Beginner trumpet + tips & purchase advice

The best trumpet for beginners
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What matters when buying a trumpet for beginners:

  • Jazz-trumpets are best for beginners

  • B tuning is the most widespread tuning

  • Pay attention to clean intonation and easy response

  • Best select the mouthpiece in consultation with a teacher

  • Trumpet playing is possible from an age of approx. 7 years


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Getting started!

The trumpet is one of the most versatile instruments ever, as it is used in many different musical styles. Whether in orchestra, brass band, jazz combo or big band – the trumpet is always present and decisive for the sound result. Jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis have not only written history, but have also shown how the playing of a trumpet can be individually adapted to one’s personal style.

You can learn to play the trumpet from the age of seven. It is important that the front permanent teeth are already there. The more permanent teeth, the better, because tooth gaps can give the trumpet playing an unexpected damper. If you wear fixed braces, you don’t have to worry, because the brackets don’t affect the playing and the sound.

If you are a beginner and don’t have a special style of music in mind, it’s best to start with a so-called jazz trumpet. This is not only comparatively cheap to buy, but also suitable for a variety of different styles. Furthermore, the trumpet models are differentiated between different tunings. Since the Bb tuning is the most common, you should start with a jazz trumpet in Bb tuning.

To learn to play the trumpet correctly from the beginning, a lot of practice is required. Since playing the trumpet is all about strength and breath, the muscles around the mouth should be trained regularly. An intact respiration is also decisive for playing the trumpet. Correct breathing techniques are just as important as holding techniques.


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The different trumpet-types at a glance

Classical trumpet

There are four different types of trumpet. The classic “German” trumpet, for example, is characterized by rotary valves and a relatively short leadpipe. This in turn increases the blowing resistance, which is why the classical trumpet is somewhat less easy to play than related types. Another difference to the other trumpet types is the price: While good jazz trumpets are available from 100 Euro, you have to dig deep into your pocket when buying a classical trumpet. The price here usually tends upwards from 1000 Euros. If you are just starting out in your hobby, you should consider carefully whether you want to invest in a classical trumpet right from the start.

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Thomann Concerto GMS Rotary Trumpet Foto

Jazz-trumpet

The jazz trumpet is probably the most popular type of trumpet and is mainly used in jazz and entertainment music. Unlike the classical trumpet, it is operated by Périnet valves, also known as French pump valves. Although, as its name suggests, it plays an important role in jazz in particular, it can also be used in orchestral or classical music. Due to its versatility, the jazz trumpet is especially recommended for beginners who do not yet know which genre suits them best. A further advantage: the lower blowing resistance and the practical pump valves make the jazz trumpet easier to play than the classical trumpet.

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Thomann TR 200 Bb-trumpet Foto

Piccolo trumpet

The Piccolo trumpet is characterized by its compact design and is used mainly in baroque music. In terms of sound, it is particularly suitable for playing high trumpet sounds and is therefore not quite as versatile as the jazz trumpet. A fourth additional valve on some models also allows the production of low tones. Similar to the classical trumpet, the piccolo trumpet is not cheap to buy. While some models are available starting at 500 Euro, most Piccolo trumpets range in the low thousands. If you are a beginner and do not have a preference for classical baroque music, it is better to choose a less special model to start with.

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Thomann TR-901S Piccolo trumpet Foto

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Pocket trumpet

As the name suggests, the pocket trumpet is much more compact than the “classic” models. However, its sound should not be confused with that of the piccolo trumpet. In fact, the pocket trumpet has a similar tube length to the classical trumpet, but is compensated due to the narrower windings. Although the sound of the bag trumpet is somewhat “paler” than that of the normal Bb trumpet, it is well suited for travelling and can also keep up with the jazz trumpets in terms of price.

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Mendini MPT-N Nickel Plated Bb Pocket Trumpet Foto

Trumpet for kids

Young trumpeters in particular are quickly overwhelmed by the size of a conventional trumpet. For this reason it is advisable to use special children’s trumpets for kids. These trumpets are not only haptically advantageous – for example with adjustable finger hooks or rings – but also impress with their easy response, stable intonation and compact body. This makes playing the trumpet particularly easy, which is why children’s trumpets can also be suitable for adult beginners.

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Thomann TR-5000 L Bb-trumpet Foto

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The setup and components of a trumpet at a glance

The structure of a trumpet seems particularly complex at first glance. In order to give you an overview of the structure and function of the individual components, we have explained them in more detail in the table below.

ComponentFunction
Mouthpiece- The choice of the right mouthpiece is decisive for the sound result. Depending on the tooth position, lip and tongue volume, different models are suitable.
Mouth pipe- The leadpipe connects the mouthpiece with the main slide. Regular cleaning is necessary to ensure a good sound.
Valve casings- The valve casing contains the three valves. Since repairs are costly, the valve casing should be handled with special care to prevent damage.
Bell- The bell is usually made of alloyed sheet metal. A silver alloy produces a slightly brighter, more open tone. The gold alloy produces a somewhat warmer, friendlier tone.
Main slide- By pushing in or pulling out the tuning slide, the basic tone of the trumpet can be varied upwards or downwards.
Valves- When the valve is pressed down, the air flow is diverted through the valve slides. Valve 1 reduces the keynote by one tone, valve 2 by one half tone and valve 3 by three half tones. To ensure that the valves function smoothly, they must be lubricated regularly.
Finger hook- Enables one-handed play, e.g. when turning pages.

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How to find the right mouthpiece

The choice of the right mouthpiece is at least as important when buying a trumpet as the instrument itself. Thus the mouthpiece can have a decisive influence on the playing feel, the playing itself and thus the sound. However, anyone who believes that all problems when practicing can be solved with the right mouthpiece is mistaken. If the head turns red while playing, this may just as well be due to the wrong breathing technique. Regular practice and a good playing technique cannot replace even the best mouthpiece.

But how do you find the right mouthpiece? Especially for beginners it is advisable to consult an experienced trumpet teacher when buying a mouthpiece. If you don’t have this possibility, you can also follow the proven guidelines for buying a suitable trumpet mouthpiece. For example, most beginners will start with a size 7C mouthpiece. Mouthpieces of this size are often already included in the set when buying a trumpet. Each mouthpiece should depend on the boiler depth of the instrument. Unfortunately, each manufacturer designates the boiler depths differently when naming the mouthpiece and usually indicates them accordingly on the manufacturer’s side. Bach, for example, uses the number (e.g. 7) for the diameter and the letter (e.g. C) for the boiler depth. Since the manufacturer’s specifications are not standardized, it is advisable to purchase a mouthpiece from the manufacturer from whom the instrument originates.

  • Standard hole for beginners
  • Wide edge = high endurance, low flexibility
  • Narrow edge = low endurance, high flexibility
  • Boiler depth designations vary depending on manufacturer (e.g. Bach: 7C)

Edge and bore

Especially the edge condition is decisive for the choice of the mouthpiece, as it is in direct contact with the lips when playing. The rule of thumb is: the wider the rim, the higher the endurance and the less flexibility when changing to different pitches. The narrower the edge, the more flexibility and the less endurance. When selecting the inner rim, on the other hand, it becomes really technical, which is why this criterion mainly plays a role for experienced players. When it comes to the bore – the narrowest part of the mouthpiece – beginners are usually well served with standard bores from renowned manufacturers such as Yamaha or B&S. The following applies here: the larger the bore, the lower the blowing resistance. A large bore provides a full tone and free blowing feeling, whereas a narrower bore provides more dynamics.

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Bach 351 7C Mouthpiece for trumpet Foto

How to learn playing trumpet

Trumpet lessons

Many different aspects come together when playing the trumpet: body posture, breathing technique and intonation should ideally harmonize perfectly with each other. Anyone who gets even one of these components wrong at the beginning will suffer later. Regular accompanied lessons at a music school or with a private teacher can therefore be helpful to develop a healthy basis. In order to take as much practice with you as possible, we recommend regular ensemble playing in an orchestra or a big band.

  • Practice-oriented learning
  • Direct exchange
  • Long-term cost
Taking trumpet lessons
Taking trumpet lessons

Trumpet textbooks

If you have already gained experience with instruments, ideally brass instruments, you can learn to play the trumpet on your own using various textbooks. This can be particularly advantageous for professionals, but at the same time requires a high degree of discipline and self-initiative. This method is therefore less recommended for children who have not yet had any experience with other brass instruments. Those who want to work according to the textbook should also make sure that a CD/DVD with audio examples is included in addition to the fingering tables.

  • Low-cost
  • Self-directed learning
  • Requires discipline and self-reliance
Buy trumpet textbooks
Buy trumpet textbooks

Videos for trumpet beginners

In order to put blowing and holding techniques into practice using practical examples, one does not necessarily have to invest in expensive lessons. If you already have some experience with instruments, you can also learn to play the trumpet with free amateur videos on platforms such as Youtube. Similar to learning by textbook, this method requires a high degree of discipline and stamina and is therefore only suitable for children to a limited extent. A somewhat more professional approach to teaching is provided by paid online courses, which provide learning and video material for a monthly fee.

  • Free amateur videos
  • Practice-oriented learning
  • Paid online video courses

Good trumpet-textbooks for beginners

  • Charles Colin Music Lip Flexibilities Trumpet Foto
  • Wolgang Guggenberger Basics Plus For Trumpet Foto
  • Carl Fischer Technical Studies For The Cornet Foto

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How to care for your trumpet

Cleaning the trumpet surface

Trumpets not only sound good, but also look good. But as beautiful as the glossy alloyed surface is, dirt and fingerprints quickly become visible on the surface of the trumpet. A simple microfibre cloth is recommended for daily cleaning, which can either be used dry or with a special cleaning agent that does not attack the trumpet’s sensitive alloy. However, it is not advisable to use coarser fabrics or paper handkerchiefs when cleaning, as they contain friction particles which can cause micro-scratches on the surface.

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Gibson Standard Polish Cloth Foto

Cleaning the valves

In order to avoid abrasion at the valve casings, the valves of the trumpet should be regularly oiled and the slides greased. A special valve oil from a specialist dealer should be used for this purpose. To lubricate the valves, simply unscrew the valve cover and pull out the valve a little. Now put some trumpet oil on the surface, push the valve back and turn it until it engages. You can test if the valve is seated correctly by blowing air through the trumpet. If this does not work, turn the valve 180° again. Then press the valve several times so that the oil can spread well over the surface.

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La Tromba T2 Light Valve Oil Foto

Drain trumpet

Especially those who practice diligently will quickly notice that condensation collects in the trumpet tube when blowing. This is completely normal – however, the trumpet should be dried after each playing so that the acids in the condensate do not attack the inner surface of the instrument. On some models, the condensation water can be easily drained by means of a water flap. Afterwards the trumpet should not be stowed directly in the gig bag, but should first be left to dry in the air for a few hours. Every 8 weeks the trumpet should also be rinsed with lukewarm water to remove more stubborn dirt.

Trumpet for beginners: Checklist for your trumpet purchase

  • Jazz trumpet in Bb/Bb tuning

    If you don’t follow a special musical style that requires the use of a special trumpet model, you should start with a flexible jazz trumpet in the common B/Bb tuning.

  • Gig Bag

    A trumpet case is essential not only for transport, but also for storage in order to prevent damage to the instrument. Damage to the valves of the trumpet is very difficult to repair.

  • Mouthpiece with standard bore

    Mouthpieces with standard bore (about the size 7C by Bach) are easy to play and are often included with the instrument at the time of purchase.

  • Valve oil

    Since the valves should be greased with valve oil about once a week, you should order it right together with the instrument.

  • Mute

    Spare the ears of your neighbours and get a suitable mute for your trumpet.

Trumpet sets for beginners compared

KlasseJazz-trumpetJazz-TrumpetJazz-TrumpetJazz-Trumpet
ProductStartone
STR-25 Bb-Trumpet
Thomann
TR 200 Bb-Trumpet
Thomann
TR-620 L BB-Trumpet
Yamaha
YTR-3335
Picture
Best price
Startone STR-25 Bb-Trumpet Foto
Thomann TR 200 Bb-Trumpet Foto
Best deal
Thomann TR-620 L BB-Trumpet Foto
Yamaha YTR-3335 Foto
Tuning Bb-TuningBb-TuningBb-TuningBb-Tuning
Bore Medium LargeMedium LargeMedium LargeMedium Large
Material Gold brass leadpipe, stainless steel valves, nickel silver outer slides, brass bellGold brass leadpipe, stainless steel valves, nickel silver outer slides, brass bellGold brass leadpipe, Monel valves, brass bell2-piece yellow brass bell, Monel valves, gold brass leadpipe
Set content That contains the Trumpet-beginner set
Trumpet Trumpet Trumpet Trumpet Trumpet
Mouthpiece Mouthpiece Mouthpiece Mouthpiece Mouthpiece
Gig bag Gig bag Gig bag Gig bag Gig bag
Offer
only 118 €
only 145 €
only 195 €
only 525 €

Equipment for trumpets

  • Valve Oil Foto
  • Damper Foto
  • Trumpet Gig Bag Foto
  • Polishing Cloth Foto

The most important questions and answers at a glance

How do I find the right mouthpiece for my trumpet?

Since each manufacturer uses its own measurements and sizes, there is unfortunately no general guideline on how to select the right mouthpiece. First and foremost, the mouthpiece should fit well and be easy to play (especially for beginners). For beginners we recommend a mouthpiece size 7C, e.g. from Bach. We have summarized further information on how to find the perfect mouthpiece for you here.

What are the valves on a trumpet for?

When the valves are pushed, the air flow is diverted through the valve pass. This allows different pitches to be played.

What does a trumpet for beginners cost?

As with other instruments, there is no upper limit for trumpet purchases. Basically, the more unusual the model, the more expensive it is. A classic “German” trumpet, for example, is only available from about 1000 Euros upwards. So-called jazz trumpets, on the other hand, are much cheaper: they are available from around 100 euros.

Which oil can I use for valve care?

In order to ensure proper function and long durability of the valves, they must be lubricated regularly and the valve slides greased. However, we strongly advise you not to experiment with oils! It is best to use a special valve oil from a specialist dealer. How exactly the oiling works, we explain to you here.

How can I clean my trumpet?

A simple microfibre cloth is suitable for cleaning the trumpet surface, which can be used either dry or with a special cleaning product. A special valve oil is used to clean the valve. As condensation collects in the trumpet body during playing, it should be dried after practice and stored on air. You can find further information on the correct care of the trumpet here.

How often should I clean my trumpet?

Playing creates condensation, which collects inside the trumpet. If it remains there for too long, the acids contained in the condensation can attack the trumpet’s finish and thus impair the playing in the long term. Therefore the trumpet should be drained once after every use. If the instrument has a water key, the condensation water can be drained through it. In addition, the trumpet should be stored overnight in the air outside the gig bag for drying. Ideally, the valves should be greased once a week with valve oil.

How should the trumpet be transported?

In order to prevent damage to the body and paintwork, the trumpet should be transported and stored in a suitable gig bag or trumpet case.

How long does it take to learn playing the trumpet?

This depends on the intensity of the exercise as well as the trumpet teacher. If you have a good private teacher at hand, it should not take long until you can play a straight sequence of notes on the trumpet.

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Our Trumpet recommendations
Startone STR-25 Bb-Trumpet Foto
Startone STR-25 Bb-Trumpet
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Thomann TR-620 L BB-Trumpet Foto
Thomann TR-620 L BB-Trumpet
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