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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”
$ 125
/£90
  • 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”
£ 220
/$290
  • 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

PROS

CONS

THREE

Conn Selmer TR510
Trumpet

“High end instrument for beginners”
£ 300
/$400
  • 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

PROS

CONS

FOUR

Coppergate
Intermediate Trumpet

“Decent value mid-range option ”
£ 199
/$250
  • 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

PROS

CONS

FIVE

Yamaha YTR2330
Student Trumpet

“A bridge between student and professional model instruments ”
£ 407
/$562
  • 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

PROS

CONS

SIX

pTrumpet Plastic
Trumpet

For younger players who struggle with weight and balance of a regular trumpet”
£ 106
/$147
  • 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

CONS

SEVEN
Bach TR650 Trumpet
“A trumpet that’s built to last”
£ 329
/$457
  • Perfect for: Grade 1- 7
  • Price Level:Higher End
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

An extremely popular brand of trumpets with professionals as well as students. Bach’s are always well manufactured and are trustworthy instruments. The TR650 is designed for all but the highest levels of playing and is an excellent option to set you off on your brass playing journey. With consistent tuning and tone throughout the range it would be my go to trumpet if I was starting all over again, especially as it’s a bit cheaper than the Yamaha!

It’s still expensive, but you get what you pay for with a trumpet which is built to last and produces a warm and round tone, which is so rare in beginner trumpets.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Key Of: Bb
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: .460″/11.68mm
Bell Diameter: 4.69”/119mm
Valves: Stainless Steel
Slide: Brass
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2

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Specifications

PROS

CONS

EIGHT
Jupiter JTR700Q Trumpet
“Suitable for advancing players”
£ 449
/$624
  • Perfect for: Grade 1- 7
  • Price Level: Premium
7/10
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™:  7/10

For the price there are better options out there but the Jupiter JTR700Q is still an in tune, dependable and high quality intermediate trumpet. The company is younger than its competitors but have been gaining a reputation for their reliable beginner trumpets over the past few years and the dark tone of this Jupiter trumpet could tick all your boxes.

As the most expensive option on this list it doesn’t quite have the quality of sound to justify the price tag but is nevertheless an excellent beginner trumpet that will take you up to grade 7 standard at least.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Key Of: Bb
Bell Diameter: 4.69″/119mm
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: 460″/11.68mm
Valves: Stainless Steel
Slide: Brass
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2

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Specifications

PROS

CONS

NINE

pTrumpet hyTech Trumpet
“The metal/plastic hybrid”
£ 179
/$249
  • Perfect for: Up to Grade 4
  • 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

A main body of plastic with a metal valve block, valves and leadpipe. This is the bridge between plastic and metal which goes a slight way towards addressing the issues of a plastic trumpet tone, but not fully. The valves of the pTrumpet hyTech are most notably different. The unreliable pTrumpet valves are replaced by smoother, more consistent stainless steel pistons. The weighty metal valve caps make the movement quick and responsive.

Combined with the fun element that a range of colours can add this is a great way to have the benefits of a plastic trumpet without losing too much in sound quality. It should take you comfortably up to Grade 4 standard.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Key Of: Bb
Lead Pipe: Patented Hybrid Leadpipe Design
Bell Diameter: 128mm
Bore Size: 11.65mm
Valves: 3 Top Sprung Precision Milled 304 Stainless Steel Sleeved Pistons with ABS core
Waterkeys: 2

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Specifications

PROS

CONS

TEN

Besson BE110
New Standard Bb Trumpet
“Sturdy and reliable”
£ 349
/$484
  • Perfect for: Up to Grade 6
  • 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

Besson is another well respected and trusted brand within the brass world. This entry level trumpet is engineered well and produces a focused and bright sound due to a smaller bore than most professional models.

It’s reasonably priced for the quality of instrument and has a wonderful clear lacquer finish. The valve movement is smooth despite the springs being slightly stiff. Good value for money that will take you up to grade 6 at the very least.

Top 11 Trumpets For Beginners

Key Of: Bb
Bell Diameter: 123mm
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: 11.68mm
Valves: 3 Top Sprung Stainless Steel
Slide: Brass
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2

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Specifications

PROS

CONS

ELEVEN
Stagg TR245S
Pocket Trumpet
“For the really young starters!”
£ 222
/$308
  • Perfect for: Up to Grade 6
  • Price Level: Higher End
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 Stagg TR245S pocket trumpet is great for very small children to learn how to produce a sound and to play some pre-grade pieces. It’s seen more as a novelty toy than an instrument but has it’s place for those who can’t yet hold a full sized trumpet. The sound quality suffers as you’d expect but it’s size makes it easy to transport as well as hold.

I don’t recommend you keep playing this trumpet once you’re able to hold a full sized trumpet but in the meantime it could be the perfect stepping stone to catapult your child down the path of brass playing.

Key Of: Bb
Bell Diameter: 105mm
Bell Material: Yellow Brass
Bore Size: 11.66mm
Valves: Piston- Stainless Steel
Slide: Brass
Finish: Clear Lacquer
Waterkeys: 2

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Specifications

PROS

CONS

Best beginner trumpet for a small budget

If your budget is small then look no further than the playLITE Hybrid Trumpet by Gear4music. For under £100 you will have an instrument to get you started, and one that will withstand the inevitable knocks and bumps that happen when you are getting used to caring for a musical instrument.

Best beginner trumpet for a child

The Elkhart 100TR Student Trumpet is an excellent choice when it comes to beginner trumpets for children. This model is trusted by music education organisations the world over, and you can see why when you consider the build quality and reasonable price tag.

Best beginner trumpet for an adult

As an adult beginner you are most likely looking for quality from the outset, without a huge initial investment. The Conn Selmer TR510 Bb Trumpet really fits the bill, has great playability, and is an instrument that combines good quality with a reasonable cost. It’s certainly suited to orchestra playing, which is what many adult beginners aim for.

Trumpet Warranty

How long is the warranty for?

Every manufacturer has its own warranty policy, and some stores offer their own too. You should check with the store you are buying your trumpet from to find out how long the warranty is on the model you are interested in before purchasing, because peace of mind is important when spending money on a musical instrument. 

It’s worth mentioning that if you buy from our favourite supplier, Gear4Music, they offer an excellent, standard 2-year warranty & 30-day money-back guarantee on all product – just to make your life a little easier…

What does the warranty cover?

Most warranties cover defects from the manufacturing process, for a limited time such as one year. Some manufacturers offer longer warranties. The amount of cover and level of service depends on the manufacturer, so it is worth finding this out about your preferred model before you part with your cash!