The below instruments are those that I commonly recommend for new players with a few notes on each one. Any of these horns will serve a player through their beginning and into their intermediate years of playing. However, at some point all of these instruments will hold a player back and will need to be replaced with a higher quality instrument. Instruments on the top of this list are more highly recommended. Additionally, if you know your student is interested in playing long term, investing in a higher quality instrument early may help them develop faster and will last longer into their development. I always recommend purchasing the highest quality instruments that you are comfortable with.
There are many other models of student trumpets available. However, I have listed what I consider to be the best at several price points. Other brands are generally of a lesser quality at the same price point and while they will still work the recommended instruments will generally last longer and play better than other brands.
Links all go to Amazon however, prices can vary significantly at different outlets so shop around for the best price. Amazon is generally close to the lowest price unless a particular model is on sale elsewhere.
Yamaha – YTR 2330 : This is the standard beginner model trumpet that many people begin on. It was actually also my first trumpet. It is well constructed, durable, and plays well. You can expect this instrument to last many years and can serve a player well into high school depending on ability. This is my top recommended student trumpet by far due to manufacturing quality and consistency. I have never played a bad example of one of these horns. After upgrading from this instrument many students keep it for use in marching band (so they don’t damage their main horn) or as a backup instrument. This horn is also easy and fairly inexpensive to repair thanks to how common it is. Replacement parts for this horn are often “in stock” at repair centers shortening repair times. While this is the most expensive instrument on this list, the quality easily justifies the price.
Jupiter – JTR 700 : This instrument is a newer contender but is a very high quality instrument. While the Yamaha almost never goes on sale this horn tends to be on sale a few times a year and especially while on sale this horn is the best value on the list. It is well made and can last a player well into their high school career depending on ability. Replacement parts are also easy to find in case of damage. However, they are often not “in stock” at repair centers and may need to be ordered which may delay repair times. However, as this horn becomes more popular this is changing.
Carol Brass – CTR 2000H Student Trumpet : Carol Brass is a newer instrument company based out of Taiwan. They make consistent instruments that play well. These instruments are a great choice and are very affordable. However, repairs with this instrument start to become difficult as parts are not as common. In addition, the material and design quality is not as high as Yamaha or Jupiter which means that students will grow out of this instrument faster. However, this is a solid first instrument that I can easily recommend.
Austin Custom Brass – Doublers Student Trumpet : This instrument is a horn produced cheaply overseas then “corrected” by the Austin Custom Brass Shop in the USA. It is a fine instrument for beginners but will likely need to be replaced after a year or two of study to prevent hindering development. This horn is more cheaply produced and the design and materials used show that. These horns generally will develop mechanical issues over time that require the replacement of the instrument. In addition, you should consider serious repair on this instrument to be impossible due to unavailable parts. If it is damaged significantly it would likely be cheaper (and easier) to just replace it. You should also not expect any resale value on this instrument. However, all that being said it is a solid budget choice if you have a young student who may change their mind about trumpet and you want to test the waters before you purchase a more quality instrument. This instrument is only available through Austin Custom Brass and is not always in stock.