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[Solved] Buying a trumpet

10 Posts
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Topic starter

Hello!  Is there a section in this course on buying the right trumpet?  I know there are many levels and costs, and no "right" one for everyone, but perhaps a section gives a comparison of the options? I was reading about one of my favorite trumpet players, Sean Jones, and he talked about why he liked a specific type of Yamaha.  I'm not sure which one Estela uses but recommendations for beginner, intermediate, and advanced would be great!  Thanks.

Roger Rheault 12/12/2020 3:09 am

That is a great question. So many choices out there.

3 Answers

I have a question along this line. My grandson talked me into participating in his school's community band this spring, so after 48+ years, I dove back in and bought two horns before I did the research I should have done. Now I have a Bach TR300H2 and a Jean Paul USA TR-430 (I'm impulsive at times). Which should I keep?  Right now I just want to play one of these two horns and sell the other. I don't feel my playing is at the point where I can make the best decision.  Thanks in advance.

TrumpetHeadquarters 04/03/2023 6:24 pm

@jbarnhart73 Hi Jesse! As you might suspect there are dozens and dozens of types of trumpets to purchase out there. And this is very overwhelming! Getzens and Bachs are good and reliable brands, Jean Paul is ok. The Getzen cornet you could sell, but you might want it later to cornet stuff. Cornet is played the same as the trumpet, but it sounds warmer. It's up to you if you'd like to sell it though to save up for a better trumpet later on. I would keep the Bach, it is good for a beginner.


Beginner trumpets blow easier. The bore (tubing circumference) is usually a little smaller so that playing requires less effort. The better you get the more air control you will have and you will be able to handle the larger bores of professional trumpets easier. John Packer makes a nice beginner horn, just as good as the big names IMO, but with a smaller price tag because they don't have the "name." If you'd like ever purchase a John Packer horn you can use my affiliate code Estela10 to get 10% off. I know the seller and his family personally so I feel confident recommending not just the horns, but also the service and people behind it.


I hope this helps a bit without getting into a novel about trumpets! Generally speaking, try not to buy horns off eBay or amazon. Stick to Bach, Yamaha, Getzen and Jupiter for your beginner needs and look for used horn, they're usually a good deal. Once you level up your playing you will be able to more easily discern what you really need and you will feel the difference. Beginners should stick to the beginner horn for 2-3 years.



Jesse Barnhart 04/03/2023 7:53 pm

Thank you! When I get ready to move up, I’ll explore the local dealers and try out several. I am impressed with the way the Getzen plays. It may have something to with the fact that I only played cornet during my school years. I plan on hanging on to the the Getzen.

TrumpetHeadquarters 04/03/2023 8:52 pm

@jbarnhart73 Yes a lot of students like cornets, because they play warm and blow open. That's the conical shape for ya 🙂

- Estela



Nice little summary Roger. Clearly I haven't had time to write the blog post I intended to write.

I play a Yamaha it. Big price tag on those of course as they are professional instruments. They play easy, it's easy to adjust the tone/color which is great because I can use the same trumpet to play in the orchestra or in a latin jazz band. Granted, changing colors does require player experience, but the wrong instrument can definitely inhibit this skill.

I love John Packer (British brand) horns for those on a budget and for beginner instruments. They are my go to choice for students. They are just as good as the beginner Bachs but without the hefty price tag because of the brand name.

Before my Yamahas I played only on Bachs. Nice horns, but they put me (personally) in a box. I couldn't do what I want to do, that simple. I felt constrained. The tone also is not my favorite, but obviously it's a very popular instrument. It comes down to personal preference.

Beware of "intermediate trumpets". There is no such thing really. either the horn is simple or it's professional. It is a marketing technique. I have vast experience playing beginner, intermediate and pro horns and the only difference between the beginner and intermediate ones was maybe a finger saddle/hook, the color (gold to silver) and other physical attributes. To me, they played pretty much same...definitely not different enough to justify 6 of 7 hundred more dollars.

Other great brands are Bach, Getzen, Jupiter, Schilke, Adams. New brands pop up every few years of course and on let time will tell how they hold up.

Sorry I couldn't write the post. Too many projects for one person hahaha. I have many more things coming to the course, including a lesson on equipment!


Chauncey Allmond Topic starter 25/01/2021 9:43 pm

Hey @trumpetheadquarters I have probably a stupid question. What makes a trumpet a "student" trumpet versus a "professional" trumpet? When you talk about adjusting the tone/color, it better workmanship, better materials? Thanks!

TrumpetHeadquarters 25/01/2021 10:47 pm

@@vatechhokie87. Yes exactly, better workmanship, a more perfected instrument. For example, the holes in the valves have to line up with the holes on the tubing. Professional trumpets will have perfect or near perfect alignment, while student trumpets will be a teeny tiny bit off. Even a fraction of a millimeter makes a big difference. For beginners it doesn't matter though because its impossible to notice the difference at that level. There are many more aspects of course, every measurement makes a different, the materials, the weight distribution etc.


I have some extra time and I find this topic interesting so I am going to share what I know and hopefully someone finds it useful. I would also like to put the disclaimer I am not an expert and I am only going to comment on trumpets I have experience with.

I am going to start with Schilke  my b flat trumpet is a Schilke I have test played two other Schilke trumpets loved all of them. Some of the best trumpets on the market.

Kanstul my bugle is a kanstul and I played a Kanstul trumpet before excellent instruments. Sadly out of business now.

Yamaha my E flat/D trumpet is a Yamaha and I have played both the student and Pro Model B flats. The Pro models I find to be some of the easiest to play trumpets out there. The student Models are one of the best student model trumpets available.

Selmer Paris sadly does not make trumpets anymore but they made beautiful trumpets. I have only ever played one Selmer Paris trumpet and it was beautiful and played very well.

 Conn made a lot of interesting trumpets I have played maybe four different Conn trumpets the ones from before 1969 are better then the ones made later. The really old ones might not blend well with modern trumpets but they are still interesting and fun to fun play. The student models from the 1950s and 1960s quite good for student model trumpets if you can find one with good valves. 

Olds Ambassadors trumpets were some of the best student trumpets ever made the ones from the LA era were probably the best the ones from the late 1970s probably the worst. I tried a Pro Model Olds once it was a good trumpet.

Blessing I played a student model blessing all through middle school it never broke and it was an okay trumpet.

Bach Pro Model Bachs are kind of one of the go to Pro trumpets they I good but they don't really work for me. They are good trumpets I have no experience with student Bach trumpets.

Jupiter I sat next to a girl in middle school who played a Jupiter trumpet she sounded good on it and it never broke.

King played an old Pro Model King a few times it was okay but different I don't know it just felt different not good or bad just different. I played a older student model that was made by king but not a king it was built like a tank and played pretty good.

 Brand new cheap student trumpets to many brands to list tried out a few some are good some are really bad if you go that route buy from someone who actually plays trumpet and make them demo it for you. Also I have seen some break in under a month so be very careful buying these. But some are really good so it is still an option.

 Took a few lessons from someone who played a Monnette trumpet he sounded really good but Monnette trumpets are very expensive and very different.

Played in a band with someone who had a Taylor trumpet he was not very good but his trumpet looked cool.

Flip Oakes my C trumpet is a Flip Oakes amazing trumpet.

Getzen not sure if I spelled that right but they have really good valves and play pretty good.

There are of course many more brands but these are the only ones I have experience with. Also I have covered trumpets that range in price from maybe $100 to over $3000. I hope someone finds this useful. The biggest piece of advice I have is buy from someone who knows about trumpets if you can test play it test play it. 



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