Best Student Trumpet – Expert Advice on How to Choose them

Best Student Trumpet – Expert Advice on How to Choose them

Are you or your child looking to start learning to play the trumpet? Are you overwhelmed by the hundreds of different models to choose from? You don’t have to be.

If you’ve searched online for trumpets, you’ll find a lot of features that aren’t easily understood or explained. Words like bore size, piston valves, saddle thumb rest, lead pipe, and bell shape pop up at stores, but what do these words mean?

Playing the trumpet is a fun and useful life skill that you can do well into your golden years. But picking the right beginning trumpet is crucial. If you’re investing money into buying an instrument, you want to make sure you don’t waste your money with something that doesn’t even play correctly.

A malfunctioning trumpet or poorly designed trumpet can make learning to play frustrating; your child will never stick with it. They’ve been set up for failure before they even started.

This review looks at the most important features of student trumpets and why they should matter to you. After years of playing with various trumpets, I know exactly what you are looking for and I have compiled all the information you need to be well informed before deciding to purchase your own.

Read on to see my review of the best student trumpet and rest easy knowing that any of these is a safe pick.

Best Student Trumpets that are Also Good for all Beginners

After checking out many trumpets and reviews from actual users, I’ve boiled the list down to these  best beginner trumpets:

  • Etude ETR 100 Series
  • Yamaha YTR 2330 Student Bb Trumpet
  • LJ Hutchen 4218 Bb Trumpet
  • Bach TR300H2
  • Jupiter JTR700 Trumpet
  • Mendini by Cecilio MTT-L Trumpet
  • Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet

These trumpets offer a great combination of quality and price. In the detailed reviews below, see the breakdowns and highlights of each trumpet. By going through the information below, you can learn about what you’re looking for and decide which is the best beginner trumpet for you.

Etude ETR 100 Series

With this beginning trumpet model, the Etude ETR 100 Series does its best to balance price with quality. Every feature of this trumpet is designed to make it easier for the new student to play while still maintaining a good sound.

This affordable trumpet comes with large bore size. Why does bore size matter?

Larger bore sizes like this are generally good for beginning trumpet players or those who need to create more volume. Bore size refers to the diameter of the tubing inside your trumpet the air travels through.

A larger bore creates a larger sound helping new players to play with confidence and no resistance. Air resistance makes it harder for new players because the resistance can cause headaches. The downside of a large bore is that it becomes harder to play notes in the higher register, but that isn’t a problem beginners need to address until later on.

The valves—or buttons—are closer together on the ETR-100. This is helpful for small hands who may struggle to reach as they are learning what the valve combinations mean.

The first valve slide—or tube connecting to the first vale—comes with a thumb saddle. The third valve slide also comes with an adjustable thumb ring. These additions make the ETR-100 customizable to fit the student’s specific hand size for ease of grip.

Learning to play the trumpet is a new enough skill as it is; students don’t need to worry about dropping or their hands getting tired. The ETR-100s design makes it easy to focus on sound production.

Etude also built this trumpet with a red lead pipe with high copper content. The red lead pipe helps resist corrosion which is common on this part of the trumpet.

Your hand rests up against it while you finger the valves causing your sweat to erode the lacquer (protective coating) of the brass. Over time, the acidity of your skin can cause serious damage to the horn. The red lead pipe of the ETR-100 combats this.

On top of this, the trumpet comes with two water keys—where the spit comes out!—which is useful for new players who might have a hard time finding where the water ends up in their horn. This trumpet also comes with a third valve stopper screw. This is useful because it prevents the slide from falling if you move the horn or try to pull it out too far.

On top of the affordable yet quality trumpet, you get a mouthpiece and a hard-shell case. The mouthpiece isn’t enough to get excited over, but protective cases are essential for young people.

Middle school-aged kids can barely control their own bodies let alone an expensive instrument. This hard case protects your investment from the everyday bumps that come with carrying a trumpet, backpack, duffel bag, and anything your students wears from place to place.

What we liked

  • Large bore
  • Good sound
  • Sturdy construction
  • Comes with a hard case
  • Very affordable

What we disliked

  • It’s hard to get the trumpet in the case
  • Valves tend to stick

All in all, the Etude ETR-100 Series Trumpet is a great choice for the low price. The large bore helps new players produce a good sound, and the design elements make it the perfect fit for small hands. As you improve a new trumpet might be needed to grow with you, but the price makes it a safe choice.

Yamaha YTR 2330 Student Bb Trumpet

With an established manufacturer like Yamaha you can expect the good quality that comes from experience. With this base model trumpet, Yamaha’s more expensive choice of the trumpet doesn’t fail when it comes to producing great sound and useful features for the beginner trumpet player.

When the YTR 2330 was designed, Yamaha chose to use the two-piece bell. This doesn’t mean the bell comes off, but it means the bell was formed separately from the body of the trumpet. For you, this means the bell was especially shaped to produced good tone, a feature ignored by many lower models.

Yamaha balanced the weight of the trumpet for beginners by making the bell lighter than the trumpet yellow brass bell. This makes it easier to hold the horn up at the best angle for long periods of time. The lighter bell will sacrifice some of the horn’s ability to produce richer sound, but beginner and even intermediate players won’t notice the difference.

This trumpet comes with two water keys (spit valves) that let the moisture out of the horn. The higher number of water keys makes it easier for young players to get the water out of their horn. This helps avoid the gurgling sound that comes from trapped water.

Another unique feature of the YTR 2330 is the addition of monel alloy piston valves. Your piston valves are the part of the horn (often called buttons) that change the length of the tubes to change the notes you play. These need to move freely and consistently or the trumpet becomes difficult or impossible to play.

The monel alloy protects the valves by making them more durable to repeated use and pressure. Often, new players push on their valves at an angle rather straight up and down which can bend the valves over time. This new allow offers some protection from which keeps the trumpet in working order longer.

Yamaha also lists newly designed valve bottom caps and valve tops as a great feature of the trumpet. In general, specially designed caps and tops make the trumpet easier to use and provides a better sound by allowing ease of vibration and added resonance.

Like many trumpets, this one also comes with a first valve saddle and third valve adjustable thumb rest. With both of these in place, beginners will have an easier time holding the trumpet and keeping it in tune.

When you purchase the YTR 2330, you also get a nice hard case. This protects the instrument as you or your child carry it to school and back. The higher price range makes this an investment you don’t want to be ruined with bumps and dings.

The instrument comes in lacquer (gold) and silver plated finishes. The silver cost almost twice as much as the lacquer, but it does look great.

What we liked

  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to hold and very light
  • Valves are consistent and last a long time
  • Plays very well in tune over its whole scale
  • The trumpet will grow with your skill

What we disliked

  • Higher price for beginner trumpet
  • Valves need a lot of oiling

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with a Yamaha. The trumpet is more expensive than you probably want to pay for a beginner trumpet, but the quality is top-notch. The durable construction means the trumpet will last a long time, and its effective design means that you won’t outgrow its playing potential any time soon.

LJ Hutchen 4218 Bb Trumpet

LJ Hutchen’s 4218 Bb Trumpet is designed to combine the best value and high quality. As such, this trumpet has some key features for beginner players while being at an affordable price.

Its bore size is modeled after professional line trumpets. This may make it a little harder for some to play at first, but, as you improve, the instrument remains an effective model.

The rose brass lead pipe prevents corrosion and helps create a mellow tone. The lead pipe goes alongside the valves where your hand rests. Sweat can damage the horn; that’s why a specially treated lead pipe can make all the difference.

The tuning slide is braced for extra durability and secured alignment. The main tuning slide is where the player adjusts the overall length of the trumpet to help it match the pitches with their group.

Functional tuning slides are essential to good playing, and if the player isn’t careful, it can be damaged. The extra bracing helps to prevent this.

LJ Hutchen’s affordable trumpet comes with stainless steel piston valves. The valves are how the trumpet changes notes and accumulate moisture very quickly. Stainless steel resists damage from spit and water while being durable enough to withstand damage from use over time.

The valves are also designed to fit tightly inside the valve casing. This prevents extra air from escaping as you play different notes ensuring a consistent sound over all notes.

The trumpet comes with two water keys (or spit valves) to let gathered water out of the horn. The number of keys is helpful for beginner players who have a hard time finding where the water is. This prevents distortion when playing.

As with many trumpets, the 4218 Bb trumpet comes with a first valve saddle and adjustable third valve thumb ring. Beginner players may enjoy this because it helps with playing in tune and holding the trumpet comfortably.

Along with the trumpet, the low price still buys you a hard plastic case, a standard sized 7c mouthpiece, and a 2-year warranty.

What we liked

  • Plays with good sound for the low price
  • 2-year warranty
  • Easy to play and hold for beginners
  • Valves work easily and maintain a consistent sound
  • Hard case is great for protecting the horn

What we disliked

  • Finish wears down a bit after a couple of years
  • As you improve, you may want to buy up

Bottom line: The LJ Hutchen 4218 plays above its price range. This is a beginner model for sure, but for the price you can easily afford to buy up in a few years if you stick with it and improve. On top of the price, the 2-year warranty makes it a safe purchase, and buyers consistently report that the warranty is simple to redeem.

Bach TR300H2 AMERICAN STUDENT TRUMPET OUTFIT

With this more expensive trumpet, Bach built a student trumpet that lasts over time and is easily playable for both beginners and intermediate players. When you invest in this trumpet, it’s going to be with you for a while.

Many features of this trumpet are specifically designed with beginners in mind. The bore size is larger than average to avoid air resistance when playing. This makes it easier to play the lower notes a beginner plays and helps create a bigger sound.

A red brass lead pipe is good for protecting the pipe from the moisture and sweat that comes from holding the instrument. A yellow brass bell provides a good sound while still being light.

The lighter bell makes the weight of the horn center on your hands. This is important for beginner trumpet players not use to holding the instrument at the proper angle for long periods of time. If the player’s trumpet begins to sag, tuning, sound, and breathing all begin to decline.

As with many trumpets in this price range, the piston valves are made of higher quality metals. The monel alloy valves are resistant to moisture and impact damage.

With a nylon valve guide, the valves are easy to oil and put back in their casing. This is a great feature for new players who have a hard time maneuvering the valves. The guides guarantee the valve can’t be misaligned when put back together.

On top of this, the valves are also braced to prevent damage from drops or dings as the player uses the horn. To further protect the trumpet, the Bach TR300H2 comes with a durable, double-wall case and shoulder strap. This kind of feature protects the horn and makes it easy to carry.

Finally, as with many beginners trumpets, the instrument comes with two water keys for quick release of moisture trapped in the slides, a first valve saddle, and third valve adjustable pinky ring for optimal comfort holding the horn.

In this demo video, the performance of the Bach TR300H2 starts at the beginning.

What we liked

  • Durable and protected against new user mishaps
  • Beautiful, rich sound above its price
  • Case is tough, comes with a strap, has space for storage of cleaning tools
  • Easy to hold for beginners

What we disliked:

  • Needs to be swapped out as you get better

It’s hard to be critical of the Bach TR300H2. Although the price is higher than what you may want to pay, it’s more than worth it. The durability and high-quality design of the trumpet and case ensure it stays in good shape for a long time. On top of that, the trumpet simply sounds like a trumpet above this price range.

Jupiter JTR700 Trumpet

Jupiter has a strong reputation for building high-quality brass instruments at affordable prices, and the JTR700 series of trumpet is no exception. Coming in at the middle of the road price range, this trumpet features many design elements that help beginning trumpet players.

The .460-inch bore balances the easy pressure most beginners need with enough resistance to help play the high notes as you get more skilled. The 4.8-inch bell is ideal for new players as well.

As the bell gets larger, the tone gets more mellow and gentle. New players are discovering not only how to create sound and play different notes, but they also learn about generating good trumpet sounds. The mellow tone a larger bell produces helps to train their ears to what a good sound is.

The downside of a large bell is that the instruments become a little heavy on the end. This makes it harder for new players to hold the horn up at the correct angle as their arms get tired. A larger bell can also make it harder to project the sound loudly.

Stainless steel piston valves offer some protection from water and impact damage over time. This is always great for student trumpet players.

As with most beginner models, the Jupiter JTR700 comes with a first valve saddle and third valve adjustable ring for easy grabbing and tuning adjustment. The two water keys or spit valves are standard for beginner models and help get accumulated water out of the horn.

Jupiter offers this trumpet in gold lacquer and silver plating styles. As usual, silver costs almost twice as much but does offer some more protection from the elements.

Experts debate on whether silver or lacquer sounds better but generally don’t agree. After having played trumpet for so many years, I tend to say that the sound difference is small if it exists at all, but the extra protection may be worth the extra money.

With this trumpet, Jupiter gives you a wood-lined case. This makes the case a step up in protection and durability from a hard, plastic case.

What we liked

  • Nice, mellow sound in the lower and middle register
  • Affordable
  • Smooth piston valves
  • Tough case that will last

What we disliked

  • May need to trade out quicker than other student trumpets as you get more skilled
  • Difficult to play higher notes with the larger bore size

The bottom line for the Jupiter JTR700 trumpet: If you want a step up from the cheaper models but you still can’t shell out close to a grand for a higher model, this is the perfect in between. It’s built to last and create a good sound, but your beginner trumpet player may grow out of this instrument quickly.

Mendini by Cecilio MTT-L Trumpet

To be honest, there are going to be some directors who don’t like that the Mendini by Cecilio MTT-L Trumpet is on this list. What the company did with this trumpet is to make the most affordable trumpet possible while still being able to produce a decent sound.

The 0.46-inch bore is in the middle of the typical size range. By opting for a slightly larger bore than intermediate models, Mendini helps the beginner trumpet player produce sounds easier with less air resistance. The major downside of such a large bore is that the higher notes are more difficult to play.

The manufacturer tries to balance the larger bore with a larger bell size (5 inches) to help mellow the sound out. Unfortunately, this makes the trumpet end-heavy and harder to hold.

The MTT-L comes with a phosphorus copper treated lead pipe. Like many other more expensive trumpets, adding other metals (such as copper) to the lead pipe enriches the sound and protects from the sweat of your hand.

They list the features of smooth action valves to make it easier to play. In my experience, the fact the valves are not reinforced makes them more susceptible to damage from wrong hand position or dropping.

For a low, low price, this trumpet comes with a plush-lined nylon case, valve oil to keep the vales running smoothly, soft polishing cloth, and a pair of white gloves. The nylon protects the instrument from lighter bumps and jostles, but it doesn’t protect from anything substantial like a hard-plastic or wood-lined case does.

Like most trumpets, this one comes with a first valve saddle and third valve adjustable ring for optimal tuning and hand placement comfort. The addition of two water keys makes it easier to drain the water to avoid the popping sound that comes with excess moisture.

One unique option Mendini offers is that the trumpet can come in nine different colors. The color treatments do not affect the sound in any way, but selecting an option with lacquer or plating does offer more protection from sweat and water.

What we liked

  • Extremely affordable
  • Good sound for the price
  • Comes with useful accessories
  • Comes in different colors

What we disliked:

  • Doesn’t match up to the sound of higher-end student models
  • Not all of their trumpets end up with the same quality
  • General construction doesn’t hold up to long-term use

You don’t have to love the MTT-L. It is exactly what it was built to be: a cheap trumpet that sounds pretty good, and that’s the reason it made the list. I recommend this trumpet for two groups of people:

  • Those who can’t afford more but still really want to play. (I would rather have you play this trumpet than never try because it’s too expensive).
  • You want those bright colors because it’s just for fun!

Jean Paul USA TR-330 Standard Student Trumpet

Jean Paul USA’s trumpet is another affordable student trumpet model. That being said, it does come with features that helped the TR-330 make the cut for our best student trumpet list.

This trumpet has a yellow brass lead pipe and bell. Yellow brass is lighter and helps with the projection of sound and makes the horn easier to carry.

Too much yellow brass can cause the trumpet to sound too shrill. Jean Paul avoids that with the rest of their design, but beginner players may have to be wary of that. Also, yellow brass for a lead pipe doesn’t protect as well as a copper or red brass lead pipe.

The large bore of the trumpet helps beginners produce good, consistent sound throughout the lower and middle register. Higher notes are harder to play because of the lack of resistance, but you don’t need to worry about that until your skills improve.

The standard first valve saddle and third valve adjustable ring help with tuning and keeping the trumpet easy to hold. With two water keys, you can still drain the spit out easily.

The TR-330 comes in lacquer and nickel varieties at the same price. There isn’t much difference between the two options other than color and style.

With this trumpet, Jean Paul USA also sends you a high-quality nylon case, valve oil, cleaning cloth, gloves, and mouthpiece. Normally, a nylon case doesn’t protect as well, but the construction makes this case on par with professional level cases for protection and storage of trumpet accessories.

What we liked

  • Solid sound
  • Affordable price
  • Durable design
  • High-quality case

What we disliked

  • Piston valves tend to stick
  • Bright sound may be too piercing with beginners

With an affordable price, durable design, and great accessories, Jean Paul USA’s TR-330 is a safe purchase. It plays easily and is comfortable for new players, although the almost-too bright sound from all the yellow brass is something to watch out for. All in all, a good buy.

Verdict – What to Do Now

After looking, listening, and trying all the best beginner trumpets my top choice is the Yamaha YTR2330. While this trumpet is one of the more expensive on the list, it sounds beautiful and can be played at the beginner and intermediate levels. This instrument is an investment that can last you a long time.

If the price scares you away, the LJ Hutchen 4218 is as low a price I would recommend. It still sounds good and is durable enough to last until you get good enough to need a new trumpet.

I hope you enjoyed this review of the best beginner trumpets. Whichever of these trumpets you pick, rest easy knowing that you’re now an educated buyer!

Last but not least, if you would like to get some more in-depth knowledge about the main parts of a trumpet and their functionalities, take a look at my post here. You can further improve your knowledge about different types of trumpets by reading our related article. While you are searching to buy your trumpet don’t forget to check out our article about the best techniques on how to play high notes on trumpets.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Best Beginner Trumpet
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star