The modern 3 valve trumpet was first developed by Bluhmel and Stoelzel
and is popular in school orchestras, jazz and brass bands.
The Bflat trumpet is the most common and so is the most sensible choice for
the student or beginner. As with the flute, it requires good breath control.
Important accessories for the trumpet are valve oil and a cleaning kit to
keep the instrument in good working order.
There are products available that can adjust volume levels of trumpets,
such as mutes. There are even “quiet” brass instruments specifically designed for this.
Overview WHAT TO LOOK FOR
1. The most common finish for student models is clear or gold lacquer.
The lacquer protects the instrument and is easy to keep clean. Unlacquered
trumpets will look ‘dull’ and have a matte finish. They are harder to keep
clean. Some players prefer a silver plated finish. These have a smooth
rounder sound and a more regular response throughout their range.
They tend to be more expensive and heavier. Plain brass and also nickel
finishes are not recommended for health/legal reasons.
2. Beginner trumpets should be easy to blow and have accurate
intonation. The trumpet’s bore size affects how resistant it is to
blow. Most student trumpets have a medium-large bore.
3. The valve body is the heart of the instrument.
Best quality valves are normally of monel. If buying a
second hand instrument the way to check valve wear
is to unscrew a valve top and let the valve come out
about a couple of inches (5cm) and then try to move
the valve sideways in the valve casing. If there is lateral
movement (in other words if the valve ‘rocks’ from side to side),
the valve could be worn and therefore would not be airtight.
Another way to check if the instrument is airtight is to put water
through it, and once there is enough water inside, hold it still and
see if there are any drips. Possible leak points are joints, water keys
4. A good mouthpiece is very important. If you get the right one you can
keep that mouthpiece with you as you progress up the grades.