Student, Intermediate, and Professional Trumpets
Many companies manufacture student, intermediate,
and professional model trumpets. The suggested retail price for
student horns is approximately $700 or more, for intermediate (or "step-up")
trumpets it's $900 or more, and professional model instruments
carry list prices starting around $1500. (Note: These are "manufacturer
suggested retail" or "list" prices. Stores typically
offer an actual retail price that is lower than these figures.
Through Children's Music Workshop, instruments are
available at up to 50% off the retail price.)Beginner, intermediate, professional _ what's the
difference? In general, student horns play well, but don't have
all the features and craftsmanship found on an intermediate or
professional model. Most student trumpets are made with a two-piece
bell as opposed to a one-piece bell, which affects sound and projection.There are also trumpets with the so-called "seamless" bell.
A seamless bell is two pieces joined without "filler" material,
in effect creating a one-piece bell with no seam.
The valves (pistons)
on beginner instruments are made with slightly looser tolerances
than the pro models, so they should always move freely as long
as they are cleaned and maintained properly.A student model horn will probably satisfy beginners
for two or three years, but if the players excel, by the time they
are in high school they may be ready to move on to a more expensive
Lacquer vs. Silver
All trumpets are made out of brass but are most commonly
available with lacquer or silver plated exteriors. There are differing
ideas as to which sounds better, but William Vacchiano, the former
principal trumpeter of the New York Philharmonic, put it best when
he said," "Number one, the silver trumpet looks better
and, number two, it doesn't matter!" To sum up, the student
should pick the best-sounding trumpet that plays well in his or
her price range.
New vs. Used
A used trumpet is a valid option to buying a brand
new instrument. Many times an older professional horn may be in
reasonable shape or refurbished by a dealer and priced similarly
to a new student or intermediate model..Caution should always be taken when buying an older
instrument, particularly if you are buying from a private seller
(a good music store will typically perform all necessary repairs
prior to putting a used horn on sale.)
Check the trumpet for leaks,
dents and corrosion. Internal corrosion is hard to see, but deadly
to performance. It first appears as a pinkish-red pinpoint on the
outside surface of the horn.Make sure the valves move fast and don't need replating,
be sure that all the slides move easily, and make sure the felts
around the valves and corks on the water keys are in good condition
or have been replaced with new one.
Picking A Mouthpiece
Beginners generally should start on a mouthpiece
with a fairly small rim and a C cup, which is standard. It is recommended
that students stick with this "standard equipment" until
they achieve a level of playing ability that would warrant experimentation.Ask the student's band director, private teacher
or a knowledgeable sales person for suggestions as to what size
and brand of mouthpiece to buy.
What Else Do You Need?
These accessories will help get you started:
- Valve oil - an absolute necessity to keep the valves moving
quickly and smoothly. A mouthpiece brush and cleaning snake _- to help keep the
trumpet clean and in good working order. Method books - whichever are recommended by the student's
- Music stand - a portable stand is always good to start with.
You can expect to pay between $30 and $50 for these
items. You can order accessories online by clicking here.
Where Should You Buy a Trumpet?
There are a few options available when purchasing
a trumpet: your local music store, a mail-order service, or private party selling a second-hand
instrument. Each has its benefits, but key things to consider are price and
Proper maintenance and accidents can lead to potential
problems such as slides or valves that get stuck or damaging dents
and dings which can affect more than just the looks of the instrument.
You may want to choose a music store with a repair person on-site
or, if you purchase from a mail-order service, it would be wise
to have a repair shop available to you locally.
Is It Hard to Play?
The staff members of a music store can offer expert
assistance in picking out your first trumpet, and it may also be
helpful to have a more experienced player with you to help you test
the instrument when you shop for your first trumpet.It is recommended that you gather as much information
regarding brand, model and instrument features as possible.
and information from your band director, private trumpet teacher,
the sales person at the store, and anyone else you know to be knowledgeable
about the trumpet. These are usually well-trained musicians who have attended a college or online university with a concentration in music.
Have a Blast!
Having fun is what music is all about. The joy of
creating a bright, bold sound and playing recognizable melodies
is a wonderful experience for any child. With a good instrument
and lots of practice, a student will see himself or herself making
strides playing higher, faster and better.
By listening to recordings
that feature the trumpet, a young player can work toward attaining
a professional sound and perhaps play those fancy pieces that inspire
them. Go get that first horn and, on behalf of all trumpet players,
What Criteria Do We Use to Recommend the Products on Our Site?
Our recommendations are based on a number of factors including student/parent reviews from those who have actually played the instrument, other website reviews, and most importantly, our own professional opinion based on years teaching elementary and secondary music programs.
We look for instruments that are well-respected by band and orchestra directors and are a good value for the money. They must also have a warranty and good customer service. Ultimately, we only recommend brands that we would buy ourselves and use in our own school music programs.
Important: We do our best to make sure our reviews are as accurate as possible, but we are only human after all. So when you are ready to buy an instrument reviewed on our site please click through to the merchant to make sure you are getting the right instrument with all the features advertised.
Disclaimer: This website is not sponsored by any instrument manufacturer or music company. Children's Music Workshop has developed this site as a resource for musical instrument and band/orchestra related products. We write our reviews based on the merit of each product which may be based on other people’s reviews or our own experience or both.
Our reviews will often contain affiliate links to products which enables us to subsidise this website based on the commission we receive from purchases made via those links.