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In Wikipedia, it says that a pocket trumpet has the same range as the normal sized one and is used (usually) by musicians for practice when they cannot carry their normal trumpet.

But, can a person that has never played a trumpet (or any kind of brass for that matter) in his life learn how to play using a pocket trumpet?

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    Better than nothing; worse than the real thing. You are going to get a teacher, right? Dec 20, 2015 at 16:23
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    Worked for me so far. The Internet and especially a lot of youtube videos where my teachers.
    – MrSmith42
    May 12, 2016 at 8:24
  • It also helps to have a goal of what you want to sound like. If you're into jazz check out Don Cherry. youtube.com/watch?v=aNXePvT5H0s
    – tptcat
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:39

2 Answers 2

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As far as technique is concerned, the pocket trumpet is identical to the standard Bb trumpet, with the exception of weight distribution and posture implications.

An extremely small child might be started on pocket trumpet for this reason, since the center of mass of the instrument is held closer to the body. But once the child grows up, or when starting an adult, it would be recommended to use a standard trumpet so the student can build good posture habits to support the instrument properly.

Another concern when buying a trumpet as an adult is that there is a novelty factor to the pocket trumpet. This means that you will be paying more for a pocket trumpet of equivalent build quality than you would for a standard trumpet, but also that you will find a large variety of cheap and cheaply-made pocket trumpets on the market (read: Ebay) that should be avoided.

So, if you don't care about building perfect posture habits, you like the idea and aesthetics of the pocket trumpet, and you're prepared to pay the novelty premium (or suffer a bad-quality instrument), then you go right ahead and buy a pocket trumpet. Otherwise, buy a used student-grade standard Bb trumpet made by a reputable manufacturer from your local music store.

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Most pocket trumpets are dreadful instruments, and NOT suitable for any serious use, especially learning, where you don't need any additional handicaps. A good quality pocket trumpet (and they do exist) is MORE expensive than a comparable regular horn, because of smaller production quantities and more hand work required in order to assemble it.

I have spent as little as $50 to get a vintage (but still in playable condition) regular horn, and wouldn't be afraid/ashamed to give such a horn to a novice. For a pocket trumpet, something like $600 is more of a reasonable floor. And the good ones are more than that.

Short answer: Yes. But only if said instrument is any good. Most of the ones you will find are not; avoid.

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