How Much Does a Trumpet Cost? Pricing Guide
A good-quality beginner trumpet can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,200, while a step-up or intermediate trumpet will cost you $1,200 to $2,300. If you want to get a professional trumpet, it’ll likely go around $2,400 or more.
Beginner trumpets have first-valve thumb saddles and third-valve finger-rings, making them easier to play for beginners with small hands. A beginner trumpet can cost you as low as $90. However, such trumpets will likely have very poor longevity. Therefore, a safer range would be $300-$600 if you’re tight on budget.
Intermediate or Step-up Trumpets
Intermediate trumpets are made of higher quality materials than student trumpets. They also have better mouthpieces. An intermediate or step-up trumpet can cost you up to $2,300, depending on the brand.
Professional trumpets look and feel premium. They produce a top-notch sound that makes them suitable for concerts and professional gigs. They can be a bit tricky for beginners to play, which is why you shouldn’t buy one of these until you start playing the trumpet for a living.
A professional trumpet can cost you $2,400 or even multiples of that, depending on the manufacturer and the model.
What Goes into the Cost of a Trumpet?
Here are some of the factors that determine the price of a trumpet:
- Material: High-end trumpets are usually silver plated, while beginner/intermediate trumpets use a shiny lacquer coating.
- Brand: Better-known trumpet brands carry higher price tags than cheaper or copycat brands. However, branded trumpets are usually worth the cost since they’re made of high-quality materials and often last much longer than trumpets from unknown brands.
- Case: A trumpet’s case makes up a good percentage of its total cost. Trumpets with higher-quality cases will cost more than plastic trumpets or trumpets made with any other cheap materials. The cost of a trumpet’s case may reach up to $400.
- Mouthpiece: Trumpets with high-quality mouthpieces can cost significantly more than trumpets with mouthpieces that you’ll probably end up replacing down the line.
- Features: Trumpets with add-on features, such as annealed brass elements, Monel pistons, and hand-hammered bells will cost you more than the trumpets that lack these features.
- Condition: New trumpets will cost you more than used ones. However, good-quality used trumpets can still cost you a lot of money if they don’t require any significant maintenance.
- After-Sales Service: Some manufacturers offer after-sales service by including a warranty card with their trumpets. As such, warranted trumpets will cost you more than non-warranted ones.
How Much Should You Spend on Your First Trumpet?
Most students prefer to upgrade their first trumpet within a few months to up to a year of starting. For that reason, it won’t be a wise decision to spend a lot of money on your first trumpet.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t spend more than $500 on your first trumpet. Yes, it won’t be made of the best materials and may lack a few features, but as a beginner, you won’t likely make the most out of a professional-level trumpet. So, it’s just a better idea to save money for your second trumpet.
Not to mention, you might just conclude that the trumpet isn’t the right instrument for you after a few months. So in case that happens, you would want to have some money to try out another instrument.
Is It Recommended to Start on a Second-Hand Trumpet?
That depends on its condition. A well-cared-for trumpet will be a good option if you want to start on a second-hand trumpet. You can still find lots of budget-friendly trumpets for beginners. However, if you’re tight on budget, a second-hand trumpet should be fine as a starting point.
The price range for trumpets is pretty vast, starting as low as $90 up to several thousand dollars. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on your trumpet as long as it fits your needs and skill level. Ideally, you’d want to test the water with a cheap trumpet and only go for higher-end models as you expand your skill set.