We Know: All About Buying a Trumpet

What Should I Look For In a Trumpet?

Trumpets are three-valve brass instruments that have an astounding musical range. Like other brass instruments, the tone they make comes from directed sound through a brass tube. If you learn to play trumpet, you'll find the same three valve fingerings are generally universal with other brass instruments like the tuba (the French horn's fingerings are slightly different, but similar).

The cornet is very similar to the trumpet, but has a more warm and mellow tone. You should try both to get a feel for what you like better. Professional trumpet players often own both.

If you're buying a used trumpet, you're almost certainly better off getting a certified used instrument from a music store. If you choose to buy one on your own, check the valves to make sure they're not sticky, look at all the joints and the spit valve to make sure the seal is good, and check it carefully for dents. Dents can affect the musical tone.

How Much Should I Pay?

Trumpets can be very affordable. You can find a new student instrument for under a hundred dollars, if you look around (hint: try warehouse membership stores, which sometimes carry instruments). For a child's first trumpet, you should aim to pay no more than two hundred dollars. Later, you can buy a more expensive one.

Most instrument stores have payment plans or rental programs for musical instruments as well. Ask about them when you go.

Will I Need Accessories?

Trumpets can require a number of accessories, primarily items to keep them clean and in good repair. You should have:

  • Valve oil
  • Mouthpiece and brushes
  • Chamois for cleaning and drying
  • Trumpet Case

You should consider:

  • A trumpet mute (this fits into the flare to produce some nifty sounds)
  • A music stand
  • An extra mouthpiece

How About Used Instruments?

Used instruments may be fine, but with the complexity of a trumpet, unless you know what you're doing, you should probably buy any used trumpets from a music shop that can certify them.

If you're trying to save money, consider renting one or using a payment plan. Some instrument stores allow you to rent-to-own musical instruments.


Who Manufactures Trumpets?

Manufacturers include Giardinelli, Bach, Kohlert, Yamaha, Jupiter and Conn.

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