6 Magnificent Jazz Trumpets for Heart-Touching Improvs
Last updated: Apr 19, 2020
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The trumpet is a popular instrument given its versatility. It is equally suitable for playing classical as well as jazz music. It holds a place in bands and orchestras and works just as well for soloists. But as the name implies, the jazz trumpet has a special place in jazz music. Being the loudest solo instrument, its name is instinctively associated with jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie to name just a few.
However, the jazz trumpet is not solely for the professionals but also caters to beginners and intermediate players as well. In fact, the best jazz trumpet can be found in different categories suitable for different playing levels. If anything, there are different types of trumpets with student versions being machine made and intended to last a very long time. These instruments perform well but lack some of the high-end features you may look for after becoming comfortable with your instrument. Intermediate trumpets will give you these additional features but in a less costly way. And for the professional player, there are instruments featuring the highest quality and craftsmanship. That is why we recommend looking at important features like the key the instrument plays in, its warranty information, bell and bore sizes, and finish before investing in a jazz trumpet.
Top 6 Jazz Trumpets Review 2020
To help you find a suitable instrument for your level of playability, our experts take a look below at the best jazz trumpets available. We have put together a comparison table of the best available models followed by an in-depth review of each. Read on to conclude with our jazz trumpet buying guide to see what features to look for and how to take care of your instrument.
Bach has been a name synonymous with quality and masterful craftsmanship for a long time. Made in celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary, the Bach Stradivarius 19037 trumpet was made to be an improvement on the already immensely popular (now vintage) 18037 model and is no exception to the brand’s prestigious title.
This trumpet has everything to enhance your playing experience. It has the traditional high-grade, well-balanced brass construction, available in either silver plating as the 190S37 or traditional lacquer to fit your aesthetic or tonal preference.
With a focus on improved resonance and tone, the trumpet is made with a medium-large .459” bore combined with a one-piece hand-hammered yellow brass bell. Both of these components contribute to a better resonance and well-centered, bright timbre will minimal effort that’s suitable for all types of music, from classical to jazz.
The trumpet also features an adjustable third slide ring and an adjustable first slide thumb saddle for a more natural hand position when playing. The monel pistons are rust and corrosion proof, and wear in for smoother playing. This trumpet includes a 3c mouthpiece and a hard wood shell case.
The price of this trumpet may ward some off, and though can definitely find affordable alternatives on a budget, this instrument is still a worthwhile purchase for those looking to play professionally in the long run.
With a superior durable construction, excellent sound, and effortless playability, it has all the reasons for us to nominate it this list’s Editor’s pick.
Quality instrument from a popular brand and series
Improved, modernized design for a superior resonance and tone
Jupiter is a brand that has been specializing in student and beginner-oriented instruments for decades. It makes sense that they would provide the Best Concert trumpet on this list, the 1100s B flat trumpet. This easy-to-play trumpet comes with features you would find on higher level trumpets, giving you the best of both worlds when starting off your trumpet-playing career.
This beginner instrument was made with a focus on bright sound and freedom of expression, both encouraging beginning players to continue playing and improve. The rose brass leadpipe construction provides a warmer sound and improves the durability of the instrument. It features a reverse leadpipe configuration which gives the player better control over tone and intonation, improving room for expressiveness when playing solos or jazz pieces. The yellow brass body comes with a silver-plated finish to further create that bright sound and add that extra resonance for a greater presence in any setting.
The monel pistons would require more maintenance, especially on a beginner instrument, but will play smoothly while resisting any corrosion if maintained well.
This trumpet has an adjustable third valve slide ring to customize the instrument for a comfortable hold. A wood-frame carry case is also included.
While this is a great choice for beginners in its playability and encouraging sound, it may be seen as expensive for those at the entry level who are unsure about taking their trumpet playing very far.
Reverse leadpipe configuration allows for better air flow and control
Monel on a beginner trumpet would require more maintenance
Impractically expensive choice for entry-level players
Yamaha is another brand that is highly-acclaimed overall for their experience in creating quality instruments. The Xeno Series YTR-8335RS trumpet is one of their professional models, specializing in playability and tone. Designed to bring expression and a powerful presence to any professional performance, this Yamaha trumpet is easily the best professional jazz trumpet on this list.
This heavyweight B flat trumpet will remain solid in tone and rich in sound, remaining well-focused with as little effort as possible. The reverse tuning slide allows for better playability and control over intonation, allowing you to play as expressively as you want. Combined with the flexible tone of the one-piece hand-hammered bell and the smooth, fluid action of the hand-lapped slides and Monel pistons, you have an instrument perfect for the most demanding and expressive jazz players.
Also included in this trumpet is an improved mouthpiece receiver to further add warmth and brightness to the tone. Tuning slide braces make for a more comfortable hold when playing.
To add to an overall well-balanced instrument that feels more natural in the hands, the choice to remove the spit valve was made. Though this may not be a major issue for those who regularly maintain their instruments, it can become a minor inconvenience for those not accustomed to the lack of said spit valve.
This is an excellent and well-made instrument nonetheless, and the best choice for any professional looking for a suitable jazz instrument.
Solid tone and rich sound
Reverse tuning slide allows for better intonation control and expressiveness
For those looking for a more affordable instrument but can’t afford to sacrifice quality, take a look at the LV-TR6301 trumpet from Levante. This trumpet has the right number of features and level of quality you need, often better than those of instruments at this price range.
Made with a decent production quality, the LV-TR6301 trumpet has a silver-plated brass body with a gold brass bell that can provide warm, full, and bright tones. The slightly wider bell diameter of 4.92” helps create a stronger resonance, allowing your sound to be clearly heard.
The monel pistons come standard with a trumpet at this experience level and, combined with nickel-silver outer slides, play smoothly without the risk of sticking or corroding.
This trumpet also comes with a soft carrying case for easy and comfortable transport.
Levante has managed to pull off something seldom done before: creating a quality trumpet for professional use that comes at a price many can afford. These reasons make it the best contender for the nomination of this list’s Budget Pick.
Of course, it won’t match the quality of instruments coming from top brand names, but it serves well to users on a strict budget, or even as a backup instrument to very regular users.
The Blessing BTR-1460G B flat trumpet is an expressive instrument with a focus on intermediate jazz players. Designed for the expressive learning player, the BTR-1460G trumpet has the build for easy playability and a more broad, open sound. It has the qualities and specifications to be the best intermediate jazz trumpet on this list.
For that desired sound outcome, this trumpet has a wide hand-hammered two-piece yellow brass bell and rose brass leadpipe, contributing to the sound feeling fuller and brighter. With a silver-plating finish and heavier design, it comes out clearer giving the player added flexibility (yet stability) when playing.
The monel pistons with plastic finger buttons allow for smooth action, while the nickel-silver outer slides include a gold trim for a nice visual touch. There are also a first valve thumb hook and third slide ring for a more comfortable and sturdy hold.
The water keys include a rather useful lever functionality for easy cleaning and removal of water or residue.
This trumpet comes included with a case and a 7c mouthpiece, which comes standard with the majority of intermediate trumpets.
In terms of other intermediate trumpets, this trumpet does fall in the pricier range. It comes in a quality that you don’t find in more common intermediate trumpets, however, and has a much lower risk of faulty parts or falling apart in a short time, making it a worthwhile purchase in the long term.
From the world of more compact pocket trumpets comes the CPT-3000-GLS-L pocket trumpet from Carol Brass, a small instrument with a sound as big as it gets. This trumpet is made to play like the pro level models and comes at a friendlier price. With a well-liked name among music instructors and professionals everywhere, this trumpet comes with the quality and features to be the best pocket jazz trumpet on this list.
This trumpet comes with a standard bore size of .460” for a normally comfortable air flow, and a 4.7” gold brass bell for that extra boost in sound projection. With a classic clear lacquer finish, this trumpet has a warm tone. The valves are stainless steel for precision and reduced sticking when playing.
There are first and third thumb hooks so you can tune easily with either hand. The two capped water keys make it easy to remove spit or water residue from this instrument that would be an otherwise tight clean.
If the CPT-3000-GLS-L pocket trumpet wasn’t travel-friendly enough with its size, it comes with a hard carry case for safe transport. It also comes with a 3c mouthpiece, a polish cloth, and valve oil.
Though it does offer a big sound for its size, there are going to be limitations to the size of performances you can take before its presence becomes small. Regardless, this can be great for practice, solos, or band performances.
Impressive sound and resonance
Travel-friendly compact size
Issues involving size of performances
Playing an instrument is one talent, but playing a jazz instrument is a different talent on its own. In jazz, there is no tune to follow. Each player has their own solo where they stand head-on and play their own tune that flows with the music currently playing. Improv is vital in jazz. Without it, you’re not really playing jazz. Needless to say, there’s a considerable amount of skill required for jazz, and if you have what it takes, then you’ll need a remarkable trumpet to play on.
How would a jazz trumpet differ from the rest?
A ‘jazz trumpet ‘, does not exist per say. There are only regular trumpets. The main key to establishing your trumpet as a jazz trumpet is your skill. Whichever trumpet you practice on can become your jazz trumpet, so long as you practice.
Listed below are some trumpet types you can practice on to become a jazz player:
Bb Trumpet – This trumpet is most commonly used by beginners, and favored by jazz musicians for its warm tones.
C Trumpet – These trumpets feature better in orchestras as they have a bright, light sound.
Slide Trumpet – Tuned at the Bb key, this trumpet has a slide that resembles a trombone.
Pocket Trumpet – The pocket trumpet made jazz history in the hands of Don Cherry and its Bb key.
Tips for jazz playing on a trumpet
Jazz is admittedly a hard field of music to enter into. The best place to go for help when it comes to understanding jazz, is jazz. Listen to it, and study the tunes, tones, notes, rhythms, and melodies. The chaotic neutral within improvised jazz is the basic understanding of blues, and tunes to create a melodic air of individuality.
Listen to others and practice your own tune. Pick up your trumpet and play a melody without looking at a music sheet. The more you feel your way through your experience, the easier it will be to make up music on the spot. You can always look for help and inspiration at ideas for trumpet mutes:
Consider the following features to choose the best jazz trumpet
Features are always what makes one trumpet a game changer from the other. If you look at all of the little things, you’re likelier to love the big picture in the end. When you search for your new jazz partner, keep in mind all the little things that matter to you before you make that final decision to trust a trumpet.
Your level is by far the most important part of the selection process. Where do you stand as a trumpet player? Are you a beginner at jazz, or trumpets overall? If it’s the latter, then don’t even think about jazz for the moment. You’ll first need to learn how to play the trumpet and to do that, you’ll need a beginner trumpet.
If you feel you’re more attracted to the jazz line of music, then start practicing jazz styles with an intermediate level trumpet. From here, you can jump onto a professional model with some background experience with jazz music. This will help you adjust to your professional trumpet and the true, rich sound of jazz.
Jazz is a professional hobby, even if you don’t play in front of an audience. To get to where you need to be, you’ll need a reliable trumpet. The best place to find a reliable product, is to turn to a reliable brand.
Here are some brands you can consider for your trumpet:
Jupiter is a company that creates quality instruments for students and professionals alike. Most people stick with Jupiter instruments once they’ve started playing on them.
Vincent Bach is a company that makes trumpets and trombones with great, trustworthy quality. The business started in 1918 and has since been a brand known for their exquisite instruments.
Yamaha has been around for over a century, and their instruments are well-known for quality. You can be a student or a professional and you’ll receive the same amount of dedication and care from Yamaha’s half of the job.
The mouthpiece is a very important part of the trumpet. This is what vibrates to help create the sound you need. Mouthpieces are separate from the entire trumpet body and it’s important to keep your mouthpiece stored in its own container when you’re done playing.
It’s always a good idea to keep a spare mouthpiece on you just in case your first one gets damaged or misplaced. Even if you just want one mouthpiece for practice and the other for performance, it’s better to have a spare. The Yamaha Trumpet Mouthpiece is a great universal piece to have on hand.
The most commonly used material is yellow brass, which is 70% copper and 30% zinc. Gold brass and silver brass can also be used as well. To make sure the brass is still intact in the winter, there is relatively less zinc present in the trumpet alloy. Gold has a much deeper and stronger tone than silver, which is what makes it such a favorable jazz material.
Listen to the sound
With all of the different features trumpets have, it’s hard to pin-point what creates the perfect sound that you will enjoy. When you go to buy a trumpet, it’s best to try as many as you need to before you find one you really enjoy playing. Some custom stores will allow you to try the instrument before buying them.
A trumpet with a larger bore will have a more sonorous, deep tone. Trumpets that have a smaller bore will have a lighter, higher sound.
The bigger the bore is, the better you are for an orchestra. Thinner bores are easier to control in terms of sound and they make a better impact when played solo. For a trumpet you want to play for jazz, look for a bore that is .430” to .460”. All our featured models have bore sizes between .459” and .460” making them suitable for playing jazz.
Nowadays, trumpets have only three valves. One valve will change the trumpet’s sound by a whole tone, the other a semitone, and the last one by a minor third. When you press down on these valves, they extend the air flow and channel it to make a different sound.
Once in a while, your valves will need oiling to ensure they’re working fine. To make replacement easier, try purchasing a trumpet that has numbered valves so you don’t mix them up.
When purchasing a trumpet, it’s best to explore everything you can get with the trumpet right then and there. The company you buy from will almost always sell a maintenance kit and casing with the trumpet. You can add to this and look through spare parts and a mute for your trumpet. Cases, stands, and valve oils are all available.
Cheaper, beginner trumpets can come for as little as $200. Professional models can reach up to $10 000. If you’re looking for something in between, then a $1000 trumpet will provide you with a good intermediate trumpet.
It’s simple enough, a quality instrument will come with assurance in the form of a warranty, or return window. If you’re not satisfied with you instrument or there is a flaw, then use your warranty to get your money back, return, repair, or replace the product.
Improvising is the hardest part of jazz. The complexity of having more than one person play their own tune is what makes jazz lively. The best type of practice for jazz is to simply listen and play. Listen to other jazz artists and their style, and play your trumpet, interpreting your favorite tunes and melodies in it.
You can, if you find the right help. Some people don’t need a teacher. They can learn through YouTube tutorials or books. Intermediate Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero is a great place to start working on your jazz skills.
The Bach 19037 is the best overall choice if you’re looking for true trumpet excellence. This instrument is among the most popular bestsellers for all the right reasons: an unmatched quality and craftsmanship, high-grade materials, and the ever-improving sound provided through decades of expertise.
For a more student-oriented option, the Jupiter 1100S is the best option for you. The combination of easy playability and freedom of experimentation make it the best jazz trumpet for beginners. Jupiter specializes in producing quality student and beginner instruments, and this is hardly an exception.
Another excellent choice for jazz trumpet comes from Yamaha in the form of the Xeno series YTR-8335RS trumpet. It’s designed with the intention of improving the tone and expressiveness with as little effort as possible, as it succeeds at doing just that.