Do Trumpets Come In Different Sizes? (8 Types Explained)

Although most trumpet players choose to play a Bb trumpet, there are many different sizes of trumpets to choose from.

Each offers a different length and bore size, from piccolo trumpets to bass trumpets to create a different tone.

Let’s talk about all of the different trumpet sizes:

Here are the Different Sizes of Trumpets:

Trumpets are available in a wide range of model sizes. Trumpets can also vary in bore size from about .450mm to .472mm. Bb trumpets are the standard size, being about 2.5 pounds with a medium bore. Beginners can choose beginner models or cornet, which are both lighter and easier to hold.

Here is our list of the most common trumpet sizes:

Bb Trumpet:

A Bb trumpet is the standard trumpet size.

Most trumpet players start and continue to play on Bb trumpets.

They are each about 2.5 pounds, which is an average trumpet weight.

Piccolo Trumpet:

The piccolo trumpet is the smallest trumpet model.

A piccolo trumpet’s tubing is half the length of a Bb trumpet, allowing it to create much higher pitches.

The bore size of a piccolo trumpet can range from .401 to .417 inches, and they usually have a 3.5-inch bell diameter. They are often 1.75 pounds, which is much lighter than a Bb trumpet.

Pocket Trumpet:

Pocket trumpets are just like Bb trumpets but smaller.

They were designed to be the compact version of a Bb trumpet. This is ideal for at-home practicing, but most people do not play pocket trumpets in ensembles.

The pocket trumpet weighs about 2 pounds and is 9.5 inches long.

It has a similar weight to a Bb trumpet because it has the same length of tubing.

Bugle:

Bugles are more lightweight than standard trumpets.

They don’t have valves, so that they can weigh around 1 pound.

Compared to the average weight of Bb trumpets, this is significantly lighter.

Flugelhorn:

Flugelhorns have a conical bore size, meaning that the tubing gets gradually bigger from the mouthpiece to the bell.

This makes it look more like a cornet than a standard trumpet.

Even though flugelhorns have the same tubing length as other trumpets, they will look and feel bigger because of the different bore sizes.

Bass Trumpet:

With a .485-inch bore size, the bass trumpet is much bigger and heavier than a standard Bb trumpet.

They also have a 7-inch bell diameter and are usually played by trombonists rather than trumpet players.

Cornet:

Both cornets and trumpets are similar in length and pitch.

However, cornets have more tightly wrapped tubing, making it easier to hold.

Young students would have an easier time starting on cornet because it is held closer to the body. They wouldn’t tire as easily when learning cornet.

Plastic Trumpet:

Plastic trumpets are the same size as standard Bb trumpets, except they are made out of plastic.

Because plastic is much lighter than brass, plastic trumpets are much easier to carry.

Which Trumpet Size is Easiest For Beginners?

Many new trumpet players start on beginner trumpet models.

These are Bb trumpets that are smaller, lighter, and more durable than intermediate or advanced trumpet models.

Beginner trumpets usually have a medium bore size. This means that the width of its brass tubing is around .46 inches.

For beginners, you won’t want a bore size that is too large or too small.

There are easy ways to know if a trumpet is too big for you. Young players should be able to hold their trumpet comfortably physically.

Try to hold the trumpet up and away from your body to see if it is too heavy. If you are struggling, try a more lightweight model. Also, make sure your hands can wrap around the trumpet, extending up to the valves.

Start on the Cornet:

Another consideration for beginners would be to start on cornet.

Most students start playing trumpet in middle school, which is when they are old enough to hold the weight of a Bb trumpet. If you start learning trumpet earlier, we’d recommend trying the cornet.

The cornet and Bb trumpet have identical finger positions, as well as range and sound. Cornets are much smaller and more lightweight, so they make a great beginner instrument.

With a cornet, beginner trumpet players can start learning trumpet at a much younger age. They won’t have to worry about holding up a heavy instrument because the cornet is lighter.

How Big and Heavy are Standard Trumpets?

A standard Bb trumpet usually weighs around 2.5 pounds.

Many trumpet brands offer different trumpet models that vary in size and weight. A heavier trumpet model could weigh 150-200 grams more than a standard trumpet. A light model could weigh 100-200 grams less.

Generally, trumpet brands do not make a different weight option to make it more comfortable for trumpet players. They are made to provide differences in tone and sound.

Even a light trumpet can be difficult for a player to carry for long periods. A beginner trumpet player typically starts on a standard Bb trumpet, but it can take time to get used to carrying the 2.5-pound instrument.

2.5 pounds might not seem like much, but players have to hold their trumpets throughout practice time, rehearsal time, and during concerts. These sometimes last for hours, which can exhaust your arm muscles.

Plus, you have to hold up your arms as well. Each arm weighs around 9 to 11 pounds, adding to the 2.5 pounds of a trumpet. Shoulder muscles can easily become tired when playing a standard trumpet.

Why Do People Choose Trumpets with a Bigger Bore?

Every brass instrument has a specific bore size.

This is the width of the brass tubing. Different brands make various bore sizes which affect the way a trumpet sounds.

A trumpet’s bore size can range from .450mm to .472mm. Both a small and large bore size will have a distinctive tone.

Players might prefer a larger bore size because they enjoy its timbre. A large bore size makes a trumpet sound more aggressive and bright. For lead players, this could be the right choice.

Because small bores have a more mellow sound, they would fit well into ensemble playing. Their softer tone could also be ideal in restaurants or other small venues.

What Are the Benefits of Smaller Trumpets?

Some trumpet players prefer smaller horns.

These have a distinctive sound, much different from larger trumpets.

Smaller trumpets have a focused, bright sound that easily plays sharp attacks. Some players find that they have more control over a smaller horn.

A smaller bore size also changes the sound of a trumpet. If the tubing diameter is smaller, the sound will be mellower and softer.

With a smaller bore, the trumpet is usually easier to play. Players can move less air through the instrument to achieve a good sound. Larger bores require much more air, making them more difficult to play.

Which Size Trumpets Do Professionals Have in Their Lineup?

Generally, professional trumpet players have many different sizes of trumpets to fit any music they want to play.

This varies based on each player. Some professionals mainly like to play on Bb trumpets, but others have an extensive collection of different trumpet sizes.

Each trumpet size fits a particular type of music. Their different size offers a unique tone color which can be popular in different music genres.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a trumpet with a specific size or weight, you will probably find one that suits your needs.

Each trumpet brand makes a wide variety of trumpet models which have different weights.

Although most beginners start on a Bb trumpet that weighs 2.5 pounds, you could also start playing on cornet first. This type of trumpet will make the same pitches as a Bb trumpet but will be more lightweight.

Bore size can make a big difference in a trumpet’s weight. If the diameter of its tubing is wider, the entire trumpet is likely heavier and harder to hold. It also could be harder to play.

When shopping for beginner models, look for trumpets with a medium bore. These will be light enough to hold, but you won’t have any trouble making your first notes.

For professionals, they can choose whichever trumpet models they prefer. Many professional players use Bb trumpets the most, but they can also have many different models to fit whatever tone they need for a piece of music.

Sources

A Guide to Buying Your First Trumpet

How Much Does a Trumpet Weigh?

12 Different Types of Trumpets