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  • Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners
Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

17 minutes

Buying that first student trumpet for yourself or your child can be a daunting prospect. How much to spend? Am I getting value for money!? This guide is intended to clear some of that fog as we take you through the pros and cons of the top 11 student trumpets for beginners.

Things to look out for when buying your first trumpet

Water/Spit Key

A water key is where you let out the condensation that gathers inside your trumpet as the warm air passes through the colder piping. A more common phrase you’ll hear is ‘It’s how you get rid of your spit!’.

A trumpet that has two water keys will usually have one on the main tuning slide and one on the third valve slide. It’s not essential to have two as you can always take the third slide out to empty it but it’s certainly a time saving advantage if you do.

Size and Shape of Mouthpiece

Let’s talk about trumpet mouthpieces. The mouthpiece is the small metal contraption that’s the link between your lips and the trumpet itself. The standard mouthpiece that comes with a beginner trumpet is a Bach 7C (or a similar shaped mouthpiece from a different company).

The number refers to the cup depth of the mouthpiece whilst the letter refers to the cup design. The higher the number, the more shallow that cup will be which makes it easier to play higher notes. This comes at the cost of a much thinner tone which is why professionals will usually play with something between a 1C and a 3C.

For beginners however, the 7C is universally accepted as the mouthpiece of choice. So much so that we’ve refrained from mentioning the mouthpiece that comes with the trumpets in the following list. If you haven’t got one, get one!

Bore Size

The bore size refers to the diameter of the tubing in the trumpet. This has a big effect on how much air it takes to achieve a centered sound from the instrument. Beginner trumpet models tend to have a ‘medium’ bore which allows the production of sound without too much effort to keep the air sustained.

Large bore trumpets are extremely popular with professional trumpet players as although they require more air to fill them, they are rewarded with a broader, wider sound as a result. Personal preference can change hugely on this subject and so it’s worth experimenting with trumpets with varying bore size to see what suits you best.

Valves and Tuning Slides

A smooth valve action can make or break your relationship with your instrument. Sticky and inconsistent valves are hugely common problems with beginner trumpets (although often this has more to do with lack of care and maintenance than the trumpet itself) so it’s important to check the valve action thoroughly before you buy.

Higher standard trumpets are often fitted with monel valves, whereas nickel-plated ones appear more often in student models.

The valve itself also contains a spring which can sometimes be stiff in beginner models (although these are easily and cheaply replaced if needed).

Learning how to oil your valves properly will be essential in maintaining the responsiveness of the valves whatever they’re made out of!  The valve oil I always recommend is this Ultra-Pure Professional Valve Oil, used by Wynton Marsalis, Alison Balsom, and Arturo Sandoval no less!

Top 11 trumpets for beginners

ONE

playLITE Hybrid

“good for particularly young starters”
  • Perfect for: Pre-Grade 1
  • Price Level: Very Cheap
4/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  4/10

If you’re looking for the very cheapest way to create a sound, this playLITE trumpet is for you. You’ll soon find that the lack of quality in sound will stop you from progressing past a certain stage however and will then need to buy another trumpet. In the long run it could cost you more (you’ll find this theme in the review of all the plastic trumpets on this list).

The fact that they come in an array of colors can make it a fun and exciting option for young players however and if it gets them excited about playing and sets them off on their music making journey, then it’s more than worth the money.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Body Material: ABS Plastic
Valve Material: Aluminum
Bell Diameter: 130mm
Bore Diameter: 11mm
Valve Casing: Aluminum Lined Collar
Color: Blue With White Slides

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Specifications

PROS

CONS

TWO

Elkhart 100TR
Student Trumpet

“great quality instrument for beginners”
  • Perfect for: Grade 1 - 4
  • Price Level: Reasonable
8/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  8/10

It’s easy to see why this student trumpet is very popular with education services as well as beginner students. It’s built well and is a sturdy enough student trumpet to make it good value for money, with a clear tone and an easy response throughout the range. It has a rose brass lead pipe for durability and ease of playing. It’s a robust ‘middle of the road’ option in the context of the rest of this list.

There are certainly better trumpets out there but you’ll feel the difference in your wallet as well. The Elkhart 100TR is unlikely to let you down and won’t break the bank in the process.

Key Of: Bb
Bell Diameter: 125mm (4.92”)
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: 11.66mm (.459”)
Valves: Stainless Steel
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2
Included Accessories: Back-pack Style Case and Mouthpiece

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Specifications

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THREE

Conn Selmer TR510
Trumpet

“High end instrument for beginners”
  • Perfect for: Grade 1 - 5
  • Price Level: Higher End
8/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  8/10

This student trumpet is made by the renowned Conn Selmer company who also make the Bach trumpets we’ll discuss later. They’re a name trusted by professionals and students alike and are the epitome of high standard trumpet making. This model TR510 has monel valves (same as professional trumpets) to ensure smooth valve action and is made from yellow brass for a versatile tone.

It’s at the high end of beginner trumpets in terms of price but still delivers value for money. For the extra spent you get the piece of mind that the tuning is consistent throughout the range and that the tone remains round (for a beginner trumpet) as you creep up the register.

Key of: Bb
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: .460″/11.68mm
Valves: Monel
Slide: Brass
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2
Included Accessories: ABS Case and 7C Mouthpiece

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Specifications

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FOUR

Coppergate
Intermediate Trumpet

“Decent value mid-range option ”
  • Perfect for:vGrade 1 - 5
  • Price Level: Mid Range
6/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  6/10

The Coppergate is another gear4music model – they offer 2 year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee on their instruments so it’s perfect to try before you buy (something I’d recommend with any of these trumpets). This student trumpet has a slightly thinner tone than the Conn Selmer offerings but this will differ from player to player. The valve action is smooth due to the monel valves and you can feel the resistance as you play (which can help beginner players find their feet).

If well looked after this trumpet will carry you through your first few grade exams competently and comfortably.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Key: Bb
Bore Size: 11.66mm
Bell Diameter: 125mm Gold brass
Tuning Pipe: Cupronickel
Piston: Monel
Leadpipe: Gold brass
Finish: Lacquer

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Specifications

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FIVE

Yamaha YTR2330
Student Trumpet

“A bridge between student and professional model instruments ”
  • Perfect for: Grade 1 - 7
  • Price Level: Premium
9/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  9/10

Yamaha is one of the most recognisable and trusted brands in the music market and their trumpets are no exception.  They are well-known for the clarity of the sounds they produce, and the Yamaha YTR-2330 delivers on this front particularly well for a beginner instrument. Sound wise, it’s definitely one of the better trumpets on this list. If you are aiming for a projecting tone that’s crisp and clear, making it audible both individually and within an ensemble, then this is the trumpet for you.

The newly designed brass bell has also been made to be more light than in the previous student models. You’ll be playing this trumpet for years to come and will only need to upgrade to reach a Grade 8 or professional standard of playing.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Key Of: Bb
Bell Diameter: 123mm (4-7/8”)
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: 11.65mm (0.459”)
Valves: Monel Alloy
Slide: Brass
Finish: Gold Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2

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Specifications

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CONS

SIX

pTrumpet Plastic
Trumpet

For younger players who struggle with weight and balance of a regular trumpet”
  • Perfect for: Up to Grade 2
  • Price Level:Very cheap
4/10
The TedScore™ is our unique system of scoring products. The professional musician who wrote this article combine many things, from the product build, manufacturer's reputation through to feedback from other users, to create our famous TedScore™.
The TedScore™:  4/10

This pTrumpet is a fun option which has ignited curiosity and excitement in many young brass players already- so deserves its place on this list. Made from 100% plastic, the tone suffers as a result but the price tag makes it an accessible starter trumpet. Add to this the lightweight feel, the varying colours and the fact that you can’t really ‘dent’ plastic, it’s become one of the go to trumpets for large workshops intended to get young starters involved with brass playing. Many then stick with it for a while, having fallen in love with their fun looking instrument, but inevitably if they’re serious about developing their skills then it will need to be replaced by a brass one.

In my own experience these trumpets are quick to have valve trouble and the thin tone is so different to a real trumpet that it can cause more harm to the musical development of the student than good in the long run.

Key Of: Bb
Bell Diameter: 4.75” (120.65mm)
Bell Finish: Patented Plastic
Bore Size: 0.460” (11.68mm)
Valves: Fully Interchangeable Bottom Sprung Plastic
Slides: Adjustable Main, 1st and 3rd
Finish: Patented Plastic Yellow & Black
Waterkeys: 1

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Specifications
Top Tip
pTrumpet Plastic Trumpet
pTrumpet Tips

Look at the pTrumpet care guide

PROS

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