Although trumpets have been around for centuries, there are still many things that remain a mystery about them. For example, it is still not known exactly how trumpet players produce such a wide range of sounds. Some experts believe that the player’s embouchure, or the way they shape their lips and mouth, plays a significant role. Others believe that it is the shape of the trumpet itself that allows for such versatility. Knowing these facts is cool, but will it help you with your choice? No. But our article definitely will!
We spent tens of hours reading through customer reviews and technical specifications for some of the most popular trumpets on the market today. In our review, we looked at the different keys and types of trumpets, which influence their sound and feel, as well as the bore diameter and bell size. We also considered how different features, such as trumpet weight and finish, can determine whether a specific trumpet is better for a beginner or an advanced musician.
This standard Bb trumpet from renowned trumpet-maker Jean Paul is beloved by intermediate and advanced musicians for its combination of quality and price. The bore diameter of 0.49 inches – significantly wider than any other trumpet in our review – is one of the factors that makes this trumpet perfect for those looking to take their musical skills to the next level by increasing the power with which this trumpet can be played. Users were particularly impressed by the ease with which the valves can be pushed down and the ability of the trumpet to hit high notes in spite of the large bore. Combined with the gold lacquer finish, this trumpet provides a rich, bright sound that works well for everything from classical music to marching band songs.
The trumpet works well for those interested in marching band, in part thanks to the light 6.5-pound weight. In addition, the trumpet features stainless steel valves, the third of which is adjustable, making it easy to hold the trumpet with a comfortable hand position.
Part of what sets this trumpet apart for customers is the service from Jean Paul. In addition to offering a one-year warranty on the trumpet, customers report that they were contacted by the manufacturer whenever they reported minor defects or damage during the warranty period. The trumpet also comes with a durable carrying case to protect the horn from damage when travelling.
Extra features: stainless steel pistons, 1stvalve slide thumb saddle, adjustable 3rd valve slide
This standard Bb trumpet from Jupiter is designed with students in mind, but comes at a premium price compared to other beginner trumpets, largely due to the impeccable construction quality. The trumpet retains the 0.46-inch bore diameter found on most other entry-level trumpets to provide ease of playing for new musicians, but the tone is especially focused and centered, thanks in part to the moderate 4.8-inch bell. Users were very impressed with the quality of the instrument and many report it playing well over many years of consistent use.
The construction quality of the brass is reflected in the relatively heavy weight of the instrument – 11.8 pounds – although this can make it more difficult for small children to wield this trumpet comfortably. The trumpet features stainless steel pistons, as well as additional comfort features such as a first valve slide thumb saddle and an adjustable third valve slide to make the trumpet easy on your hands. The trumpet is finished in either gold lacquer or silver plate, either of which provide excellent sound reverberation throughout the instrument.
One of the things that sets Jupiter’s trumpet apart is the manufacturer’s warranty and the ability to find replacement parts for this trumpet in the case that anything breaks. The trumpet is protected by a warranty for up to 10 years, with a five-year warranty on most of the moving parts like the valves. In addition, the trumpet comes with a heavy-duty travel case and a mouthpiece so you can begin playing immediately.
Extra features: available in a wide range of colors, 1st and 3rd valve slides
This standard Bb trumpet from Mendini is an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate trumpeters on a budget, thanks to its low price point and the inclusion of numerous accessories. The trumpet is built with a 0.46-inch bore for easy air movement, as well as a five-inch bell that falls well within the middle of the spectrum of trumpet bells. Together, these design features make it very easy to move air through the trumpet, producing a bright and rich sound. Customers were extremely impressed by the quality of the sound, given the surprisingly low price of the instrument.
One of the additional benefits of this trumpet for beginners is that it is available in a wide variety of colors – having a trumpet that matches your style can make practicing more fun. However, be careful purchasing a non-standard trumpet color if playing in an orchestra or marching band.
The first and third valves of the Mendini Cecilio are adjustable to make it more comfortable to hold for long periods, although the eight-pound weight can be on the high end if this instrument is intended for a child.
The trumpet comes with a hard case to protect it from damage, as well as a mouthpiece, valve oil, polishing cloth, and even a pair of gloves. All of these included accessories make this instrument even better value for the money, since you’ll be able to start playing straight away. In addition, Mendini offers a one-year warranty against any manufacturing defects in the instrument.
Extra features: includes a durable case and mouthpiece
This inexpensive trumpet from Hawk is beloved by beginner trumpeters for the ease with which it is played and its durability over years of use. The trumpet is designed in the standard mold and in the key of Bb, which makes it usable for a wide variety of music and purposes. The 0.46-inch bore diameter is perfect for students who are still working on moving air effectively through the trumpet, while the moderately wide 4.8-inch bell diameter makes the sound relatively bright and allows users to play with more power as their abilities improve. Plus, the trumpet is relatively light at only six pounds, making it a great choice for children, or for use in a marching band.
The trumpet is available in a number of paint colors, although users recommend the silver lacquer for durability, since the colored paint options tend to flake over time. Although the first valve can be sticky, users found the trumpet overall very easy to hold and appreciated that the other valves and slide action are not difficult to move. Users were especially impressed with the durability of the valves, which is critical given that replacement parts are hard to come by for this or similarly low-priced student trumpets.
The trumpet comes with a mouthpiece and valve oil, meaning you can start playing immediately. The set also includes a carrying case, so that the trumpet survives years of use and travel. Note that Hawk does not specify a warranty on the trumpet and users do not report any experiences with their customer service.
Extra features: comes with Cecilio 92-D chromatic tuner, comfortable white faux mother of pearl inlaid buttons
This small and compact pocket trumpet from Mendini is designed to compete with any of the popular student trumpets on the market, but in a smaller package. The trumpet plays in the Bb key and users were pleasantly surprised by the bright and rich sound quality from the trumpet – according to users, it is comparable to Mendini’s MTT-L trumpet thanks to the comparable 0.46-inch bore diameter. The small 3.75-inch bell makes the sound even brighter, although this can also make it slightly harder to play the trumpet.
At only 4.55 pounds, this is the lightest trumpet we reviewed and perfect for travel, marching band, or for teaching a small child to play music. Although pocket trumpets are not typically considered performance instruments, this trumpet is ideal for students and a lot of fun to play. A nice touch is the phosphorous copper used in construction of the lead mouth pipe, which is normally found only on much more expensive trumpets. However, users do note that the construction of the trumpet could still be improved – in particular, the valves and slide action are somewhat sticky without working them with sandpaper and oil.
The trumpet comes with a mouthpiece, carrying case, and a digital tuner to allow you to get started playing right away. Plus, Mendini offers a one-year warranty on the trumpet to give you peace of mind in your purchase.
Now that you’ve learned more about our five favorite trumpets on the market today, how do you determine which of these trumpets is right for your needs? There are a huge number of factors that determine how a trumpet sounds, how easy it is to play, and whether it is more suitable for a beginning or advanced musician. In our buying guide, we’ll cover the most important of these features to help you choose the best trumpet for you.
There are a thousand potential reasons to buy a trumpet. Learning to play an instrument will not only add music to your life, but also enrich you as a person by giving you a fulfilling new hobby. Plus, playing the trumpet comes with a wide variety of new skills, such as reading music and improving your finger dexterity. Even if learning to play the trumpet doesn’t appeal to you, you may consider giving a trumpet to your kids – learning to play the trumpet can be the first step in their musical journey to even more instruments. In addition, a quality trumpet can be a unique gift to give your family, friends, or coworkers that will push them to try something new and enrich their life.
There are a huge number of features that differentiate trumpets, both in how they feel in your hands and how they sound when you play them. Here, we’ll cover some of the most important features to consider when choosing a trumpet and why they matter.
The most basic differentiation among trumpets is the key they are designed to play in. Bb trumpets are the most common type of trumpet and a favorite among both students and professional trumpeters because they blend well in nearly all types of music from classical to jazz. For this reason, all of the trumpets we reviewed are Bb trumpets. However, it is worth noting that other keys of trumpets – C, E, and Eb – are available and offer different sound qualities that may be important for playing some orchestral pieces. C trumpets in particular are growing in popularity, and are often found beside Bb trumpets in the trumpet sections of large orchestras thanks to their brighter sound quality.
The standard trumpet has an elongated body that contributes to the overall quality of the sound and the movement of your breath through the instrument. However, there are other types of trumpet designs in addition to the standard design, the most common of which is the pocket trumpet. Pocket trumpets, like Mendini MPT-N, are more compact thanks to further folding of the tubing and provide a similar sound and feel to standard trumpets. Although they are not considered up to par for professional performances, pocket trumpets can be quite helpful for travelling trumpeters to keep up with practice.
The skill level of the trumpeter also affects which features of a trumpet will work best.
Many manufacturers offer trumpets specifically designed for new musicians – these have small bores to make it easier to get a full sound from the instrument.
The bore is the inner diameter of the tubing, measured at the second valve position. Carefully consider the skill level of the musician when evaluating the bore on a trumpet. Beginners will have an easier time producing a full sound with a smaller bore – in the range of 0.46 inches, as found on all the trumpets we reviewed, except the model from Jean Paul. Larger bores, like the 0.49-inch bore found on the Jean Paul TR-430 trumpet, can be played more powerfully, but also require more experience with blowing into the mouthpiece to achieve a full sound.
The size of the bell can vary widely between trumpet models and has a significant effect on the sound that the trumpet produces. A wide bell – like the five-inch bell found on the Mendini MTT-L – can produce darker tones, and provides a mellow feel when playing on the instrument. In contrast, a small bell such as that found on the Mendini MPT-N, will produce a much brighter sound and can be easier for beginners to play with more power.
Gold lacquer is one of the most common types of finishes found on both beginner and intermediate trumpets. This is largely due to its relative affordability and the sound quality that it provides by allowing the metal to vibrate freely. However, some trumpets, such as the Mendini MPT-N, use a nickel plating that is somewhat thinner and can provide a brighter tone than traditional lacquer finishes.
The weight of individual trumpets vary from model to model, although weight has very little to do with sound quality.
Weight is primarily a concern when giving a trumpet to a child, since smaller children may have difficulty handling trumpets that are on the heavier side – especially considering that much of the weight of the trumpet needs to be held out in front of the body.
For better or worse, the trumpet body is not the only thing you’ll need to start practicing with your trumpet while keeping it safe. You will need to invest in a mouthpiece, and perhaps a case as well, if they are not included. Another useful accessory, provided with the Mendini MPT-N, is a digital tuner that can make it easier to ensure your trumpet is tuned before playing. Although these accessories can be obtained after-purchase for any trumpet, this will add to the overall cost of the instrument if they are not included with the trumpet body.
Although all of the trumpets we reviewed would make an excellent choice for either beginning or intermediate musicians, we felt that the Jean Paul USA TR-430, the Jupiter JTR700, and Mendini Cecilio MTT-L trumpets were our top trumpet picks. The Jean Paul and Jupiter trumpets stood out for their incredible sound quality, while the Jupiter and Mendini trumpets were excellent choices for beginning musicians given their small 0.46-inch bore diameters. Users liked the adjustable third valve slides, included mouthpieces and carrying cases, and manufacturer’s warranties on all three trumpets, while the extended warranty and availability of replacement parts justified the higher price of the Jupiter trumpet. However, we felt that the Jean Paul trumpet is the overall best trumpet on the market today because the larger 0.49-inch bore diameter caters to more advanced trumpeters, at a price point that remains extremely competitive compared to entry-level trumpets.