A pocket trumpet, as assumed by the name, is essentially a compact Bb trumpet with all of the functions of a regular trumpet.
Unlike the name, they cannot fit into a pocket. The tubing is just wound differently to create a smaller sized trumpet, ideal for traveling and storage.
Due to their size, they are not usually considered an essential instrument in an orchestra or band as opposed to a regular trumpet.
This makes them ideal for practice, beginners, small gigs, and studio recording sessions. They are a tiny version of the brass instrument, sizing anywhere between 4 and 12 inches long, and are generally considered a novelty instrument.
Despite this, they can still have the same functions as a regular trumpet - you can even use a normal mouth piece if you have a trumpet already. We have accumulated a list of the 5 best pocket trumpets along with a handy buyers’ guide and FAQ section for any unanswered questions.
OUR TOP PICK
This Mendini by Cecilio pocket trumpet is an all round box-ticker for those looking for a pocket trumpet.
A B flat trumpet, this instrument features high quality materials such as phosphorus copper on the lead mouth pipe and faux mother of pearl inlaid buttons to achieve a classy design as well as the same effects as a regular trumpet.
The valves are also smooth action, allowing for even expert trumpet players to transition easily to a pocket trumpet without too much adjustment.
This package also comes with a hard shell case that comes with backpack straps for convenient carrying (think about having to bring a pocket trumpet to school or practice - no heavy or large cases), a pair of white gloves, a cleaning cloth, a bottle of valve oil, and a tuner.
This pocket trumpet comes with a 7C mouthpiece, but this can be replaced by a regular mouthpiece too.
- Accompanied by all the necessary accessories
- High quality material
- Ideal for beginners, student musicians, or professionals needing to practice whilst traveling
- It will not act in the same way as an expensive trumpet
The Eastar pocket trumpet is made for a clear and powerful clarity and sound that would make any regular trumpet snob eat their words.
Coming in either a classy silver or gold, this trumpet has an elegant appearance along with its white faux mother of pearl inlaid buttons. The soft valves are designed to avoid sticking as long as they are well maintained.
It is recommended to oil the valves well before the first use to avoid jamming.
The internal pipes are cleaned by ultrasonic waves several times and then oiled to create the best quality trumpet sound and usage. Gone are the days of assuming a pocket trumpet is a novelty instrument that will not work efficiently!
This package comes with gloves, a cleaning cloth, cleaning brushes, valve oil, a 7C mouthpiece, and a hard case with a strap.
- Good quality for student musicians, traveling, or practicing
- Creates a good sound
- Comes with ideal accessories for maintenance
- Will not act in the same way as an expensive or larger trumpet
This durable brass pocket trumpet is a must-have for beginners or those wanting to practice without the fuss of a regular sized trumpet.
The standard Bb trumpet allows for a powerful and impressive sound that features bouncy rebounding valves matched with good air tightness of both the tubes and water key.
This quality matches a regular trumpet, making it ideal for young players and beginners who want to experiment with a smaller trumpet to get to grips with its functions and features.
This package includes a polishing cloth and cleaning kit, a standard 7C mouthpiece that can be replaced, a pair of white gloves, and a hard case with backpack straps for easy storage and transportation.
- Most ideal for beginners and young players
- Good quality valves and air tightness
- Comes with suitable accessories
- Smaller bell than the Mendini
- Slides may stick, an oil must be purchased separately
The Stagg pocket trumpet is made of brass and is a good choice for anyone wanting to practice, begin learning, or get back into trumpet playing.
This is the most regal and traditional design on our list, with its gorgeous red features on the valves and golden brass coloring. It comes with a 7C mouthpiece that can be swapped and changed for a different mouthpiece depending on preference and skill level.
The valves and mouthpiece are made of stainless steel, and the valves require oiling regularly to maintain their quality. The slides will also need regular oiling to work smoothly. For those traveling or wanting to practice at night, this pocket trumpet can fit regular trumpet mutes to quieten the noise slightly.
The sound quality is said to be excellent and clear, which is also ideal for playing gigs. This pocket trumpet comes in a hard, lined case - ideal for travellers who don’t want to risk damage and want to protect their instrument. All in all, a good compact practice trumpet.
- Traditional and classic aesthetic of brass, stainless steel, and red
- Can fit other mouthpieces and regular trumpet mutes
- Comes with a hard case which is well lined
- Valves may wear out faster than other pocket trumpets
- Only comes with case and not other accessories
This Sky Band pocket trumpet comes in an impressive 9 different color designs to fit any aesthetic - such as pink for a granddaughter, or black for a classy centrepiece and party trick. The main material on the body is a professional phosphorus copper.
This luxurious design is matched with its high sound quality, mimicking that of a regular trumpet. It comes with either two different Paititi mouthpieces, 5C or 7C, which can also be removed to use another mouthpiece if already owned.
This pocket trumpet comes with a velvet lined durable case, valve oil, a cleaning cloth and white gloves. The case can also come in either a lightweight or hard shell design depending on personal preference and intention.
- Looks as good as it sounds
- Top quality phosphorus copper material
- Comes with suitable accessories
- Affordable, but will not work in the same way as a regular or expensive trumpet
Best Pocket Trumpet Buying Guide
What a pocket trumpet is
Pocket trumpets are a compact version of a regular trumpet with the same functions and sound quality.
They most commonly come in a Bb form with no modifiers. Unlike a piccolo trumpet that is an octave higher than regular trumpets, pocket trumpets work to sound the same as a regular one. Pocket trumpets are generally more affordable than regular trumpets due to their size, making them ideal for practicing.
They are not commonly used in orchestras or large bands as they are considered a novelty instrument, but do feature in smaller jazz bands and gigs for a bit of variety and eccentricity.
It is said that the pocket trumpet design was inspired by smaller pocket cornets, another popular brass instrument, which reduced the size of the instrument without affecting the length of the tube and therefore the sound quality.
They are intended to be treated and maintained in the same way as a regular trumpet, with regular oiling of the valves and slides to prevent sticking and wear
Who a pocket trumpet is for
Despite being considered a novelty, pocket trumpets are ideal for musicians of all skill levels. They are commonly given as first instruments to children or those wanting to start learning how to play the trumpet, as the size and weight isn’t as intimidating as a regular trumpet.
For children, this is ideal - they won’t have to focus on holding a large instrument and potentially damaging it. Because the valves, mouthpiece, and sliders work in the same way, beginners and children can easily transition to a regular trumpet without too much adjustment.
They are also an ideal instrument for practicing musicians, from students and novices to professionals alike.
Due to their size, they are great for traveling and transportation in their cases. If you are wanting to practice in a hotel room without aggravating other residents, pocket trumpets can use mutes that regular trumpets can use too.
This also goes for practicing in a house or a public setting where you would like more privacy. For jazz players, pocket trumpets are a great instrument for adding flair to a gig, both audibly and visually.
There may be people who purchase a pocket trumpet and end up not playing it, or who prefer their regular trumpet. If this is the case, these compact instruments are a great centrepiece or addition to any interior with their classy and unique aesthetic. You could even get creative and stick a plant in it.
The opportunities are endless, because they just look cool.
Fortunately, most pocket trumpet packages come with necessary accessories, but for those that do not, here are the additional purchases that we recommend:
- Hard case
- Polishing cloth
- Bottle of valve oil
A hard shell case is a must-have item for any instrument owner. Whilst pocket trumpets are small and therefore easy to transport, they are still delicate instruments that cannot be chucked around in a bag.
To maintain the quality of the instrument and prevent breakage, make sure to invest in a case. Some cases also come with backpack straps, which is ideal for those taking an instrument to school or traveling.
Cleaning equipment such as brushes and a polishing cloth are essential for keeping the quality of the instrument high, as they stop smudges, scratches, and maintain the shiny appearance.
Whilst this may not be an essential for some trumpet players who only care about the sound, to maintain the quality of the instrument from the moment it arrives it will need regular polishing. Gloves are also not a necessity, but they do keep the instrument in good condition.
Perspiration from the skin can, overtime, affect gold, silver, and brass - so gloves will help to prevent discoloration also.
Pocket trumpets are, unfortunately, notorious for sticking valves. To combat this, valves must be oiled correctly to maintain the quality. This will also be cost effective and efficient in the long run, as a well kept instrument will not need replacement or constant fixing.
Lastly, a tuner is an essential accessory for any instrument owner. As with regular trumpets, you will want to keep the sound quality to a high standard, so a tuner will improve the sound and playing quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pocket trumpets any good?
As they are a compact version of a regular trumpet, they are good instruments to invest in. They are ideal for musicians of all ages and skill levels, from children who want to start learning an instrument to professionals who are out of practice.
Whilst they do not replicate the exact same sound quality as a regular trumpet, they are very good for practicing, playing at gigs, or playing as a party trick.
What is the difference between a trumpet and a pocket trumpet?
The clue is in the name - a pocket trumpet is just a compact and smaller version of a regular trumpet. Their design means that the tube is the same length, just wound up enough to make a smaller sized instrument.
The compact size means the bell is also generally smaller, which may produce a slightly different sound. Pocket trumpets are smaller, easier to travel and store, and are generally cheaper than a regular trumpet.
They are also considered more of a novelty in professional musicians, who prefer a regular trumpet for big bands, orchestras, and practising. That being said, many professionals who travel prefer a pocket trumpet for everyday practice, as they work in the same way as a regular trumpet. This means beginners can adapt to either.
Is a pocket trumpet harder to play than a regular trumpet?
This really depends on personal preference and skill level. Some players find that a pocket trumpet is easier to play due to the compact size, as holding the instrument closer to a face can be more comfortable and controlling.
This means arms will not get tired from a heavier weight, which is what makes them so useful for practicing complex pieces, as well as beginners who want to get to grips with how a trumpet works.
The feeling of an instrument being physically closer to the face can be useful for some players who want a better sense of control, and the sound quality will be easier to witness faults or mistakes as it is closer to the ears.
On the other hand, some players may prefer the larger sound presence of a regular trumpet. Due to the size difference, a regular trumpet will produce more sound and project better for large concerts or events than a pocket trumpet.
For those with larger hands, they may struggle with a pocket trumpet and will not be able to hold or play it comfortably.
How do you hold a pocket trumpet?
Pocket trumpets can easily be held with just one hand due to its handy ring by the valves for the fifth finger.
Fortunately, they are relatively easy to hold, and this can be transferable to a regular trumpet also.
Is a pocket trumpet like a piccolo?
Despite looking similar in size, a pocket trumpet is not at all like a piccolo. A piccolo trumpet is an octave higher than a regular trumpet due to its shorter tubing.
A piccolo also requires a specific mouthpiece as opposed to a pocket trumpet that generally uses a 7C standard mouthpiece, but can be transferable with regular trumpet mouthpieces too.
A piccolo can only be played by experienced trumpet players, and is not recommended for beginners - unlike a pocket trumpet.
As a beginner, should I start with a normal or pocket trumpet?
This is entirely up to you. Both trumpet sizes have their benefits and disadvantages, so it really depends on how much you are willing to spend, how much time you intend to invest, and if you can hold a heavier trumpet for long periods of time.
For children, a pocket trumpet is recommended so they can get used to the way it sounds and plays without hurting their arms. This does not mean they are a novelty or toy instrument by any means, as they can be used by any player of any level.