Trumpets for the Beginner – Updated July 2012

My business was started in March of 1999 based on the idea that band parents need an alternative to buying new student trumpets that often cost $1000, or more.  We are presently in our 14th year and sell about 100 reconditioned used student trumpets a year and most of them are priced below $400.

Based on our sales this year and the state of the economy, this year beginning band parents seem to have less to spend on trumpets then they did last year. As a result, we have reconditioned and relacquered several Bundy trumpets and priced them at $150 to compete with the China made trumpets that are known for their sticking valve problems. The Bundy trumpet is a pretty good student level trumpet but many used ones get pretty beat up by beginners just learning to take care of their trumpet. All the dents and damage has been removed from our Bundy trumpets and I make sure that they play correctly before they are place on the website.

If you are not sure your student will continue after the first year, a Bundy trumpet designed by Bach is a good trumpet for the student trumpet players first couple of years as is the Blessing Scholastic trumpet made in the USA by Blessing.


Many beginning trumpet players quit playing after the first year or switch to other instruments so the lost on reselling a new trumpet can be $300 or more.  By buying used should you need to resell it, most of the cost can be recovered so your loss will only be $100 or less.

A reconditioned used TR300 is an excellent trumpet for a committed beginner and will help any student progress from beginner through intermediate to advanced. The Bach TR300 appears as the number one trumpet on many high school band director’s list of preferred student trumpets.
The TR300 trumpet plays well in the upper register so many student trumpet players play them all the way through high school. Many student trumpets require the advanced student to upgrade to a better trumpet after a year or two so they can continue to progress without overcoming the limitations of the student trumpet. Many band directors and trumpet teachers consider the TR300 an intemediate trumpet without the limitations of a beginners trumpet. If your student trumpet player started out on a $100-$300 imported student trumpet, an upgrade to a TR300 trumpet may help him play better. The suggested list price for a new TR300 is over $1000. Note: The new Bach student level trumpets (TR500, TR600, and TR700) are being outsourced to Asia and do not play well in the upper register so advanced students are being asked by trumpet teachers and Band Directors to upgrade to a better trumpet.

TR300 Trumpet
TR300 Demo:

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 However, the new Blessing BTR1266 Trumpets at $640 (lacquered) or $700 (silver) is today’s best buy for the beginning trumpet player followed closely by the reconditioned and relacquered Bach TR300 for $350.  I sold several of these BTR1266/1277 trumpets in 2011 and was surprised how well they played in the upper register. Both of these trumpets can see most trumpet players through all of the high school music programs.

New silver blessing trumpet .

The Olds Ambassador is a great trumpet for Marching Band because this older trumpet is made of heavier brass and is solid build so it can take the punishment of marching band practice. Many students that do not wish to use their Bach Stradivarius for marching band purchase an Olds Ambassador for Marching Band use.

When your advanced student is ready for a stepup trumpet or a Bach Stradivarius, we recommend the Bach Omega Trumpet or the new Blessing BTR-1580.

Bach Omega Silver

Click for a larger view.

Here are a few recommendationsfor buying used trumpets for the beginning steudent trumpet player.  If you have more questions or just want to discuss trumpets for your beginner, please send me an email or call me.

  • Buy a major brand trumpet; such as, Bach, Blessing, Getzen, Yamaha, King ,or Holton.  These companies have been manufacturing quality student-level trumpets for over 100 years. Do not buy cheap trumpets made in China, Twain, or India. Many of these have been found to have manufacturing defects that can not be repaired.

Buy an older (cheaper) reconditioned used trumpet to start and then buy a better reconditioned used trumpet in two years. Or, if you are sure the trumpet player will play it through high school, purchase a new Blessing or a reconditioned  used Bach TR300, Yamaha, or a reconditioned used Olds Ambassador trumpet that will last from now until high school.

If you are thinking of renting, check my prices against your rental contract. Many contracts require that the total rental fees be paid even if your student stops playing it and returns the rental horn.Typical Trumpet Rental from a website: New Trumpet Rental (School Year) $250. Optional purchase balance: $275.

If your thinking of buying used off ebay use caution, we buy a lot of trumpets off ebay and we are often disappointed because they do not play correctly or have large dents and lacquer wear that did not show on the photos.  Almost all of the trumpets we buy off ebay, need to have dents removed and need to be relacquered before they can be listed here. To get a good one you will pay more than the cost of trumpets listed here.

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