9 Best Trumpets for Beginners [Buying Guide + Reviews 2019]

Posted in Trumpets | Last Updated on June 11, 2019

picture of trumpet bell and a text that reads: best trumpet for beginners & students

As you are starting your brass playing journey you are going to want to start looking for your first trumpet, there are many factors to consider when making this decision and below we will help steer you in the right direction.  In addition to model and the brand of the trumpet there are a few other things to consider, what kind of material, the mouthpiece, and what key is it in. These added considerations will be explored after the reviews at the bottom of the article.

Our Top 9 List


Bach TR300H2

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Bach is owned by the Conn –Selmer Company which is an American instrument manufacturing company that dates back to the 1800s. The Bach instruments are made in East Lake Indiana and are well-known for being very consistent in their build. Though the Bach lines of instruments are best known for the Bach Stradivarius the TR300H2 is a great student model to get your start on.

It is high up on the list for its quality of construction; it is free blowing, and has a remarkable sound for a student model instrument.  It comes with a sturdy case for hauling it to and from rehearsals, keeping you worry free about bumps and knocks.

Consider this as one of the best student level ones you can get your hands on.

Pro's of the product

  • Longevity – should last through high school
  • Great quality and construction
  • Free blowing
  • High quality Monel piston valves
  • Robust case
  • Holds its value in resale

Cons of the product

  • Expensive for a beginner model

Yamaha YTR-2330 – Overall Best

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Yamaha is a big deal in the instrument world, especially in regards to brass instruments. They are a major manufacturer of all brass instruments and their Xeno line is one of the most popular professional models on the market. The YTR-2330 is a fantastic instrument for a serious student. Like their entire student line this could be the only trumpet you buy for a very long time, which means this instrument can last you all the way through high school and even beyond.

Like the Bach TR300H2 the craftsmanship and build quality is some of the highest level you will see on a student range instrument. In addition to the quality, Yamaha is well known for how consistent their instruments are, which means you can pick up any YTR-2330 and can expect it to play how you are used to.

Pro's of the product

  • Longevity – should last through high school
  • Great quality and construction
  • High quality brass materials
  • Available in nickel silver or brass
  • High quality Monel piston valves
  • Robust case
  • Holds its value in resale

Cons of the product

  • Expensive for a beginner model

Prelude TR711

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Up next is the Prelude TR711 which is a student level trumpet manufactured by the Conn – Selmer Company out of East Lake Indiana, which is the largest band instrument manufacturer in the USA. As mentioned with Bach, Conn – Selmer are well known for their brass instruments, so many of the key features that the Bach TR300H2 has are relevant with the Prelude.

Most notable is the quality of the Prelude with the price you will pay for it. The Prelude TR711 was designed to meet the demands of the beginner player, reliable, consistent, free blowing, well-built, and a careful balance between durability and playability. The TR711 is another one that hit the mark on those notes.  This is another instrument that will serve the trumpeter through high school without the need to purchase a new one.

The Prelude TR711 also comes with a nylon zipper case with straps that allow an easier time hauling the trumpet to and from rehearsals.

Pro's of the product

  • Free blowing
  • Great quality and construction
  • High quality brass materials
  • Nylon case that comes with backpack straps
  • Holds its value in resale

Cons of the product

  • Case is not as durable as other hard shell style cases

Jean Paul USA TR-330 – Budget Choice

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The Jean Paul TR-330 is a trumpet that out performs its price tag. With many beginner instruments at the low end of the price scale you expect to see a “made in China” lower quality, and inconsistent instrument. With the TR-330, that is not the case. The Jean Paul company maintains a high level of quality control on the instruments that they produce to reduce variability, meaning a more consistent product with fewer surprises.

The TR-330 has a generous bore size. That means the trumpet will allow the student to have more ease in playing and allow good development in the students playing.  Though you will grow out of this one faster than some of the others listed here the level of playing you get at this price point is fantastic.  It is useful to note that unlike many other low price point models all of the Jean Paul products are play tested before they are approved for sale. This extra level of quality control means you can have fewer worries with a cheaper one.

Pro's of the product

  • Great value at the price-point
  • Affordability
  • Quality control in place
  • Comes with a good case
  • Good quality and construction
  • Specifically a beginner trumpet with an emphasis on ease of playing

Cons of the product

  • Pistons are not as high quality as Monel pistons

LJ Hutchen Bb

LJ Hutchen is making trumpets that are both affordable and have good quality for their price. With beginners and students this is always a difficult balance as there are a great deal of models which are cheap, and play cheap. LJ Hutchen is finding a good balance with this in their student model instruments. Make no mistake compared to some of the other models on this list the overall quality of the LJ Hutchen is not on the same level. Though, we are not all looking for a one that will get us from the first days of playing all the way through to high school.

Like the TR-330 the LJ Hutchen instruments are all play tested which helps maintain a good overall quality, and makes sure that you aren’t fighting an instrument which doesn’t work properly, which is important as a beginner.

The LJ Hutchen Bb model has stainless steel valves to help extend the durability and longevity of the trumpet.

Pro's of the product

  • Great value at the price point
  • Stainless steel valves
  • Quality control in place
  • Comes with a good case
  • Good quality and construction
  • Specifically a beginner trumpet with an emphasis on ease of playing

Cons of the product

  • Pistons are not as high quality as Monel pistons
  • The player will outgrow it quicker than other models

Jupiter JTR 700

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There tends to be a dramatic shift in price when you leave the sub $500 price range without a great deal of options falling between the upper end of the affordable range, and the next step up in the price range. Enter the Jupiter JTR 700, the Jupiter JTR 700 is a trumpet that falls in-between these two price ranges and boasts a great mix of quality, longevity, and price. Jupiter has always had a strong presence in the student range of instruments of all types; this experience translates into their ability to deliver a consistent product without the cost going way up.

The JTR 700 comes in brass or nickel sliver with stainless steel pistons which will help prolong the life and performance of the valves. It is free blowing which is exactly what students and younger players are looking for, something that allows them to keep a great sound and ease of playing.

Pro's of the product

  • Balance of price and quality
  • Stainless steel valves
  • Comes with a high quality wood shell case
  • Great construction
  • Will last longer than cheaper options
  • Holds value in resale

Cons of the product

  • Nothing major to note

Legacy TR750

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Even though the Legacy TR750 is described as an intermediate model it deserves a place on this list for a similar reason that the Jupiter is here. It fills the price gap between the price ranges. Legacy is a well-known manufacturer of student instruments that provide a mix of cost and quality that stay in a tighter budget.

The Legacy TR750 is a step up from the beginner model of the Conductor but is worth the additional cost due to the features it offers.  These features include things such as Monel valves, a rose brass lead pipe, nickel trim, and a great two-year warranty.  The TR750 comes with a zippered canvas bag with a generous amount of padding. Though this won’t provide as much protection as other hard cases the other trumpets on this list have, it will still protect the instrument it just requires a bit of extra caution to protect against bigger bumps and drops.

Pro's of the product

  • Monel valves
  • Quality construction
  • Affordability
  • Will outlast other beginner models in the cheaper price range

Cons of the product

  • Case is not as protective as others

Mendini MTT-L

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The last one on our list is the Mendini MTT-L by Cecllio. The Mendini MTT-L is the cheapest one on the list, and the build reflects this. Though, that is not necessarily a bad thing. This trumpet represents an option against expensive band rentals, questionable quality of school instruments, or if the new student will even play past the first few lessons.

You will get everything you need to cover all the bases for the beginner with this one, a case, and oils. Though at this price the case won’t be as robust as the other cases above, but it will do the job. Many verified purchase reviews on Amazon do support that this model does what it is meant to do, which is to enable the beginner trumpeter to have access to an instrument that works and that they can learn on.

Pro's of the product

  • Very cheap
  • Comes in a big selection of colors
  • Fulfills the needs to have an instrument available with a small budget
  • Specifically a beginner model

Cons of the product

  • At this price point there is more “room” for cons the one reoccurring one is the valves require a great deal of oiling.
  • Copper lead-pipe is not the highest quality compared to rose brass and nickel.
  • Has a basic case that won’t protect the instrument as well
  • Will be quickly outgrown by the student

Kaizer Bb 3000

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With the Kaizer Bb we are looking at an instrument in the same range as the Jean Paul or the Legacy. It performs well for its price and will serve the beginning player well. Though more experienced students may find it somewhat limiting when compared to other models such as the Jupiter or Prelude.

The Kaizer Bb comes in yellow brass with heavy valve caps which tend to help the instrument with its sound and ease of playing. The valves are not as nice as the Monel valves found on other instruments and Amazon reviews do mention they can become sticky, which is always a risk with cheaper models. It also comes with decent case to protect it from bumps and knocks and comes with a care kit. A final great benefit to the Kaizer Bb is it does come with a life time warranty which is rare to see at this price.

Pro's of the product

  • Affordable
  • Ease of playing
  • Decent case
  • Good leadpipe
  • Life time warranty

Cons of the product

  • Valves can be sticky
  • Will be outgrown by students fast than some other models

Buyer's Guide: What to Look for When Getting a Trumpet

With all of the above information in hand it is important to answer a few key questions before making the big purchase. Below is a breakdown to some specific questions that will help you in your journey of purchasing a beginner trumpet.

After you have taken the time to weigh all the option, and consider all of the variables it will be time to choose the perfect instrument to begin, or continue your brass playing journey. It is important to have a clear understanding of what you are looking for, and what needs you need to fill before you begin shopping.

Experience of the player

One of the first questions to answer is the experience or level of the player. We need to consider the age of the player when we are making a decision on which one to purchase. Someone who is picking up the trumpet for the first time has different factors than someone who has played on a rental one for a year or two and is looking to make an upgrade.

If the student is less experienced and is just beginning their trumpet journey consider a model which is more affordable but still offers a good balance of quality and cost.

If you are upgrading from a rental you will want to make sure that you are actually making an upgrade in some way. This can be a step up in quality towards something like the Yamaha or Bach ones, or even the Jupiter. Or it can also be a step up in the overall condition of the trumpet. Often times rental instruments are in poor repair, slides are stuck, and the pistons have poor action. This means if the rental is poor quality, just upgrading to one that works properly and is in good repair can be a big boost for the player.

Budget

Now that we have considered the experience or level of the player we need to consider budget. There are two extremes in this category the Yamaha and Bach, and the Cecllio (Mendini MTT-L). Nowadays there are many trumpets including many not listed here, that fall in-between these extreme ranges. It is best to consider the experience of the player to help determine what to budget for.

It is worth knowing that trumpets like the Yamaha, Jupiter, and Bach will hold their value much better and will be easier to sell if you end up needing to. The models on the extremely cheap end of the spectrum are often very hard to sell as they are already quite cheap, and don’t hold their resale value as well.

Trumpet mouthpiece

Most if not all the models above will come with a mouthpiece. The Yamaha, Jupiter, and Bach instruments come with mouthpieces which are widely regarded as some of the best mouthpieces for a beginner. The other models will come with mouthpieces that are often copies of these mouthpieces (most often of a Vincent Bach 7c or something very similar).

For the budget conscious buyer the mouthpiece that comes with the trumpet will be totally adequate for the beginner. As the student develops a mouthpiece upgrade can be a quick way to improve one of the cheaper instruments by purchasing a mouthpiece similar to the Bach 3C or a Yamaha 14B4. It is important for a beginner to avoid any extremes in the mouthpiece such as cup depth, or a mouthpiece whose design was specific to a certain style or unique approach to playing.

Materials

The most common material for beginner instruments is going to be yellow brass. There are a few ones that have options for nickel silver plating. These materials influence the sound of the trumpet in many ways. For a beginner it is often recommended to stay with brass over nickel.

Of the models listed here most have a rose brass of nickel lead pipe. These materials are more resistant to wear and also aid in the production of a nice round sound. The one trumpet of note that does not have a rose or nickel lead pipe is the Mendini trumpet which has a copper lead pipe. This material as a lead pipe is less durable and produces a less full sound which requires more effort and work from the player.

Keys

Trumpets come in many keys: C, Bb, Eb, D, and more. For a beginner it is important to get one pitched in Bb as this is standard for beginners and for beginner music as well. As you grow as a player and begin playing in different styles and ensembles you will eventually build up a collection in many keys.

Valves

The valves are one of the most important parts of the trumpet. We need to make sure that the instrument has quality valves, which move well, and have good compression. This is where cheaper and more expensive ones really stand apart. Many of the more expensive models have Monel valves. Monel valves are very consistent and wear well; it is a name you can trust when it comes to the valves of the instrument.

Stainless steel is another alternative to cheaper valves, they tend to last longer and require less maintenance than cheaper ones. Though there is a chance that the valves won’t be as consistent as Monel valves. We often see manufacturers of cheaper instruments play test their trumpets to make sure there are no nasty surprises.

Conclusion

There is a tremendous amount of information to digest when buying a beginner trumpet compared to other levels as a greater level of variance in the product. The buyer needs to be aware of things that we would often take for granted such as: valve quality, do the tuning slides move, does it have a mouthpiece, will the case adequately protect it, will it be outgrown quickly, and will it hold its value if I need to sell it or does it come at a price where resale is no longer a concern.

The guide above helps steer your experience to end up with the best trumpet for the player. It is valuable to set a budget and consider the longer range projection of the player while trying to find the balance between quality and cost, while still making sure the player can play their hearts out without fighting the instrument.