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How to Do a Horse Whinny on a Trumpet

Leroy Anderson's
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Most serious trumpet players have dreamed of being the designated “horse” during a Christmas concert performance of Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.” Many of Anderson’s compositions use unique sounds that are not normally heard in a symphony hall. In “Waltzing Cats,” the violins use sliding effects to produce “meows,” and in “Syncopated Clock,” the temple blocks create the tick-tock accompaniment. “Sleigh Ride” incorporates the sounds of sleigh bells and horse whips throughout the piece, ending with the horse whinny followed by one last crack of the whip.

Press all three valves halfway down with your right hand. Hold the trumpet firmly around the valve casing with your left hand and insert the pinky of your right hand into the pinky ring/hook for stability.

Play a high note, preferably the G, which sits on top of the treble clef or higher.

Play a slowly descending glissando while shaking the trumpet slightly away from and back toward your lips. The shaking is a rapid forward/backward motion, not side to side. Your "horse" will sound better with a faster and stronger shake.

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