Make a Homemade Trumpet/Bugle




Introduction: 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

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

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

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

Step 4: 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.



    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest
    • Game Life Contest

      Game Life Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    44 Discussions


    Question 4 months ago

    What type of metal connector can I use in substitution to a mouth piece?

    By changing your lips and air speed you'll be able to play a few different notes but not the full range that valves give you

    PVC pipe works well as a substitute for a garden hose


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

    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.

    3 replies

    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!

    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)

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

    3 replies

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

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

    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.