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Guide to the Best Bugles of 2019

Kayla Carstens

Most people know the bugle as the horn used by armies for certain calls and commandments. It is a simple horn with no pistons or valves and all the pitch control is done by the player themselves. The instrument is so unique it even has its own musical scale called the bugle scale. Bugles are some of the oldest types of instrument, as there have been discoveries of bugles made from curved animals horns from around as early as the 4th century. They have been used by Roman armies, boy scouts and military members. It is often used to communicate messages to one another whether it be about the days routine, strategy calls or even to surrender in a battle.


We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a bugle. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of bugle,

  • See useful tips about that type of bugle,

  • Select the right brand of bugle,

  • Find accessories you may need for your bugle.

Types of Bugles

Types of Bugles:

  • Soprano Bugle:

    • The first type bugle to be used within the drum corps.

    • This horn is tuned in the key of B♭.

  • Alto Bugle:

    • The alto bugle was created in the 1970s.

    • The alto bugle is pitched in the key of G.

    • This horn is usually found with 3 valves.


  • Baritone Bugle:

    • The baritone bugle is pitched one octave below the soprano bugle.

    • This was the second type of bugle to be used in the drum corps.

    • The baritone bugle was invented in the 1950s.

  • Contrabass Bugle:

    • The contrabass bugle is the bugle version of a contrabass tuba.

    • The contrabass bugle is the largest type of bugle.

    • This type of bugle was designed in the 1960s.

What reviewers say

Tips for Consumers (100):

  • Different Materials:

    • Bugles are made out of 4 different materials:

      • Yellow Brass

      • Gold Brass

      • Sterling Silver

        • A sterling silver bugle is seen more as a collector's items and is very rarely found and played in today's musical world.


      • Plastic

        • This is the best option for most beginners who want a lighter and more affordable option than a metal bugle, especially if the bugle is for a child.

    • The different materials can affect what sound you will get, as they are made up of different components. For example, gold brass has a darker and deeper sound than sterling silver which has a brighter and clearer sound.

  • The Types of Finishes:

    • Lacquer:

      • This is the most common type of finish on all horns.

      • It is cheaper and more durable than silver plated bugles, which are considered more collector's items.


    • Silver Plated:

      • This is a more expensive option but is a very nice finish aesthetics wise and creates more vibration than lacquer, amplifying the horns sound.

      • However, this type of finish is really used to make bugles nowadays and is more often found on antique bugles.

Important Features

Items that Can be Used with this Your Bugle:

  • Bugle Cords:

    • These are braids used as ornamentation for the uniforms of bugle players and can either be bought or handmade.

  • Bugle Case:

    • This is a specially designed case that you can store your tuba in for easy travel with damaging it in any way.

  • Bugle Mouthpieces:

    • There are different and interchangeable mouthpieces that you can get for your bugle depending on what is comfortable for you and on what sound you prefer.

Top-Rated Brands

Different Brands of Tubas:

  • Regiment:

    • Regiment is not a brand but refers to bugles that are made specifically for military use and that are approved by military forces requirements. In the United States of America, one can find the military head offices in  Arlington County, Virginia.

  • Getzen:

    • Started in 1939 the Getzen Company, Inc. was started by T.J. Getzen. From humble beginning fixing band instruments to actually manufacturing a large array of instruments, Getzen is truly a success story. They are currently located in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

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