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Buying a Trumpet

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Thinking of buying your first trumpet? Here are some tips:

  • Check the rim. The rim is a part of the mouthpiece and varies in diameter. Rims that are larger in diameter allows more airflow, smaller rims tend to restrict airflow.

  • Check the cup. Another part of the mouthpiece that you should look at. For beginners, a cup that is neither too deep nor shallow is suitable.

  • Look at the backbore. Also found on the mouthpiece that is tapered in design. The degree of the backbore's cut or taper affects the quality of sound produced.

  • Look at the shank. Another essential part of the mouthpiece that should be correctly fitted.

  • Trumpets that are lacquered tend to chip off. Silver-plated trumpets last longer. Also look for a bell that has a medium flare.

  • Check the leadpipe and make sure that there are no dents or damage.

  • Check the valve pistons. The valves must be functioning well and responsive when you press it.

  • Look at the valve casings. Make sure that there are no damage or dents.

Other Buying Tips:

  • You must set a budget if you want to buy a trumpet. Good quality trumpets are more costly but will prove to be a smarter choice in the long run.

  • Be very careful when buying a used trumpet. Unlike other musical instruments, the trumpet is very "personal" since it is played by mouth.

  • When buying a trumpet, look and try different brands first before making your final decision. Pick the one that fits you comfortably.

  • Check out your local music shops, newspaper ads and online stores when canvassing for a trumpet.

  • Bring along an expert to try it out for you if you're an absolute beginner.

  • Bringing along your own mouthpiece when trying out trumpets is not only smart but also a safe idea.

For reference, look at this illustration of the parts of a trumpet from Trumpet Exercises.

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