Please can you advise about buying an instrument?

If you would like to buy your child an instrument to play, you need to consider whether to buy a starter instrument or a better quality, and more expensive, instrument which will serve them well for a few years as they progress.

Before spending a lot of money, you should consider whether your child will continue with their current instrument (e.g. cornet or trombone) or will want to progress to a different one? There are many different kinds of brass instrument depending on the type of music your child is likely to want to play e.g. cornets, tenor and baritone horns (all played mainly in brass bands), trombones, euphoniums and tubas (all used in various forms of music), trumpets (jazz and orchestral), french horns (orchestral).

You also need to consider whether to buy new or second hand. If buying second hand, don’t buy until you’ve seen and checked the instrument. If you can borrow the instrument for a deposit, you are welcome to bring it to a brass group session for one of our tutors to check for you.

For valve instruments, check that the valves all move freely, and that the instrument is playable when any of the valves is pressed. For trombones, check that the slide moves freely and that no air escapes if one end of the slide is covered with a thumb and air blown through the other end, and make sure that the bell and slide sections can be securely screwed together. Check for dents and other wear which may or may not affect the instrument’s sound, but would detract from its value. Check that the water keys work and do not leak air/water. Compare the price with the cost of a comparable new instrument. It should come in a hard case with a mouthpiece.

If in any doubt, please ask one of our music tutors for advice.

New instruments can be purchased from the following local shops:

J G Windows at the Central Arcade, Newcastle, or at the Yellow Mall, Metrocentre.

Added Brass at Langley Moor, Durham.