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Guide to Trumpets

Trumpet : What is it?

Trumpets

Trumpets have the highest register compared to the other brass instruments (like the tuba, horn, euphonium, and trombone). It is still very popular in symphony orchestras and jazz bands.

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Types of Trumpets

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Kinds of Trumpets include the following:

B flat trumpets

B flat trumpets are the most common types of trumpets. A typical model has a key range of F sharp to lower than Middle C to several octaves higher. Its mouthpiece is usually made of brass. Keys are plated in silver and valves are plated with nickel. The body is usually lacquered with gold for a shiny finish.



Piccolo trumpets

Piccolo trumpets are the smallest types of trumpet. Its tubing is half the length of that of a B flat trumpet. A typical model plays in the keys of A and B flat. It is usually made up of four valves, a 3.5-inch diameter bell, and a 0.401- to 0.417-inch diameter bore. Piccolo trumpets produce a tight and bright tune especially when played in the high registers.



Soprano trumpets

A soprano trumpet is tuned to the key of G. It is also called a soprano bugle or a sopranos. Most soprano trumpets are made up of piston and rotary valves and are available in two bore sizes: large and extra large. It is commonly used in drum and bugle corps.



Bass trumpets

The pitch and mouthpiece of a bass trumpet is similar to that of a trombone. It is made up of a 0.484-inch diameter bore, a 7-inch diameter bell, and smooth pearl finger buttons. Bass trumpets are commonly played by trombonists.



Slide trumpets

Slide trumpets have slides instead of valves. Similar to a B flat trumpet, they are also comparable to a soprano trombone. Most models have 0.452-inch diameter bores and 4.72-inch diameter bells.



Pocket trumpets

A pocket trumpet is the smaller version of the standard B flat trumpet. It is made with a small bell and a tightly wound tubing. Pocket trumpets produce a warm sound that mimics voice articulations.


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Choosing Trumpets (Buying tips)

Skill level: Choose a B flat trumpet if you are an amateur or student trumpeter. As you get better, you can upgrade to the more specific-key trumpets.

Care kit: When buying a trumpet, make sure you purchase a quality care kit along with it. The kit usually comes with slide grease, valve oil, valve brushes, cleaning snakes, and polishing cloths. Be sure to read the instruction manual to know the proper oiling and cleaning techniques. 

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