i am a piano player for 5 or 6 years. My music ear (i don't know is this the right mean in English) is fine. And now, i want to study to my second instrument. Many years, i've wanted saxophone but in these days, i want trumpet too.

In decision making process, I'm reading comments about trumpet and everybody says "trumpet is very very very very hard to play" I don't know if I'm right but i think it's about my music ear?

I need to consult you, will trumpet be hard to learn for me?

Thanks already.

  • Play them both, ;-). I have tried both brass and woodwind. I could not get the reed to vibrate correctly no matter how much I tried, but I got a smooth sound from a baritone horn (not a trumpet) almost immediately. There are too many personal factors to say one instrument is "easier" or "harder" than another. – ggcg Jun 17 '18 at 12:50
  • This question has received votes to close because it's worded in an opinion-based way. However, there is a good question in there. All you need to do is reword it a bit to be objective (something along the lines of "considerations for saxophone vs. trumpet as a beginner") -- there are always going to be opinions, but there are facts to start with. – MattPutnam Jun 18 '18 at 22:01
  • MattPutnam, you're right, you're really right. – Ege Çam Jun 18 '18 at 22:38
  • ggcg, I can't do that in my country. I have to make a desicion. – Ege Çam Jun 18 '18 at 22:39

I agree with @Heather S. : trying to learn two instruments with widely differing embouchures at the same time sounds like a terrible idea.

I worked at a band instrument store for over eight years. One thing that I found for beginning students is that, for at least some students, there is a natural aptitude for one type of wind instrument for another. For example, it is much easier for me to get a sound out of woodwind instruments (like the saxophone) than it is for brass instruments (like the trumpet). The only way to find out if you have an innate aptitude is for you to try to make a sound on both. Find a local band instrument store with a good reputation; they should be willing to let you try both before you make a decision.

I don't know how music stores operate in your country, but perhaps starting with renting an instrument would be better. That way, you start with one, and if/when you find out you don't like it, you can switch to the other, depending on the store's policy.

RE: difficulty, I personally believe that all instruments are relatively the same level of "difficulty" to play; while trumpet might have a slightly more difficult embouchure to master, until you get start to master your trumpet playing, a saxophone player is going to be expected to be able to play WAY faster than most trumpet players ever could, especially in jazz (I'm speaking in generalities here).

Finally, no matter which instrument you pick, one thing that I found anecdotally while working at the music store was that the bigger the mouthpiece is, the easier the instrument is to play, e.g. tenor sax is easier than alto, and baritone sax is easier than tenor; baritone/trombone is easier than trumpet, and tuba is easier than baritone/trombone. Just something to think about.

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  • As i said, i don't think music stores let me to try instruments. So i have to make a desicion. I think i will choose tenor saxophone. Thank you very much for your answer. – Ege Çam Jun 18 '18 at 22:32
  • 'Getting a sound out of' an instrument is a very basic thing. I don't believe it's that much of a guide as to whether one will eventually be any good on it. My first week on sax - couldn't even make a sound. I'm now better on sax than trumpet. Jazz- speed of trumpeters versus sax players - playing with both, there's not a lot in it. – Tim Jun 19 '18 at 6:29
  • @Tim Granted. That preference wasn't there for every student, but it was definitely there for some, myself included. RE: ... I have no idea what you're trying to say. – John Doe Jun 20 '18 at 1:08

Each and every instrument comes with its own set of challenges. Having played both, I think the trumpet is slightly harder. With only 3 valves, it would appear on the face of it that it's going to be easier, but while embouchure is important to each, trumpet, I found harder. However, that's me, and I'm not you.

But - what has being harder to learn really got to do with it? If you want something 'easy to learn', try a kazoo! Surely the end product is far more important. What do you see yourself playing better in two or three years time?

Of course, another alternative - which needn't cost a huge amount - would be to obtain one of each, and learn them alongside each other. And don't say that's too difficult. You learned maths, language, science, etc., etc. all at the same time, if, like me, you went to school, didn't you?

All that apart, you haven't divulged which sax you may prefer, so that makes the water even muddier!

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    Please don't choose this answer so early. There will be others which hopefully address your dilemma better, later. – Tim Jun 17 '18 at 11:19

I would recommend trying them both and see if you physically connect with one more than the other.

I would not recommend learning both at the same time. The embouchures are so different that learning both at the same time may interfere with developing a good embouchure on either.

I have not played trumpet, but I play saxophone. If cost is a factor, go with trumpet. Saxophone is an expensive route, both in upfront cost of instrument, reeds, and maintenance.

Another thing to consider is what you hope to do with the instrument and what kind of music you would like to play. Both are fine jazz instruments. While both can now be considered classical instruments as well, the musical options are vastly different.

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  • Firstly, thanks for your answer. Actually, can't try instruments easily in Turkey, because of price. I think i will choose tenor saxophone but if i have chance, i would try both saxophone and after or before trumpet. Thanks again. – Ege Çam Jun 18 '18 at 22:30
  • Because the embouchures are so different, there's little chance of mixing them up or interfering with each other. – Tim Jun 19 '18 at 11:18
  • Perhaps, but I cannot imagine anyone's mouth/cheeks being able to handle all that. It is so much effort to develop the muscles for one thing, let alone two. I suppose someone can. – Heather S. Jun 19 '18 at 12:37

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