When to upgrade trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by snazzypadgett, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. snazzypadgett

    snazzypadgett New Friend

    Oct 13, 2009
    I've only been playing for about 10 months, I'm a music major in college (Piano/Comp) and I'm a dedicated trumpet practicer and am now playing in the concert and pep bands. Point is, I'm really into it!

    I am using an Olds Ambassador from the Fullerton factory--yes, it's quite fun to play after trying a Bach Mercedes II for a few weeks back in January. My question is, when is a good time to upgrade? I'd really like a higher-end trumpet for Christmas, and I think it could happen (with my own money of course), but I'm wondering if it would be a bad idea. I am making great progress, but then again, I'm still only a 10 month old player. Is an $800 Bach Strad or F. Schmidt not going to be a good investment just yet? I know I'm not at this point yet, but at what point do you know you've 'outgrown' your instrument's ability to help you play better?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is time for a new horn when
    1) you have money to burn
    2) you want a job in a symphony orchestra
    3) you have done a bunch of research and after trying 10-20 horns have discovered that a particular horn FOUND YOU!

    I don't think it is possible to outgrow a fine horn (like yours). When a player gets really good, they look for complementary colors of tone. That can be with a darker or brighter horn, a horn in a different pitch or a flugel or piccolo trumpet. A good indication is the type of playing opportunities coming up.

    A good investment means that you and the horn get along. That is about as easy to let other people answer as them picking the correct mate for the rest of your life.

    My advice: buy a cornet or a flugel as your next instruments. That will expand the colors the most and still be useful in band. If you have the playing opportunities, add a picc to the list. Play before you pay.
  3. ExtraTeeth

    ExtraTeeth Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Perth, Western Australia
    I don't think you're going to find a substantially better instrument for $800.
    Save your cash and in the meantime test play as many different horns as you can find. By that I don't mean just every variation of Strad but a big variety even including those of unusual specification. Make notes and draw up a shortlist.
  4. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    If the current horn is serving you well why need to change it`?
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Because a new horn might serve him even better. It might not -- that's why it's so very important for anybody considering a new instrument to try a lot of them, as ExtraTeeth suggested, and be patient, waiting for the right horn to find you, as Rowuk put it.

    I find your reply quite interesting, in light of the post you made about how students didn't seem to be questioning things -- here is a person who is questioning if he has the best equipment and you're suggesting that if it's working well, why question it.

    I feel we should always be questioning whether we have the best equipment for the job. Not that we should be always heading to the music store to constantly try new horns and new mouthpieces, but that as we play we should be thinking about whether it is us or the equipment which is holding us back. Most of the time it is us, not having found the right exercises to help us advance beyond where we are, or not having the right attitude in the practice room, but some of the time it is the equipment.

    I was using the same trumpet (French Besson Brevete) for 30 years and had never questioned it until my son was told by several top-level pro players/teachers around Boston that he needed to get Bach trumpets to get the proper tone to get into grad school with. His Yamaha Wayne Bergeron model just didn't have the proper classical tone that grad schools are looking for. So we went to the store and tried out many different Bachs, he and I along with one of those top-level teachers, and the difference and improvement in tone and clarity were very obvious. And then after I had played his new Bach Bb for a little bit it was obvious that my Besson had been holding me back. I sounded much better on his new Bach, so I went looking for a new trumpet and a used Shires "found me" as Rowuk put it.

    So "serving you well" isn't necessarily the same as "serving you best" and that's why the student feels a need to possibly change his instrument.
  6. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    You bring a great point - but my brief post was something along the lines of "unnecessary expenses". Sure I mean if you DO have money to burn then sure, spend an entire day in the music shop.

    However, the current question is "when to upgrade trumpet" - it 's yet another reference to a "fact" - it should be clear when the upgrade should happen - it's when your ambitions overshadow the current instrument's capabilities - and asking when THAT happens, is pointless, cuz everybody knows for themself when it happens.

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