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If you’ve landed here as you’re trying to figure out how to find the best beginner trumpet, why don’t you take a rest, weary traveler?
You’ve probably had to scroll through quite a bit of content trying to figure out how to begin your buying journey for your first trumpet.
There’s sooo much to sort through when you’re trying to figure out how to buy your first trumpet. I know from personal experience that buying a quality trumpet isn’t an easy task.
It’s even more difficult when you’re looking for a quality beginner trumpet; there are so many companies out there that make low-quality trumpets and try to pass them off as “beginner” friendly.
But I don’t want you to fall into those scams. You deserve a quality trumpet, especially as a beginner.
And a quality trumpet doesn’t necessarily mean you’re buying an expensive trumpet or a professional grade trumpet either. There’s a lot to look for in a beginner-level trumpet without needing all of the advanced tech that comes with a professional-level trumpet.
So, instead of sorting through dozens of pages of generic advice, why don’t you stay awhile? As an expert trumpet player, I’m here to give you the insight you need to find the perfect beginner trumpet for your first instrument. Buckle up; it’s going to be a long ride!
Bottom line up front: I’m #teamYamaha all the way on this one. I think it’s a great trumpet, and I would recommend it to anyone who knows they’re going to stick with playing the trumpet!
Renting vs Buying
The first question you should ask yourself when you’re beginning to search around for beginner-level trumpets is if you want to buy your first trumpet or you want to rent it. Of course, there are pros and cons to both options. However, the decision is ultimately up to you.
Personally, I would only recommend buying a trumpet. If you’re renting a trumpet, it’s a lot like the same problems that you can run into when you’re buying a used trumpet.
You don’t know who the previous owner of the trumpet was. Therefore, you don’t know how they took care of the trumpet if they kept up with basic maintenance if there was anything that was broken on the trumpet while they were using it. The list of things you don’t know about the trumpet could go on forever.
If you can afford it, I would always recommend buying your first trumpet. While renting a trumpet is a lot cheaper initially, buying your first trumpet is more affordable over time. And depending on the cost of your first trumpet, the cost of buying your first trumpet could quickly pay off.
Honestly, by the end of your first year (or your child’s first year) of playing the trumpet, you could pay two or three times the total amount that you would’ve paid if you had just bought a trumpet.
That’s why I always recommend buying a beginner-level trumpet; even if you (or your child) don’t end up sticking with it, you’ll actually end up saving yourself money in the long run.
Buying New vs Used
Again, I would highly recommend buying a new trumpet. There are a lot of used models that may be priced pretty cheaply, but if you don’t know what to look for when you’re shopping around for a used trumpet, you’re probably going to end up buying a trumpet with a lot of baggage.
You know how when you buy a used car, you want to know the Carfax? Well, you want to know the mileage on a trumpet before you buy it.
Unfortunately, there’s no sort of way to track exactly all of the damage, the overall maintenance performed on a trumpet, and all of the other important things you should know before you purchase your instrument.
Theo only way that you can tell the history of a trumpet is by buying a brand new instrument. That way, there’s no hidden history for you to worry about.
And why is the hidden history so important?
Well, if you don’t know what’s happened to your trumpet, you don’t know what to prepare for. This is especially important as a beginner. For example, if you’re struggling with making sound out of your instrument as a beginner, it may not be because you’ve got the wrong embouchure.
Instead, it would be something wrong with your used trumpet; but as a beginner, this problem with your instrument could cause you to get frustrated and eventually give up on playing your trumpet.
And in the off chance that you do figure out what’s wrong with your trumpet, you’ll have to shell out money to get it fixed. Sometimes, repairs can cost you an arm and a leg, even if the trumpet isn’t that great in overall quality.
Again, these aren’t problems you have to worry about with brand new trumpets. In the world of instruments, new is the best way to go when you’re first starting out.
How to Buy a Great Beginner-friendly Trumpet
So, now the hard part: figuring out how to choose between poor quality and a high-quality beginner-level trumpet. There are a LOT of options to choose from out there, but there’s only a handful that I would truly recommend.
I do want you to keep in mind that there aren’t any perfect trumpets out there. And the fun thing about the trumpet is there are some models that may work better for you than others. But, just as there aren’t any perfect trumpets out there, there are also some really bad ones too.
Knowing how to distinguish the bad models from the good models is important. That way, you can ensure that you’re investing in a good trumpet. Here’s what you should look for in a beginner-friendly trumpet:
The Lead Pipe
The mouthpiece and the lead pipe are two different things; the mouthpiece is what attaches to your trumpet. The lead pipe is the first section of tubing on your trumpet that stretches across from the mouthpiece, all the way to the first tuning slide.
The lead pipe is important to the trumpet because it’s what’s responsible for controlling the airflow coming into your instrument. As a result, the size of the lead pipe makes a huge difference to a beginner. The inside diabetes of the lead pipe is referred to as the bore.
I would only recommend beginners play with a medium to a large-sized bore. This size is very manageable for beginners.
Look at the Mouthpiece
Okay, so you’re going to want to take a good long look at the mouthpiece of the trumpet. You may not think that the mouthpiece has a whole lot to do with the sound coming out of the trumpet, but it does.
While it may be little, it’s very mighty.
The mouthpiece is what creates the sound on your trumpet. The rest of the instrument is there to add volume and tone to the sound you’re producing.
But, what should you look for when you’re looking at the mouthpiece? The shape and size of it!
If you’re looking at a trumpet that doesn’t have a deep cup, the sound your trumpet makes will be very bright. As you’re playing the instrument, you’ll notice when you get into higher registers, you’ll notice that the trumpet responds beautifully.
But, if you’re looking at a trumpet that has a deep cup, you’ll get an instrument that produces a rich, mellow, and warm sound.
In addition, I would only recommend looking at a smaller-sized mouthpiece. With the trumpet mouthpiece, you don’t want to buy a mouthpiece that’s too big. In my opinion, a smaller mouthpiece is better. A smaller mouthpiece is a lot easier to play, which helps to reduce the fatigue you’ll feel while you’re playing.
When your skill begins to increase, and you’re able to control your breath support a lot better, you can always switch to using a large-sized mouthpiece. The larger the mouthpiece on your trumpet is, the easier it is for you to control your sound. Plus, you’ll be able to deliver a much louder sound.
All of the trumpets you’re going to look at in the list will have different mouthpiece sizes. You can always go out and buy your own mouthpiece if you’re already aware of one that you like to use. Or, if you have a friend that’s made a mouthpiece recommendation to you, you can always go ahead and use that mouthpiece.
There’s no harm in having more than one mouthpiece to rely on, but that’s not something that you need to worry about as a beginner if you don’t have more than one mouthpiece.
The Bell Matters
That’s right, the bell of your trumpet matters. Your trumpet’s bell wasn’t just created for good looks. The size and the shape of the bell actually matter!
The bell on your trumpet is where sound id produces. But, the metal the bell is used out of, the size of the bell, and the shape of the bell all matter. All of these factors affect the quality of sound that your trumpet produces.
Also, the bore of the trumpet plays a part in your trumpet’s sound too. The large the size of the bore is, the bigger the sound your trumpet will produce.
Plus, when there’s additional flaring found in the bell of a trumpet (which isn’t commonly found on beginner models), the softer your tone will be. If you’re looking for a super bright tone, I would only go with a trumpet that has a smaller bell.
Consider the Type of Finish Used
The type of finish used on your trumpet matters. A lot of beginner-level trumpets have a lacquer on them. The lacquer makes the trumpet look pretty and makes a difference in the sound quality of the instrument.
Now, how does a shiny coat of paint make a trumpet sound different? Well, by adding a layer of lacquer, the vibration of the trumpet is affected. As a result, this changes the way a trumpet sounds.
Spit Valve/Water Key
Depending on who you’re talking to, some people may call it a spit valve, and other people may call it a water key. I personally call it a spit valve.
This is the valve that’s used to drain all of the spit that’s built up in your trumpet out of the instrument. Finding the spit valve isn’t as easy as finding the other valves on the trumpet because it’s almost hidden.
But, it’s important that you’re aware that the trumpet has a spit valve. If it doesn’t come with one, you shouldn’t buy the trumpet. There are even some trumpets that come with two spit valves; it doesn’t matter how many come with a trumpet; it just matters that there’s at least one.
There are a lot of different bell thicknesses and tapers out there, but for a beginner-level trumpet, I would only recommend you go with a bell that’s between four inches and four and a half inches. The thicker the bell you buy, the darker and fuller the sound your trumpet will have.
However, if you’re looking at a trumpet with a thinner bell, you may notice that the trumpet produces a brighter sound. Knowing the type of sound you’re looking for out of your trumpet is up to know. But, knowing these differences is important when you’re looking around for your first beginner trumpet!
I personally would only recommend you buy a trumpet from an established manufacturer. If you look on Google and find that a whole lot of people don’t know the manufacturer of the instrument you’re considering buying (i.e., there aren’t a whole lot of search results showing up for the brand), I would stay away from it.
It’s very important that you buy a quality trumpet as your first instrument. If you don’t, you’re going to run into a whole lot of problems that will make advancing with your instrument difficult. Buying a trumpet from an established name brand will ensure you’re getting a certain level of quality that the brand’s known for.
When you’re buying a brand new trumpet, I would highly recommend you buy a trumpet that comes with a warranty. If you only get a few months into using your trumpet but suddenly start to have a ton of problems, you shouldn’t have to suffer.
If your instrument starts to go downhill, and it’s not any fault of your own, I would highly recommend you utilize the warranty that came with your instrument. There are even some companies that offer a warranty for any repairs or tune-ups that are needed to be made to your instrument for a certain period of time.
Plating and/or Lacquer
I would recommend You also consider the plating or lacquer on your trumpet. A lot of older trumpets didn’t come with any plating or lacquer but instead kept the raw brass exposed.
The biggest problem with any brass instrument that doesn’t have any black rings for pleading is the brass will corrode when exposed to air. So, your instrument isn’t going to look very nice for long.
That’s why I would recommend you purchase an instrument that comes with either silver plating or some type of lacquer on it. Having the lacquer on top of the brass will keep the instrument protected from corrosion. But, that’s not all that lacquer or playing does.
Before you finalize your purchase of one trumpet, I would highly recommend that you go in-store and just hold it. Trumpets can have a lot of different weights see, even if it’s only by a couple of ounces.
Even though a couple of ounces doesn’t seem like a huge deal, a couple of ounces in an instrument wait can really make or break you’re playing experience.
For example, if a trumpet is just 4 ounces heavier than another model you’re testing out, you may find that the trumpet feels uncomfortable a heavy for you to hold. As a result, you’ll notice an increase in muscle strain as you’re holding on to the trumpet.
Learning how to hold and support the trumpet at first is going to be tricky. It’ll be even trickier when you’re holding on to a heavy trumpet. Your arms are going to get used to holding up the weight of the trumpet, but figuring out how to hold up the weight of a heavy trumpet it’s going to be even harder.
A lighter trumpet is going to be a lot easier for you to hold.
Of course, you can’t forget your budget. There are literally trumpets at all different price points, so I would highly recommend you consider what your budget is before you even start looking around at 1 type of trumpet.
A lot of beginner-friendly trumpets average between $200 to $400. But, the more advanced an instrument is, the more it’s going to cost.
Also, I wouldn’t really recommend buying any trumpet that’s below this price range, and for a good reason. If you are considering trumpets that are below this price point, I wouldn’t say that the trumpet is of any quality.
Buying a super cheap trumpet means that you are sacrificing the overall quality of your instrument just to save a couple of bucks. It’s totally not worth it, especially if you’re truly passionate about learning how to play.
I think you’re super serious about learning how to play as a beginner and working your way up; I would not recommend that you spend any more money than between $200 to $400.
As you become more advanced with your skill, the more advanced trumpets will be able to keep up with you. Plus, it gives you something to work towards in the future, which is super motivating, in my opinion.
Now, you may be asking yourself what the difference between a beginner versus intermediate versus professional-level trumpet is. A lot of beginner-level trumpets will come with a finger ring that’s adjustable for you to use on the third valve slide.
The reason you’ll find this on beginner-level trumpets is that it’s made to be customizable for people with smaller hands, like children.
However, an intermediate-level trumpets, you’ll find the first valve slide has a thumb rest. Plus, professional-level trumpets come with other essentials (like customizable lead pipes) to help fine-tune the sound coming out of the instrument.
My Top Beginner Trumpet Recommendations
Now, it’s time for the fun part! Here are my top trumpet recommendations for beginners. I’ve chosen all of these trumpets baseD on my personal experience with playing the trumpets.
Plus, I’ve chosen them with a lot of help from the information I’ve listed above. I’ve chosen them based on availability, affordability, and coming from a well-known manufacturer!
Mendini MTT Gold Lacquer Brass Trumpet
Ah, Mendini! One of my all-time favorite beginner brands. This is a great trumpet to earn how to play on, and for lots of reasons. First, I would highly recommend this company because it comes with so much of what you need to get started playing.
For example, I knew you would need to purchase a chromatic tuner and likely a fingering chart if you did not purchase the gold lacquer brass trumpet from Mendini. However, this trumpet comes with both of those items.
What I love most about this trumpet is how easy I was able to hold it. When I was first starting off learning how to play the trumpet, it was quite an awkward transition f for me to go from learning how to play the flute to the trumpet. I found the trumpet to be much heavier and more Awkward to hold compared to the flute.
But, thanks to the lightweight properties and easy grip on the trumpet, I didn’t have problems with this.
Plus, there are other accessories that this trumpet comes with oh, such as a carrying case, white polishing gloves, a stand, valve oil, and the tuner also serves as a metronome. It really gives you everything that you need to get started playing the trumpet.
Personally, just due to the build and the overall quality of the strumpet, I would only recommend it to a student musician. I would not recommend this if you are an adult and you’re finally taking the time to pursue your dream of learning how to play the trumpet.
Overall, I love the playability of this trumpet and think but it has a lot of potential to be a great first instrument for anyone interested in learning how to play. But, I would not recommend this trumpet to anyone else besides a young beginner.
- Very affordable
- comes with all of the accessories you need to get started, such as valve oil, cleaning supplies, Andie Case
- has a beautiful lacquered finish, which will help support the Ahh Bra sound of this trumpet
- Super easy to play and hold, especially for a beginner
- Isn’t the most durable trumpet on this list
- I wouldn’t say that this is the highest quality trumpet for a beginner
- I think this trumpet is best suited for a young beginners and that’s about it
Jean-Paul USA TR-330 Standard Trumpet
This trumpet was literally created for student musicians. With a lot of student-friendly trumpets, you’re going to get a very low level of quality. But, I do have to say that I was actually surprised at the overall quality that was offered by the Jean PaulStudent trumpet.
My first impression of the trumpet when I first started playing it was that even though this is a super affordable trumpet oh, the manufacturer still took the production very seriously. I could tell the attention to detail was definitely paid to this trumpet while I was playing it.
After I did a little bit more research into the student model, I actually found that Jean Paul sources all of its trumpet manufacturing processes in China. Originally, I was turned off by this admission from the manufacturer.
However, I learned that after the entire trumpet has been put together, Jean-Paul does inspections by hand for each and every trumpet they put on the market.
To me, that was such a crazy thing to think about, especially considering how cheap their student model trumpet is. So, to me, t I gained a whole lot of respect for the manufacturer.
- Thanks to the rose brass lead pipe, you don’t have to worry about corrosion
- Comes with all of the accessories you need to have fun (and be successful) playing the trumpet
- I love the tone that comes from this trumpet; it’s beautiful, warm, and something you wouldn’t expect out of a beginner trumpet
- Made in china
- I didn’t love how sticky the valves for this trumpet were originally
- I thought the body felt a bit heavy
Of course, I had to put a Yamaha recommendation in here! Yamaha is a very well-known brand, not even just for manufacturing entrance. So, you shouldn’t even be surprised to see a Yamaha recommendation on this list.
If you’re willing to invest in a trumpet that you know is going to last a few years, I would highly recommend this trumpet. I would also highly recommend this trumpet if you are shopping around for an intermediate-level trumpet or if you are an adult shopping around for a trumpet that isn’t so basic.
There’s a lot that this Yamaha trumpet has to offer. Well, one of those things it has to offer is that it’s a name-brand instrument; it also produces the most vibrant tones on this list. Plus, it’s also super consistent, and its tuning and the totality of the instrument.
Plus, Yamaha isn’t just known for making good insurance. They’re one of the brands in the industry ain’t that’s in well known for determining what quality looks like. And even though it offers super high-quality tone, tuning, durability, and more, it’s still very affordable.
- Super durable
- Very lightweight
- Comes with an adjustable Third valve trim which makes it easier the hold on to the trumpet, which will improve the overall playing technique
- It is kind of expensive
- Maybe too pricey for a young musician, it may only be a good option for intermediate or adult beginners
Answer: Yes, absolutely! That’s what I did. However, if you’re looking to play in a band or orchestra, I wouldn’t recommend this. There are a lot of techniques you should get down pat as a beginner, and these techniques may not be something you can learn by yourself.
Answer: Anywhere from $200 to $400!
Answer: A trumpet can play around 39 notes. Even though there are only thee valves, the trumpet can play three octaves!
Personally, I would highly recommend the Yamaha trumpet. I think it’s the best option on this list, but I also hope that all people who start to learn how to play the trumpet stick with it! There’s so much fun to be had when you’re learning how to play the trumpet.
But, if you aren’t sure if your little one is going to stick with playing the trumpet, I wouldn’t recommend you shell out all of the money Yamaha’s asking for. Instead, I would recommend the Mendini by Cecilio trumpet for your little one!
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