Buying a new trumpet is a big (and potentially expensive) move! There are many to choose from and you want to be sure you're making the best decision.

It's important to try as many trumpets as you can before deciding. Also consult you local music teachers and store owners - they are a great source of knowledge and might also point you to a nice used horn!

The level of trumpet you choose will depend on how far you've progressed. Trumpets are typically catergorized into these categories:

Student – suitable for beginning musicians, the most affordable, with reasonable quality
Intermediate – a step up, more expensive, with somewhat better build quality
Professional – for the serious player, expensive but with superior quality

On this page we'll talk about the trumpets available for both beginning and advanced students. And, I'll recommend a few of my favorites.


So, you’ve rented a trumpet for awhile and now are ready to buy a new horn for your child. Great!

If your child is just starting out, then I recommend a student level trumpet. In my view will serve its purpose very well, in addition to costing far less than a professional level model.

For new student trumpets, I can recommend that you consider these models:

Bach TR200 Trumpet icon
Yamaha YTR2335 Trumpet icon
Getzen 390 Series Student Bb Trumpet icon

You can expect these trumpets to last a long time with proper care. Note that I can NOT in good conscience recommend taking a chance on any of the NEW trumpets you see selling new at a price less than about $500.

In case you’re concerned that a student model will hamper your child’s ability to advance, fear not. I personally feel most of us, given a blindfold test, would have a difficult time distinguishing between the levels. The important thing is, as always, to take whatever you’ve got and PRACTICE it. As the saying goes, an advanced player on a student trumpet will still sound like an advanced player, and a beginning player on a professional trumpet will still sound like a beginning player.

If the new horns listed are just too expensive, and you must look for a cheaper alternative, please remember that the quality of the horn may suffer. If nonetheless you do choose one of those really cheap horns, be sure to take meticulous care of them as I fear they won't handle abuse well.

Also remember that there are many quality USED trumpets available. Take a look at my BUY A USED TRUMPET page for pointers on where to look for a quality used horn.

Oh, and silver vs. lacquer finish? Doesn’t really matter. The main difference is silver costs a bit more, and, in my opinion, looks cooler. So, I say whichever you think your child is more likely to practice with!


As the student reaches high school age and has advanced considerably, a higher level horn can be of real value. Intermediate and professional level trumpets cost significantly more and there are many more worthwhile choices out there than for student level horns.

Incidentally, if you've decided you're ready to make this jump, I suggest you skip the intermediate level and go right to a professional horn. With proper care, this level horn will serve you well for many years and you'll avoid the case of spending the money on an intermediate horn, only to decide later that you'd rather have a professional one and spend on that as well. A definite savings in the long term.

As you begin to investigate professional level trumpets, you'll likely see mention of a few components of the instrument. There has been plenty of debate over how different diameters and materials affect your sound. I am personally not very knowledgeable in this area and will not add to the discourse, other than to suggest Monel valves, which most professional horns already come with.

Here, for your information, are the most-discussed trumpet components:

The Valves (or valve pistons) can be made from various materials. Desirable in higher end horns is Monel (look for the phrase "Monel Valves" or "Monel Pistons").

The Bore is the inside diameter of the horn's tubing measured at the second valve slide.

The Lead Pipe (or Mouth Pipe) is the pipe that goes from the mouthpiece to the main tuning slide. It's diameter varies as well among trumpets.

The Bell, where the sounds comes out, can also vary in size and material.

Rather than focusing too much on these elements, I'll emphasize again the importance of TRYING as many trumpets as you can get your hands on. And when you try them, have a list of passages with you that will cover how the horn sounds in all registers, intonation, and ease of moving from one range to the next. The horn to choose is the one that will feel comfortable to you in all musical settings you'll need it for.

Having said all this, here are some professional trumpets I can recommend that you try:

Bach 180-37 Trumpet icon
Yamaha YTR6335 Trumpet icon
Getzen Eterna 900 Series Bb Trumpet icon

Additionally, SCHILKE makes very nice trumpets. I have very little experience trying them, but if you read some of the popular trumpet forums, you'll see there is quite a following for them.

Also remember that there are many quality USED trumpets available. Read my BUY A USED TRUMPET page for pointers on where to look for a quality used horn.

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