Recently a young trumpeter asked a great question–he wanted to know if he should buy a C trumpet to improve his playing. This is not the first time I have been asked this, and I, too, wondered this as a teenager. I thought I would share the question along with my response. Let me know if you find it useful!
Hello Mr. Coletti. I recently had the opportunity to tour and test bach trumpets in Indiana. I am only fifteen years old. I have noticed more than once that in your videos you are playing more than just the b flat trumpet like cornet, c trumpet, piccolo, etc. I was wondering if you knew any good places and links as to finding a LOW PRICE c trumpet. The horn I am looking for doesn’t need to be the quality of my b flat bach artisan trumpet. I just want a c trumpet to learn and inhance my trumpet playing.I know you are busy. So it’s not the end of the world if you don’t respond to me.I really appreciate the consideration and time!I am looking forward in the future to hearing one of your live concerts. You guys sound great.Thanks-A
Thanks for visiting my website! I have a few comments/suggestions. I hope they help!I strongly urge you not to buy an instrument that you know to be of low quality. That being said, you can certainly find a nice C trumpet without spending too much money–your best bet is probably seeing if a teacher or friend is willing to sell you a used one that they know plays well. You can also use eBay or a local repair shop that also carries used instruments. trumpetherald.com also has used instruments for sale.
I would not purchase a C trumpet to improve your trumpet skills. C trumpet is not different enough from Bb trumpet to justify practicing it as a separate instrument. This would not be the best use of your time–especially if the C trumpet isn’t as good as your Bb. If it helps you to know, I never practice C trumpet specifically (unless I have a performance coming up on C trumpet).
If your goal is to improve as a player (which it sounds like it is) I recommend that you focus on the following (in order of importance):
- listen and play along with as many great recordings (not just trumpet music) as possible!! Many people skip this step, but the best never do.
- see as many great performances as possible
- take or make as many performance opportunities you can (join every band, orchestra, jazz band, start a band, etc.)2. Fundamentals
- work on getting a gorgeous sound, light articulations, clean slurs, resonant low and high range, and improve your general level of comfort and ease on the instrument, etc.
- Work all this stuff out before you’re 20 (if possible); you will be glad you did!
- Work on transposing. This takes time but is extremely important if you ever play in orchestra!A C trumpet has 2 main purposes. It makes transposing in certain keys easier, and it has also become the standard instrument for most trumpeters in North America orchestras. If you want to buy a C trumpet for any of the reasons above, you DEFINITELY want a good one, especially since finding a good C trumpet is generally more difficult than finding a good Bb trumpet, particularly in older and cheaper C trumpets.Let me know if this helps. Stay in touch!