Musicians and aspiring jazz trumpeters have a wide array of different trumpets to choose from. Trumpets are mostly categorized according to the type of key they play.
While the B-flat and the C trumpets are the most commonly known trumpets, there are other lesser known trumpets which include: the F, D, E-flat, E, G and A.
I believe most of you are wondering why all these letters, right?
Well, let me say that trumpets are categorized according the size, the material used to design them and, importantly, the quality of sound they can deliver.
Most people don’t actually recognize any difference in the type of sound delivered by a particular trumpet. According to most people, a trumpet is just a brass instrument that’s mostly used by aspiring and professional trumpeters in bands and orchestras.
However, for those people who really love and value the power of jazz, they certainly know that trumpets come in a variety of tones and styles.
The most common type of trumpet used in most jazz settings is the B-flat trumpet. These trumpets are relatively cheap, easy to play and very popular.
According to most instructors, these trumpets are highly regarded as the best for beginners and students. The C trumpet is another very popular type of trumpet.
Due to its shorter size and ability to deliver high quality sounds and tunes, these trumpets are mostly used by professionals performing in orchestral settings.
Other lesser known types of trumpets such as the D, E, E-flat, F, G and A are still being manufactured but are very hard to get in ordinary stores which deal in musical instruments.
These types of trumpets are only designed to play specialized types of music and are not recommended for beginners or amateurs.
Apart from these lettered trumpets, there are of course other types of trumpet which are widely recognized by most music enthusiasts. They include:
The cornet is a close relative of the trumpet which is mostly distinguished by its conical bore, compact shape and high quality tones. This musical instrument is mostly preferred by most professional trumpeters,due to its ability to deliver B-flat and E-flat types of sounds without any problem.
The Flugelhorn is another musical instrument that resembles a cornet or a normal trumpet. Designed with a small size and a large mouthpiece, this trumpet is made from brass and is capable of delivering both bass and soprano tunes easily. Unlike its predecessors, the flugelhorn is light, compact and perfect for singing with in jazz-related settings.
The Piccolo Trumpet
The piccolo trumpet is the smallest member in the trumpet family. This trumpet is designed to deliver a B-flat or an A tune. Apart from its small size, the piccolo trumpet comes with 4 valves instead of the normal three. They’re mostly used in orchestras and religious settings, due to their ability to deliver G, F and C sounds.
The Pocket Trumpet
This type of a trumpet is a B-flat but it’s relatively shorter and more compact, as compared to a normal trumpet. The tubing is tighter than in regular trumpets, enabling it to deliver quality and more refined sound than other trumpets. This instrument is very popular in orchestras and concert bands, due to its small size and ability to deliver refined sound.
The bugle is the simplest type of trumpet on the market. Unlike other trumpets, the bugle doesn’t have any valves, meaning the tuning is controlled by the player. What makes it even more special is the fact that it’s mostly used by the military.
Apart from the trumpets listed above, there are many other, lesser-known trumpets available on the market. Among these rarely seen trumpets are the slide trumpet, which uses a slide instead of valves; the brass trumpet which sounds similar to a trombone; German trumpets and Baroque trumpets.
Apart from the valves, keys and styles, trumpets can be categorized in so many different ways,including the type of finish and the materials used. According to most experts, trumpets with a brass finish are less expensive than their silvered counterparts.
In addition, most experts claim that silver-plated trumpets deliver more vibrant sounds and tunes than brass trumpets and, therefore, they are often preferred by professional trumpeters in jazz or orchestral settings.