Before we get to our review of the Yamaha YTR-2335 Bb Trumpet, the company itself, Yamaha, does not need to be introduced as a manufacturer of fine musical instruments. Whatever they turn their hand to has a real quality about it.
Established in 1887, they have become one of the giants of the music world. They produce world-class instruments that have achieved worldwide recognition. They cover all the instrument levels from starter through to professional level. At times they have sometimes deviated away from their musical roots. But instruments and music are always at the center of what they do. Even their logo is three tuning forks that are intertwined.
They are, for range and quality, the best manufacturer of instruments in the world.
The trumpet, of course, is included in their catalog. They produce this instrument from a beginner level to a professional level and everywhere in between. They are renowned for the quality of their instruments designed for beginners. We are going to take a look at one, the Yamaha YTR-2335 Bb trumpet.
Of all the musical instruments there are, in whatever genre, most are never easy to learn. Many would agree that the instruments you have to blow are the hardest. The way you blow can have such an impact on the sound. It is a skill most have to learn.
But then there is another level — instruments where the notes are changed by a change in fingering patterns and how you blow. Learning then becomes a lot harder. Add on to this the physical effort needed for the blow, and you have a tough learning curve.
Anyone who has had a child who wanted to play and started to learn will sympathize. So we are sure will their neighbors.
The early days are a struggle. It cannot be played quietly, and in the beginning, the student has little control over what is going on. They are usually thankful they are getting any noise out of it at all. It is a long hard road littered with frustrations, but in the end, it is all worth it. But only just!
Get the best student trumpet that we can. We all want to get an instrument that is cost-effective to start, but we can cut too many corners. If you buy an instrument that is so cheap, it is unplayable the student will quit before they’ve even started.
It isn’t like a keyboard or a guitar where one finger can pick out that first tune. Get the starter instrument right, and they will move forward reasonably quickly. And next door the ‘For Sale’ sign might come down after all. Get it wrong, and they probably won’t be playing for too long.
So, let’s take a look at an excellent instrument for beginners, the Yamaha YTR-2335 student trumpet.
This is a trumpet in B flat as most are. You may occasionally find an orchestral trumpet in C, but it is usually B flat. This instrument is designed specifically for a student or beginner, and there are design features that will not suit professional players.
There are other Yamaha trumpets for the experienced player. Having said that, this trumpet will progress with the student through to an intermediate stage. This avoids the necessity of needing to upgrade the instrument at regular intervals — a time-consuming and expensive exercise.
As a beginner’s instrument, the Yamaha YTR-2335 student trumpet is well-respected by musicians and teachers alike. It has many of the design features you will find in trumpets that cost far more. To keep costs down, some small corners have been cut, but this is Yamaha we are talking about. There are only a couple but will look at those as we go through. Yamaha does not manufacture bad instruments.
Yamaha manufactures their instruments in a variety of places. They have specialist manufacturing plants in China, Indonesia as well as in Japan. All work to the same standards and have the same levels of quality control. It, therefore, makes little difference in which country it is made. The country of manufacture will be labeled on the instrument.
As with most of the medium to higher levels of student trumpet, it is made from yellow brass. You will find other materials including sometimes ‘red brass’ but ‘red’ is a cheaper option and hasn’t the qualities of yellow brass.
Brass is, of course, an alloy of copper and zinc, and the amount of each determines the appellation given. Yellow Brass is usually a mix of 70% copper and 30% Zinc. There are variations to this. Gold brass, for instance, has a mix of 85% to 15%.
Yellow is favored because it is malleable and produces a nice warm tone. It resists corrosion caused by natural moisture from use. The timber of the sound is determined by the balance of the materials used to make up the alloy. Yellow brass has a good balance to suit all scenarios. Easy to work with, cost-effective, and produces a great sound.
This is a fairly standard size instrument measuring 20.7 inches by 10.2 by 6.4 inches. Whilst the tubing of the trumpet is yellow brass, much of the operating pieces are nickel. The pistons and valves are made from nickel. It is a pure nickel plating, using a silver nickel on the top. It is the preferred material for most student and beginner trumpets.
Nickel is a metal known to have a slightly ‘slippery’ effect. This makes the operation and ability to play easier and faster. Good for students, maybe not so for the pros. This is one area where Yamaha has cut a few corners as nickel is a cheaper option. Nevertheless, the action of the pistons is smooth and accurate. That is the most important thing. They have white faux mother-of-pearl inlays on the tops of the valves.
The pistons are honed. This produces an accurate fit between the pistons and the valve casings. This, in turn, means no air leakage. No leakage of air means an accurate intonation.
The trumpet is a series of tubes that carry the air and the sound. The tubing of this trumpet is constructed under pressure to ensure that the tubes are perfectly rounded. This ensures a smooth flow of air, which in turn provides a good clear note. Delrin valve guides are fitted to make the valve and piston action quiet and very durable. These are quieter than the more usual metal guides.
The Bell, another important source of sound production is laser-fused to deliver an even vibration of the sound waves. This applies to the notes in all registers. At all the particular stress points in the trumpet nickel silver is used to ensure stability and durability.
The bore size is .459 of an inch, which is a good diameter for a student. There are some added features included in the design of this student trumpet, such as 1st and 3rd valve slide adjustments, a first valve thumb saddle, and 3rd valve adjustable ring. The lead pipe is made from brass. That is not made from the metal, lead, but a pipe that leads from the mouthpiece
The body is given an impressive look with a silver lacquer finish. Lacquer can often receive its share of criticism with its use on brass instruments. It can discolor and even flake off. If the lacquer is applied well, this should not occur. An added protection is to take good care of the instrument.
With any instrument with metal construction, the temperature is going to have an influence. If the temperature is hot, the trumpet will play a little sharp. If it is cold, they tend to play flat. This applies to all instruments. Intonation can sometimes be a problem with trumpets, but it can be adjusted via the tuning slide. The ‘C note is the best to make the adjustment.
Using proper maintenance will help the intonation, and valves are particularly important to take care of. The natural moisture produced in just playing the instrument needs to be dealt with effectively. It is good practice for a student to get into the habit of executing the correct maintenance on their instrument. They will then understand how it will affect the intonation of their trumpet.
As you might expect with a Yamaha trumpet, the sound is excellent. It is a big warm, and rich sound that is very impressive. Everything in the design of this instrument is there to make it easy to play and get a good sound.
The bore size especially has an impact. The bore is the diameter of the tubing. It determines how much air you need to push through to get a balanced, stable sound. The .459 of an inch bore size on this instrument is towards a smaller size. It is a little easier to play and produces a softer, more controlled sound than a larger bore. This is ideal for the student who can learn to control their sound easier than if the bore was larger.
The Bell also contributes significantly to the sound quality, and this trumpet scores well in that area. It has a diameter of 4 and seven-eighths of an inch. This helps produce the great sound this instrument is known for. The sound you get from the Yamaha YTR-2335 B flat trumpet is what you might expect. A quality sound that will enthuse the student.
How Does It Play?
We have already discussed some of the design features that make this an easy instrument to play. We have also talked a little about how difficult this instrument can be in the early stages. Yamaha has included every design help that they can to make it as easy as possible,
It is nicely balanced and not too heavy, which is an important issue. The valves and the pistons are smooth in operation and have a comfortable, quick action. The mouthpiece is also an important item, and Yamaha includes a brass 7c size mouthpiece.
Yamaha is not known for giving away too many extras with their instruments unless it is in a package. This trumpet does include the mouthpiece we have just mentioned, but it also comes with a case. It is a briefcase-style and is fitted to the instrument. It has a plush lining as well as some spare compartment space.
If, for whatever reason, you’re not convinced about the Yamaha YTR-2335, then check out our in-depth review of the Jean Paul USA TR 330, another excellent choice of student trumpet.
Yamaha YTR-2335 Bb Trumpet Pros & Cons
- Perfect for beginners.
- Nice valve action and good response.
- Plays almost as well as professional models.
- Versatile and can be used for just about anything.
- Beginner students have difficulty in the upper register because of the trumpet’s large bore. This means younger players need to work much harder to reach the higher notes. However, this a benefit in the long run because it strengthens the player’s embouchure.
If you see the name Yamaha on an instrument you are looking to buy, you can count on one thing – it will have Yamaha quality. This applies to beginners’ instruments as well as their more prestigious ranges. This student trumpet does not break that rule. You will have a lot of searching to do before you find a better student trumpet.
The materials are high-quality, as is the build. And Yamaha includes some of the designs that you only find on instruments costing much more. And, of course, it looks the part.
One of the most convincing arguments for this trumpet, though, is more than just how it plays or sounds. It is that if it is maintained properly, this instrument will last a new player through their formative years and beyond.
With cheaper models with less quality, the need to upgrade will keep occurring. Not with this instrument. Through those awkward beginner stages to intermediate levels. This trumpet is good enough to cope.
It is not the cheapest trumpet you will see for a student. Yamaha tends to be a little more expensive, but they can afford to be. But for value for money, it is worth paying that bit extra. A great instrument that any student will be proud to own.
The Yamaha YTR-2335 Bb Trumpet is a class act.