I was asked this recently by a parent about the aspiring student. It is an easier question to answer for an up and coming student.
But what drives an established player to consider a new horn?
Here are some thoughts I had (meager as they may be):
- Your favorite horn is just wore out (plating gone from the valves, etc.)
Your playing needs change (gone from legit to jazz, etc.)
You need to play in a different style (i.e. a Flugelhorn)
You're comfortable with your horn, but wow, those new horns have something you want to try.
You are a tech head -- you like to buy new stuff.
Any thoughts beyond these?