Monday, 26 November 2012

Things to Think About Before Buying a Trumpet...

Buying a new instrument is not easy, with many different brands, models and prices. Here are some things that I think you should consider before buying a trumpet.

Firstly trumpets come in three different 'levels': student, intermediate and professional.
Student trumpets are a good starting point for any player. They are not as high quality, but are easy to maintain. They are usually the cheapest, and so are perfect for a 'student' who may possibly decide that they want to stop playing.

Intermediate trumpets are perfect for developing players who are moving on past the basics and onto higher level playing. I would say they are great for roughly grade 3+ (A great intermediate trumpet is the Yamaha 4335, of which I have done a review here on my blog).

Professional trumpets are for serious players, they are high quality and also the priciest!

Things to think about:
  1. Set a price limit. Generally, the more you pay, the better the quality.
  2. Try before you buy. Take the time to try lots of different brands and models to find something that you like. A good tip is to take your own mouthpiece. (If you don't yet play the trumpet, take someone who does - if possible).
  3. Bore Size. The smaller the bore size, the easier it is to play. Generally, most trumpets seem to have a M/L bore. A large bore will produce a bigger sound, but it will be harder to control.
  4. Finish. Yellow brass, gold brass or silver plated? Yellow brass gives a warmer sound, gold brass will give a darker sound and silver brass will always be more expensive. (Try out different finished before you buy).
Additional things you may want to buy if you are a beginner:
  1. Teaching book. "Team Brass" is great: 
  2. Music stand. A necessity for good posture.
  3. Trumpet cleaning kit. See my trumpet cleaning guide. 
  4. Tuner. Not essential, but useful.
  5. Trumpet stand. If you keep your trumpet out of its' case, you are more likely to pick it up and play it.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Trumpet Player of the Week: Jens Lindemann

Jens Lindemann is a classically trained Canadian trumpet player based in LA. In 2006 he was named "Brass Personality of the Year".
My favourite album of his is "The Classic Trumpet":

View his website here:

Friday, 16 November 2012

Trumpet Player of the Week: Tine Thing Helseth

Tine Thing Helseth is a leading female trumpet player from Norway. She specialises in Classical trumpet repertoire and has released 3 albums:
2007 - Trumpet Concertos (Haydn, Hummel, Neruda and Albinoni)
2009 - Mitt Hjerte Alltid Vanker (My Heart always wonders)
2011 - Storyteller
She has a wonderful tone which has been described as "bugle-like". She is also the leader of an all female brass ensemble (something very uncommon!) called tenThing.

Yamaha 4335G Trumpet Review

The Yamaha 4335G is an intermediate trumpet and first of all it is very good quality. I have had this trumpet from new for 7 years, it has the odd bit of wear and tear but otherwise is in very good functioning condition. I have just had to replace the springs on the water keys, however this is expected for the length of time I have had this trumpet and the amount that I have played it over the years.

It makes a lovely sound which is definitely comparable to professional models. The valves always have and still do move very smoothly and are very good quality.

The trumpet has all three slide hooks, the 3rd one isn't adjustable, a feature seen on many student models.
This trumpet has a M/L bore (11.65 mm), is medium weight and comes with a Yamaha 11B4 mouthpiece. 
The case that it comes in is very sturdy (if not slightly too large) and has handy compartments for music and valve oil etc (a feature that my Xeno case lacks!).

I would without a doubt recommend this trumpet to anyone who is looking for a good quality trumpet, for a price which isn't going to break the bank.

The Yamaha 4335G is available here for £549:


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Trumpet Player of the Week: Alison Balsom

Alison Balsom is a English professional classical trumpeter. She has been awarded many Classical BRIT awards including 'Female Artist of the Year' in 2009 and 2011. This award shows how she has shown the trumpet in a new light, as people seem to consider it as a 'male dominated' instrument.

Her main trumpet is a Malone-converted Bach C trumpet. She has a truly beautiful tone. I have been lucky enough to hear her play live and have also taken part in a workshop with her and she is definitely an inspiration.

My favourite albums by Alison are 'Haydn: Trumpet Concerto & Hummel: Trumpet Concerto' in which includes, in my opinion, some of the best recitals of a few different trumpet concertos and her new album 'Sound the Trumpet' in which she performs baroque trumpet music on a period instrument.

The Significance of the Last Post

With remembrance day fast approaching, trumpeters around the world with be playing the Last Post in remembrance ceremonies.

The Last Post is used in public ceremonials commemorating the war dead, particularly on Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations. In Australia and New Zealand it is also played on Anzac Day usually before the two-minute silence, where the public show their respect and reflect.

Playing the Last Post is a privelidge, however daunting task. The nerves have hit me many times, knowing that everyone is listening to you and how significant that moment is for many people (the worrying thing is the possibility of spliting the top Gs!). Personally I feel that the tempo should be quite slow and the pauses should be long, as it is a time for reflection and therefore the music sould reflect that.

Traditionally the Last Post would be played on a bugle (hence why all the notes use no valves), I personally like to use a cornet over a trumpet because it has a much mellower sound.

The Last Post has also been incorporated into military funerals, where it is played as a final farewell, symbolising the fact that the duty of the dead soldier is over and that they can rest in peace.

 Some information has been taken from Wikipedia.