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Best Trumpets for Beginners and Students – Hone Your Playing Skills

Updated on by Gavin Whitner

The trumpet may not be the easiest brass instrument to master, but it's certainly one of the most popular. Although slightly longer than the cornet, it is far less bulky and therefore a great choice for beginners and students of all ages.

If you’re only getting started, you're likely not looking to buy the absolute best trumpet there is. It's natural to be reluctant to invest in a high-end trumpet straightaway. Thankfully, there are many well-built models out there that offer a comparable sound quality at a much lower cost.

To help you make a smart choice, I have looked into some of the most popular trumpets on the market. Below you will find my top picks for beginners and students.

11 Best Trumpets for Beginners & Students - Affordable Yet Capable

Let’s take a closer look at a few beginner-friendly trumpets available right now that are great for students and intermediate players alike. I will also list the pros and cons of each model to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your playing needs.

Cecilio is known for their wind instruments and Mendini is their budget line. The Mendini MTT-L is a gold-lacquered trumpet with a narrow 7C mouthpiece and a leadpipe made of phosphorus-copper. Most often found in high-end models, this material helps prevent corrosion in the leadpipe that can occur from moisture buildup over time.

This B-flat trumpet has three smooth action valves with white mother of pearl keys on top. The five-inch brass bell produces very good sound quality, especially for a budget-friendly model. Sure, you may need to upgrade to a more advanced trumpet once you start fine-tuning your sound, but it will take a lot of practice to get there and that’s something the MTT-L can help you with.

The Mendini MTT-L comes with a standard set of extras. You'll get a pair of white gloves to protect the finish of the instrument, as well as a soft cloth and a bottle of valve oil for easier maintenance. Everything arrives inside a lightweight case covered in plush-lined nylon and this unit comes with a one-year warranty against defects.

  • Sturdy build with an attractive gold lacquer finish
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    Five-inch brass bell produces very good sound quality
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    Leadpipe made of phosphorus-copper to prevent corrosion
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    One-year warranty
  • The valves can get sticky if you don’t oil them regularly
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    The soft case might not provide optimum protection during travel

Jean Paul USA is a well-known manufacturer of affordable woodwind and brass instruments. Aimed primarily at beginners and students, their TR-330 trumpet is a very popular model. Made entirely out of yellow brass with a gold lacquer finish, this B-flat model has a sizable bore for better airflow and to allow budding players to hit notes with great precision.

The TR-330 has a built-in saddle on the first valve and an adjustable ring on the third valve. This, in combination with the smoothness of the valves, makes this model surprisingly balanced and thus very easy to play. Also, unlike some other budget-friendly models, you can play the TR-330 straight out of the box, as there’s no need to oil the valves beforehand.

This instrument from Jean Paul USA comes with a full set of accessories, including a 7C mouthpiece, a cleaning cloth, and a small bottle of valve oil. You will also get a pair of white gloves, as well as a contoured carrying case with padded straps for easier transport and pockets for extra storage. The TR-330 comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

  • The wide bore allows for superior tonal precision
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    Has a built-in saddle and an adjustable ring for added stability
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    Plays straight out of the box, no need to oil the valves first
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    One-year warranty on parts and labor
  • The valves may need regular screwing and unscrewing to prevent them from rotating during play

If you’re really new to trumpets, then you might be better off just buying a complete learning kit. The Eastar ETR-380 is a great example of such a complete learning kit. The ETR-380 on its own is beginner student trumpet and it comes with everything needed for one to get started.

The ETR-380 is an impressive Bb trumpet for the money, with a bright and penetrating tone as well as good sustain. A 7C mouthpiece, valve oil, gloves, and a hard case are among the included accessories.

The craftsmanship of the trumpet doesn’t scream student model either. In fact, it’s more indicative of a professional or concert trumpet, with its patented valve system and comfortable inlaid buttons.

  • Bright tone with plenty of cutting power
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    Mouthpiece, cleaning kit, oil, and gloves included
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    Unique valve design
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    Easy to play
  • May not have enough volume for live gigs

The Mendini MTT-30CN is a sleek trumpet that combines three different materials for superior performance and durability. It has a gold brass bore and bell, a nickel-plated leadpipe, and a rose brass 7C mouthpiece.

To allow for precise intonation, the MTT-30CN has a thumb saddle for the first valve and an adjustable lock for the third valve. This B-flat model produces a rich and crisp sound and is suitable for a variety of genres, including jazz, pop, and classical music.

Like other trumpets from Cecilio, which is one of the best trumpet brands, the MTT-30CN comes with a standard set of accessories – a bottle of valve oil, cleaning cloth, carrying case, and a pair of white gloves. 

In addition to that, you’ll also get a foldable stand (stored inside the bell), a music pocketbook to track your progress, and the Cecilio 92-D chromatic tuner. The trumpet itself comes with a one-year warranty against defects.

  • Gold brass bore and bell for better sound quality
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    Nickel-plated leadpipe to reduce corrosion
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    Comes with several accessories, including a tuner and a trumpet stand
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    One-year warranty against defects
  • Needs some fine-tuning before you can play it
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    The valves need frequent oiling to prevent sticking

Weighing less than four pounds, the Hawk WD-T313 is a surprisingly lightweight trumpet. Made of solid brass and plated in silver, this model has a 0.46-inch bore and a 4.84-inch bell. Owing to its light weight and easy playability, it might be one of the best trumpets for students and beginners.

The smaller dimensions result in a slighter lighter tone compared to other models, but the sound quality is good enough for practicing. In addition to this, the trumpet has a built-in thumb saddle for the first valve and a fixed trigger for the third valve. This combination allows for better tonal precision, which is very important for beginners.

There is only one accessory – a convertible carrying case that works both as a bag and a backpack. It is also important to note that the manufacturer doesn’t provide a warranty. This means that you will have to search for replacement parts in case something breaks.

  • Lightweight
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    Sleek, silver-plated design
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    Built-in thumb saddle and fixed trigger for precise intonation
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    Comes with a convertible carrying case
  • The sound quality lacks power
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    Doesn’t include warranty

The Jean Paul TR-430 is, in my opinion, more than an intermediate Bb trumpet. It’s very comfortable to play thanks to the natural hand positioning enabled by the adjustable third trigger.

The rose brass lead pipe does not only look great but also offer a great deal of volume, presence, and clarity.

Although this particular instrument is slightly pricey, it’s also highly durable. It has a unique piston valve design. The rugged valves help to extend the longevity of the instrument while also serving to improve the overall sound quality.

A carry case is also included. The case is rugged and stylish-looking, just what you need for both safe transportation and a professional appearance.

  • Powerful pipe output
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    Adjustable third trigger
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    Promotes proper hand positioning and technique
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    Improved piston valve durability
  • Slightly expensive for beginners

Designed for beginners, the BTRLV100 trumpet from Le’Var has a body made entirely of brass. The 7C mouthpiece is silver-plated to prevent corrosion, while the slides and valves are made of nickel to minimize wear and tear.

With a 0.46-inch cylindrical bore and a five-inch bell, this trumpet manages to produce a rich sound comparable to some high-end models. The smooth valves allow you to take full control of the tone even with very soft air blow. On top of that, the first valve has an adjustable thumb rest for added comfort while playing.

The BTRLV100 comes with the usual set of accessories – a soft cleaning cloth, a carrying case, a pair of white gloves, and a small bottle of valve oil. Keep in mind that there’s no warranty included, so finding replacement parts may prove difficult.

  • Silver-plated mouthpiece to prevent corrosion
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    The slides and valves are made of nickel to reduce wear and tear
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    Produces a rich sound
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    Adjustable thumb rest for added comfort
  • No warranty included
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    The valves could get sticky easily and need regular oiling

The Prelude TR711 from Conn-Selmer might not be as affordable as some of my other picks, but there’s a reason for it. Namely, this model comes with a world-renowned Vincent Bach 7C mouthpiece that has a large cup for a fuller, richer tone. The 4.75-inch yellow brass bell further ensures excellent sound quality.

To prevent corrosion due to moisture buildup, the leadpipe is made of red brass. Furthermore, the pistons are made of stainless steel to ensure durability. Finally, the trumpet has an adjustable third valve ring and a first valve thumb hook for added comfort and precision.

The accessories include a hard-shell carrying case and a bottle of high-quality Bach valve oil. Conn-Selmer also offers a full one-year warranty on the trumpet.

  • Has a genuine Vincent Bach mouthpiece for superior sound quality
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    The red brass in the leadpipe helps prevent corrosion
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    Stainless steel valve pistons
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    Includes a carrying case and a bottle of Bach valve oil
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    Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Not the most affordable beginner option
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    The third valve ring may be too fragile for some

If you have never played on a Yamaha YTR-2330 Bb Trumpet, you might be missing out on quite a bit. This trumpet carries a premium price tag but that’s to be expected for its premium sound. It’s an out-and-out reliable musical instrument in the hands of a professional player or an advanced student.

This particular version features improved designs for the buttons and the piston caps. The playability and, perhaps most importantly, the comfort and the hand positioning are to be commended. That’s because of the ideal design of the inlay buttons and button separation.

If the ability to play loud is what you’re after, the YTR-2330 Bb trumpet will give you what you’re looking for. This instrument is suitable for live performances (bands or orchestras) as well as high-fidelity recordings.

It’s no one thing that makes the Yamaha YTR-2330 a true powerhouse but a combination of features that make it a great-sounding premium instrument.

  • Promotes proper playing technique
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    Balanced weight
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    Adjustable third valve trigger
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    Impressive volume and vibrant tone
  • Not as suitable for complete beginners

The Mendini MPT-N is more than just a nickel-plated Bb pocket trumpet. It’s a compact instrument that comes at an affordable price but if you look closer, you might be impressed with the high-end features unexpected of this price range, such as the phosphorous copper lead mouth pipe.

In the package, you’ll find the trumpet, a 7C mouthpiece, a chromatic tuner, valve oil, cleaning products, and a rugged hard case for storage and transport. A pair of white gloves are also included, which can help if you’re new and a potentially stylish statement when you’re out there performing – you can be known as a trumpet player that plays with one white glove and a bare hand, for example.

The MPT-N’s pocket trumpet design makes it even easier to play than most beginner trumpets. The compact size is both easy to carry and easy to grip in the beginning. This is one trumpet that you can take with you everywhere.

The package is also quite affordable all things considered. As for the sound qualities, I’ll just say that the Mendini MPT-N Bb pocket trump is a lot louder than you might think. When push comes to shove, however, it doesn’t have the brightest tone or the best cutting power.

  • Space-saving pocket trumpet
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    Phosphorous copper lead mouth pipe
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    Multiple accessories included
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    1-year warranty
  • Not the best moisture resistance

The TRP-1000LQ from Kaizer is a well-made trumpet with a 7C mouthpiece designed specifically for students and novice players. This gold-lacquered model made of solid yellow brass has a 0.464-inch bore and a five-inch bell for a rich and well-balanced sound. The use of stainless steel in the valve pistons helps reduce friction, thus also preventing corrosion.

The cupronickel tuning slide allows for easier movement, while the adjustable slide ring on the third valve and the thumb hook on the first valve add stability. The smooth valves are surprisingly responsive to subtle changes in the tone, thus allowing for extra precision during play. In addition to a polishing cloth, a bottle of valve oil, and a pair of white gloves, the packaging also includes a molded carrying case with an adjustable shoulder strap.

Like most instruments in this price range, the TRP-1000LQ is manufactured in China. But Kaizer allows buyers to try this trumpet risk-free for 45 days and get a full refund if they’re unhappy with it. What’s more, they offer a free lifetime warranty on all parts as long as you keep your receipt or some other proof of purchase.

  • Solid yellow brass construction for better tonality
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    Valve pistons made of stainless steel to reduce friction
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    Ultra-responsive smooth valves for added precision
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    Includes a molded case with an adjustable shoulder strap
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    45-day money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty on parts
  • Some players may find the valve slides a bit loose
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    The finger ring might be too fragile for some

Understanding the Basics of Beginner Trumpets

If you’re a first-time trumpet buyer, you might not understand some of the terms this review. In this section, I will explain some of them so you can have a better idea about the differences between entry-level and professional models.

Mouthpiece Diameter

Trumpet mouthpieces come in a variety of diameters, with 7C being the standard for models aimed at beginners. A 7C mouthpiece is considerably narrower than a 5C or a 3C mouthpiece.

Smaller valves don’t allow for such a strong air blow, so the resulting sound might not be as big as with larger mouthpieces.

But, the smaller size also means less fatigue while playing. As a student, this allows you to practice your instrument for longer periods of time. 

As you make progress and improve breath control, you’ll be ready to upgrade your 7C mouthpiece to a wider model.

Bore and Bell Diameter

The width of a trumpet’s bore and bell also play a part in the sound quality. Bore widths usually range between 0.458 and 0.460 inches.

As a rule, the wider the bore, the more powerful the sound.

On the other hand, the width of the bell affects the richness of the sound. Wider bells tend to have a higher frequency range, thus producing crisper, treble-rich tones. Most student trumpets, especially the best beginner trumpets, have a five-inch bell, which is more than enough for practicing, but might prove insufficient for concerts.

B-Flat vs. C Trumpets

B-flat major (or Bb) is a musical scale commonly utilized in brass and woodwind instruments. Most of these instruments on the market – both entry-level and professional – utilize the B-flat major scale. They produce a dark, mellow tone that’s become popular in a wide range of musical styles, from jazz to classical music to pop.

Some trumpets utilize the C major musical scale, which has no flats. Known as “C trumpets,” they produce a much flashier, brighter, and higher pitched sound than B-flat models. As such, they are used mostly in orchestral music where the trumpet needs to cut through all the other instruments.

Where Does Pricing Fit In?

Trumpets clearly aren’t the cheapest musical instruments around. But trumpet shopping is simple in a way. As the price goes up, the trumpet gets better in durability, sound quality, playing comfort, and volume.

The difference between a student trumpet and a professional concert trumpet can be in the hundreds or thousands range. So, unlike certain brass or string instruments, the price of a trumpet gives you a good idea of what it’s for and the target audience.

Maintenance and Other Considerations

The choice of materials impacts than just the sound and durability. It can also impact the trumpet’s performance in certain environments and conditions.

For example, one of the biggest problems that trumpet players face is maintaining a clean and accurate tone while playing in high humidity conditions. Sometimes, not even proper valve oil changes can solve this problem.

This is where the design comes into play. Some piston valve designs would offer better overall protection while others are more suitable for indoor playing. However, the fact that the trumpet requires expert maintenance is what endears the instrument to many in the first place.​

Be observant of a trumpet player’s face as he or she takes the instrument out. The face may look as proud as the owner of a champion show dog strutting its stuff on the biggest stage in North America!

Single Instruments vs. Starter Packs

Without a doubt, for a true beginner the best bang for the buck will be a beginner or student starter pack. The manufacturers throw in a lot of stuff for very little more in the hope that you’d pick up trumpet playing and buy a higher-end trumpet from them.

The included cleaning accessories and maintenance instructions are perfect for beginners too. There’s nothing worse than a poorly maintained trumpet or a trumpet player that doesn’t know how to take care of the instrument.

The Final Word

If you’re looking for a good entry-level trumpet, any of my top picks could be a good fit for you. There are no major differences between them in terms of size, materials, and overall build quality. This means that your decision will ultimately depend on your budget, as well as the accessories each of these trumpets comes with.

Before you make your final decision, be sure to read my reviews carefully and consider all the pros and cons outlined. Also, keep in mind that some of these trumpets don’t include a warranty, but that may not be an issue if you don’t plan on using a starter unit for more than a year or two.

Gavin Whitner
    Gavin Whitner
     

    A guitar player, songwriter, composer, and also the lead editor of MusicOomph, Gavin is one of the four musician friends behind this site. Outside of music, he's an avid sports fan and hardly misses anything from football (soccer) to F1.

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    Stephanie - June 13, 2019

    Hi Gavin! Nice Blog! I am happy to read about your music articles. It is also nice to know that we have the same passion and interest when it comes to music. Keep it up Gavin! 🙂

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