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Trumpet Vs. Violin? Read This First! (Before Choosing)

Are you looking to learn a musical instrument? Do the trumpet and violin both seem interesting and fun to play?

They can be very rewarding, but you have to consider everything from the ease of playing to how long it can take to be good.

Benefits of both Trumpet and Violin:

The trumpet has only three valves and is smaller and easier to transport than a violin. A violin doesn’t require embouchure, breath exercises, or strong lungs. Both air support and the violin strings and bow are difficult to learn and take time. Violins are also more expensive.

Is the Trumpet or the Violin Easier to Play?

Both the trumpet and violin have certain factors that make them easy and difficult.

What’s easier for one person may not be easier for you.

Advantages of the Trumpet:

The trumpet has three valves, so you only need to learn eight-finger combinations, and you only ever play one note at a time on the trumpet, whereas the violin can play up to four notes at once.

Another advantage of the trumpet is that it’s slightly smaller. That can help beginners and people who want to travel with their instruments frequently.

Playing louder or softer on the trumpet is also easier. You can adjust your airspeed and breathing to help set the volume.

Advantages of the Violin:

The violin can be easier for young children because you can find violins in different sizes.

Kids can hold the smaller violins and be able to play different notes without struggling. Aside from the pocket trumpet, you can’t find that instrument in different sizes.

Violins also don’t require a specific amount of air or air pressure from the player. You can play by plucking or bowing the string. Some notes don’t even use fingers on your left hand.

Another benefit of the violin is that each note has a different position. With the trumpet, you have different partials that use the same fingering, and it can be hard to hit the different notes at first.

Which of the Two Instruments Is More Popular?

While both instruments are popular, the violin edges out the trumpet.

Because it comes in different sizes, it’s more accessible to players of all ages.

The violin is also much more popular in an orchestra than a trumpet. Orchestral works have two to four trumpet parts, each with one player. Some orchestras can have up to 30 violin players between the first and second parts.

On the other hand, the trumpet is more common in other groups.

It’s a standard part of the following:

  • Concert band/wind ensemble
  • Marching band
  • Jazz/big band

Like in an orchestra, there are two to four trumpet parts in these groups.

You can find tons of solo and chamber works for the violin, and there are also many concertos for the instrument. The violin makes up half of the standard string quartet, but soloists are also popular.

Trumpets have plenty of repertoires as well, including solo pieces. They’re also a standard part of the brass quintet, where you can find two trumpet players.

Both instruments are the most popular of their respective families: brass (trumpet) and strings (violin). They’re popular choices and work in different musical settings, but the violin is probably more popular overall.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Each Instrument?

You can reach a decent playing level on the trumpet in about two to four years.

Reaching a similar competency on the violin can take a year longer, so about three to five years.

However, you can start playing some songs quickly on the trumpet or violin.

Learning the Trumpet

When you learn the trumpet, you need to know how to form an embouchure and buzz your lips to make a sound.

Learning the fingerings doesn’t take that long, but you will need to practice differentiating between partials.

Air support can also take a while to learn and master. Once you do learn that skill, it will be easier to play longer phrases.

Practicing the trumpet for longer periods also may not always be possible.

Your chops may wear out after a while, so you’ll have to take a practice break, which could delay some progress.

Learning the Violin

The violin takes a lot of practice to master.

Unlike the guitar, the violin doesn’t have any frets that can guide your fingers. That makes it easier to play out of tune.

You also have to learn how to hold and play with a bow. And your fingers may hurt at first from the strings until you have the chance for calluses to develop.

Violin players can play as much as they need to without worrying about their lips. However, beginners need to work on their posture to help avoid injuries and other problems.

What About the Price Differences?

You can buy a beginner trumpet or violin for under $100, but good quality models of both instruments start at around $350 to $400.

Intermediate model trumpets cost about $1,000 to $2,000. Many pro-level horns will run you $1,600 to $3,600 for a new instrument.

Violins at the intermediate level have a similar price point of about $1,000 to $2,000. A violin could cost $2,500 or much more at the professional level, even more than similar trumpets.

When it comes to record-setting costs, the difference is massive.

The most expensive trumpet is $125,000, while the most valuable violin is $16 million.

Some professional violinists don’t even own the instruments they play. A lot of them want to play violins that are hundreds of years old. However, that’s not the case with trumpet players.

5 Tips to Help You Choose Between Trumpet and Violin

While the differences in ease of play and cost can affect your decision, other factors matter.

If you still don’t know if you should play the trumpet or violin, think about the differences.

Then, give some thought to the following to help finalize your choice:

1. Consider What Genres You Like

First, you should think about what music style or genre you like best.

If you love classical music, the violin will probably be a better choice because there’s so much repertoire for it.

However, the trumpet is more common in genres like jazz and pop music. You can find a violin in some jazz bands and pop groups, but you might not be playing on every song.

The trumpet is also in more ensembles, from orchestras to big bands to concert bands. If you want to play with other musicians a lot, you should consider the trumpet.

If you like playing solo or with a piano player, the violin might interest you more.

2. Figure Out Your Strengths

Another way to decide between the trumpet and violin is your strengths. Both instruments require a good ear so that you can recognize when you’re playing out of tune.

The trumpet requires better air support and breath control. It would be best if you also had strong, precise lip muscles. That way, you can form and maintain an embouchure as you play.

When playing the violin, you’ll need muscle memory in your arms and fingers.

You need to know precisely where your left-hand fingers go to play in tune, and your right arm needs to be able to hold the bow and put it in the right place along the strings.

3. Consider Other Instruments

If you get really good at the trumpet or violin, you may have the chance to add other instruments to your playing rotation.

For example, some trumpet players also learn the cornet, which is slightly smaller and has a warmer sound. You might also play the flugelhorn, and that’s a sort of combination between a trumpet and a French horn.

Violin players might eventually learn to play the viola. This can come in handy if you want to teach the violin because you can get more students.

Learning the viola may also be necessary if your orchestra has too many violin players but a small viola section.

4. Research Playing Opportunities

You might also consider where you live and your access to local lessons or performing groups, even as students or amateurs.

If you live near a community orchestra, the violin could be a good option because your odds of joining will be higher.

However, if you have a local concert band or jazz scene, the trumpet will give you more opportunities. You may still be able to join a local orchestra, but you can join other groups to perform for your community.

Playing with other musicians can be a great way to improve and learn new skills.

You can meet other people and connect with your love of music.

5. Don’t Follow Your Friends

When choosing between the trumpet and violin, decide on your own.

If you know someone else who is starting either instrument, don’t play an instrument because of them.

Sure, you may both want to play the trumpet or the violin. However, if you aren’t as interested in it, you’ll have to rely on your friend for motivation, and that’s not a good idea.

It would be better to play an instrument you love and find music for that combination if you want to play together.

Make sure you’re choosing whatever instrument you want to play for the right reasons. If you don’t want to play it, you’ll have a much harder time learning it, and you may quit when you would have stuck with the other instrument.

Will You Play the Trumpet or Violin?

The trumpet and violin are two of the most popular instruments you can play.

However, there are quite a few differences that could make or break your choice.

Keep the differences in mind so that you select the right instrument for you. Then, you’ll enjoy playing for much longer.


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