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What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a New Trumpet?

Erik J.J. Goserud
Erik J.J. Goserud

Trumpets can be purchased new or used from a variety of different independent vendors and commercial retail outlets. New student trumpets can be relatively inexpensive for entry-level players, but the sound and physical quality can suffer at this level. High-quality trumpets cost significantly more, but musicians can get much more musical range.

Among the oldest instruments and a star of the brass family, a trumpet plays in a high register. B flat is the standard tuning of a trumpet, but they are also readily available in other tunings. The C trumpet is extremely common in American orchestra playing.

A new trumpet can be relatively inexpensive.
A new trumpet can be relatively inexpensive.

The first major benefit to buying a new trumpet is it can be relatively inexpensive. Low-end, beginner trumpets often include a case and a pair of gloves. Gloves keep the brass clean and streak free. They can protect the longevity of the instrument. Musicians can purchase protective cases as well.

These entry-level trumpets are often referred to as student trumpets, and many high school and university programs use them to stock up on for their brass sections. These instruments often come in lacquered brass or nickel-plated coating. Like any new trumpet, they are equipped with three piston valves. Each valve increases the length of tubing, thus lowering the pitch.

Used trumpets are often sold via online auction sites.
Used trumpets are often sold via online auction sites.

A con to buying an entry-level, new trumpet is the quality. The sound and physical quality are sacrificed somewhat by purchasing lower-end models. Nonetheless, student trumpets are perfect for beginners to get a grasp on the instrument before upgrading to nicer models. Used trumpets can be sold via online auction sites and consumer trade sites.

A higher-end, professional, new trumpet is exponentially more expensive. Some of these models are named after famous classical musicians. This branding sometimes unnecessarily increases the cost for the consumer. Free shipping may be offered, however, for large, online purchases such as these.

Higher-quality trumpets can also help with reaching higher registers more easily. There are many trumpeters who have achieved success via their ability to hit high-register notes. They include Maynard Ferguson, Cat Anderson, and Dizzy Gillespie.

A new trumpet sound can also be manufactured via midi devices and keyboards, which imitate the sounds of a real brass trumpet. These devices are programmed with prerecorded trumpet sounds. Some studio musicians prefer to use this method for a quick resolution to finding some brass sounds, but the sound quality is generally low and far from the sound of a real trumpet.

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Discussion Comments


I guess the pros and cons of a new trumpet all depend on how far someone wants to go in the music world and how good they want to be.

They will be limited with a used trumpet, but they will also save a lot of money. If someone wants to be a professional player, they must pay for the appropriate instrument in order to exercise their potential.

I guess one can say that one has to pay in order to play as a professional or as a really good player and this is a trade off as far as price goes.

If someone wants to be a casual player than a used trumpet is the appropriate buy to make, but if someone wants to be a great player and have aspirations to be a musician it is a great buy to make in buying a new trumpet.


@stl156 - That may be true for amateurs, but if I were a member of an orchestra I would want my own trumpet that is new and only being played by me.

It is fine for people to go out and buy a used trumpet to play, but they have to keep in mind that the quality of their playing will also depend on their instrument and they will be limited at playing to their full potential of they have an OK instrument.

If you would like to play professionally I would strongly suggest buying a new trumpet because it will allow for a professional sound that will occur and be allowed if the person is good enough.


@kentuckycat - That is absolutely true. I have played both old and used trumpets and have come to the conclusion that there is not much of a difference and it all depends on the qualities of the instruments at hand.

A new trumpet is guaranteed to have a pristine sound unless it was made incorrectly, however, they same can be said for a really good used trumpet and they could be found for a lot less money.

Taking this into account I would suggest that anyone looking to learn to play trumpet to go buy a used one and save the money that would be spent buying a new trumpet on other things they could use.


Buying a new trumpet does provide a possibly richer sound in the horn as well as knowing the fact that you are the first and only person to use the instrument, but there are many cons to buying one.

For one prices will be outrageous compared to a used trumpet. I bought a perfectly good working used trumpet for forty five dollars at a flea market, while it would have cost hundreds of dollars if I were to have bought a new one.

Now I would say that this trumpet worked just as well as if I would have played a new trumpet and I know that I got a deal on the price, but I am sure that for some people they think that a new trumpet will have a pristine sound and that is what they are looking for.

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    • A new trumpet can be relatively inexpensive.
      By: Mr Twister
      A new trumpet can be relatively inexpensive.
    • Used trumpets are often sold via online auction sites.
      By: Ana Blazic Pavlovic
      Used trumpets are often sold via online auction sites.