How Do I Know What Kind Of Trumpet I Have? (Explained For Beginners)

There are many different types of trumpets, and knowing which you have is useful for insurance, maintenance, and more.

In this article, we’ll look at the various companies that make trumpets of different sizes.

Then, you can figure out which trumpet you have.

A Quick Guide on Your Trumpet Type:

The most common place to find the brand name is on the trumpet bell. Brands will typically engrave their name when making the trumpet. If you can’t find the brand on the bell, look at where you connect the mouthpiece to the trumpet for a serial number or brand name.

What Are the Different Types of Trumpets?

The most common type of trumpet in terms of size is the Bb trumpet.

Most, if not all, beginners start learning to play on a Bb trumpet because it’s common and easy to find.

You may also come across a trumpet in C or even in D. All of these letters refer to the instrument’s key, which affects how you read sheet music for it.

A Bb (B flat) trumpet is in the key of Bb, so it sounds one whole step higher than written.

Trumpets in C play exactly as written because the key of C is the same as the concert pitch. A D trumpet is in the key of D and plays one step lower than written, the opposite of the Bb trumpet.

The piccolo trumpet is another member of the family, and it plays in Bb. It plays an octave higher than the Bb trumpet, so it sounds brighter than other trumpets.

However, don’t confuse the piccolo trumpet with the Bb pocket trumpet.

Pocket trumpets have the same range as the Bb trumpet, but the tubing is more compact. It’s a great instrument to practice while traveling, but it’s not very common.

Where Do You See the Brand Name on a Trumpet?

No matter what type of trumpet you play, your trumpet will come from a brand.

Many brands make Bb trumpets, and some brands are better than others.

Some of the best trumpet brands include:

  • Bach
  • Yamaha
  • Jupiter
  • King
  • Andres Eastman

The most common place to find the brand name is on the trumpet bell. Brands will typically engrave their name when making the trumpet.

If you can’t find the brand on the bell, look at where you connect the mouthpiece to the trumpet. That’s called the mouthpiece receiver, and you might find the trumpet brand there.

Sometimes, you can also find the model number next to the brand engraving. The model number depends on how expensive or advanced the trumpet is.

Knowing the brand and model can fulfill your curiosity about the trumpet and its features. If you ever need to take it to a repair technician, they may also ask for that information.

Should you decide to sell the trumpet for any reason, knowing, the brand and model will help.

That way, you’ll know more and can answer questions from potential buyers.

Where Do I Find the Serial Number?

The best place to check for a trumpet’s serial number is the center valve.

You can find the serial number on the left or right, so check both sides if you don’t find it at first.

Knowing the serial number of your trumpet matters in case the trumpet is:

  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Damaged

Insurance companies may also require the serial number to protect your trumpet. That applies to musical instrument insurance companies and homeowners’ policies.

Your trumpet serial number distinguishes it from the other trumpets of the same make and model.

The serial number may come in handy if your trumpet is around other trumpets. For example, a trumpet repair tech may have more than one trumpet of the same model at one time.

In many cases, it can also give you an idea of the trumpet’s age.

Knowing how old your trumpet is can tell you if it’s vintage, and it can help when appraising the instrument for insurance or sales.

How Do I Date the Trumpet Correctly?

Some trumpet brands make it very easy to date their trumpets.

For example, Bach publishes a list of serial numbers on their website.

Trumpets made in 1926 started with the serial 500 and reached the number 600 in 1927. The most recent information on the Bach website is that 420000 is from 1994.

King Instruments also has a list of serial numbers that anyone can access online. They made the first 50,000 instruments between 1883 and 1915.

From 1985 to 1986, they made serial numbers 976,572 to 159,464.

Unfortunately, not all companies make it as easy to date their trumpets. Yamaha is one company that doesn’t have a list you can view.

If you can’t find a list of serial numbers for your trumpet brand, you have options. First, you can contact the company that made the instrument and ask for the serial number history.

Asking trumpet players who played that brand and bought their trumpets new can give you an idea of the age.

The method isn’t exact, but it may help you estimate the age of your trumpet.

What If I Cannot Find Any Serial Numbers?

If you can’t find a serial number because it’s too small or something, don’t give up.

The instrument isn’t the only place with a record of the serial number.

First, consider if you still have a copy of your purchase receipt. This works best if you bought the trumpet new and through the brand or a reputable music store.

Your receipt may include the brand, model, and serial number if you know which number is which, you don’t have to do any more searching.

Sometimes, trumpets need maintenance to fix or prevent issues. If you have taken your trumpet to a technician for cleaning and other repairs, ask them about the serial number.

They may have a record of it in your customer file, or you might find it on the receipt or invoice for the maintenance.

Another way to narrow down the serial number is to contact the company. You can give them an idea of when you bought it, and they might respond with a range of numbers.

When buying a used trumpet directly from a seller, consider asking the seller for the number. They may have it in their records from when they bought it or took it in for maintenance.

Lastly, your insurance company may know the trumpet’s serial number.

If you have insured the instrument, you can contact the provider and ask for the information.

Sources:

King Instrument Serial Numbers

Bach Trombones Serial Numbers

Trumpets, Cornets, and Flugelhorns

Types of Trumpets | Blog.Tonestro