10 Best Trumpets | February 2017

10 Best Trumpets
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Are you musically inspired by Louis Armstrong, Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, or Herb Alpert? Maybe you bleed brass and dream in B-flat? No matter your preference or level of commitment, one of these trumpets will be just the tool you need for sharing your talent with the world. You’ll find models for everyone, whether beginner, intermediate, or pro performer. Skip to the best trumpet on Amazon.
10
Whether you need an instrument for a student who may not stick with playing or a less expensive horn for marching, the Merano GWD300SV-MT could be just the choice. With it, you’ll get a range of accessories, including a case and stand, making getting started a snap.
  • comes with tuner
  • case is velvet lined
  • valves tend to stick
Brand Merano
Model GWD300SV-MT
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The Jean Paul USA TR-330 offers a beautiful gold lacquer finish and a generous bore, which makes playing both enticing and trouble-free for beginners. It also has a balanced feel thanks to an adjustable ring on the third valve and a first-valve-slide thumb saddle.
  • case features roomy exterior pocket
  • includes gloves
  • heavy use leads to short life
Brand Jean Paul USA
Model TR-330
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
8
With its double brace construction, two nickel water keys, and silver-plated mouthpiece, the Legacy TR750 is one of the most versatile trumpets available in the step-up range. Its zippered canvas case also conveniently converts into a backpack for easy transport.
  • 2-year warranty against defects
  • good alternative to renting
  • needs oiling often
Brand Legacy
Model Legacy-TR750-wCase
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
7
From serious newbies to experienced pros, musicians rate the Getzen 590-SL as the fun-to-play choice. It features a nickel silver mouthpipe, two-piece yellow brass bell, first slide saddle, and more. This model is made in the USA.
  • part of the brand's capri series
  • third valve has adjustable ring
  • could be too expensive for beginners
Brand Getzen
Model 590-SL
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
6
The Jean Baptiste TP483S, although designed for students, provides many features found on pro models, including monel-plated valves and a beautifully engraved bell. This durable instrument is available in either a silver or lacquer finish.
  • yellow brass body
  • medium-large bore
  • not as sturdy as some student models
Brand Jean Baptiste
Model JBTP483SX
Weight 8.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
5
From a Japanese company known for quality, the Yamaha YTR 2330 offers new trumpeters toughness without weight and steady tone without struggle. The monel-alloy pistons and high-quality bottom caps provide longevity while the yellow brass contributes to a classic look.
  • plastic key buttons
  • gold brass leadpipe
  • more expensive than similar models
Brand Yamaha
Model YTR-2330
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
4
The Jean Paul USA TR-430 moves beginning players to the intermediate range, thanks to a rose brass leadpipe that can produce a rich, broad array of tones. It’s also an investment in sturdiness; its hard-wearing piston valves are crafted for the long haul.
  • adjustable third trigger
  • comes with polishing cloth
  • case is a little large
Brand Jean Paul USA
Model TR-430
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
The Mendini MMT-30CN is suitable for beginning to intermediate students who will appreciate the comfortable hold, 5-inch bell, and 7C mouthpiece. For ease of carrying and use, it also comes with a hard case with backpack straps and a foldable stand.
  • nickel-plated model
  • double-braced design
  • includes 1-year warranty
Brand Mendini
Model MTT-30CN+SD+PB+92D
Weight 10.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
2
One of the most popular choices of professional players for over 80 years, the Bach 180S37 Stradivarius is well-worthy of its high price tag. Its medium-large bore offers an ideal balance between sound and ease of playing, while its velvet-smooth valves resist air leakage.
  • for jazz and classical musicians
  • consistent-diameter pistons
  • even intonation and response
Brand Bach
Model 180S37
Weight 13.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
1
The LJ Hutchen 4218 features a warm sound, a corrosion-resistant leadpipe and a mouthpiece conceived for excellent student performance. It also promises durability by way of stainless steel valves that resist damage caused by the poor maintenance of inexperienced students.
  • valve oil included
  • trusted company
  • each is quality tested
Brand LJ Hutchen
Model 4218II
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Abridged History Of The Trumpet

The trumpet is a wind instrument in the brass family that is popular all around the world, and has been played for many centuries. While the modern trumpet usually consists of tubing bent twice into an oblong shape with an overall length of nearly five feet, traditional trumpets came in varied shapes and sizes.

Archeological evidence can trace trumpet production back some 3,500 years into ancient history, with instruments approximating a trumpet's design uncovered in Ancient Egypt, China, and other areas of central Asia. Biblical tales about trumpets being used to "blow down the walls of Jericho" are almost assuredly apocryphal, but they do confirm the existence of this wind instrument during that long ago era. In the early centuries of the Common Era, trumpets were produced and played in the Americas, with trumpet like instruments found in parts of Peru in particular.

Early trumpets were largely used for signaling purposes, conveying messages across distances or to be heard over the din of battle. They may also have been used in ceremonial or worship proceedings, but were likely not used in the sense with which we treat a musical instrument today. In fact, it was not until the turn of the last century that trumpets truly gained recognition as unique instruments worthy of being used at the center of musical compositions.

Long relegated to supporting roles by the major composers of the classical era, the 20th Century finally saw the trumpet getting its proper respect and enjoying an enlarged oeuvre of compositions. This rapid expansion of the repertoire produced for trumpet players was largely thanks to technological innovations that had seen the addition of valves to the trumpet.

Traditional trumpets had no way to modify pitch or tone other than by a player essentially blowing into the instrument with varied degrees of force. With the addition of valves common by the middle of the 1800s, the instrument was soon to help revolutionize music in the 1900s. Not only would the trumpet soon play a larger role in orchestral music, but it would take center stage in a brand new genre of music known as jazz.

The Trumpet Player

Trumpet Player is a poem written by Langston Hughes that both celebrates the man as musician yet laments the plight of largely dispossessed African Americans during the 20th Century. Indeed jazz music, that fiercely original American genre, was formed largely as a result of the separation between black communities of the south and the wider American public. A confluence of styles influenced early jazz, and these included Blues music, Ragtime, and European Quadrilles, to name a few. The genre developed in many areas, with New Orleans treated as the traditional cradle of jazz music. And at the center of many jazz bands was the trumpet player.

Perhaps the most famous trumpeters of all time remain those men that helped define jazz in the first place; giants such as Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie were not only virtuosic trumpet players, but also helped to define the nascent sounds of the jazz genre, with playing styles featuring everything from syncopation to a heavy reliance on improvisation to that intangible but indefeasible quality known only as swing.

The trumpet also gained greater recognition and use in orchestras playing more classical styles of music. A comparison between the works of Mozart or Bach contacted with those of a famed 20th Century composer such as Aaron Copland make clear the new respect paid to the trumpet. Copland's beloved piece Fanfare for the Common Man, for example, was scored primarily for brass and percussion instruments, a marked departure from the former's role as a mere supporting player in other eras of orchestral music.

Choosing The Right Trumpet For You

Choosing a trumpet comes down to two primary factors: your experience level, and your budget. Looking at the latter factor first, one should keep in mind that while it's easy to spend many thousands of dollars on a superlative trumpet, it's also entirely possible to buy a decent instrument for less than two hundred dollars. (It's not possible to get a trumpet worthy of serious play for less than a hundred dollars, however.) If budget is no concern, then by all means consider a high end, expensive trumpet.

There are many trumpets that are so-called student trumpets thanks primarily to their larger bore mouthpieces that make it easier for less experienced musicians to produce rich, loud tones even without the same breath control that comes with years of play and practice. These instruments are great for use in marching bands or large ensembles regardless of experience level, though they can lack the range and ability for tight control that a saxophonist in a jazz band might want.

Make sure to consider valve tightness and choose the resistance that's right for your playing style, and also consider how easy it is to swap out varied mouthpieces in case you ever need to make a change to your instrument.

Responsible ownership of a trumpet means being ready to spend some time on care and maintenance, and that starts with having a good case for the transport and storage of your instrument. If your trumpets does not come with a good bag, you should invest in one. You also need to make sure you have and use the right oil to keep it moving parts in good condition, and the right cleaner to keep it shined and tarnish free, but without risking any damage to the instrument's finish.



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Last updated on February 08, 2017 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.


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