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How Loud is a Trumpet?

August 30th, 2022 | 2 min read

By Ewan Moore

How Loud is a Trumpet?

This won’t come as a huge surprise to you, dear reader, but brass is easily one of the loudest families of instruments around. The trumpet and trombone are, in fact, usually among the loudest instruments in an orchestra!

In a performance, the trumpet can range between 80 and 110 decibels, while the trombone can peak at around 115 decibels. For context, here are a few other noises that typically hit around 80 decibels:

  • A hairdryer
  • A busy downtown street
  • A loud alarm clock
  • An old vacuum cleaner 
  • A dishwasher 
  • Welding equipment 

Why Are Trumpets So Loud? 

So you’re probably wondering what makes trumpets so darn loud? While the trumpet might not be the loudest instrument by decibel in an orchestra, its distinct noise helps it stand out further. This is because of the shorter tubing length on the trumpet, which helps create a higher-pitched sound. 

The trumpet’s volume can also be attributed to the way it’s played. As I’m sure you know, trumpeters make sounds by pushing a large amount of air through a small space. This creates the loud, resonant sound that we’re all familiar with. While more skilled players do have a degree of control over the volume of a trumpet, it can often get loud quickly. 

Are Plastic Trumpets Quieter Than Brass Trumpets? 

Not really, no. One of the good things about most plastic trumpets and trombones is that they’ve been designed to sound as close as possible to their brass counterparts. Assuming they’ve been well made, that is. 

Instruments like the pTrumpet and pBone sound pretty much indistinguishable from metal instruments, as you can hear below. This does mean, however, that our plastic instruments are not quieter than brass instruments. 

Are Trumpets Too Loud?

Honestly, this is a question that depends on a number of things. Consider where you live, what time your neighbours are home, and what time you’re choosing to practice. Is a trumpet too loud in your bedroom at 2 pm on a Sunday? Most would argue not. Is a trumpet too loud in your kitchen at 2 am on a Monday? Yes. Yes, it is. 

How Can I Reduce The Noise From My Trumpet?

Yes, brass instruments are loud. But don’t let this put you off! If you’re conscious of annoying the neighbours with practice at home, there are loads of things you can do to reduce the noise. 

The first port of call is to purchase a mute. You can buy mutes for various brass instruments online for anywhere between £25 to £100 depending on the level of quality and sound you’re after. No matter which mute you choose, it will quieten your instrument. Just remember that some mutes require extra pressure to play, which could affect your technique once removed. 

You could also try playing on just the mouthpiece, removing the brass instrument from the equation. 

While this might seem a bit silly at first, it’s a great way to try out some simple buzzing exercises and strengthen your embouchure - this is what we call the all-important position of our tongue, teeth, and lips while playing. Consider making use of things like BrassTabs and the Brass Blast UK YouTube Channel for simple and accessible exercises you can try just on your mouthpiece! 

Find Out More 

Convinced a plastic instrument is the right instrument for you? Feel free to browse through our comprehensive learning guide, or take a look at the full range of pInstruments to see if there might be a better fit for you. 

And if you’re still not sure, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions you might have!

Ewan Moore

After seven years writing about video games, Ewan made the jump to the music instrument industry to stop his family asking when he was going to get a real job. Mostly, though, he adores music and is passionate about its vital role throughout life - especially in education. He also played guitar in several bands with deeply embarrassing names that won't be revealed here. With a degree in journalism from an NCTJ-accredited university under his belt, Ewan uses everything he learned as a writer over the last decade to help answer any questions you might have about pBone Music in an accessible (and hopefully entertaining) way. Because if you can write 1,000 words on SSDs and ray-tracing, you can explain why plastic instruments are accessible, sustainable, and fun.