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Choosing A Trumpet, Cornet Or Flugel Horn

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Choosing Your First Instrument

Most beginners will start with either the cornet or the trumpet. The cornet is more manageable than the trumpet for small children, and is a popular choice. If you are a slightly older child or an adult, then you have the choice. Your choice will largely depend on where you would like to play. Brass bands use cornets, wind bands and orchestras use trumpets. The skills are transferable, so it is quite possible to change later.

N.B. Children should not start to learn to play a brass instrument until they have their second set of front teeth fully formed, as there is a chance of dental problems caused by pressure on the growing teeth.

How We Choose.

We get shown new models and brands all the time. Our stock has been chosen using three main sources of information.

Firstly, our repairers. Regardless of what anybody else thinks of an instrument, if it doesn't meet the approval of our repairers then we don't stock it, full stop. We need to be able to look you in the eye for years to come, so if our repairers are going to criticise it when it needs attention, we can't sell it!

Secondly, our customers. We have listened to thousands of brass teachers and players since 1984. We know what they like and why. Their input mainly concerns practical issues relating to playing, such as tone quality, tuning and feel of the instrument.

Finally, we use our own commercial expertise. We address issues such as; is it good value for money? How long it will last? What it will be worth after x years? Our job is to ensure that we have given you all the information necessary to help you choose the instrument that will best suit your needs.

Rent or buy?

Many parents of children learning for the first time, and some adults who have never played before are understandably unsure of buying until they are more confident that they will cope with learning the instrument, and indeed enjoy the experience. Our Rental Scheme can provide the ideal introducton to the instrument for a comparatively small outlay. The main advantages of our scheme are:

  • It's economical.  You pay monthly, and you can cancel at any point after the first 4 months - simply return the instrument to us.
  • Our rental instruments are all brand new, and top quality.  Many players are put off by the experience of playing on a poor quality secondhand instrument.
  • It's convenient.  You don't have to worry about buying secondhand and reselling it if it doesn't work out.  You simply return the instrument to the shop.
  • After 24 monthly payments, the instrument automatically becomes yours.

All rental instruments come with free servicing and maintenance (Full details on request).

See elsewhere for more information about our woodwind & brass rental scheme.

To view a copy of our current rental price list, please click here.

It's worth pointing out that at least 80% of our rental customers carry on for the full 24 months, and end up owning their instruments, so you can afford to be more confident than you may think - if you're sure of the commitment, it's cheaper to buy outright, especially if you are eligible for the LEA Assisted Purchase Scheme, where you can buy the instrument without paying VAT.

Back to the Top

How much should I spend?

The golden rule is buy the best you can afford. With cornets, both the Jupiter and Yamaha instruments are excellent value. The Jupiter 300 trumpet very good value for its price, but buy better if you possibly can. The three main reasons for spending a little more are:

Better build quality. It will last longer.

Better tone quality. You will be able to keep the instrument for longer before needing to think about upgrading.

Better resale value. The best quality instruments are easier to sell, and retain a greater proportion of their value.

There are still many expensive instruments available which don't perform as well as you might expect. We have confidence in the brands we sell, and consider them safe choices that offer the best value for money.

Mouthpieces - An Introduction.

The choice of mouthpiece is critical for the brass player, and is affected by the size and shape of the players mouth, and the music they expect to play.

Changing the mouthpiece can make a big difference to a player's tone - because of this, many teachers recommend that players start with a better quality mouthpiece than the one supplied with the instrument, or that they change after a short period of learning. A good beginners mouthpiece will be designed to produce a full tone easily in the lower and middle registers, two popular examples are the Vincent Bach 7C and Denis Wick 3C.

As players become more experienced, they will use more of the instrument's range, and may choose a mouthpiece which helps produce a better tone in the middle and upper registers, as they no longer need help to produce a good tone in the lower register. The Vincent Bach 3C is our most popular choice.

You can save money by buying your new instrument with your teacher's choice of mouthpiece. You can see a selection of trumpet, cornet and flugel horn mouthpieces for sale in our online store.

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Brands we stock include...

  • Fender Acoustic Guitars
  • Lowden Guitars
  • Martin Guitars
  • Maton Guitars
  • Seagull Guitars
  • Crafter Guitars
  • Fender Guitars
  • Squier Guitars
  • Esp LTD Guitars
  • G and L Guitars
  • Schecter Guitars
  • Nord
  • Yamaha Stage Pianos
  • Shure Microphones
  • Eastman Guitars
  • Faith Guitars many more!

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