How to buy a Pocket Trumpet or any Trumpet
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22 March 2007
I am a professional trumpet player of 35 years and the purpose of my guide is to let students and parents know about shopping for a quality Pocket Trumpet or any Trumpet. First of all a Pocket Trumpet is a fun and unique looking instrument but basically a gimmick for advanced Trumpet players. Be aware that for the beginning student a normal Bb Trumpet is always recommended to learn on. Keep in mind: "Teacher approved," "Not a throw away," "German type," "It has a serial number!", "This is a genuine," "This is not a Cheap imitation" or "You won't find a better Instrument at this price .."etc.. means absolutely nothing on a website or anywhere else and is a red flag! Remember just because a Trumpet looks great doesn't necessarily mean its a good instrument and all that glitters is not Gold, in fact it could be pot metal a combination of Lead & Copper! A Pocket Trumpet or any Trumpet is never under any circumstances to have the outside lacquer inside the valve chambers! Make sure you have it in writing that anyone you buy a Trumpet from understands you will not tolerate this and you expect them to refund all your money including shipping, handling costs on both ends and you will file fraud charges if this happens. Any Trumpet that has lacquer in the valve chambers will not play right and wear out very fast due to the friction of the pistons going up and down. I mention this because I have seen outside lacquer in the valve chambers of a cheap Pocket Trumpet. A Trumpet should always have real Mother of Pearl valve keys. Colored Trumpets should always have baked on epoxy color not sprayed on or it will come off easily. Make sure a qualified Trumpet player plays your Trumpet when you receive it. A beginner will not know if its them or the Trumpet that doesn't sound right. Low end cheap Trumpets with names you have never heard of usually are unrepairable because of the metal quality and music stores don't carry the parts for good reason. Most of these "Instruments" are made in 3rd World sweatshops in India, Pakistan & Mainland China by the same company and sold under different names, most of them European sounding. Some intentionally have names very similar to a quality brand name to trick you! Do research on any Trumpet brand you want to buy and the seller. Any reputable Musical Instrument manufacturer should have their own website and distributors. Are there any reviews or complaints on the web? Where are they made? Is the shipping cost overly high and what's the return policy if they send you an inferior instrument? Are you stuck with paying their over priced shipping, handling and probably a hefty restocking fee not to mention your time and cost to send it back if its no good? The Seller has nothing to lose and everything to gain even if you ship it back! Forget about the positive feedback, most customers see a beautiful looking Trumpet which arrives quickly and they immediately leave positive feedback and don't realize they have an inferior "instrument" till it falls apart a couple months later. They never think to go back to leave the new negative feedback to warn others or they are afraid they will receive retaliatory feedback. So be sure to throughly check for any and all feedback about defective merchandise whether its a Trumpet or any other instrument they sell. If the Instruments are high quality there is very little chance of ever hearing such feedback because they are always inspected before being sent out by any reputable Manufacturer. If you read any promised supplies are missing with the order or that they are inferior is another sign of non inspection & bad quality control. Another red flag is if the Seller has left rude feedback on the buyer's feedback page who has a legitimate complaint. Your Child deserves to learn on a well made Instrument not some cheap piece of junk that will make a great table lamp. These Trumpets if they continue to work will make them a trial for your child to learn on. The most common complaint is always the sticky valves because of the inferior metals used which is unrepairable! The moderately higher priced brand names such as Amati, Jupiter and Holton are of much better quality and worth every penny, they can be repaired and will have resale value. If you can't afford to buy a quality Trumpet or you are afraid your child may lose interest in playing the Trumpet then rent one for the time being, you are not saving money buying junk.
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