Trumpet Lesson – Learn to Play Happy Birthday to You

In this trumpet lesson you will learn to play the melody to the song Happy Birthday To You without sheet music. It is a melody that is well worth learning by heart for special occasions!

The most common trumpet is a transposing instrument pitched in Bb. That is the instrument you probably are playing. This means that when you play a melody in C-major on your trumpet it will actually sound as if played in Bb-major.

In this trumpet lesson you will find the lyrics to the song Happy Birthday To You line by line in F-major with the chord symbols written in Eb-major for guitar or piano or some other chord instrument. The chord symbols are placed before the syllable where you are to play it.

Below the lyrics you will find the notes to play on your trumpet. In this lesson we will use the note names supposing that you know how to play the notes on your trumpet. You will also find a system for showing the length of the notes.

In case you need to refresh the notes and how they are played on your trumpet you will find a fingering chart here for the notes we will use:

C4=000, D=101, E=110, F=100, G=000, A=110, Bb=100, C5=000 (1 indicates pressed and 0 not pressed valves)

We shall now start this lesson by learning the melody to the first line of lyrics:

Happy (Eb)birthday to (Bb7)you

C4 C D C F E

The first note has the number 4 after the note name indicating that it is to be played in the lowest octave on your trumpet. The number four indicates that this is the fourth octave on an traditional piano keyboard.

I guess that you can play the rhythm of the melody by heart but we will also use a system for showing you the time value of the notes. The shortest notes are indicated with the number 1. In traditional sheet music notation this would be an eight note.

The number two means that a note has twice the value of the length 1. The value 4 means that the note has four times the value of number 1. Here comes the corresponding rhythms for the previous melody:

1 1 2 2 2 4

Let’s continue with the melody and from now on I notate the rhythms below the notes:

happy (Bb7)birthday to (Eb)you


1 1 2 2 2 4

Happy (Eb) birthday dear (Ab)…

C C C5 A4 F E D

1 1 2 2 2 2 2

The note C5 is the C note in the next octave. After this note you have the note A4 which indicates that you will go back to the lowest octave again playing the following notes the same way.

Happy birthday to you

Bb Bb A F G F

1 1 2 2 2 4

Now you have played the complete melody. I suggest that you learn the melody by heart line by line on your trumpet. You will never know when you have a reason to play the melody for someone!