Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play



  • Which do you think is more successful for beginners? Tried and true vintage student horns, or new affordable/playable (as opposed to TSOs) ones? Any experience/suggestions?


  • Qualified Repair Techs

    I really think this depends solely on condition. A vintage student horn may be worn out or have had enough previous damage to make it unreliable. A newer model may have the same issues if used. I bought my niece a mint condition Olds Ambassador when she started, and it’s a very good player. It’s in near perfect condition right down to the lacquer. However, an Ambassador I worked on recently was just horribly worn, and not a good player at all. Same thing with pro models - condition makes a huge difference in the playability of the horn with few exceptions.
    I’ve been recommending the Jupiter intermediate models to a lot of our customers because they play extremely well, and buying new or demo means you don’t have to worry about damage or wear.



  • I really don't think of it very much. A low-end Yamaha in good shape should give a beginner all the horn s/he needs, although I played a bottom line Bach maybe 20 years ago. I really liked. If a person's already got a good working hand-me-down horn, I'd use it, but I sure wouldn't go out of my way to find a vintage horn that has more distinct tonal qualities.



  • I know of one case where a senior female, who recently joined our band, was still struggling to get above third space C after two years of playing the trumpet. She was using a piece of garbage she had bought at a pawn shop. I don't know how many times I told her the horn was holding her back, but she's a stubbon gal and stuck with it until a brace let go. She replaced it with a new Bach student horn and now she is progressing quite well. She even told me she actually managed a G above the staff recently.

    New student horns are reasonably priced so unless you know what to look for, it may not be a good idea to buy used.



  • Just went through some of this with a 10 year old grandson. He ended up with a nearly new Bach TR300H2 and Bach 7C mouthpiece through his school’s rental program. I played his horn and it works just fine. More importantly, he is really excited about learning to play it!



  • I would call the trumpet I started out on a no name hand me down. That is not figurative, it actually had no name engraved anywhere on it. Not that it was the problem, but yet I believe no company would want to embarrass themselves by putting their name on it. Piece of garbage would not be an exaggeration. I think it held me back for sure. Only when I started up again in 8th grade did my parents buy me the Sears Silvertone ( Blessing Super Artist ) did I make serious progress.


  • Moderators

    It doesn’t have anything to do with how the horn plays, but the horn looking “cool” is a big key for young kids.

    Kids can lose interest pretty quickly if their peers make fun of them for not having a shiny instrument. It’s a fickle, petty thing, but unfortunately a real issue.

    Does everybody remember the 1-2 kids in middle school that had a “silver” trumpet? In a 12 year old mind...silver means a better/more expensive trumpet.

    As mentioned though, build quality and condition will be the key factors. If the trumpet has it, then it fits the bill for the original post.

    We’ll have to start a list in this thread of horns that fit an average budget that members can attest to quality (like the suggestions in the posts above).



  • YMMV (obviously) but I can honestly say that physical appearance and peer pressure never had any significant influence on the choice of horns either by me and my school-aged peers or subsequent students. Maybe it's regional and maybe it's cultural, but it was just never a factor.

    The closest I got was that some students may have felt a slight superiority by playing the same horn as the primary trumpet teacher/big-gun player in our region, but that's it.



  • Hi J. Jericho,
    It all boils down to money. If a kid wants to play trumpet and the family is on a tight budget, then a $50.00 trumpet from Goodwill pending they let you have a technician to check it out before the final purchase. If money is a little more disposable, I would go with a new student Yamaha. Yamaha is known for their quality and consistency of their trumpets.
    I



  • Can’t go wrong with the Holton t602 Collegiate!

    I remember in HS I got a new !!SILVER!! horn. It was the horn above. Back then it was the exact same horn as the couple guys that had Bach Strads

    Trumpets are cheap when it comes to price for an instrument



  • @Comeback

    When I quit playing in 1965 I sold the trumpet I had played for the previous 12 years, A Constellation 28B. So when I decided to play again 50 years later I bought a new Bach TR300H2 and it was quite a good horn, but wanting some when playing above the staff. I kept it and played it off and on until a band mate wanted to buy it from me. He had an old Besson that had a lot of troubles. Now he is doing just great with the Bach student horn.



  • @GeorgeB

    Grandson's rental Bach TR300H2 played pretty good for me, right up to our C above the staff, and that was with his Bach 7C mouthpiece. Intonation and slotting seemed pretty solid too. The only issue I found with the horn was that the 3rd valve slide did not operate smoothly and easily. This is not an issue for him yet. He is just learning how to produce a good sound. And his hands aren't large enough to do much with the 3rd valve slide anyway, I did show him what to do to free up the slide though. I should see him tomorrow and am planning on providing him with some trumpet learning resources.

    I like Getzen horns and have looked at their student horns a couple times. I always thought the Capri was a good horn, and the 390 and 490 seem like they should be OK too. Does any one have experience with these horns and observations they could make for the sake of beginners?



  • @Kujo20 said in Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play:

    We’ll have to start a list in this thread of horns that fit an average budget that members can attest to quality (like the suggestions in the posts above).

    Screw the budget! Get the kid the easiest horn ever built to be the first horn they ever play.... The Harrelson Summit!



  • @Dr-GO said in Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play:

    Screw the budget! Get the kid the easiest horn ever built to be the first horn they ever play.... The Harrelson Summit!


    Hey everyone!
    If you go to the New Topics area, you can get adoption papers so Dr-GO can be your parent. Which reminds me, "Hey Dad, I need a Harrelson Summit"



  • @Dr-Mark said in Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play:

    @Dr-GO said in Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play:

    Screw the budget! Get the kid the easiest horn ever built to be the first horn they ever play.... The Harrelson Summit!


    Hey everyone!
    If you go to the New Topics area, you can get adoption papers so Dr-GO can be your parent. Which reminds me, "Hey Dad, I need a Harrelson Summit"

    What's "apparent" is that most here on TB are over 18, so adoption won't fly; however, I am open to being the designated administrator of their estate. I do have the license to find such individual to lack mental capacity to make this transition seamlessly easy.



  • @Dr-GO said in Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play:

    What's "apparent" is that most here on TB are over 18, so adoption won't fly


    Damned! Foiled again.



  • Have owed several Getzen trumpets and cornets. Didn't like the 300 trumpet at all. No 1st slide thumb saddle. The Getzen 490 trumpet played well, would be great for a beginner. Although for at little more money, the Getzen 590 Capri would be even better.When I upgraded to the Getzen Capri 590 trumpet and cornet. I could hear a noticeable difference in a improvement in sound between the 490 and the 590. Quality of workmanship is excellent in all the Getzen instruments I have owed.
    The reason I sold the Capri 590 cornet and trumpet was due to the 1st slide trigger and 3rd slide adjustable ring. Could have lived with but not both. Two techs explained to me why they couldn't be modified.

    I am very happy with my Getzen Eterna 700 trumpet and the Getzen Eterna 800 cornet.

    Owed many vintage student and lntermediate instruments, ranging from many of the major brands; Conn Director, Yamaha, Holton 602, King 603 and several others.

    Liking the newer modern design. Yes I will admit it; love the 1st slide thumb ring and 3rd slide fixed ring.



  • @Comeback
    Hitting the high notes was okay on the TR300. Pitch was the main problem.
    The 1st and 3rd slides always worked fine on mine. I think for student models you have to expect some inconsistencies in manufacturing.
    I don't anything about Getzen student horns but I have heard they are pretty good.



  • @Gendreauj said in Good Instruments For Those Starting To Play:

    Have owed several Getzen trumpets and cornets. Didn't like the 300 trumpet at all. No 1st slide thumb saddle. The Getzen 490 trumpet played well, would be great for a beginner. Although for at little more money, the Getzen 590 Capri would be even better.When I upgraded to the Getzen Capri 590 trumpet and cornet. I could hear a noticeable difference in a improvement in sound between the 490 and the 590. Quality of workmanship is excellent in all the Getzen instruments I have owed.

    I am very happy with my Getzen Eterna 700 trumpet and the Getzen Eterna 800 cornet.

    Owed many vintage student and lntermediate instruments, ranging from Conn Director, Yamaha, Holton 602, King 603 and several others.

    Liking the newer. 30 years or less instruments.

    Thank you for your account of experiences with Getzens, Gendreaug. This is helpful!


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