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14 Nov 2015

Many people find themselves thrown into the arena of musical instruments they know nothing about when their kids first begin music in school. Knowing the basics of proper instrument construction, materials, picking a good store to rent or buy these instruments is extremely important. Just what exactly process should a mother or father follow to make the best options for their child? - August Alsina type beat 2015

Clearly the initial step is to choose an instrument. Let your child get their choice. Kids don't make lots of big decisions with regards to their life, and this is a large one that can be very empowering. I'm also able to say from personal experience that kids have a natural intuition by what is good for them. Ultimately, my strongest advice is to put a child into a room to try no more than 3-5 different choices, and let them make their choice in line with the sound they like best.

This information is intended to broaden your horizons, never to create a preference, or put you in a position to nit-pick within the store! Most instruments are extremely well made these days, and choosing a respected retailer will assist you to trust recommendations. Ask your school and/or private music teacher where you should shop.

Brass instruments are manufactured all over the world, but primarily in the us, Germany, France, and China. When we talk about brass instruments, were referring to members of the Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, and Tuba families.


There are 2 basic kinds of materials used in brass instrument construction. The first is clearly brass, along with the second is nickel-silver.

Brass used for instruments is available in three types:
Yellow Brass (70% Copper, 30% Zinc)
Gold Brass (85% Copper, 15% Zinc)
Red Brass (90% Copper, 10% Zinc)

These kinds of brass are all useful for instrument construction. Each also has a certain tendency towards a particular quality of sound - however is a very subtle distinction, and should not be used as an exclusive gauge for choosing your instrument.

Yellow brass is most popular and can be used for most elements of your instrument. It provides a very pure quality of sound, projects best of the three alloys, and supports very well at high volumes.

(Gold brass can also be extremely popular, mainly due to its slightly more complex audio quality, and personal feedback. Often a player hears themselves somewhat better using gold brass, nevertheless the trade off is a very slight reduction in projection. This more 'complex' quality is incredibly attractive to the ear, but tend to get harsh at high volumes when the player is not in charge of all of their technique. It's just like the transition to screaming from singing - you will find there's point at which you can easily get carried away. Gold Brass sits dormant for the whole instrument (in North America, but a lot in Europe). We primarily utilize it for the bell (the location where the sound comes out), along with the leadpipe (the first stretch of tubing with your instrument). The leadpipe usage is now common for student instruments, as it resists corrosion well, the concern for teenagers whose body chemistry is volatile, as well as students who rarely clean their instruments.

This is also true of Red brass. This is a very complex sound, typically not used in student instruments. Red brass appears almost exclusively in the bell of an instrument. Simply because its less stable nature in sound production at loud volumes. With that said, it can produce a marvelous sound when nicely balanced against the rest of a highly designed instrument. A good example is the famous 88H Symphonic Trombone, that has been a staple of the north american niche for over 60 years.

One other material that is used to create brass instruments is nickel-silver. Interestingly, there is absolutely no actual silver within this material. Most often it is just a combination of Copper, Nickel, and Zinc, in varying combinations. I prefer to think of it as brass with nickel added. Its name comes from its physical resemblance to silver, so that it is ideal for things like brass instruments, and the coins you probably have in your wallet.

This is a very important a part of your instrument. Unlike brass, it tends to be very hard. This makes it well suited for use on instruments to:

Protect moving parts
Join two tubes together with a ring (called a ferrule)
Place on parts of the instrument that come into a lot of experience of the hands to protect against friction wear from the hands.
Companies use nickel silver in numerous ways, and on parts of the instrument. These construction details are minimal, but here are a few suggestions to look for that can assist the stability and strength of student instruments:
o The outsides of tuning slides. This can be good, because it protects parts that frequently need to be moved from damage.
o The lining tubes of tuning slides. Perfect for student instruments (and common on european instruments), this protects against corrosion.
o Joint between tubes. When used as a ferrule, this can be a various shapes and sizes, at the discretion from the designer. Sometimes the interior of the ferrule is regulated to alter shape (taper) by way of a larger consecutive tube. Some simple student instruments just fit expanded ends of brass tubing together.
o Parts the hands touch. Brass is well eaten away, albeit slowly, by normal body, so a student instrument that has these areas in nickel-silver is surely an asset for longevity. You can find exceptions to this rule, specifically Trumpets, whose valve casings are generally made of brass alone.


Mouthpieces for brass are usually referred to as 'cup' mouthpieces, and are also made of brass, but plated in silver. Brass without treatment can cause irritation, and is mildly toxic to be in such close proximity for the lips, whereas silver is mainly neutral. There are cases through which some people are allergic to silver, but many often the allergy is caused by a dirty mouthpiece. The recommended test just for this is to use an alcohol based spray cleaner, from the music retailer that's specifically intended for mouthpieces, and clean the mouthpiece pre and post each use. This is a great idea, anyway. If the irritation persists, think about gold-plated mouthpiece, or as a last resort, plastic. Note additionally that not all companies will include a good quality mouthpiece using their instruments. Be sure to consult your retailer to make certain what you are getting 's what you should be using to your student.

As with instruments, mouthpieces come in a dizzying array of shapes and specifications. Items that you have never heard of, for example Rim, Throat, inner diametre, Backbore, etc., may confuse you.((To make matters more complex, there is absolutely no standard system for identifying sizing in mouthpieces. This can be difficult for the parent to digest, and also frustrating. How big or small if the various parts be?

Most often, schools start kids on small mouthpieces for the reason that it is easy to get a response away from them. The downside with this is that small mouthpieces can mean a very bright sound, and will actually hold students back from developing the disposable blowing of air that is essential to developing a good sound. You will find there's generally accepted order of progression from bare beginner to solid student. I suggest getting the second mouthpiece right from the start. This will produce a bigger/fuller sound, and can encourage more air for use right from the start. Don't let the numbers throw you here, the next mouthpiece is the bigger one. The bracket indicating numerology may be the company that makes the mouthpiece, suggested here simply for comparison.

Trumpet: 7C, 5C (Bach numerology - for strong players consider also 3C)
Horn: 30C4, 32C4 (Schilke or Yamaha numerology)
Trombone: 12C, 6┬ŻAL (Bach numerology - for strong players consider also 5GS)

We have left Tuba off the suggested list as there are many factors which come into play for the student. Physical size plays an important part, and often the condition of the instrument used, as well as the size of the instrument. These vary so greatly in one student to the next that a personal consultation along with your qualified music retailer is strongly recommended. Kids generally start the small mouthpiece (24AW is certainly one in the Bach numerology), along with get off that but they should. There are a number of really excellent mouthpieces available, however it is hard to beat the Perantucci Mouthpieces. A PT48 or PT50 works well for the advancing student, along with the professional, but remember that as students grow and change, so may their mouthpiece needs.

As with instruments, it is a great idea to try 3-5 for your local retailer.

When or for what reason must i not buy a new mouthpiece?
Kids often try to find the short-cut. Not being able to play low or high enough is a challenge and often the kid looks for a fast answer, or has seen a colleague playing something different. Often, when your child approaches you with regards to a new mouthpiece, it may very well be the time for it. Be sure you ask lots of questions about what they do and do not like regarding mouthpieces so you can find out from your retailer if it is a good request. Make sure to know what they already have. The best changes to make would be the subtle ones. Small differences in a mouthpiece design will help get the desired result, and not sacrifice some or other areas of playing. The students that make the big changes only to get high notes often give the biggest price of their tone, tuning, and technique.

Other things

For Trumpet, I recommend having 1st and 3rd valve slides with rings or saddles for fast paced. These are helpful for tuning.

For Trombone, for early beginners, a nickel-silver slide may be beneficial, as slide repairs cost a lot.

For Horn, get a double horn. This has 4 valves, and offers way more choice to the player forever tuning, and development later on. Horn is tricky, so helping using this is a good endorsement of your respective child's chances.

For Tuba, try and get one that fits your youngster, and on which every aspect - including tuning slides - have been in a state of good repair. Push the college if it is a good school instrument. If your child can handle a big instrument, obtain one.

Brass instruments need consistent maintenance to operate well. Be sure you understand what lubricants to use on the parts of your instrument. Trumpet, a rather simple instrument, needs 3 different lubricants; tuning slide, 1st/3rd valve slide, and pistons. I highly recommend synthetic lubricants. They are going to hold up slightly better against forgetful students who don't do the regular maintenance.

Cleaning. Once every 12-18 months have a professional cleaning. Otherwise clean in your house once a month using gentle soap and lukewarm water (trouble will cause your lacquer to peel of one's horn), and a flexible brush from a retailer.

Avoid cheap instruments. With musical instruments you get what you buy. There are a lot of instruments originating from India and China now. Many are excellent, while many others ought not even have been made. Any local, respected dealer really should have those that are reliable, and definately will stand behind them. Your big-box Costco, Wal-Mart, BestBuy, and e-Bay has no expertise in these matters, and procedures for their bottom line only. Avoid these places. They cannot possibly offer you the continued assistance, service, or repair a developing and interested student need. If you choose this route, obtain american-made instruments (and Japan). This is a major separator of good from bad. Individuals who make brass in the us are generally very well trained and a part of a history of excellent brass making, particularly those in the Conn-Selmer family of companies. Any local, trusted retailer will guide you in the choices available, please remember that just because it says USA, or Paris about it, does not mean it was stated in these places. Increase which mean sometimes making these items part of the 'name' of the instrument.((How much should I spend?

Which is the big question. Be aware that popular instruments, like Trumpet, are less costly because they are made in greater quantities. Some instruments, like Horn and Tuba, are challenging and time-consuming to generate, making them more expensive. Below is a list of acceptable pricing (back then that this is being written) for first time student instruments that works for both American and Canadian currency.

Trumpet: $400-600
Horn: $1600 or more (Get a double horn, or else you be back to buy another, soon!)
Trombone: $400-$700
Tuba: $2300 or more

When should I obtain a better instrument, and Why?

60 years ago, there were no 'student' and 'intermediate' instruments. Manufacturers were just coming to the realization that there was a growing, post-war market that was changing to aid a more commercial style of instrument making. Today, instruments are engineered to obtain to buy three times. First when getting started, then as an advancing student, lastly as a professional. Clearly, it is a model that makes a lot of cash for manufacturers.

Ideal reasons, I often encourage parents in the first place the better instrument, or possibly a good used intermediate or professional instrument. Starting on better products are like starting with that slightly larger mouthpiece; finding a bigger, better sound is encouraging. The better construction and materials mix of these better instruments may also leave more room to grow. So what are the right reasons? Here is a list that works not merely as guide in order to to choose the right instrument, nevertheless for what you should watch for to assist musical growth:

-Going to some school with a strong music program.
-Getting private lessons, or has asked for some. (Check with private teacher for recommendations before selecting, this will help.)
-Practicing without parental encouragement
-Has a minimum of 4 years of playing before them.

These factors are good indicators of if they should buy, and if they should buy intermediate or professional. In the event the bulk of these are unclear, look at a rental for a year to determine if they get any clearer, and supplement with regular (weekly) private lessons. - August Alsina type beat 2015

Music is an investment that requires attention from a variety of angles, along with the instrument itself is just a small step. Being with the knowledge of how to have the instrument is just a part of a process that a parent can - and should - be actively associated with. Many parents don't know anything about all of this, but now you do! Ask the questions you should know, and you'll be just fine taking your new instrument.


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