How to Pick the Proper Bore and Bell Size for Your Trumpet

By Sean McCloskey
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Playing good music at a high level is an extremely intricate process that involves more than just knowing how to read music and use proper fingering techniques. There are many aspects that greatly affect the quality of an instrument’s sound, including the way in which you pucker your lips, the material used in its construction and its size.

A few really important things to consider are trumpet bore and bell sizes. It’s truly amazing how small variances in each of these measurements can greatly affect the sound that is produced. So with this in mind we have researched the differences in bore and bell sizes so that you’ll know exactly what instrument to use for specific playing styles when you purchase your next trumpet.

Before you’re done shopping be sure to check out our side-by-side comparison of the 10 best online trumpet stores.

Trumpet BoreThe first aspect we’re going to tackle is bore size. Bore size relates specifically to the diameter of the tubing used to make your trumpet. The bore size varies greatly between different horns with cornets or piccolo trumpets generally having the smallest while tenor trumpets, tubas, and trombones generally have larger bores. Also, the bore size is often slightly tweaked to create small variances in pitch for differently keyed trumpets.

Typical bore sizes found in most standard trumpets range from the smaller .450 mm to the extra large .472 mm. The differences in sounds produced are pretty straight forward with the smaller the bore size creating a softer sound and larger bores producing louder, bolder sounds. So what does that mean for you and your playing needs? Well, if you are a second or third chair, playing soft jazz or the trumpet is not a lead instrument in your ensemble, a smaller bore size will produce a softer tone that is best for playing music designed for these roles.

Obviously then if a smaller bore size means a softer sound, a larger bore sizes will produce more powerful and fuller tones that are perfect for lead chairs in ensembles, solo performances and a number of more classically inspired music styles where the trumpet is typically a lead instrument.

Trumpet BellThe bell is the part of the trumpet out of which the sound comes out of. The size of the bell, which is also known as the flare, has a direct correlation to the type of sound produced. However, unlike the bore size where bigger means louder, the opposite actually applies to bell size. For softer mellower sounds, a larger bell size will produce the desired tone. For a sharper, brighter sound a smaller bell size will do the job perfectly. Once you find the right combination of bell and bore sizes to match your playing needs, you’ll be well on your way to wowing audiences with your perfect tone.

Buying a trumpet can sometimes be overwhelming especially when considering all the different specs available. TopTenREVIEWS is a flashlight in the darkness that ensures that when you purchase a trumpet, you’ll know exactly what you’re buying and how that trumpet will perform.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™
 

 

 
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