Should I Get a C Trumpet? - Houghton Horns

Should I Get a C Trumpet?


Should You Get a C Trumpet? Flowchart

Beginner or Casual Enthusiast

Nearly all beginners in the US start on Bb trumpets. Most bands have students playing Bb trumpet parts and not C trumpet parts. Students generally pick up the C trumpet when they hit the intermediate level, at the earliest.

Aspiring Professional

If you want to play in a professional orchestra, you will need both a Bb and a C trumpet and you will need to be familiar with both. High school students who are planning to major in trumpet at university and pursue performance as a career: it might be time to talk to your teacher about investing in a C trumpet and becoming comfortable switching back and forth between Bb and C.

Established Professional


And we are happy to help you find an Eb trumpet, piccolo trumpet, or other equipment to further refine your sound.


Where Do I Start Looking?

Your teacher will probably be your first and most valuable resource when beginning your search. The internet can be helpful, but the misinformation probably outweighs the useful advice 2 to 1, so be careful which sources you are relying on. Always confirm what you read with a trusted expert.

University professors will sometimes have very firm preferences about what horn they want their students playing on. If you are close to making a decision on a university, definitely schedule a lesson with the professor and ask which make and model their students use.

To win playing gigs, you will need to buy equipment whose sound blends well with the rest of the trumpet section and the symphony's desired sound as a whole. As of the date this article was written, most orchestra trumpet players played piston C trumpets, but rotary C trumpets were growing in popularity. Bachs were most popular, with Yamahas experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity over the past decade. But today, you have more brands and options available than ever before. Research what the prominent U.S. orchestras are playing when you begin your search, because that might be where the sound is trending for the U.S. as a whole.

Still have questions? Don't hesitate to schedule a virtual or in-person appointment to discuss the matter with one of our professional musicians. Or contact us at or 817-993-6400 ex 1.


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