If you think trumpets go hand-in-hand with jazz only and nothing else, then think again. If anything, trumpets are one of the most versatile instruments anyone can play. They are loud enough to be heard over other instruments such as in a band or orchestra, yet are soft enough to accompany vibratos without overpowering them. For professional trumpeters, the instrument’s range is flexible enough to play it in almost any type of musical setting. Along with the power of sound, trumpets are hardy instruments that are easy to carry. The best trumpet will endure indoor and outdoor venues alike and its compact size makes it well-suited for any ensemble.
There are many ways to play the trumpet and one player can have a completely different tone and sound from another while still being equally skilled. That is why features like the type of trumpet, its finish, body material, bore and bell size along with the mouthpiece and rings are important considerations. Each of these features brings individuality to the sound created by the trumpet and should be evaluated carefully before you purchase your instrument.
Top 7 Trumpets Review 2020
To help you navigate through all the options you have before purchasing a trumpet, we have put together a list of the seven best pieces you will come across. Read on to learn more about each trumpet model with our in-depth review of every piece and finish up with our buying guide that gives you an even fuller insight into what to look for when getting yourself a new trumpet.
Yamaha YTR-2330 Standard – Editor’s Choice
- Finish: gold lacquer
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Bore: 0.459’’
- Bell: 4.8’’
More features: yellow brass two-piece bell, medium weight, case included, monel pistons
When it comes to setting the quality standard in trumpets for a decent price, there are few brands out there that compare to Yamaha. This brand has a model of instrument for everyone, with any level of playing experience.
The YTR-2330 trumpet is one such instrument that, despite its focus on student use, works great all round and is very popular for that reason. It’s also the reason we nominate this trumpet as the Editor’s Pick for best all round trumpet.
This student-level trumpet is made with a unique production quality that even the pros can appreciate. There have been several innovations made with this trumpet to increase playability and ease of use.
For an overall well-balanced lightweight instrument, the brace, originally on the tuning slide, has been removed. The two-piece yellow brass bell adds enough weight to create a lively and consistent tone. You’ll be able to play longer with a lighter instrument, and the sound quality of this trumpet isn’t sacrificed whatsoever.
The trumpet includes an adjustable third valve and water key. The monel pistons are durable and operate smoothly without sticking.
This trumpet does what it’s meant to with excellence, though it isn’t recommended to take this trumpet to the expert level for regular use. It may serve better as a backup or practice instrument, but it still is a bit simple for professional playing.
- Made with quality materials
- Easy to play
- Good, well-rounded sound
- Not recommended for regular professional use
Jupiter 1602S-R – Best Professional
- Finish: nickel silver
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Bore: 0.459’’
- Bell: 4.8’’
More features: reverse rose brass leadpipe, hand-crafted bell, case and mouthpiece included, monel pistons, elliptical and rounded tuning slides
Jupiter has upgraded from beginner and student-oriented trumpets to more professional lines with its XO series, and as a result, has provided a great affordable professional instrument to the table.
What makes this trumpet such a great value is its user-friendly playability and versatile sound. The medium-large 0.459” bore and heavy weight of this instrument allow enough resistance to create a darker sound that blends well in a group performance or makes a grand presence in a studio. The attractive nickel-silver case is a refreshing alternative to traditional gold lacquer or silver plating, and further makes the tone full and rich. The intonation of this trumpet is perfect and sounds just right.
For playability, this trumpet comes available with two choices for most of its features such as valve caps, springs, and tuning slides so you can customize and determine what combination provides you with the best feel while playing. The weight of the trumpet is well-balanced to allow for a more comfortable hold as you play.
The revers leadpipe allows you that extra air space for comfortable self-expression when using this trumpet.
A mouthpiece and brown-leather case come included with this piece.
Though this is a versatile instrument that fits many genres, some argue that the sound quality is one that doesn’t resonate as well in a large performance setting, such as a concert hall, and its presence becomes smaller than it really is. Regardless, this trumpet is the best professional trumpet on this list, as it provides a perfect tone and great playability, all the while being affordably priced.
- Relatively affordable
- Versatile sound
- User-friendly features
- Not as powerful in larger settings
Blessing BTR-1460G – Best for Jazz
- Finish: silver plated
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Bore: 0.460’’
- Bell: 5’’
More features: monel pistons, 3’rd slide stop, rose brass lead pipe, yellow brass two-piece bell, 3C mouthpiece
This BTR-1460G trumpet from Blessing is an excellent expressive instrument that was produced with a focus around intermediate jazz players, but can easily work as a jazz instrument for higher levels as well. With such a focus on expressive liberty in its build and specs, this trumpet has our nomination as the best jazz trumpet on this list.
In order to provide a great sound and room for musical expression, this trumpet is equipped with a rather wide, two-piece hand-hammered yellow brass bell that projects the sound strongly while keeping the tone well-centered. The rose brass leadpipe contributes that extra brightness to the tone, and the combined weight along with silver plating finish make every note you play clearer and the music you play more flexible. The result is a broad, open sound that plays as nuanced as you like it.
The trumpet’s design is simple and easy to understand at any level. Monel valve pistons are quick in response and resistant to corrosion, with a lower risk of sticking. A first valve thumb hook and third slide ring make holding this instrument while playing as comfortable and sturdy as possible.
Included with this trumpet are a standard 7c mouthpiece and a case.
While this trumpet is centered towards intermediate students and is an overall well-made trumpet, the BTR-1460G does come a little expensive for an instrument of such a level. Experts can use this trumpet as well.
- Broad, expressive sound
- Smooth response
- Pricey for an intermediate instrument
Bach TR300H2 – Best for Students
- Finish: clear lacquer
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Bore: 0.459’’
- Bell: 4.8’’
More features: double-wall case included, monel pistons, one-point nylon valve guide, adjustable 3rd slide ring, braced, red brass leadpipe
Bach is one of the top providers of trumpets, and having produced the best-selling trumpet series in the world, it’s hard to deny the presence they have in the industry. Not only do they create premium-quality professional instruments, but they brought us our best student trumpet on this list: the TR300H2 student trumpet.
Made to help encourage students to play better without struggle, this trumpet is easy to play and produces a great sound that cheaper student trumpets can hardly compare to. There is little fault with this trumpet, so students can focus on improving their sound and earn any band instructor’s approval.
The high-quality red brass and yellow brass construction help produce a beautifully rich tone. The adjustable third ring slide helps in handling the trumpet comfortably. The lacquer finish provides tonal warmth. The monel piston valves provide quick response and resistance to corrosion, and precision made to provide noiseless operation.
This trumpet comes with a premium double-wall carry case, equipped to hold everything including your mouthpiece and cleaning accessories.
Of course, despite this trumpet being a student-level trumpet, the price might intimidate some buyers. The quality and sound of this trumpet do truly live up to its price tag, and is definitely a must when choosing for a beginning player who really wants to continue with trumpet playing in the long term.
- Premium quality instrument with durability and longevity
- Reliable name that the pickiest band instructor can’t refuse
- Comes quite pricey when compared to other student trumpets
Allora MXPT-5801 – Best Pocket
- Finish: silver plated
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- Bore: 0.459
- Bell: 3.66’’
More features: yellow brass bell and leadpipe, fixed 3rd slide ring, 7C mouthpiece, stainless steel pistons
Pocket trumpets are great compact alternatives to the full-sized deal, and have come a long way. Despite their smaller size, they have the same length tubing as any standard B flat trumpet, and have many practical uses.
The Allora MXPT-5801 pocket trumpet is one such small instrument that not only promises the benefits of a compact trumpet, but also a sound that comes pretty close to the real deal.
This trumpet is lightweight and consumes less space, making it easy to transport for occasions such as marching bands or traveling between venues. It includes its own carry case.
Though pocket trumpets are overlooked due to their thinner sounds and smaller bell diameters, this Allora trumpet has the materials and build to ensure that sound quality is compromised as little as possible.
The silver-plated yellow brass bell gives a pleasing sound, and the 7c mouthpiece adds a little depth when playing.
One issue that usually comes with pocket trumpets is the collection of water and residue in certain places requiring removal of slides and clearing it out manually.
The MXPT-5801 is available in lacquer, gold lacquer, gold or silver plating, or rose brass lacquer.
This trumpet is overall a good affordable travel option, and the sound quality of this instrument is good enough for us to nominate it the best pocket trumpet for our list.
- Compact size, ideal for traveling
- Sound quality is quite good, only slightly short of a full-size instrument
- Collection and cleaning of water in the pipes is somewhat inconvenient
Jean Paul USA TR-430S – Budget Pick
- Finish: silver plated
- Warranty: not specified
- Bore: 0.458’’
- Bell: 4.8’’
More features: stainless steel pistons, third slide ring adjustable, case and carrying kit included
Are you looking for a decent-playing trumpet that serves its purpose well and has great quality, all on a tight budget? Jean Paul has you covered with the TR-430S trumpet that is not only affordable, but of surprisingly great quality that has most reviewers pleased.
This silver-plated intermediate trumpet was made to serve as a long-lasting upgrade from student or beginner trumpets, specifically the Jean Paul TR-330 model. It’s clear the various improvements in performance and ergonomics were made based on the previous model.
The build is a more durable and sharp-looking one that can produce a better, fuller sound. The medium bore allows for a good range in notes with little difficulty and the stainless-steel piston valves are quick and responsive, comparable to even professional level models. They may tend to get stuck, but nothing a bit of regular oiling can’t take care of.
The TR-430S, like all Jean Paul trumpets, does its best to promote proper playing technique with an adjustable third trigger that allows for natural hand positioning.
For your preference, the TR-430S is also available in traditional lacquer as the TR-430.
Included with this trumpet are a standard 7c mouthpiece, various care products, and a stylish carry case. The durability of the case is not the best, as some customers have pointed out, but can be easily replaced with a new one should anything happen.
Although it’s marketed as an intermediate instrument, the quality and sound of this Budget Pick make it satisfactory for any level even serving as a wallet-friendly alternative to more expensive models.
- Good quality step-up instrument
- Quick and responsive playing
- Accessories included
- Case is not the most durable
- Valves prone to sticking
Kaizer PLY-TRP-1000PL – Best Plastic
- Material: ABS plastic
- Warranty: 45-day trial, lifetime warranty
- Bore: 0.456’’
- Bell: 5’’
More features: metal valves, brass sleeve inserts, travel case and mouthpiece included
If you’re looking for a risk-free purchase for a young trumpet beginner, look no further than the plastic version of Kaizer’s TRP-1000PL trumpet. Produced from a brand that focuses on beginner trumpets, you can be sure this affordable little trumpet will be able to handle student use as it encourages them to learn the basics.
This trumpet has a decently durable ABS plastic construction that won’t bend or dent in case of being dropped. The plastic makes it lightweight and easy for young children to hold without difficulty. All the basics are included in this simply designed body making it less intimidating and learner-friendly.
The bore size allows for an adequate, well-centered tone while the wider 5” bell size lets the sound be projected well with less effort. The valves are actually metal with brass-lined casings, and as a result are smoother and better when played.
This trumpet comes with a carry case and a plastic mouthpiece, but is compatible with any standard metal mouthpiece. Available in many fun and bright colors, kids can choose their favorite look for their brand-new trumpet.
The Kaizer TRP-1000PL plastic trumpet is one you can buy with no worries and little investment. It comes at a decent and somewhat durable quality considering its materials, and is easy to transition from once you get better at playing.
While it is simple, lacking features of more advanced trumpets, and isn’t recommended for use beyond the beginner level, it’s one of the best plastic trumpets you can find.
- Simple, easy to play design
- Durable construction for younger players
- Decent sound and playability
- Not recommended beyond entry level
Choose the trumpet by your skills
There is a trumpet for each person who wants to play. Whether you are a beginner, a student moving to an intermediate level, or a professional in need of the perfect trumpet, you can find one that’ll suit you best.
While you look through some trumpet options, keep in mind that you don’t want one that is too heavy for you to hold up. You want one that is well-balanced in your grasp and won’t wear out your arms too quickly.
The standard weight of a trumpet is a kilogram, which is evenly balanced out by your 4-5 kg arm weight (give or take this is the standard weight of each arm). Intermediate and professionals would look for something lighter than this since they must play longer than a practice session and they can’t have their arms wearing out so quickly.
Trumpet tips for sound improvement
There are always techniques you can use to improve your trumpet-playing skills. Many professionals will have their own technique and you can find different techniques online. Practicing any of these techniques can help strengthen and amplify your sound so you perform better.
This particular technique can help with your overall performance on the trumpet. For a step-by-step video:
The sound of money
The budget for a beginner trumpet is between $400 to $1000. If you’re moving up to an intermediate trumpet, then your budget increases to $1000-$1500 up to $2500. A professional trumpet, whether custom-made or bought ready-made, is going to be priced over $2500.
Consider the following features to choose the best trumpet
Certain features will differentiate a good trumpet from a great trumpet. The following features are aspects that all trumpets will wield. They can either be beneficial or drag the entire trumpet down. Before you make any final decisions, compare all of the features of each option to single out the best one.
There are many different trumpet types you can view. They all come with a different generic sound and are all designed or held in a unique way.
- The Bb trumpet is the most commonly used one
- The C trumpet, a close cousin to the previous type
- The Bb pocket trumpet is a more compressed version of the Bb trumpet and has a more refined sound
- The Flugelhorn, a similar trumpet to the Bb & C trumpet yet delivers a more soprano and bass tune
- The smallest in the trumpet family is the piccolo trumpet, created to resemble or replace the D trumpet
- The D trumpet, which is the preferred choice for Baroque music
Rely on the brand
It never hurts to be brand-sensitive when you’re on the look-out for the best trumpet for yourself. There are many well-acclaimed brands you can turn to for a reliable instrument.
There are many more brands to look at, but these are the bigger, more well-known ones that come out on top for beginners and professionals alike.
The most common trumpet finish is the clear lacquer finish. You can find this finish on beginner models, intermediate models, and even professional models. The Bach TR300H2 features a clear lacquer finish.
The next type of finish is a silver-plated finish. This finish is thinner and allows a more vibrant sound. The Jupiter 1602S-R, the Blessing BTR-1460G and the Allora MXPT-5801 are all examples of silver-plated finish.
The final finish is a gold-plated finish, which is only found on professional grade trumpets. This finish creates a dark, pronounced tone. The Yamaha YTR 2330 featured here has a gold-plated finish.
Body material could be based on your preference or be based on criteria. But whatever body material you go with will change the personification of your sound, just like the finish.
There are 3 typical materials used to create a trumpet. The first is brass which is the most commonly used and can be found in professional, intermediate, and beginner models. The other two are silver and gold which can only be found on professional models.
Bell and bore sizes
The bore and the bell create different sounds based on their thickness and diameter. The greater the diameter and the thicker the material, the louder, more pronounced, and darker the sound becomes. The thinner the material and smaller the diameter, the more delicate and gentler the sound becomes, creating a mellow tone.
Without a mouthpiece, you cannot create a vibration which ensues the sound of the trumpet. Sometimes, the mouthpiece that comes with the trumpet is not right so it’s best to go looking for extras or replacements which you can keep for later use.
Keep in mind the material and finish to make sure the mouthpiece matches with your trumpet body.
Your valves on the trumpet are what controls the pitch of the note and tone.
You want these valves to be strong. Always have some kind of oil on the side to make sure that the valves are constantly maintained. It’s better to get valves that are numbered on the inside so after you oil them, you can make sure you’re placing them in the proper position once more.
The slide on your trumpet can help you change the key and pitch of your instrument. Before you play it, you want to make sure that this slide works properly. It’s best to test the pitch in stores with a professional or teacher. That way they can help assure that you’re getting the right notes.
Oftentimes, rings go unnoticed on trumpets. The truth is, rings are very important pieces that can differentiate a beginner’s trumpet from a professional trumpet. Using the rings properly can ensure you don’t harm your fingers.
Adjusting your rings keeps your fingers comfortable and makes your trumpet easier to play.
Determining what key you prefer working with in the early stages will determine the type of music you can create. The most common types of keys used are the Bb key and C key.
Since all beginners work with these two keys, it’s easier to develop and grow your skills using these keys. Some players would prefer to move to other key types such as D.
There are many accessories that can complement your trumpet to ease your experience with it. Casing, maintenance kits, mutes, extra mouthpieces, oils, they can all come with your trumpet or be purchased separately.
A good trumpet will be backed with a sustainable warranty. Your warranty should cover any defects in the construction of the trumpet and/or any of its pieces. Some companies give a repair/replace policy in a set amount of time which can benefit you as well.
Sensible warranties on reliable trumpets will exceed one year and last for as long as 25 years.
Trumpet maintenance tips
- Avoid getting your trumpet wet and keep it out of direct sunlight.
- After every use, remove the mouthpiece from the trumpet and store both the body and mouthpiece in proper casing.
- After every use, open the spit valve to remove any collected saliva inside of the instrument.
- After oiling the slide and valves, run over the entire trumpet with a polish cloth.
There is no confirmed amount of time it takes to learn to play a trumpet. For some people it could take less than a year while others could be spending whole years trying to master their own skills.
Any age is fine to start. Some people start to learn as students, while some adults start learning in their free time. A passion for music is better pursued at a young age.
To learn how to properly hold a trumpet, follow the instructions in this video:
It’s alright to have one trumpet for practice and another for professional use. To save money, most people do purchase a used trumpet if they’re only using it for practice.
The best way to properly transport a trumpet is to purchase casing for it. This ensures your trumpet does not get damaged while you carry it. Do not place any heavy items over your casing.
Our favorite overall trumpet would have to be the Yamaha YTR-2330. This student/ intermediate trumpet just has a quality that any level player can appreciate. It excels at everything it’s meant to do and can work just as well as a substitute or backup instrument for the expert.
The best trumpet for advanced playing is the Jupiter 1602 XO series trumpet. In terms of professional instruments, this one shows great promise in popularity due to the quality and impeccable sound you can get at a relatively affordable price tag.
For those looking for a backup instrument on a tight budget, take a look at the Jean Paul USA TR-430 trumpet. This surprisingly high-quality intermediate trumpet is well-received for all the right reasons. Whether you’re looking for a student upgrade or an expert model you can practice with, you can agree that this trumpet comes at an excellent value.