It’s hard enough already to learn how to play the trumpet so let’s find out if it’s easier to learn with a professional trumpet.
Here’s how easy professional trumpets are to play
Professional trumpets are not easier to play than student models or trumpets for intermediate players. A professional trumpet is made in a way that the instrument will jump more easily between the notes, and that’s only helpful if you are an experienced player.
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Why are professional trumpets typically NOT easier to play?
If you buy a good standard beginner’s trumpet at the $200 price range you will have a great trumpet that’s very easy to play. You can get a great tone with these models.
Some of the very high-end trumpets out there are actually a bit harder to play for a beginner as they will easier jump to the next natural tone (from G to C) or an octave.
Therefore you should always start out on a good beginner’s or intermediate trumpet and leave the professional models to the professionals.
The reason beginner’s trumpets are just as easy to play as the more professional trumpets (or easier!) is that the cheaper brands have become really good at making trumpets.
You simply don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get a trumpet that’s easy to play and that sounds great!
(Now, if you don’t believe me just scroll down the page to watch Kurt Thompson give a $200 trumpet a good blow – it even sounds amazing!)
2 Great beginners trumpets that are REALLY easy to play
Here are some of the most popular trumpets for beginners and intermediate players.
#1 Jean Paul Silver
This is a great beginner’s trumpet and it’s VERY affordable at $200. You can see a video here of Kurt Thompson playing it up against a professional $3,000 Bach Stradivarius trumpet:
This exact model is for sale at Amazon here.
I’ve had the same experience myself when I’ve played trumpets that are way cheaper than my Yamaha trumpet, so I can only attest to this being true.
#2 Etude ETR-100
Though you can totally start out on the Jean Paul Silver above I recommend upgrading to the Etude ETR-100 if you want to spend a few more bucks.
It’s found at around $260 over at Guitar Center – a great store we can recommend.
This trumpet also has 4.5/5 stars from 29 reviews over at Guitar Center and on Amazon, it also has 4.5/5 stars from 122 reviews (though it’s out of stock at the moment).
What’s the difference between professional and standard trumpets?
The main difference between an amateur and a professional trumpet is the material used. But there’s definitely also a lot of brand-value that you pay for that doesn’t really add value to the instrument itself.
Let’s look at the materials and the manufacturing process first.
When you go for a professional trumpet like the Bach Strativarius, Yamaha models, Jupiter, etc. you often find that the bell is constructed from a single piece or two pieces. This is an important part of the horn as it creates the sound and gives it tone and volume.
You also get a better construction around the valves and tubes and the valves are more precise on a better trumpet. The professional brands will have super-precise and fast-moving valves that responds immediately to any movement.
You DO pay a lot for the brand name itself if you run with a Back, Yamaha, or a Jupiter model!
I’d say you should start with one of the beginner’s models I’ve listed below or one of the intermediate models.
These models are among the best beginner’s models that produce a great tone (similar to the more high-end professional models) and they can be very easy to play!
Should beginners choose a professional trumpet (if they can afford it)?
If you are a complete beginner and you’re looking to buy your very first trumpet you should not go for a professional model. Period.
As we discussed in the beginning of the article, it can actually be a bit harder to play a professional instrument than a good beginner’s or intermediate model (like the two trumpets we looked at above).
If you are not a complete beginner and you think it’s time to take your game to the next level we need to look at what you mean by “can afford it”.
If it makes no difference in your budget whatsoever if you spend $2000 on a professional trumpet – go ahead – but if you could do it but you’d rather not, then you should absolutely not spend several thousand dollars on a professional trumpet to begin with.
You can just as easily learn how to play the trumpet really well with a beginner’s model or actually we should call these two mentioned at the top of this article intermediate models (as that’s what they really are!).
When should you upgrade to a better trumpet?
Once you feel like you master all the basic stuff well you can consider upgrading to at better trumpet. By basic stuff I mean:
- You have a good strong tone
- You can play a clear sound (no crackly/spitty sounds)
- You can hit the semi-high notes well (from deep G and two octaves up)
- You play the instrument on a weekly basis
If you cannot say yes to all of the above, I’d say it’s not time for you to upgrade your trumpet to a better and more professional model.
When that is said, we obviously also need to consider the cost of such an upgrade!
Many times, it will cost you an additional $2,000 to upgrade to a better and more professional model and you can probably not get any money back from your old trumpet as it’s not worth much on the used market.
If money is an issue (when is it not?) you should consider getting a good used trumpet. I upgraded from a total beginner’s model when I turned 12. I got a good second hand Yamaha model that I still use to this day (I just turned 40!).
You can often find a good Yamaha for around $200. That’s a really good way to go about this but you absolutely need to try it first. You should never buy used instruments without having played them first.
Do professional trumpets sound better than beginner’s trumpets?
Check out the video at the top of the article where Kurt Thompson plays a professional Back Stradivarius and a much cheaper $200 model. It’s actually hard to hear the difference, especially on a recording.
You will get a richer tone from a professional trumpet but it depends on many other things than the instrument.
You need to be a really good and experienced trumpet player to make it sound better!
That being said, when you have years of experience and you know how to master the trumpet well you will also be able to produce a better tone with a professional trumpet such as a Back Stradivarius, or a good model from Yamaha or Jupiter.
Most popular professional trumpets
At the top shelf at the music store we find brands such as B&S, Bach, Yamaha, and Jupiter. These can cost up to $9,000, or more.
The most popular and most sold professional trumpet, however, is probably the Back Stradivarius.
We see this used in many classical settings as well as jazz and pop music. It’s a really good professional model and it typically costs between $3,000 – $5,000 depending on the specific model and tuning.
The most-popular Back Stradivarius is the Bb (B flat) model that you find in any classical orchestra and it’s also the one that most trumpet teachers will recommend to any student who is looking to move from an intermediate trumpet to a more professional model.
Price range for professional trumpets
Professional trumpets cost between $1,000 and $9,000. The Stradivarius models from Bach are probably the most sold models among the professional trumpets.
Price range for beginner’s and intermediate trumpets
Here are some examples of some of the most popular trumpets for beginners and intermediate students. The Jean Paul Silver model is really cheap and sounds really good and the Etude model is also very popular among students.