In addition to being a private violin teacher and having a degree in music from USC, Alecia started writing music-related articles and product reviews six years ago and has enjoyed this experience greatly. She likes to learn new instruments and write new compositions in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners can enjoy really good music.
Last updated: October 24, 2023
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Looking for a way to jumpstart your child into playing the trumpet? Then why not consider getting them a plastic trumpet. These instruments come with all the required features of their brass counterparts and allow young players to practice effortlessly. Not to mention that there is a plethora of fetching colors to choose from. Also, not to be fooled by the plastic construction, the best plastic trumpets are engineered of sturdy plastic paired with some metal parts. They offer impressive sound quality on par with traditional trumpets and are easier to carry for younger players.
The same level of craftsmanship goes into producing good quality plastic trumpets as their traditional versions and that is why we have highlighted all the important features like bore size, length and weight, along with warranty information for you to look at so you can understand your instrument better. Getting these specs right will help you choose an instrument capable of handling the wear and tear suffered at younger hands while still yielding a stellar performance.
We researched several plastic trumpets to put this guide together for you. Our team tried their hands on trumpets of different sizes and weights and came up with a list of the five best products in this category. The trumpets we liked the best are given here in a tabular comparison with their specs and details compiled in individual product reviews. Read on to go through our buying guide so you can find the instrument of your choice and enjoy playing it for years to come.
Plastic trumpets are met with a good amount of skepticism in terms of quality in construction and sound. Though they might not be made to last as long and well as their original brass counterparts, some models might have you pleasantly surprised. The CTR-200 plastic trumpet from Cool Wind is one such instrument. Built to work like a more traditional trumpet, our Editor’s Choice a great pick for the learning or casual player.
The Cool Wind plastic trumpet comes with a simple and easy to use design. It’s sized like a regular trumpet for beginning users or young players to get accustomed to the feel of a more advanced model. Because it’s made of mostly plastic, the trumpet is more lightweight than a brass one and is easier on the wrists.
The metal piston valves on this trumpet allow for a smoother, more responsive play. The bore and bell sizes allow for a rather bright tone that comes close to the real deal without too much effort.
Some reviewers have noted that the tuning system for the Cool Wind trumpet is quite accurate and good at maintaining a consistent tone.
Like many other plastic trumpets, this trumpet is compatible with any standard metal mouthpiece. Though it comes with its own plastic mouthpiece included, it’s not recommended as the plastic mouthpiece only takes away from the trumpet’s sound quality.
This trumpet comes available in 5 different colors.
The Tromba TRP-YE trumpet is another plastic trumpet made to work like a brass model. Shaped like a standard brass Bb trumpet while being far more lightweight, it’s easy for more experienced users to get used to.
This trumpet is built with a hardy ABS core construction for an extra level of durability. With a slightly wider bore and bell size, it produces a strong sound for a plastic instrument. The exterior is machine refined and polished, making it quite resistant to impact from dropping or falling. The polished surface also makes the trumpet easy to clean. It comes in a wide variety of colors you can customize with, from yellow to metallic blue.
For added comfort when holding the trumpet, all three valves are adjustable. They’re lined with metal and have stainless steel pistons for minimized resistance as you play. Though they may stick a bit at first, they should be able to break in with time and a little oiling.
This trumpet comes with a carry case, a stand, a cleaning kit, valve oil, and two mouthpieces (7C and 5C). Though these mouthpieces come included, the trumpet is compatible with any standard mouthpiece.
With this more professional shape, size, and a much better performance than other plastic models of this price, we’d like to nominate this trumpet the Best Professional Plastic Trumpet on this list.
The Pampet Plastic Trumpet trumpet is an affordable and sturdy yet lightweight model that is definitely worth taking a look at. The unique plastic-metal combination design results in an instrument with a nearly authentic brass tone, making it the Best Sounding Plastic Trumpet on this list.
With a robust construction made of mostly ABS plastic, this trumpet is half the weight of a brass trumpet. You should have no issue holding this trumpet and playing it for a long time, no matter your level. The design includes a third valve slide ring for easy holding. All three valves are adjustable.
The Pampet trumpet boasts true stainless-steel valves which are unique to plastic trumpets. These allow for the least resistance and the smoothest possible playability. The adjustable main tuning slide ensures you maintain the right pitch every time.
These trumpets are colorful and come in a wide variety of colors and finishes for that extra customization.
This trumpet comes in a package with a case, a stand, cleaning products, and a mouthpiece. The construction allows it to fit with any standard metal mouthpiece.
The one issue customers have with the Pampet trumpet is its valves’ tendency to get sticky. They require a generous amount of oiling, most likely after every use, if you want the trumpet to perform at its best consistently.
What are its best features?
Durable, impact resistant construction
Combination of metal and plastic tubing allows for an authentic brass blend sound
What could be improved?
Requires a lot of regular oiling for optimal performance
The pInstruments pTrumpet 2.0 is an innovative take on the classic trumpet design, fabricated entirely from plastic. Catering primarily to the student and beginner market, the instrument boasts a lightweight profile, making it easy to carry and handle. With its unique design, the pTrumpet 2.0 stands out not just in terms of aesthetics but also in functionality, making it an attractive option for those delving into the world of brass instruments.
Performance-wise, the pTrumpet 2.0 demonstrates commendable playability. It produces a clear and consistent sound, albeit slightly different from traditional brass trumpets. The instrument’s valves are responsive, and the tuning slide offers good flexibility. Moreover, its plastic body gives it the added advantage of being more durable and resistant to dents than its brass counterparts. However, purists might argue that its timbre lacks the warmth and richness of a conventional brass trumpet.
The pTrumpet 2.0 is particularly well-suited for beginners, students, or even traveling musicians. Its lightweight and robust design makes it easy to transport, reducing the worry of potential damage. Additionally, its affordable price point makes it an ideal choice for those who are just starting out and are not ready to invest in a high-end brass trumpet. Its resistance to weather changes makes it suitable for outdoor performances or marching bands.
Undeniably, its full plastic construction sets the pTrumpet 2.0 apart from its competitors. While there are other plastic trumpets in the market, pInstruments has balanced quality, durability, and affordability. The product offers a unique blend of functionality and innovation, catering to a niche previously unexplored in the brass instrument domain.
Nevertheless, there’s room for improvement. Experienced players might find its sound lacking in depth compared to traditional trumpets. While perfect for practice and initial learning, professionals might opt for brass counterparts for performances or recordings. The same plastic construction that offers so many advantages also acts as its limitation when comparing tonal quality.
What are our favorite features?
Lightweight and easy to transport
Durable and resistant to dents
Affordable, making it suitable for beginners
Resistant to weather changes
What could be better?
Sound may not be as warm or rich as traditional brass trumpets
Might not be the preferred choice for professional performances
Made with solely plastic components, the pTrumpet is the ultimate lightweight functioning trumpet making it accessible to everyone. From the young starter to the seasoned player, anyone can find enjoyment in this list’s Budget Pick.
Though a fully plastic trumpet is sure to come with a good amount of skepticism, the company behind this product has made sure the pTrumpet is affordable while sacrificing as little quality as possible. The unique fully plastic valve system and one-piece lead pipe design allow for a rather well-received sound quality that comes as a pleasant surprise to many users.
The adjustable tuning slides allow for flexible tuning that you’d expect from any standard brass instrument. The plastic makes this trumpet a durable option for children and the shape makes it an affordable alternative to brass for more experienced users.
The pTrumpet is the first of its kind to use BioCote anti-microbial technology for preventing the spread of bacteria, allowing for safe and clean use.
This trumpet comes with two acrylic mouthpieces, 3c and 5c, and is compatible with any other standard mouthpiece there is to fit your preference.
The pTrumpet comes handy with a canvas carry bag and is available in 8 different colors to choose from.
One issue customers report that may come with this trumpet is the valves sticking, but this isn’t usually anything a bit of oiling won’t fix.
What stands out?
Fully plastic design is lightweight and accessible
Good sound quality
Good for children or experienced users
What cons did we manage to find?
Customers report the valves getting sticky
Things to Consider
Leaning more towards a young audience including children and new learners, plastic trumpets are a more affordable choice. These are also a more compatible option in terms of weight and size for young learners and may offer better ease of playability for young players.
Brass vs plastic trumpets – what’s the difference?
The biggest appeal of the plastic trumpet is obviously its price. But other than that, there are considerations regarding sound quality, tuning, and valve and slide operations. For some plastic models, these features perform closer to their brass counterparts than others. Watch this video to see if you can detect the sound difference between a plastic and brass trumpet:
Maintenance tips – how to take care of a plastic trumpet
Trumpet parts come apart when you have to clean your instrument. The best way of handling this is to place all parts in a sink or bucket filling it up with warm, soapy water and some clear dish washing liquid. Using a flexible snake, clean the tubing components, and slides on the unit. Work on valve parts and mouthpiece making sure that all pieces are cleaned thoroughly. Let dry and then lube well before putting your trumpet back.
The price point of trumpets is an important factor. Plastic models are definitely more budget friendly than their brass counterparts, but even within this category, you can find a wide range of prices.
Some high-end plastic trumpets also cater to long-term use so you need to have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend on the instrument before investing in one.
Features to consider while buying the best plastic trumpet
If you’re looking for a plastic trumpet for a new learner or young player, then you will need to ensure that the player can hold and carry their instrument with ease. As such, considerations like the weight and size of the unit become important along with some others highlighted below.
Weight and size
The weight and size of plastic trumpets will vary based on their design. While most will be lighter than traditional trumpets, you can also get some heavier trumpets in the plastic category.
The bore refers to the inner diameter of the trumpet’s tubing at the second valve slide. Trumpets that are designed for younger players will come with a smaller bore as opposed to other models. This is so because the bore size affects the tone of sound the trumpet produces and pieces with larger bores need more power to fill them with air. These models are better suited for the intermediate and pro levels.
Valves are the moving parts of the trumpets which the player pushes down on to play the instrument. It is important that the valves are neither seized nor sticky as could be the case with cheaper instruments. Valves on student instruments usually come nickel plated as these are durable, hard-wearing and can work well even without regular maintenance. More advanced models will have Monel valves which yield a higher standard of play. These also demand more frequent maintenance as Monel is softer than nickel plate. That said, Monel valves are corrosion resistant so will have a longer lifespan.
The mouthpiece is really important as it determines the sound quality of your instrument. Mouthpieces are available in different shapes and sizes catering to different playing styles. An entry-level mouthpiece will suffice for starting out with trumpeting, with shallower cups yielding brighter and more piercing sounds and a deeper cup producing a warmer and mellower sound.
The mouthpiece chosen can have a huge bearing on producing the tone as well as the degree of difficulty when playing. A larger mouthpiece is easier to work with initially but will demand more effort when playing higher notes. On the other hand, a smaller mouthpiece may make it more effortless to play higher notes but may also lead to fatigue faster.
The leadpipe travels from the mouthpiece to the main tuning slide and helps control the airflow and accuracy of pitch. It tapers gradually starting at the narrower mouthpiece and is found in all beginner level trumpets. Another variation of the leadpipe known as the reverse leadpipe is found in medium to advanced level trumpets.
The most common type of trumpet for students is the Bb trumpet. This is a versatile option as it gets used extensively in different genres of music. These deliver a warm tone and are able to blend smoothly into the sound of larger groups.
Professionals and advanced players may decide to opt for a C trumpet as these are tunes higher and have a smaller body.
Good quality plastic trumpets will be made from robust material and be dent-proof. They should be able to withstand wear and tear given by young users without giving in to dinging or bending.
Since it can be hard to determine the durability of plastic instruments unless you purchase and use one first, a good idea is to find customer reviews to see how users have rated the product. Models that are durable will be commended for their sturdiness and tenacity while the flimsy ones will receive due criticism as well.
Plastic trumpets feature an array of fascinating colors which is part of their aesthetic appeal. Since these are catered more to young users, you can have your child pick out the color they like and feel more excited about playing the instrument. Choose from our selection given here to pick one of these vibrant colored instruments.
Warranties can vary significantly when you look for a plastic trumpet. Coverage can range anywhere from a warranty of a few months to a few years. Even though the plastic trumpet may be a smaller investment than a traditional trumpet, you still want to get something that will last your new learner or young student a few years at best until they are ready to progress to the next level.
Look for warranties that at least give you one year’s coverage such as the Tromba TRP-YE. Models such as the Pampet Plastic Trumpet back their product with a 3-year warranty. If there is uncertainty about pursuing trumpeting then at least get something like the Kaizer PLY-TRP-1000PL that comes with a 45-day trial period backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
In terms of playability trumpet playing does require a fair bit of physical force where the player needs to blow air in a controlled yet strong and continuous flow. Then there is the valve control where pressing the valves paired with air flow produces different notes. Both plastic and regular trumpets require this effort equally. So the area where one may be easier than the other is where the plastic trumpet is lighter weight and easier to hold and play for newer players.
Once again, the plastic trumpet will give new and younger players more leeway in handling their instrument comfortably since these models can be as light as 2 lbs. which is great for smaller hands and statures. They are also robust and ready for the kind of treatment expected in young hands.
Trumpets are somewhat temperature sensitive instruments and should be stored properly to avoid unwanted issues. It is important that the trumpet be cleaned and lubricated before storage to prevent buildup that could affect how the instrument functions in the future. Make sure to purchase a hard case for your trumpet to prevent it from collecting dust and debris on your instrument and to prevent it from getting bumped or dented. The valves, in particular, are sensitive pieces which is why proper storage is a good idea.
The Cool Wind CTR-200 trumpet is our best choice for an all-round quality plastic trumpet. It makes a great trumpet for players of all experience levels. It comes with a great performance and bright sound that comes really close to those of its brass counterparts.
If you’re looking for an alternative to brass for more experienced players, the Tromba TRP-YE is the best plastic trumpet for the job. It’s the shape and size of a traditional B flat instrument that rings familiar with the pros, while being more lightweight and comfortable for long-time playing sessions.
Looking for a fully-functioning plastic instrument that comes at a great price and quality? The pTrumpet is the pick for you. Its unique all-plastic construction allows for a great affordability while keeping all the important features like an impressive sound and tuning capability. It plays well anywhere from the classroom to casual gigs.