Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big trumpet test 2022. Here we present all the trumpets we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best trumpet for you or your child. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a trumpet.




Summary

  • The trumpet has a sharp, bright and incisive sound. It rarely plays the melody-leading role in an orchestra, but has a firm place in jazz.
  • Cleaning is essential for the long life of a trumpet. If you keep your trumpet in good condition, you will enjoy it for a very long time.
  • There are two different types of valves. First, there are pump valves, also called perinet valves, and second, there are rotary valves. With rotary valves the instrument is held lying down while playing, and with pump valves it is held vertically.

The Best Trumpet: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying a trumpet

Who is a trumpet suitable for?

The trumpet is one of the most popular instruments in Germany. It is an excellent instrument for beginners in the field of brass instruments because the blowing resistance is quite low. Even children from the age of about 7 can learn to play the trumpet.

The trumpet is an instrument for everyone and is also well suited for children. (Image source: unsplash.com / Chris Bair)

Over the last few years, the trumpet has gained a firm place in some musical genres. In addition to the orchestra, the trumpet is often used in classical music, big bands, jazz and pop music (funk, soul). Rarely there are also solo concerts. The trumpet belongs to the soprano instruments, but is available in many pitches. The trumpet's tuning can include one of the following pitches, b, c, d, e, f or g.

There are also, although rather rarely, bass trumpets. Most trumpeters play a second instrument in addition to their main instrument. Often this is a flugelhorn, a cornet or a trombone. This serves to broaden their musical skills and add variety to their playing. The trumpet has a distinctive, sharp and bright sound. It can be bought in a wide variety of tunings compared to related wind instruments.

What does scale length mean and what is it like on the trumpet?

The principle of scale length is actually quite simple. The narrower the instrument remains after the mouthpiece, the brighter and brighter the tone. The tube opens up considerably just before the bell. If the wind instrument opens quite wide after the mouthpiece, it is called a cylindrical opening. This means that there is no strong projection before the bell and the tones become darker and softer.

The trumpet has a conical (narrow) mouthpipe, which gives it its radiant and incisive sound. So the narrower the bore, the greater the proportion of harmonic partials (overtones). If you want to play an instrument that has a sharp, bright sound, the bore of the brass instrument must be narrow. If the instrument has a wider bore, you will hear darker and warmer tones.

What accessories do I need for a trumpet?

There are a number of accessories for a trumpet. Some of them are a must, others you may not need. Here we have listed the different types of accessories, which are then explained in more detail:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Cleaning utensils
  • Mute
  • Case
  • Tuner
  • Trumpet stand
  • Band accessories

The mouthpiece is an absolute must for playing the trumpet, because it cannot be played without a mouthpiece. Most of the time, a mouthpiece is already included in the purchase, but you should pay attention to this in any case. The different mouthpieces can influence the tone of the trumpet. If the mouthpiece has a shallow cup, the sound is sharper and more radiant compared to a deep cup. There are also differences in the width of the rim. Cleaning utensils are of course also a must so that the trumpet can have a long life. These include: Greases, oils, cleaning rods, etc. There is more information on this topic in the Trivia section.

A mute is necessary to dampen and/or change the sound of the trumpet. There are practice mutes that reduce the volume considerably. The mute also changes the feel of the instrument, adding plenty of variety to the sound. The score usually indicates which mute to use. There are three common mutes: straight, cup and harmon. A gig bag for your trumpet is also very practical if you have to go to lessons, to the orchestra or somewhere else. Trumpets are very susceptible to dents or bends in the sheet metal, which cannot always be repaired. A trumpet case protects the instrument from damage. With a tuner you can get the trumpet to the right pitch, even as a beginner.

To tune the instrument, a tuning slide is attached to the mouthpiece. A screw is attached to it, which you can then use to tune the instrument by adjusting the tuning slide. A rather unimportant accessory is the trumpet stand. It is often used by orchestra musicians who have to play several instruments. Otherwise, the stand provides a secure hold and you don't have to carry the weight of your trumpet. There are also accessories that are suitable for marching band musicians. For example, a carrying strap for brass instruments, which makes carrying easier, or the marching fork, which holds the music book during the march. Very important are the cleaning utensils and the mouthpiece for the trumpet. If you use them well, they will ensure a long life and lots of playing fun. Otherwise, you can get the listed accessories in many online shops or in music shops.

How much does a trumpet cost?

Trumpets can only be distinguished by their valve type. There is the construction with pump valves, also called Perinet valves, and the construction with rotary valves, also called cylinder valves. The difference between these two types of construction lies solely in how they are held and in their appearance. Pump-valve trumpets are played vertically and trumpets with cylinder valves are played horizontally. In any case, the valves should point upwards.

Type price range
Pump valves 90-5300 €
Rotary valves 240-4600 €

In terms of price, there is not much difference between the two types. The pump-valve trumpet, however, has the wider range and can be bought for as little as €100. Expensive specimens, however, can cost several thousand euros. Trumpets with rotary valves can be found in the low three-digit range up to the €5,000 mark.

What are the alternatives to a trumpet?

There are several alternatives to the trumpet that are different in size and sound. Each of these models is an individual musical instrument and has its advantages and disadvantages. This section therefore provides a brief overview of alternative brass instruments. Four brass instruments are described in more detail.

Flugelhorn

The flugelhorn is quite similar to the trumpet. It also usually has three valves and is mainly played in Bb tuning. The biggest difference is that the trumpet has a brighter and brighter sound than the flugelhorn. This is due to the wider bore of the flugelhorn.

Trombone

The trombone is a low brass instrument, otherwise it resembles the trumpet. Unlike the other instruments, the trombone has no valves. Because the trombone is played by a slide, more notes can be played.

Cornet

The cornet is very similar to the trumpet and flugelhorn. It is usually in the same register and has three valves. In addition, the notes of the cornet respond more easily than those of the flugelhorn.

Tuba

The tuba is the lowest brass instrument in its genre. It has at least three valves, but can have up to six. Compared to the other instruments mentioned, the tuba is very large and heavy. All of them have certain characteristics that make the respective instrument unique. Each of these models is an instrument in its own right and is therefore difficult to compare with the others. Nevertheless, there is an advantage to choosing a trumpet. There are plenty of variations for the trumpet. But if you are interested in these instruments, it is worth going to a music shop. There you can try them out and see which is the right instrument for you.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate trumpets

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate trumpets. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective model. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Valve type
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Bell size
  • Colour
  • Sound

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a model based on the criteria or not.

Type of valve

There are two different types of valves for trumpets. Some instruments are equipped with so-called rotary valves, while other trumpets are equipped with pump valves, also called Perinet valves. A significant difference between the two types is that trumpets are held differently when played. You have to make sure that the valves point upwards when playing. This means that you hold the pump-valve trumpet vertically and the rotary-valve trumpet horizontally. There are also some advantages and disadvantages to each type of valve. Here is a brief summary of the advantages and disadvantages of rotary valves:

Advantages
  • No break-in period required
  • No frequent cleaning necessary
  • Short pressure path
Disadvantages
  • Greater blowing resistance
  • Difficult for the layman to clean

And for comparison, the advantages and disadvantages of pump valves:

Advantages
  • Extremely stable
  • Smoother to play
  • Slightly easier response
Disadvantages
  • Requires break-in time
  • Prone to repair

The two valve types are often separated by musical style, but that doesn't mean you can't use one just as well for the other. The perinet valve trumpet is seen more as a jazz instrument. While the rotary valve trumpet benefits from its reputation as a concert trumpet.

Durability

The longevity of a trumpet is often determined by the manufacturer. There are instruments from first-class instrument manufacturers and then there are those from poor manufacturers, usually from abroad.

With good care, you will enjoy your trumpet for a long time. (Image source: pixabay.com / minka2507)

For example, there are trumpets from India or Bangladesh that fall apart or lose their sound quality after a relatively short time. You can usually recognise these instruments by their ridiculous price. Therefore, you should stick to well-known brands or sales houses. First-class manufactured instruments can remain in top condition for several decades. This requires proper care, protection and a certain amount of caution. The topic of care is explained in more detail in the trivia section.

Weight

Depending on the material from which the trumpet was made and how large it is, trumpets have smaller differences in weight among themselves. A plastic trumpet is already available with a weight of about 500 grams. In contrast, trumpets made of brass are considerably heavier. These weigh from one kilogram upwards, but will not reach a weight of two kilograms.

Size of the bell

The bell diameter is often stated on sales platforms, but it is not a decisive factor for the sound of a trumpet. If the bell of the trumpet has a comparatively smaller opening angle, the sound of the instrument will be softer. If the opening angle is larger in comparison, the trumpet sounds more radiant. This angle of aperture influences the so-called overtone content of the trumpet. An important factor for the sound is the instrument's scale length. This differs slightly from trumpet to trumpet. The scale length (bore) of a trumpet is between 10.6 and 11.8 millimetres.

Colour

A trumpet can be made of plastic or of different types of brass. If the brass instrument is made of plastic, it is available in colours such as black, blue, red etc.. These can be matt or shiny. If the trumpet is made of brass or stainless steel, the colours gold, silver, bronze can be found. A gold-plated or silver-plated trumpet is particularly popular with musicians. Most flugelhorns, however, are lacquered. There are also combinations of these colours, for example a gold instrument with silver valves and mouthpiece. Here, too, you can choose between matt and shiny flugelhorns. You can even have your trumpet made to your own specifications by an instrument maker. You can find many instrument makers online.

Sound

As already mentioned, the trumpet is a soprano instrument with a bright and sharp sound. The sound of the instrument depends on various factors. These include: The instrument itself, the mouthpiece, the scale length and of course the skill of the player. The biggest difference for advanced players, however, is the mouthpiece. Here it depends on the depth of the cup. If the cup is shallow, the sound of the trumpet will be sharp and bright; if the cup is deep, you can expect a dark, voluminous sound. On Thomann's online website, you can listen more closely to the sounds of the different trumpets. The different styles, jazz, classical or traditional, are played.

Facts worth knowing about the trumpet

How do I clean my trumpet and how often should I do it?

Thorough care of the trumpet is a prerequisite for the instrument to last a long time and maintain the same sound quality. To do this, you need to know exactly how to clean your trumpet. The procedure is the same for trumpets as for other brass instruments. First, you should disassemble the instrument and clean it thoroughly with soap and water. Then you should remove the parts with a special cleaning sponge. Once this is done, rinse everything again and dry thoroughly. Finally, when reassembling the trumpet, oil the valves well and rub a little grease into the slides.

When was the trumpet invented?

The first tropical instrument was made by the Egyptians 3500 years ago. At that time it was still an elongated instrument and was made of bronze. In the 14th century, the first curved trumpets appeared. These were able to sound natural notes and remained in this form for 400 years. In the Middle Ages, the trumpet was considered a symbol of power and was used as a signaller. Later, the keyed trumpet was invented, which had built-in finger holes. Around 1813, the trumpet as we know it today became known. Heinrich Stölzel and Friedrich Blühmel were the first to install rotary valves in a trumpet. The Frenchman Francois Perinet developed the well-known pump valves for the trumpet. The final form was probably made by Joseph Riedl in Vienna.

Are there any famous trumpet musicians?

One of the most famous jazz musicians is the American Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. He lived from 1901 to 1971 and is a legend in jazz. He produced many famous pieces, such as What A wonderful World or Hello Dolly . Along the way, he campaigned for civil rights and equality. Then there is the "First Lady of Jazz", Ella Fitzgerald. The jazz trumpeter from Virginia set new standards in the jazz scene, especially with her singing. She lived from 1917 to 1996. One of the most famous German trumpeters is Till Brönner. Born in Viersen in 1971, he has been a professor at a university since 2010 and teaches jazz, rock and pop. In 2016, Brönner was even invited to the White House by Obama.

Image source: pixabay.com / hans

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