Even the least musically aware person will be aware of what a trumpet looks like at fifty paces.
The small and compact tubing, adorned with keys and coming in a traditional golden bronze or maybe, on more rare occasions, a silver casing. When it comes to playing jazz or orchestral music, no collection of musicians will be complete without a trumpet.
Trumpets have a very high range and a generally higher pitch, with keys that enable the more skilled players to rattle through multiple notes at once. This versatility often means that the trumpet is featured as a lead instrument.
The trumpet can be both mournful and upbeat, bouncy or slow. The many sounds you can get out of a trumpet might appeal to you and that’s why you’re looking to buy one.
When it comes to picking out your first, second, maybe the third trumpet, you’ll need to look at a few things before purchasing one. Firstly, what intensity will you be playing at?
The level of your playing will certainly determine the type of trumpet that you’ll need. You’ll also need to think about the size, the mouthpieces, the keys, the bore, the bell, the bracing, and the finish.
For a trumpet, you’ll want something sturdy that will last you a few years at the very least. You’ll also want it to come with its own cleaning accessories and carry case to prevent it from denting, which can often happen during transit.
But where can you find the best trumpets? What features does a trumpet need to have and what materials should it be made out of to give you the best sound? How much will a decent trumpet set you back in terms of price?
Well, trumpeters the world over need not worry themselves with these questions, because we’ve compiled a list of some of the best horn instruments currently available on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you sort out the good trumpets from the bad, with some frequently asked questions from trumpet players the world over.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Our first horn is one that comes in the budget range and is perfect if you don’t want to spend too much money on your first trumpet.
If you haven’t been studying the trumpet for longer than a year, then this is the perfect one for you. It is made from solid lacquered gold, with a double brace for a reinforced hold - introducing the Glory Brass Bb Trumpet.
This instrument is mass-produced, so it won’t have the customized feel of some hand-made trumpets, but given the feel and handling of this instrument, you won’t get anything better for the price. With an overall brass construction, this trumpet will play a lot brighter than most others.
This is very lightweight, so you can look forward to being able to practice for hours on end. If you are a student learning to play the instrument, then holding your trumpet for as long as possible will be very important for progress.
This model comes with basic valve grease and some cleaning accessories, everything you will need to get started with your trumpet.
- This trumpet has a bright sound due to its brass composition, so you can expect a lot of clear and sometimes a little shrill articulation of the notes.
- The holding of this trumpet is very lightweight, with flexible keys that are very responsive and give everything the beginner or intermediate player need for a professional sound.
- The brass bell gives this trumpet it’s resonant quality, with stainless steel valves that certainly won’t stick during playing.
- The lighter weight of this trumpet will certainly appeal to beginners who are just getting to grips with this complex and challenging instrument.
- Some users have complained that this trumpet needs additional maintenance to prevent the keys from sticking.
As you can probably tell from the name, this next model of trumpet is designed to be used by students.
It is made by a very popular Lexington manufacturer and is made from a yellow brass and a smooth lacquer finish that will prevent it from getting damaged by saliva and other moisture - introducing the Lexington Standard Brass Lacquered Bb Student intermediate Trumpet.
This one has piston valves that are made from stainless steel, giving you a smooth and responsive action on your keys. When first picking up this instrument you’ll want a little bit of bounce back while you’re playing, so having a trumpet with these properties is perfect for the entry-level player.
This trumpet has a yellow brass bell, which again will give your trumpet that much brighter sound. The price of this instrument is very reasonable, ideal for a student player who has a limited budget and needs nothing more than the basic features of a trumpet.
- The brass composition of this trumpet will deliver that clear sound that you will have already heard from a lot of trumpet players. This will make you stand out if you are a soloist playing with a jazz band.
- The lacquer finish will help you protect the outer casing of your trumpet against moisture damage, resulting in less cleaning and increased longevity for your instrument.
- The price - this is a great budget instrument for a student or an older beginner. It has a lightweight construction that won’t obstruct your playing or cause your arms to ache over hours of practice.
- This is a great trumpet for those players who want to quickly graduate from beginner to intermediate.
- Some users have complained that the intonation of this trumpet is a little too sharp to play in an ensemble.
- The valves on some models have been reported to be misaligned.
Our next model of trumpet is certainly one for the more experienced beginner who might want to start transitioning into something a bit more challenging.
This has a clear lacquered finish over solid rose brass, which gives it a much more mellow and strident tone than some other models - introducing the Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet.
This trumpet has an adjustable third-wave valve that slides for a natural hand position and a much more improved playing technique. This trumpet has been accurately machined, with stainless steel valves that will certainly last for years, if not decades, if properly maintained.
This trumpet comes with a soft case with numerous pockets in which you can store your mouthpiece and the various cleaning brushes. This has a very generous 7C mouthpiece which will enable you to gain greater control over those hard to reach notes.
- This trumpet is made from a very rare rose brass that not only gives it that extra singing quality when it’s played but will also make you stand out against all the other trumpet players in a large band scenario.
- The stainless steel valves give this trumpet that extra resilience, which is very important if you plan on playing this over consecutive days and nights.
- The key response is very quick, giving you the great bounceback on notes that you need for smooth transitions.
- The lacquer finish will protect your trumpet from erosion from moisture over time. This will be very important for increasing the longevity of the instrument.
- Some users have reported that it is much harder to play the high notes on this trumpet.
Our next trumpet has been described as one that effectively bridges the gap between the beginner and intermediate levels of a trumpet player, with a very capable instrument with a gold lacquer or nickel-silver finish that has stainless steel piston valves and an adjustable slide valve for greater control over the instrument’s sound - introducing the Jupiter JTR700 Standard Series Student Bb Trumpet.
Considering the price on this model, it has all the features a beginner could need, as well as a lot more! This trumpet has a 0.460-inch bore and a 0.480-inch bell that will give it a very bright and rich sound. When it comes to having that professional sound, tone and intonation are very important.
This trumpet comes with a hardwood case which a lot of beginners will appreciate, giving them the confidence that it will not break in transit. Eventually, dents and scratches may only damage the body of your trumpet at first, but it will soon affect the sound and functionality of your instrument.
- The stainless steel valves - these are very reliable and responsive, which beginners will need to give them a lot more confidence.
- The bore and bell design are made for a richer sound that you won’t be able to differentiate from the more professional models.
- The gold lacquer finish will ensure that your trumpet is protected against corrosive elements such as sweat and water, which are a risk if you’re regularly playing live.
- The carry case - this is made from hardwood which will not only protect your delicate trumpet but will also give you that sophisticated edge.
- Some players have claimed that this trumpet struggles to hit notes in the higher register.
Our final trumpet is by no means the worst on our list, tried and tested rigorously in the Yamaha factory in Japan, this is the culmination of a company that has established itself as a world leader in making instruments.
This trumpet is manufactured from a lacquered gold material, which will ensure that it will last for decades - introducing the Yamaha YTR-2330 Standard Bb Trumpet.
This trumpet will give you a lot of versatility in the handling, the third valve trigger will give you greater control over how you support your trumpet. This trumpet has a very generous bore, designed to give you that perfect resonance both in the practice room, the recording studio or at a live concert.
The mouthpiece on this Yamaha model will give you greater control over the articulation of the notes. If you are using the trumpet for the first time, you’ll want all the basic features of a standard trumpet, so a model such as this surely won’t let you down.
- This is a great trumpet for both students and older amateurs, the solid design quality and the material gives you a rich, warm sound from your trumpet.
- This product is one that is meticulously tried and tested, Yamaha won’t let a single trumpet leave the factory without knowing that it will please the most ardent trumpet enthusiast.
- The bore and bell on this trumpet come in a two-piece with a third valve trigger that will allow even the most newbie trumpet player to maintain a neutral hand position.
- This is a great trumpet if you want to transition from being a starting player to an intermediate. This is a good start for developing your trumpet standing and sitting position, as well as practicing your fingering and your mouth position.
- Some users have complained that the delivery of their trumpet is slow and the customer service is less than satisfactory.
Best Trumpet Buying Guide
To have the very best in trumpet playing, your model needs to have the best materials and the best design and construction.
If one piece of your construction fails, then the chances are that the trumpet itself will be unusable and you’ll have wasted potentially hundreds of dollars.
But what are you looking for in the very best trumpets? There are a few basic things that your trumpet should have to give you the perfect sound and a high degree of control over your keys and valves.
What Size Is Your Trumpet?
There are many different sizes of trumpet, but the most common size is the B-flat trumpet, which is used in orchestras, jazz and brass bands. This means that the C that you play on this trumpet sounds more like a Bb.
So when looking for your next trumpet, make sure that you have the right size for your tuning.
What Is The Size Of the Mouthpiece?
You can get a wide variety of shapes for your mouthpiece, all of which can really affect the tone and how easy it is to play your trumpet.
If you are a complete beginner, you might want to get a large mouthpiece so that your lips and cheeks can get used to the intense pressure that comes with using a trumpet.
If you have a deeper mouthpiece, you can generally expect your trumpet to have a darker tone, however, this requires more physical endurance as you will need to blow a lot harder to get those notes out.
What Is The Size Of The Bore?
The bore of the trumpet is the inside diameter of the main tubing, and a wider bore will often require more effort to play but will produce much louder sounds.
Trumpet bores range between 0.450 to 0.472 inches, so if you’re a student and want a starter trumpet, ideally you should have a bore that is approximately 0.460-inches in length.
How Many Valves Does Your Trumpet Have?
Most modern-day trumpets have about 3 piston valves that can connect short sections of slides to the main tube that increase or decrease the pitch.
These valves come in a different range of materials, which will affect the overall price of your trumpet. These lower-priced horns usually have valves that are made from nickel-plated steel pistons. However, if you do want to opt for the cheaper model with nickel pistons, you should be aware that they can warp from repeated cleaning.
If your trumpet valves get damaged, then the trumpet will end up being unplayable. You have to regularly clean your valves with high-quality valve oil.
Frequently asked Questions
What Is The Best Finish For A Trumpet?
Trumpets are usually specially polished to a high gloss, left either in their natural state, lacquered or metal plated.
If you have a bare brass trumpet, then you will have a more distinctive sound, although they will lose their luster if not polished over time. Some professionals prefer the unique sound you can achieve with a bare brass trumpet.
You can also get electroplated trumpets, with nickel, silver or the more common gold plating. These plates will protect the outer casing of the trumpet from damage and will not affect the overall tone of the instrument.
What Type Of Bell Should You Have For Your Trumpet?
The bell of your trumpet is essentially the built-in amplifier that projects the sound and pitch that you play.
Trumpet bells vary in construction and the materials that they’re made out of, each one will affect the sound of your trumpet in very unique and distinctive ways.
Most student trumpets have a standard flared end of about 5-inches. Narrower bells produce a much more concentrated sound, with a reduced amount of bell flare.