Suggestions for Getting into Trumpet Repair

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by Mark_Kindy, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    I've been looking into getting some more detailed training in trumpet repair (working with aligning valves, fixing casings/slides/bells, soldering joints). There's a music repair shop nearby, and I was going to see about working summers there and starting an apprenticeship. What do you all think? Anyone have experience in that sort of business? What kind of training did you go through?
  2. Conn-solation

    Conn-solation Pianissimo User

    Jan 22, 2011
    On my way to Bearberry Ab
    Mark, here is a couple of links to band instrument repair info.... It would likely be easier to land a repair tech job if you had some courses prior to submitting your application but then you never know till you ask.

    Band / Musical Instrument Repair Schools Comparison Chart

    Some of the links appear to be broken but you'll get the idea.....


    Welcome to CIOMIT | CIOMIT

    Repair Schools
  3. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010

    I have tried the CIOMIT online training program. Dan Parker is great to work with, and you receive the basic tools and buffer as part of the tuition. I have started out assisting fellow band members with their horns, and repairing bugles, etc. for BAA members, as well as assisting local high schools. Just remember that you would be working on some else's instrument. How would you feel to bring your horn in for repair and and someone screwed it up. I would agree that working an apprenticeship, even an upaid one, would be great experience to add to your education.

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    A repairman of my acquaintance, when the subject of "getting help" came up, told me that it takes about three years before someone gets good.

    So if you want to make it your life's work, you might take that into account.

  5. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    There are one or two schools where you can get some training and a certification... the part that sucks about wanting to learn trumpet repair the way you are talking is that you probably really end up working the counter, schlepping cases around, and doing flushes your first year. Then you will have to work on Sousaphones, Trombones, Euphoniums, Saxes, etc...

    I understand wanting to learn to fix your own horns, or buy banged up horns and make some money flipping (Papa Johns pays better!) but your reality may not match your desires.

    Would YOU be excited about taking your 22B into the shop for something and then finding out that some greenhorn was going to get his brass repair merit badge hacking on your horn?? I have lost a horn to a bad repair job.. not fun.
  6. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    Hoggtowne music is up by UF somewhere. I would go there and talk to someone. I know they get a lot of business because that is where Ocala's music shop sends their horns. I send my horn there.
  7. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    What mechanical repair experience/aptitude do you already have? You mention that you want some "more detailed training in trumpet repair". What training do you already have?

    What worked for me when, in a pre-computer world I got started out, does not really exist today. If I were looking to start in the industry these days, I would start off by trying to get a summer job in a large store prepping rental instruments. And remember, a lot of trumpet repair consists of cleaning someone else's breakfast out of the horn. You have to take the ugly with the beautiful. There is no ivory tower of consultant modification work for someone who has not already paid their dues.
  8. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    ^ That is the guy to talk to!
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I'll agree with the points made.

    If you want to "slowly" get into the craft of trumpet repair you are going to spend a lot of time doing it.
    A few years seems about right. And you aren't going to make any decent money until you get really good
    at doing things correctly and promptly.

    The smart way is to go to a reputable repair tech school like the one in Red Wing MN.

    The not so smart way (my way) is to make it a hobby at first doing a lot of things trial and error and
    getting one on one instruction from a veteran repair tech. After a few years I made some money
    doing some custom work, but have never done enough of it where I would say its "worth my time".

    I do it because I enjoy the work, not because I can make a decent wage doing it.

    If you aren't doing it full time you aren't going to gain the proficiency needed to be able to make a living
    at it.

    my 2c,

  10. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    I was in the business for 25 years, was lucky enough to apprentice at the Schilke factory. I had my own shop with a partner and we found that training people from scratch wasn't worth our time. Our best employees came out of Redwing with one exception who had apprenticed with a master woodwind repairman. BTW there is more money in woodwinds than brass and you won't be cleaning buffing rouge out of your nose and ears as often. Go to a good school and acquire the basic skills. A trade school course in machining (lathe, milling, CNC) is a good ideal as well.

    PS 1. Don't touch hot things. 2. Don't pierce your flesh with sharp objects. 3. Solder into the valey, not over the hill. 4. The buffing lathe is NOT your friend. ;-)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

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