Why a beginning player needs a perfect playing instrument!

A parent or grandparent walks into my shop and is interested in purchasing an instrument for a student to play. The first thing they say is, “I looking for an instrument for my son/daughter for band. It doesn’t have to be too good, just something they can start on”. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! As a professional musician, who has played for 49 years, I can play past problems on an instrument because I know how to compensate, use alternate fingerings, alter my breath support, etc. Also, as an instrument repairman for 45 years I have seen this situation from the repair side. Beginning students have none of this knowledge which means, They Need An Instrument That Plays Perfectly! I can’t stress that enough, notice the bold lettering. Would you send your 16 year old, who just got their drivers license, out to drive in a vehicle that’s on the verge of breaking down? Do the books they read not need all the pages? These beginners are having enough to contend with when learning how to play an instrument for the very first time meaning:                       1) they are just learning to read music                                                                                             2) they are just learning the fingerings for each note on their instrument                               3) they are learning proper breath support, blowing a horn isn’t like the way you breathe when you run                                                                                                                                         4) using the correct embrochure, this is the way your mouth interfaces with the mouthpiece                                                                                                                                             5) the best way to hold the instrument, hopefully not slamming it into chairs, tables, etc. There are a plethora of things a young player must deal with everytime they pick up their horn so, they don’t need to additionally battle an instrument that is not playing correctly. I always have a number of used/pre-owned instruments for sale. They are all brand name and good quality instruments so, please come see me. If you have a old instrument in a closet or under the bed that hasn’t been played in a long time simply bring it to me. Let me see it and give you an honest evaluation of its condition. Maybe your Uncle Bob or your neighbor has an instrument they want to sell you again, bring it to me before buying it so I can tell you how much it will cost to get it playing in top notch condition. Plus, if I tell you that it will cost $100.00, $200.00 or whatever the amount to repair the horn, that could be a bargaining chip in your purchase negotiations. Before you buy a used car don’t you take it to your mechanic? I am your musical instrument mechanic. Also, keep in mind, not all old instruments are good instruments. Your grandfather Oscar’s trumpet might have been a respectable instrument in 1929 but by todays standards it may very well be holding you child back in band. Many of todays horns play better in tune and are easier to play than older instruments. I hesitate to make an all encompassing statement like this because there are exceptions to the rule. We come back to, bring it to me so I can give you an honest evaluation of its condition. Besides the instuments “under your bed” or the horns from “Uncle Bob or your neighbor” be cautious of instruments that you might purchase from eBay, Reverb or CraigsList. I have three words for that, “Danger Will Robinson”! I buy instruments from these places quite often and the sellers run the gamut from truthful to blatant liars. Make sure the seller will accept returns if you are not satisfied with the instrument. Even if they do offer a return policy, bring the horn to me as soon as you get so I can tell you how much work it needs. Call me if you have any questions, 434-973-4299.

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