Best Trumpets for Beginners and Students – Hone Your Playing Skills
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.
7 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.
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Trumpets for Beginners & Students - Affordable Yet Capable
- Understanding the Basics of Beginner Trumpets
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.
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 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.
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 most notable 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.
5. Hawk WD-T313
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.