutes, meaning high & low brass, reeds, strings, and percussion.

And I don't know why you're so insulted... first off, it was a joke. More importantly, I compared trumpets to a guitar solo... I basically called it the best part. But everything has a time and place, and there -is- such a thing as too much of something good. They do have their uses. They date back to earlier than 1500 BCE, they were found in ancient Egyptian tombs, even. In medieval times, they served as a communication device for armies.

Oh, and just so you know... this -is- a trumpet. By definition, a trumpet is straight bore, while a bugle is either straight or conical, like a cornet. Earlier trumpets did not have valves, neither rotary nor pistons. The addition of valved instruments is fairly recent; this instrument is simply a natural trumpet.

Have a nice day :)

LexiLovesPie (author)Pryo Chain2011-06-14

Well pyro I must say that as a joke that makes much more sense. Listen because I can't really hear the way you say things when you type them instead of hearing them in person it does make things harder to understand. So my bad there as for the definition of trumpet or bugle yes you're correct there and by the book definition yes this is a trumpet and we should leave it at that. So to clear up again that just didn't sound like a joke to me, in fact I still really don't see any humor there but that's probably just me. Hope this mix up hasn't lead to any bad blood between us because after all there's no point in fighting about this although we aren't fighting. Oh and also when I left that first comment , like a year ago, I didn't know as much as I do now so my bad. Sorry again for the mix up. by the way were you ever in a school band or did you just take music up on your own?

Sorry again have an awesome summer!

Pryo Chain (author)LexiLovesPie2011-06-14

Symphonic Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, I played primarily the trombone but I played other instruments when the situation demanded it. I also play in several professional jazz ensembles and larger collegiate bands.

LexiLovesPie (author)Pryo Chain2011-06-15

sweet I'm in all those bands at my school. can't wait for band camp 54 days away and counting have a nice day

Cubie2 (author)LexiLovesPie2011-04-01

Just because you've never heard a trumpet that you like doesn't mean that they all suck. I play the trumpet as well and out of the 8 instruments I play trumpet is by far my favorite.

LexiLovesPie (author)Cubie22011-04-01

um I'm sorry did you read the entire comment? I AM A TRUMPET PLAYER! And I LOVE trumpet yes when beginning and new to the instrument things can sound a little pitchy at first but after a few weeks practice things sound great please I'm not sure if you read the comment because I stated ,in fact several times that I PLAY TRUMPET. as a matter of fact I'm in honor bands for trumpet so please read the comment it actually says "it is a wonderful intrument..." sorry for any misunderstanding hope this clears things up because we trumpets need to stick together!

jbenefield1 (author)2011-06-18

Does it even sound like a bugle or a trumpet, wheres the spit valve, where are the valves??? I don't undersatand how it could sound like a trumpet, because I play and actual trumpet, not a cornet, but I used to play cornet. Just asking questions, just thinking out loud...

bigjeff5 (author)jbenefield12011-10-01

I'm pretty late to the party, but I just watched a video of a guy who does the same thing as in this instructable.

It sounds exactly like a trumpet with the valves wide open - aka a natural trumpet.  Apparently the brass or copper has very little to do with the sound; it is primarily the size and shape of the tube that seems to matter. Since the trumpet has a cylindrical bore and the coronet a conical bore, the coronet would actually be much more difficult to duplicate with cheap plastic tubing.

The funnel size alters the volume of the trumpet - a larger funnel will make a louder trumpet, while no funnel at all makes a fairly quiet trumpet.

You can play around with the key of the trumpet by altering the length - shorter for a higher pitch, longer for a lower pitch.

It is pretty freaking awesome, really.

edeiaco-lohr (author)2011-08-31

You Guys crack me up. This person made a horn out of rubber tube and a funnel, and all the "experts" cry "Point of Order, Sir!" Yes, a trumpet has valves. Big Deal! This is something you can make a musical noise out of - Just enjoy it

Anyone looking for the spit valve? Just take the tape off and drain it overnight.

nonnogugu (author)2009-08-11

Does it work without the mouthpiece too?

poobajones (author)nonnogugu2009-08-11

I don't see why not, but it wouldn't sound as nice.

ross33 (author)poobajones2011-08-05

u can but its much harder i could barly do it on my trumpet and its very hard on the lips so ya try it if u want good luck is al i can say

urtlesquirt (author)2011-05-31


poobajones (author)urtlesquirt2011-05-31

Hey, i went with a minimalistic, simple, CHEAP design here. If you want to make one and make it look pretty, go ahead.

urtlesquirt (author)poobajones2011-06-02

nah. sorry. i just meant that my trumpet sounds great, so i expect this one should too.

splazem (author)2011-05-29

I play the trumpet... this looks pretty cool!

mbudde (author)2009-07-13

Cool. This is kind of like the PVC trombone. Also, I wonder if, for the mouthpiece, you could just use one of the hose attachments. I don't play trumpet, so I don't know how big it is compared to a trumpet mouthpiece, but it might work.

LexiLovesPie (author)mbudde2010-06-13

yeah you mean the metal part on the hose right cuz that would work

noobie605 (author)2009-12-26

lol "you must red the inside of this box to live" i loled

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