Many will ask what trumpet should they buy… Or which is the best trumpet?
The answer varies from person to person, and to make things even more difficult, there are so many brands and models out there that choosing an instruments is hard. Choosing the right instrument is even harder.
Let’s discuss about what actually is important when looking for an instrument…
When Choosing an instrument, there are basic questions we need to ask in order:
- Is it easy to play
The first thing we need to evaluate is how easy or hard is the instrument when we play a note. This should not take a long time.Play a middle G (for trumpet) comfortably (mp) and evaluate if it responds immediately. Yes or No?
If yes, play a low C then a middle C, then re-evaluate. Play other notes the same way and evaluate every notes.
If after the first G you play, you feel you need to put more effort than usual, that means it is an unresponsive instrument, then change the instrument…You do not need to waste more time.
- How is the sound quality
Next after passing the first step, listen for the sound, is an open rich sound? Yes or No? Go to next step if a Yes, change instrument and start over at step 1 if it is a No.
- How good is the intonation
Listen to the intonation in general. Although no instrument will be perfect in terms of intonation, the relation between harmonics, the low and high notes should be manageable. Some Notes are generally flat (middle D’s and E’s) and high (high G’s). Be sensitive to how they are off. If needed use a tuner and bring a friend along to help you out.
- How is the high / low register
Play softly on the low register and evaluate
Play softly on the high register and evaluate
- How is the dynamic response
Now is the time to test out how soft and loud the instrument is capable, of course according to your skill.
Try not to over-blow when testing out the loud sound, just play openly on forte’s and open up to see the max dynamic possible before it breaks. Listen to any sound color changes (does it go brighter when playing loud).
Do try to play soft, how soft is the instrument playing, still within the range of your skill.
- Does it feel right
This is the time to play something, like a song or an excerpts that you are comfortable with. How does it feel?
- Is the price tag within our budget
Of course at the end of all, is the price tag affordable? How is value of the instrument?
- If possible, bring the instrument to a rehearsal and try it out under real conditions. We then will have a better idea about the instrument.
By following a systematic approach when trying out an instrument, we won’t waste time trying to find an instrument, some few simple step can be efficient enough for evaluating.