Pocket trumpet

The pocket trumpet is a B♭ trumpet that is constructed with the tubing wound into a much smaller coil than a standard trumpet, generally with a smaller diameter bell. It is not a standard instrument in a concert band or orchestra and is generally regarded as a novelty. It has been used by soloists in jazz (Don Cherry played the similar pocket cornet) or other ensembles to add flair and variety.[1]

Pocket trumpet in B-flat, with a 5-inch (13 cm) standard size bell and medium-large bore.


The concept of reducing the brass instrument size without reducing the resonating tube length can be seen in several 19th century models of cornet. Pocket cornets have been constructed since the 1870s.

Pocket trumpets are sometimes played as auxiliary instruments by soloists in jazz and dixieland bands, as well as for some specific studio recording demands. Don Cherry's work with the Ornette Coleman quartet is probably the best known example of pocket trumpet playing.[2]

Design and propertiesEdit

Tonal characteristics and playability vary due to differences in design. There are two basic design approaches to pocket trumpets:[citation needed]

  • reduced bell and bore size design
  • standard bell and bore size design.

The models with reduced bell and bore size design originate in 19th century pocket cornet design and regularly suffer from poor intonation and severely hindered dynamic and timbral range[citation needed]. Regular trumpet mutes cannot be used since the pocket trumpet bell is not a standard size. Models with standard bell and bore size design originally appeared in the USA in as late as 1968, mostly following the design of trumpet builder Louis Duda (one-piece hand-hammered "5X" bell, cornet-wound lead pipe, straight-back first valve slide with thumb-throw, fold-back third slide), and manufactured by the Benge Trumpet company. It has been claimed to be "the 'gold standard' by which other professional pocket trumpets are measured".

Standard featuresEdit

  • Bell Diameter: 4.5–5 inches (11–13 cm)
  • Bore: Medium-Large .460 inches (11.7 mm) or Large .468 inches (11.9 mm)
  • Height: 6.5–7 inches (17–18 cm)
  • Length: 9.5 inches (24 cm)

Famous playersEdit

"Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II of the band Fishbone uses a pocket trumpet for all live shows and recordings.[citation needed]

Onetime Elevator/French Toast drummer and former Fugazi roadie Jerry Busher plays a pocket trumpet on The Evens' song, "Competing With The Till", which is on The Evens' "The Odds" album.[citation needed]

New Orleans artist Shamarr Allen[3] plays a Kanstul pocket trumpet with a raised bell in most performances.

Common manufacturers and modelsEdit

  • TRISTAR TR-05 B♭ (India)
  • Cecilio (Mendini) 77-MT B♭ (China)
  • Carol Brass CPT-300LR B♭ (Taiwan)
  • Amati ATR 314I B♭ (Czech Republic)
  • Stagg 77-MT B♭ (Flemish manufacture sold to the world)
  • Jupiter 416 B♭ (Taiwan)
  • Benge Colibri B♭ (United States)
  • Kanstul CCT-905 B♭ (United States)
  • Weril EP4072 B♭ (Brazil)


  1. ^ "Pocket Players". www.pocketcornets.com. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  2. ^ Davis, John S. (2012). Historical Dictionary of Jazz. Scarecrow Press. pp. 81–82. ISBN 9780810878983.
  3. ^ "Bio". www.shamarrallen.com. Retrieved 2019-04-07.


External linksEdit