You might have come across different types of trumpets classified as either student, intermediate, or professional levels.
These classifications indicate the skill level of the play for whom the trumpets have been designed.
As is the case with most other musical instruments, trumpets are designed for users of different ability levels.
Different levels come with specific design features whereby the trumpets are tuned differently to suit the different users.
So how do you know which trumpet is right for you?
Well, this article shall guide you through the process of picking the right intermediate trumpet that suits you.
Best Intermediate Trumpets In 2023
This is a perfect low-entry trumpet for the player who’s just starting on their first intermediate trumpet.
It is an inexpensive choice that offers excellent value for money.
This Bb Mendini trumpet has a beautiful yellow brass body that’s built for durability and produces a brilliant tone.
The smooth valves are heavy duty and spring-loaded. They come with white, faux mother of pearl inlaid buttons that are comfortably placed.
This way, a new intermediate level player can get started on the instrument with ease.
Having a medium-large bore measuring .460mm, this instrument has very smooth airflow, so the player doesn’t have to work too hard to get the right tone out of it.
The lead pipe is made from phosphorus copper that’s resistant to corrosion from saliva and helps soften the tone a bit.
The trumpet has a standard 5-inch wide bell and also comes with a silver-plated 7C mouthpiece.
7C is the standard mouthpiece size for student-level players, but it might feel a bit small for the more advanced intermediate player.
If this is the case with you, then you might want to purchase a larger mouthpiece.
- Very affordable.
- It plays well without too much effort.
- Fits comfortably in the hands.
- It’s relatively lightweight.
- Produces bright, brilliant tones.
- The case doesn’t have backpack straps.
The Yamaha YTR-2330 isn’t exactly a cheap trumpet.
However, Yamaha is a reputable company that has been manufacturing trumpets for over 50 years.
So, can you even begin to imagine the kind of quality you’d get with this trumpet?
Being an improvement of the older models, this trumpet comes with a water key on the third valve.
Though a small change, this greatly improves playability.
Better yet, this instrument comes equipped with an adjustable third valve trigger.
This way, the player’s hand position will be more natural, giving you better playing experience.
Making use of durable Monel alloy pistons, the valves guarantee durability, as long as you keep them well lubricated.
Although it comes with a 2-piece bell, it has been constructed to deliver a consistent vibrant tone.
- A luxurious trumpet.
- Extremely durable.
- It has exceptional playability.
- Produces outstanding sound quality.
- The balanced weight makes it easy to hold.
- Valves require constant lubrication.
Jean-Paul is a company that makes a variety of musical instruments, including clarinets, saxophones, flutes, trombones, and of course, trumpets.
The TR-430 is one of their most popular trumpets and for a good reason.
To start with, the rose brass construction of the lead pipe is responsible for the trumpet’s ability to produce a richer, more extensive range of tones.
Ideally, trumpets are not the kind of instruments you replace too often.
To ensure that you will be using this model for years to come, the horn comes with highly durable smooth valves that have a quick response.
The adjustable 3rd trigger on this trumpet enhances the player’s technique and precision, improving the playing experience in the process.
Weighing 1.07kg, the medium-weight trumpet is well balanced and feels good in the hands.
A robust padded carrying case has been included, as well as a 7C mouthpiece, polishing cloth, valve oil, and gloves.
- Produces bright tones with a core sound.
- The intonation is spot on.
- Has great response and speaks easily.
- It’s easy to play high resister.
- Fantastic value for money.
- It’s a little heavy.
Once you hear the outstanding sound quality of this instrument, with its bright, penetrating tones, you will immediately fall in love with the trumpet.
The abundant, powerful sound produced has excellent vibration and an amazing timbre.
Besides playing impressively, this brass instrument also looks beautiful.
The craftsmanship is really well done and doesn’t at all reflect the low price point of this trumpet.
It comes finished with a golden lacquer that’s dazzling and shiny with superb reflection.
It’s not likely that this trumpet will dull over the years as cheaper horns tend to do.
The trumpet has a .459mm bore and a 4.84-inch bell.
This construction allows the user to play with ease without using too much effort to blow into the horn.
Additionally, the bell delivers bright tones with a good sustain.
Durable spring-loaded valves in this trumpet rebound quickly, and they accurately link each piping for good airtightness.
- It comes with a full cleaning set.
- Sounds really clear and powerful.
- Valves are smooth and rebound quickly.
- The finish is flawless.
- Cleaning instructions aren’t included.
This deluxe Bb trumpet features a gold lacquer finish complete with contrasting nickel silver slides.
This lacquer finish adds to the richness of the tone quality and gives the instrument a professional appearance.
Any trumpet that comes with Monel piston valves is a high-end trumpet, which is just what the Suzuki MCT-1 is.
The Monel piston valves operate flawlessly, producing accurate notes with quick response.
This trouble-free function is further enhanced by the expertly polished valve casings which speak volumes of the trumpet’s build quality and durability.
The instrument delivers vibrant, warm tones that are centered and have a fantastic core.
Also, the tuning slides feature finely engineered tolerances. They move with ease and give the trumpet an authentic professional feel.
How cool is that on an intermediate trumpet?
The two water keys outfitted onto this instrument allow the user to easily remove condensation so that the horn can deliver cleaner tones with more ease.
Such seemingly small elements are what enhance the playability of a trumpet.
Finally, you will love the rugged aluminum “roadie” case that comes with the trumpet.
Anyone would be excited to carry the indestructible, lightweight case that’s not only stylish but also guarantees to protect your horn impressively well.
- Has high-grade, durable Monel valves.
- Features meticulous attention to detail.
- Produces warm, vibrant tones.
- Easy playability.
- It comes with a very stylish case.
- The valve buttons start to fall off after a while.
Hawk WD-T313 is a beautiful B Flat trumpet that’s available in a wide array of colors.
You have numerous color choices, including red, green, black, white, purple, blue, gold nickel, and silver.
With a sleek design and stable construction, this instrument is straightforward to play, and it also feels comfortable in the hands, thanks to the balanced weight.
The bright sound produced when playing this trumpet is good enough for intermediate players.
The build quality far exceeds what you’d expect on a low-price trumpet.
All the slides work as expected, and the valves operate smoothly as well.
You’ll notice that the valve casing on this trumpet is located closer to the mouthpiece, which isn’t the case with most other horns.
This is not a design flaw. It has been done to allow the user to keep the hands closer to their body while playing, thereby offering the player better control.
- Available in cool-looking colors.
- Affordably priced.
- It has excellent playability.
- It’s easy to hit high notes.
- Delivers great, clear tones.
- The intonation could use some improvement.
This trumpet might be a little higher priced, but keep in mind that it is an intermediate trumpet leaning more towards a professional level.
Jupiter 1100S is a durable trumpet that has been designed to function spectacularly and sound just as good even after years of continued use.
The rose brass lead pipe achieves more vibrant sounds, which is just what you want in a good quality trumpet.
It also features a reverse lead pipe, so experienced players get more musical freedom when transitioning between notes and scales.
With the .460mm bore, you will not work too hard to get a good tone out of this instrument.
Still, on playability, the adjustable ring slide located on the 3rd valve allows the user to adjust the trumpet so that it fits the player’s natural hand position.
It is crucial to be able to hold a horn comfortably because long rehearsals could easily cause hand strain.
The attention to detail on his trumpet is quite evident, starting with the inner thumb saddle on the first valve, which is quite a nice touch.
- Plays like a professional horn.
- Gives a superior playing experience.
- It has great valve action.
- Produces full, clear, high-quality tones.
- It comes with a reverse lead pipe.
- It is quite costly.
Kaizer’s motto is to make their musical instruments as durable as possible, and the Kaizer TRP-1000LQ Trumpet certainly lives up to this pledge.
The quality solid yellow brass construction enhanced both the tonality and the durability of the trumpet.
At the same time, the valve pistons made from stainless steel have zero friction so you can operate them easily, getting a quick response in the process.
Additionally, the valves are also resistant to corrosion, and this further enhances the trumpet’s durability.
The lacquered finish protects and enhances the structural integrity of the trumpet, whereas the color coating gives this trumpet a flare that’s quite appealing.
The player can choose from several vibrant colors, including nickel, black, blue, purple, and red.
This highly-regarded instrument produces well-balanced notes with even and stable intonation.
Having a rose brass lead pipe and cupronickel tuning slides, this trumpet additionally comes with a .464mm bore and a 5-inch bell.
The 1st valve slide thumb is a nice touch, as it the adjustable 3rd valve slide ring as well.
- Delivers enhanced tonal performance.
- Has a dynamic response for different musical styles.
- It comes with valve guide replacements.
- It allows for intonation control.
- It has a lifetime warranty.
- The finish wears off after a while.
The Xeno series of trumpets is specifically intended for players who want power and projection resulting in a big warm sound.
To achieve this, traditional handcraftsmanship has been augmented with cutting-edge manufacturing technology.
This combination creates sounds of extraordinary quality and unprecedented consistency.
Weighing 14.2lbs, the heavyweight construction of this trumpet produces a solid tone core.
The strong sound produced doesn’t break up even when you push it the hardest you possibly can.
The horn blows freely, while still allowing for enough air resistance so that the player gets quick responses and excellent tonal flexibility.
Yamaha YTR-8335RS has a reverse tuning slide, which not only makes the trumpet free-blowing, but it also improves intonation significantly.
This makes the trumpet easier and more comfortable to play, owing to the smooth resistance and airflow.
The relatively heavy mouthpiece receiver delivers bright, warm harmonically rich tones, whereas the double main tuning slide braces allow for a wide range of tonal expression.
The hand-hammered one-piece annealed bell together with the Monel pistons are just a few features that make this a splendid high-end intermediate level trumpet.
- Handcrafted excellence.
- Has excellent hand-lapped valves.
- It offers excellent playability.
- Produces a centered tone with a commanding presence.
- Has a reverse tuning slide.
- It is quite expensive.
You might not have heard of this brand before, but once you give the trumpet a try, you will not regret your decision.
Though little-known, the Bartok ROS1145S is an excellent quality intermediate trumpet.
It is designed for the advanced trumpeter who’s beyond the beginner level, but not quite at a professional level just yet.
Made from European bell brass, the trumpet comes in an attractive silver finish that’s been polished to a beautiful sheen.
The premium springs and valves in this instrument ensure that you will be playing it for years to come.
At the same time, the decent sound quality produced is full and rich, which is just what you expect from an intermediate trumpet.
This trumpet package includes a 7C mouthpiece, a white pair of gloves, and a pro custom case with a shoulder strap.
- Has decent rich sound quality.
- Has extremely smooth action valves.
- The case has a shoulder strap for hands-free carrying.
- Good value for money.
- Intonation could be improved.
What Is an Intermediate Trumpet?
Also known as a step-up trumpet, an intermediate trumpet falls right between a student trumpet and a professional trumpet.
This means the horn suits a player who’s playing at a more advanced level but doesn’t qualify to be a pro just yet.
Intermediate trumpets widely vary in nature. While some may be closer in quality to the basic student models, others are more advanced.
The one striking difference you will notice is that an intermediate trumpet comes with a third valve ring, which allows you to tune the horn to a more precise sound.
In addition to the finer tuning, the design of intermediate trumpets is also lighter than beginner models.
This lightweight nature of the finishes is to help with the vibration of the horn.
Improved vibration and finer tuning result in a deeper and more authentic sound that’s much better than what you get with a student trumpet.
Furthermore, an intermediate trumpet also has a better material composition, better built, better functionality, and as you may already have guessed, they cost more as well.
Using varying lead pipe (mouth pipe) configurations, intermediate trumpets just stop short of being specialized for a single genre.
When It Is Time to Move from Beginner Trumpet to Intermediate Trumpet?
If you find that your beginner trumpet no longer fits your playing ability or that you don’t appear to be learning anything new while playing with that trumpet, then that means it’s time to advance to an intermediate model.
Often this happens when you have been playing a beginner trumpet for a couple of years and now feel that you are well versed with how to play it.
As you advance musically, you will need a higher quality instrument that complements your developing skills.
Do you feel like you want to try out different types of music? This could also be an excellent reason to transition to an intermediate trumpet.
Trying out new types of music would challenge you to play the instrument differently, and this could also help expand your repertoire of music.
Ultimately, there is no set timeline for shifting from a student trumpet to a more advanced one. It all depends on the player and how their current horn feels.
Once you’ve exhausted all possibilities with your current trumpet, then that’s a good indication that you are ready to move onto the next level.
Keep in mind that outgrowing your beginner trumpet could happen both musically and physically.
What to Look for When Buying Intermediate Trumpet
An intermediate trumpet is ideally meant to help the player expand past the limitations of their current student trumpet.
While some intermediate level trumpets are relatively straightforward and easy to master, others are more complicated leaning more towards a professional level trumpet.
Once you’ve decided that you need to change trumpets, be prepared for an endless world of possibilities when it comes to what you can choose next.
Similar to other wind instruments, trumpets also come tuned to various keys.
A Bb is by far the most common type of trumpet. In fact, your student trumpet is likely a Bb.
Also knows as the B Flat trumpet, this one has a warm tonal quality and can be used across virtually all types of music.
C trumpets are also fairly common, especially in orchestras. They are slightly smaller than their Bb counterparts and have a brighter tone.
For an intermediate trumpet, this would be a strong choice that expands your skillset.
The bore is the inside diameter of the second valve’s tubing.
Why this is important is because the bore dictates how much effort you will put in while playing the instrument.
A larger bore delivers more power, but then this also means that it would require more effort to play the instrument.
The average bore size is between .450mm and .472mm.
The size you choose will depend on the sound you want to achieve.
Smaller bores make it easier to support a good controlled tone that’s soft and mellow.
Larger bores deliver brighter, aggressive tones that are more pronounced.
Lead pipe Material
On a trumpet, the tubing that goes from the mouthpiece to the main tuning slide is what’s known as the lead pipe.
This component may be made from red brass, yellow brass, or sterling silver.
Red brass is commonly used on student trumpets, and this is because the material and is less susceptible to corrosion resulting from acidic dirt/saliva.
Another advantage is that it also requires less cleaning.
Yellow brass will require more frequent cleaning.
Valve pistons come in a variety of metals.
Nickel-plated pistons often found in student trumpets are hard, durable, and can do without frequent cleaning. (guide to cleaning trumpets)
Monel pistons are also quite popular, especially in professional trumpets. Monel is softer than nickel plate and would also require frequent cleaning and lubrication.
The advantage is that this metal is super resistant to corrosion, and so can last much longer.
Also, the more Monel wears in, the better it feels. On an intermediate trumpet, you’ll find that Monel is considered a step-up feature.
Stainless steel pistons are quite good and can be found on both intermediate and professional trumpets.
Despite the material used, it is essential that the valves play smoothly and quickly. Step-up trumpets may be indicated as having “hand-lapped” valves.
This means that the finish work on the valves has been expertly done by hand to guarantee the valves work correctly.
The bell, also known as the flare, is the horn-like part of the trumpet. Here, your focus should be on the bell’s shape, size, taper, and material.
All these variables can affect the sound quality, even if subtly so.
The best bells consist of one piece, rather than two separate pieces. One-piece construction allows for more uniform vibration, which produces clearer sound.
The sound quality could further be enhanced by going for a handcrafted bell that’s been hand hammered into shape over a mold.
Besides handcrafting, plasma welding has, in recent years, been used to manufacture one-piece bells used for intermediate instruments.
When it comes to materials, yellow brass is the industry standard that can be used on all levels of trumpets.
The resonant alloy delivers bright and direct tones which ‘cut through’.
Red brass, also known as Rose brass, produces a warmer and mellower tone.
However, seeing as this material is softer, the sound doesn’t project as well.
Silver bells are rare, and this material is only used in high-grade trumpets.
The elegant core tones sound much brighter, and the hard material allows for amazing sound projection.
Now have you considered the bell size?
Larger bells create darker tones with a softer mellower feel. Smaller bells create sharper, brighter tones.
A finish is usually applied for the primary purpose of protecting the metal from rust and dirt.
However, what you might not know is that the choice of finish could affect the timbre of the brass instrument.
Typically, most student trumpets have a clear lacquer finish applied over the buffed brass surface. Lacquered horns tend to have a solid, dark tone that projects well.
A silver plate finish may also be used, and this is considered superior to the latter because it’s a thinner coating.
So, the metal can vibrate more, thereby giving rise to deep resonance and brighter tones.
Most intermediate level trumpets have this silver plate finish.
For a player who’s not so crazy about the traditional look of a trumpet, they may opt for a lacquered nickel plate finish that’s available in various colors.
FAQs About The Best Intermediate Trumpets
How Much Does an Intermediate Trumpet Cost?
An intermediate trumpet often costs anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500.
The price will depend on a variety of factors, including the finish applied, the manufacturer, the quality of the case, the mouthpiece, design features, and after-sale service.
What Is the Difference Between Student and Intermediate Trumpets?
Intermediate trumpets could come with a larger bore size, and this is done to produce bigger fuller sounds.
Also, they often feature a silver plate finish as opposed to the lacquered finish on most student trumpets.
This silver finish is not only more attractive, but it also creates a slightly darker tone.
You will find that on a step-up trumpet, the valves and slide are fitted to closer tolerances.
This is done to minimize air leakage, so the player doesn’t have to use too much effort.
Another difference you might see is the larger, more open mouthpiece found on an intermediate trumpet, as well as slide rings and triggers which allow for intonation adjustments.
All the differences contribute towards the larger, fuller sound that also has clearer tones.
An intermediate trumpet is designed to have a quicker response time, powerful resonation, and better dynamic control.
What Are Good Brands of Trumpets?
Yamaha – the trumpets have excellent build quality.
Rossetti – a great affordable choice for new players.
Merano – features handcrafted pieces.
Jupiter – trumpets come with reliable warranties.
Cecilio – well-known trumpet makers.
There is a perfect trumpet for every trumpeter out there.
There is no need to keep using an instrument you’ve outgrown, all the while feeling stifled.
If you found the perfect student trumpet once, then you will find the perfect intermediate trumpet and, years down the line, the perfect professional trumpet.
As long as you’ve established your skill level and are decided on your expectations, you can easily find an intermediate level trumpet that perfectly suits your preferences.