Whether you play classical music or jazz, or maybe you just want to learn how to play "Reveille" to wake up your dear older brother, a trumpet is a classic choice.  These brasswinds produce a beautiful, rich sound that is matched by few musical instruments, and they are a welcome addition to most any band.  Just as with other instruments, there are certain things to consider before you make a purchase. Thankfully for trumpeters, the options to sort through aren't as vast as they are for other musicians.

Trumpet types

The only variations you will find have to do with shape, length, and size. Otherwise, all the members of this musical family produce a similar sound. Below are a few different options.

Where and How to Find Them

Online retailers can be reliable sources when shopping for a trumpet: not only can you research the different options available, but you can also get a sense of price. However, going out and trying a bunch of different horns will ultimately be the best way to determine your needs and the cost.

Buying from a music store may get a bit pricey, so it's always a good idea to check your local newspapers for listings for used trumpets. Usually, you'll find at least one that's worth checking out, and since you're dealing with an independent seller, the chances of you being able to talk down the price will be much higher.

Here are a few things you'll want to look for while shopping.
* Check for dents, dings, and problems with the finish.
** Although a trumpet's finish may be wearing away, look beyond this. A bright shine does not ensure quality.
** Silver-plated trumpets will last longer than lacquered ones.
* Check the valves. Make sure that the stems and valve buttons are screwed in tightly.
* Check the seal on the valves by pulling each out halfway, then depressing it. If the seal is acceptable, you'll hear a light ''thunk'' sound.
* Check the valve caps, water keys, and slides to see that they are movable and functional.
* Check the valve casings for any dings or dents.

Shopping Tips

Whether you're buying new or used, remember to set a budget. Although a better quality instrument will generally cost you more, it's important to remember that the most expensive horn will not necessarily be the best choice for you or for your money. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the right trumpet for your needs.
* Look at different brands before making a decision. Seeing the differences, however slight they may be, can help you find what fits you most comfortably.
* If you're an absolute beginner, bring an expert or a teacher to give you a second opinion before you buy.
* When looking at either new or used trumpets, it's helpful to bring along your own mouthpiece. These are extremely personal instruments, and display and used versions have been played frequently.


Related Guides

* Jazz Music
* Blues Music
* Brass Instruments
* Flugelhorn Accessories
* Horns