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How To Choose A Trumpet
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How to Choose A Trumpet

A few years ago, my son decided he wanted to join a local home school band. I started to look around for instruments. Should I buy or should I rent? How much does a trumpet cost? I found a cheap beginner trumpet from Sam's Club online and gave it to my son for his August birthday. It was cheaper than renting for a year and it had no problems the entire school year. Then, I sent him to a summer band camp. His sound degraded as the week progressed. His teacher had an instrument repair person look at the trumpet. It was determined that his trumpet wasn't able to be returned to its original state, let alone repaired. They recommended that I purchase a used trumpet with a reputable brand name or rent one from one of the two local music shops.

At first, I felt bad that I bought my son a “junker.” Then, I reminded myself that I saved a bunch of money over renting. How would I have gone about it differently, you ask. Well, I would take the same steps that I took when I bought his second, more reliable trumpet. These principles should apply to most band instruments, according to a friend who bought her daughter a woodwind instrument under circumstances as I bought my son's first trumpet.

The first thing I did was start searching the internet with phrases like “How to choose a trumpet,” “Best trumpet brands.” I stumbled into some trumpet forums that had topics that fit the bill. I looked over their recommended brands, years, etc.

I also called the two local music stores and asked them about the prices they had for new and used trumpets in their current inventory. Then, I asked them about rental costs, policies, and rent to buy programs in addition to asking about trumpet brands.

I perused Craig's List and other advertisements for trumpets for sale. I made inquiries to several, asked for more pictures, and asked about prices.

Another step I took was to present my situation on Facebook. My friends told me what their experiences were with new, used, rented, and purchased instruments. Eventually, one friend called me and told me her husband said he would be willing to sell his old King 500 trumpet from his school days. He was going to miss it, but he wanted to know that it was going to a good home.

That week, we went to my friend's house. My son played the trumpet, looked it over for important and not-so-important imperfections, checked over the case. We ended up buying it for the same price as the first trumpet I bought, about $100. Then, a few months later, we had some repairs made. I intended to only take care of the essential minor repairs, but my son requested that I have the dents removed and his case fixed. If I had only fixed the most important problems, the cost would have been only $30. Instead, I spent another $100. So, in the end, I may not have saved much. However, I hope that reading about my experiences will help you save more money buying your instrument of choice.

I learned that before buying cheap trumpets, the model and company should be investigated first. Trumpet forums and music stores are among the best resources. Don't just go out and buy, ask around on places like Craig's List, Facebook, and music shops about instruments for sale or rent. Most places or people will allow you to take the instrument you would like to buy to a shop to see how much possible repairs would cost.


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