The 9 Best Pocket Trumpets [Buyer Guide + Reviews 2020]
Posted in Trumpets | Last Updated on May 1, 2020
The term “pocket trumpet” sounds strange right? I know you’re familiar with the regular trumpet. It may seem like an unpopular instrument for some musicians, but definitely not for all.
A pocket trumpet is still a trumpet. The major difference is their size. They are smaller and compact than the normal trumpet. It is a good instrument for regular performers. It’s fun to practice with and good for a professional career.
This instrument produces great sound, but choosing the best in a competitive market is quite a challenge.
Reviews of the Best Picks
Stagg TR245 - Best for professionals
The Stagg TR245 is a popular product. It produces a clear sound and it is designed to last long. Some may argue that it has a high price tag, but the other interesting features of the product make it worth the money.
This product is produced with a stainless steel piston and a clear-lacquered body. It is well designed and it is good not just for rookies but professional musicians. Although it is small and compact, it produces an excellent sound. It is a great choice for practice instruments.
The pocket trumpet is packaged with a hard case that makes it easy to transport. This product is a good alternative to the regular trumpet especially if it is intended for a professional musician.
Bach Prelude PT-711
If you like a clear sound from a small trumpet, this product is for you. Prelude PT-711 has a 0.459 in bore and the bell is 3.66 inches. The lead pipe is produced with a yellow brass. It features three stainless steel valve and a valve slide adjustment.
Just like the Stagg TR245 Pocket, it is easy to move around. If you love playing while traveling, go for this product. The design of the product is eye-catching and it is good for concerts and stage performance. This instrument is packed in a lightweight case and it has a 7C mouthpiece. The only challenge with this product is the tuning. It takes the help of a professional to tune it properly.
Mendini MPT-N Nickel Pocket – Best for beginners
This pocket trumpet is manufactured from high-quality materials. The design is compact but the sound quality is superb. Notwithstanding all the excellent features, the price tag is affordable. Other consumers who used this product offered good feedback and also recommended the product for beginners. Although it is recommended for beginners, it is also good for an advanced student who already knows his or her way around the instrument.
The instrument is nickel plated. It also has a 7C mouthpiece. The mouth pipe is designed with a phosphorus copper. For ease of play, it has pearl inlays and smooth action valves. Younger students will find this product fascinating because it has a compact design and lightweight.
Mendini Nickel Pocket comes with some handy accessories such as a hard case, a chromatic tuner, a bottle of valve oil, a foldable stand, and a white glove.
Everyone loves a few assurances here and there. With Mendini Nickel Pocket, you have a one year warranty. This clearly shows that you can rely on this product.
Roy Benson RBPT101G
This unit has what it takes to make you look and sound like a professional. If you enjoy a dark and rounded tone, then go for Roy Benson RBPT101G. The pipe of the trumpet is gold plated. It also has a thumb ring on the third valve.
Other interesting features include nylon valve guides and 2 water keys. This product is designed with a stainless steel piston. It has a top spring that enhances performance.
You are sure of the same quality that a complex professional trumpet will offer if you purchase the RBPT101G. It went through thorough factory testing to ensure effective performance.
Sky Music Brass Pocket
If you are ready to pay a little more for a better quality, retouched and a finer product, go with Sky Music Pocket trumpet. It has a stylish design and a solid build. All these additional qualities come with a higher price tag, but the product is worth the extra cash.
Students who play in college bands will enjoy every bit of this instrument. It is built with a phosphorus copper and the body has no seams. This instrument features the perfect tubing. This, in turn, ensures that it produces a smoother sound with less turbulence.
It also comes with additional accessories like gloves, valve oil, and a velvet lined case. The case offers maximum protection for storage and when you are on the road. Apart from its perfect and stylish design, Sky Music Pocket trumpet should be considered. More so, if you desired a very high-quality build without breaking the bank, then go for this pocket trumpet. On the other hand, it is more expensive than a regular pocket trumpet for beginners.
Ravel RPKT1SLVR – Good for an advanced players
Can you imagine a pocket trumpet producing the same sound like a full-sized one? This may seem impossible for other products, but not RPKT1SLVR. It is an ideal compact trumpet for practicing and perfect for a musician on the go.
This piece is carefully crafted and had to go through strict inspections to ensure that it meets all industry benchmarks. The price is affordable compared to other products in this review. It has a nickel plated piston. It comes with other accessories such as a pair of white gloves and a polishing cloth.
Other specifications for this product are 4.1 bell, 460” bore, and key of B flat. This unit can be used by professionals and beginners. Musicians that are looking for a tonal sound should go for this instrument. However, it has some intonation issues can be fixed by a good ear.
Nasir Ali Bronze Pocket
This pocket trumpet features a high-quality build. Consumers get a warranty to ensure that the product will last longer. It is designed with a bronze finish and it has that old-school touch. Medium level musicians can use this instrument and it is also not as expensive as others. The lead mouth pipe of the trumpet is designed with phosphorus copper. It has 3 valves and other buttons are easy to reach.
You get a 14-month warranty that covers any manufacturing defect. This piece is good for those who have a tight budget. A professional musician should go for something better.
Merano Black Pocket
Another product that got lots of positive reviews from customers is Merano Black Pocket. It is a compact instrument that is fun to play. If you are looking for a great sound and perfect build, buy this instrument it is budget friendly.
It is in the key of B flat and also has a nickel plated mouthpiece. The finish is attractive and made of brass and it has a black lacquered exterior. The manufacturers of this product paid so much attention to detail.
Apart from the fact that it’s come accessories like other products, consumers love Merano Black Pocket because it comes with all that a musician needs to start playing. The accessories are namely valve oil, gloves, cleaning cloth, a metro turner, and a book stand is delivered for free. As a professional musician, you will definitely love this product because it has all that you need. However, some may argue that the price tag is on the high side but it’s worth the price.
Parents who have kids who are musically inclined should go for this Tristar Cornet. It is best used by the younger ones. Inasmuch as it is highly recommended for beginners, that doesn’t make it a lesser product.
It also produces that desired high quality sounds that a typical musician will want to hear. It comes in a beautiful case that makes it easy to move around. It comes with a pair of gloves and a mute. The instrument is quite outstanding because it also offers an affordable price. The flake starts going off after using it for a while. Apart from that, it produces a quality sound and it’s affordable.
[Buyer Guides] What to look for in a good pocket trumpet?
As a musician, you want to always play with an instrument that draws attention. This will be made possible if you buy a good instrument, yeah, it is simple as that. But what is good instrument? Can you believe that some professional musicians don’t have an idea of the qualities of a good pocket trumpet? This may sound unimaginable but it is the truth.
The fact that the price of a particular product is higher than another doesn't make it more superior. Don’t be deceived by the shiny body of the instrument, they are other salient factors that you should look out for before you make your choice.
Let’s look at some basic features of a good pocket trumpet.
The size of the bore will determine the type of sound that you pocket trumpet will produce. If you buy a pocket trumpet that has a bore that is at the higher end of the spectrum, you are sure of a high-quality intonation. Such bores are recommended for professionals. For beginners, it is better to go for a smaller bore, because it produce a decent tone with lesser efforts by not highly experienced players.
This is also referred to as the lead-pipe. This part goes into the tuning slide. Sometimes it is made of yellow brass, red brass or sterling silver. It is often advised that beginners should go for pocket trumpets with a red brass mouthpiece. The reason is that it is less vulnerable to corrosion.
The valve piston is produced from a variety of metals. The two main types of materials used to produce valves for a pocket trumpet are nickel plated or monel pistons. Most often, nickel plated valves are used by students. Monel valve is not as hard as the nickel plated valves. However, you have to lubricate the Monel valves more often to produce a quality sound. You will often find a Monel valve in professional pocket trumpets.
Your focus criteria when choosing a valve is the smoothness and quickness at which the valve produces sound.
The material used to manufacture the bell also varies. Yellow brass is commonly used to produce a pocket trumpet for professional and student pocket trumpets. The rose brass is also common among pocket trumpets. Most often, they are nickel plated.
Bells vary in size and shape. The size of the bell also determines the quality of sound that will be produced. If the bell is as wide as 5 inches, they often produce a darker tone and a laid back feeling. A smaller bell produces a brighter sound and beginners will find it easier to play. The kind of music you perform should influence the size and shape of the bell that you should go for.
Pocket trumpets are known to also have a clear lacquer finish on a brass surface just like the regular trumpets. A silver finish is considered the best because it has a lighter coating, unlike the lacquer finish.
You can also go for lacquered nickel trumpets that are in the black finish. This finish also lasts longer and it doesn’t look like the traditional pocket trumpet.
Does the weight heavily influence the performance of the instrument?
The answer is not really. Frankly, the weight contributes little or less to the quality of sound produced by the instrument.
Sadly, this is often what determines the regular musician's choice. However, the price of the instrument is not what really determines the performance and the quality of sound it will produce. Sometimes, a less expensive option will still produce the much-desired sound of the high-end options. However, work with your budget, but don’t feel intimidated by the price. What matters is the quality of sound it produces. If you intend to get one for your child, it is advised that you get a cheap pocket trumpet. As they improve, you can get something more expensive.
Should I rent, purchase a new or used one?
For some students, renting may seem a good choice. However, a proper look at the long term cost will be more expensive. So my advice is to go for a low budget choice instead of renting one.
Moreso, if you can’t get a brand new one, you can opt for a used one. They also produce quality sound, but the major difference is that their appearance may not look nice, of course everything else works properly. If you opt for a used one you need to examine;
- If the water keys are working.
- Check the valve for secure soldering and cleanliness.
- Check to ensure that it doesn’t have any mineral building upon any part of the component.
The major differentiation between pocket trumpet is the key they are designed to play in. Most of the models in this review are on B flat and it is the commonest. Students and professionals often love the ones designed in key B flat because they blend easily to most music genres including classical and jazz. Other keys that are available are key C, E, and E flat. Pocket trumpets in key C are also gaining some popularity.
Advantages and disadvantages
For some musicians, a pocket trumpet doesn’t make them look professional enough. However, this feeling is not far fetched from the fact that most people are more familiar with regular trumpets. Just like we stated on the introduction, the only difference between a pocket trumpet and a regular trumpet are their sizes.
- For a musician who is always on the road, a pocket trumpet is smaller and easy to carry. Most models are not longer than 8 to 10 inches. While on the other hand, the regular trumpet is much longer and weighs far more than the pocket.
- Their style and size also adds fun to your play. It sought to make you stand out from other trumpeters.
- You can also use them during all kinds of performance, whether a classical or jazz.
- As a parent, if your children are interested in playing the trumpet, go for a pocket version. It is easier to carry around, easier to handle and less tiresome to play.
- In terms of the prices, research has shown that pocket trumpets are cheaper than regular trumpets.
- It also provides some level of comfort because it is not as heavy as the regular trumpet.
- You can use them to warm up before a stage performance.
- If you’re playing in a noisy environment, the pocket trumpet is friendly. The reason is simply that the it is shorter and closer to the ear. This way you can also hear clearly the kind of sound you’re producing.
- Many have argued that the beginners that start playing with the pocket trumpet find it difficult to quickly adopt the regular trumpet. This may be correct to some extent. That is if the musician isn’t ready to grow musically.
- Most of the pocket trumpets are designed as toys for children to learn how to play the trumpet. This discourages some professionals from buying the instrument. It has created the impression in the mind of many that they are toys for children.
- Pocket trumpets are rarely used for professional recordings or orchestras.
- Trumpeters that are used to the regular trumpet may find it difficult to adjust using a pocket version.
- They are very few good brands out there compared to the regular trumpets.
Some of The Best Brands
Although pocket trumpet has been around for a while, it is still an emerging market. However, they are some brands that have built a reputation for themselves over a long period of time. They have remained consistent in delivering quality instruments.
Mendini is among the best manufacturers of pocket trumpet worldwide. They have the approval of most instructors around the world. Over the years, they have been dedicated to manufacturing quality instruments. Their products are affordable and durable.
Cecilio is the parent company of Mendini. Cecilio is known for producing orchestral instruments worldwide. Inasmuch as their products are much cheaper compared to other manufacturers, they maintain a high level of quality. All their products go through rigorous testing before shipping.
A Belgium based company founded in 1995. They mainly produce budget instruments from all over the spectrum. Let get something clear here. Cheap doesn't mean low quality. The company has proven that you can get a decent instrument without breaking the bank.
They have various types of high-quality pocket trumpets to choose from. They are also affordable and of good quality. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, Merano has something for you.
The company was established in 2000. Their aim is to ensure that every musician owns a quality instrument. Although they are newcomers in the industry, Merano has remained consistent in manufacturing quality pocket instruments.
One interesting feature about the company is that all their instruments including pocket trumpet are hand made. They also respond to customer queries via a responsive customer support service. This is one of the reasons most musicians end up choosing Merano over other brands.
This company takes its reputation seriously. Therefore, they maintain a high quality in manufacturing their instruments. Instructors and professional alike find this brand reliable. Carol Brass pays more attention to detail.
Another interesting feature is their versatility and the quality sound that their pocket trumpets produce. They have been around for 30 years and never comprised their standards, whether the instrument is for a child or a professional.
Other notable brands
- Roy Benson
We put together what we think are the 9 best pocket trumpet on the market presently. The truth that they are all good choices, but one of them must emerge as the best. This in no way reduces the quality of other pocket trumpets on this review.
The features and accessories are quite similar if you have noticed. But then what makes the difference is the quality of the sound, the type of materials, and their prices.
The overall best among these pocket trumpet is Stagg TR245 Pocket. The Stagg company has been around for a while.
It is a combination of perfect build, quality sound, and it goes for an affordable price.
If you are working with a tight budget, but you still need a quality instrument then you can go for Merano Black Pocket. A professional can make use of it likewise a beginner. As soon as you take delivery, you can set up and start playing.
Common issues that most performances complain about
Regular trumpeters have argued that it is quite difficult to adjust using a pocket trumpet. Their reason is simply because of the size of the instrument. According to musicians, it will take some time to adjust. Keep this in mind if you want to shop online. In most cases, it’s advised that you visit the shop and hold a few brands to see what suits you.
Some customers have complained of valve problems. However, it has been discovered that this problem is associated with insufficient maintenance or incorrect placement.
Although the regular trumpet remains a popular choice, the pocket trumpet doesn’t only produce the same quality sound but it is also durable. We have mentioned severally top models which are good for musicians who are always on the road. The fact remains that there is no other difference between a pocket trumpet and a regular trumpet apart from their sizes.
You can use a pocket trumpet for jazz or classical performance. If you are confused about what brand to buy, you can select any of the products in this review. They are all durable and suit different purposes, it all depends on what you intend to use them for. All models reviewed in this article are on key of B flat.
Finally, pocket trumpets are not just for beginners or for rehearsal purposes, professionals can use them for their performances.
So go get one today! You can share your experience with us. We would like to hear from you.