Types of Trumpets

The trumpet family

B♭, piston valve trumpet is by far the most popular trumpet and the one most players begin learning how to play trumpet on. Like all brass instruments however, the B♭ trumpet is part of a whole family of trumpets ranging from the tiny Piccolo Trumpet, which is half the length of a B♭ trumpet to the big Bass Trumpet which is twice as long as the normal B♭ instrument. Some trumpets use the long, thin piston valves (like the B♭ trumpet) and others short, round rotary valves but they all do the same job, adding tubing.

Most trumpets other than the standard B♭ are generally used in classical music, sometimes because of their unique sounds and sometimes for historical reasons reaching back to the days before valves were invented.

The trumpet family

B Trumpet

A B (B-Flat) trumpet is the most common type of trumpet. The fundamental note, with no valves is a B. A good trumpet player is good at transposing music at sight because in an orchestral setting they will frequently need to play music written for the A, B, D, E, E, or F trumpet on the B trumpet or C trumpet.


The pTrumpet is a fully functioning, medium-large bore Bb trumpet. The only difference is its completely plastic, making it very lightweight and extremely durable, not to mention weatherproof
  • Unique fully plastic valve system
  • All plastic water-key
  • Weighs just 500g

Other types of trumpets

Pocket Trumpet

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There isn't much difference between a pocket trumpet and a regular Bb trumpet except that the pocket trumpet has had it’s piping folded up more tightly to make it’s outer dimensions smaller. They're mainly used because they are more portable.

C Trumpet & E/D Trumpet

A shorter trumpet produces a higher pitch, and as a result the tone projects a little higher. The C trumpet is the most common in orchestral playing.
What's the difference between a trumpet and a cornet?


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The main difference is the shape of the bore. Both a Bb trumpet and a Bb cornet have the same length of tubing, but the first two thirds of the cornet has a conical bore as opposed to the cylindrical or parallel bore used on a trumpet. A conical bore constantly increases in size, this creates a softer, warmer tone than that of the trumpet. Deciding factors when choosing to begin with a trumpet or a cornet include that the cornet is normally used in a brass band or wind band so if those traditions are strong where you live a cornet may be a better choice. Also, the cornet’s tubes are wrapped up more tightly than a trumpet’s making the instrument shorter and a little easier to handle. Some teachers and players feel that the cornet’s conical bore make it easier to get started buzzing and making a good sound than on the trumpet.