How to Buy a Used Trumpet

  • There are lots of things to look for when buying a used trumpet. And, yes, you can find a good cheap student trumpet online.
  • For most parents, money is a big factor. You may have discovered that a new musical instrument from your local music dealer is pretty expensive.
  • Most new trumpets will cost you around $400 to as much as $1,000 or more, depending on the instrument.
  • Your local pawn shop (should you be comfortable visiting one) may have instruments that look pretty good, but the price tag and the guarantee don’t match up. The newspaper isn’t much help either.
  • Finding a quality, used trumpet online is a great alternative.
  • So, here you are. Searching the web. Fortunately, you have found one the the top listed sites to help you find your used student trumpet.

What am I looking for?

The first thing you need to arm yourself with is knowledge. Don’t just start bidding on everything that is cheap. You might end up with nothing more than some used scrap metal. You need a decent quality instrument that is ready for yor child to play. You might even find a quality instrument that needs very little repair.

You certainly don’t want to buy an instrument that can’t be repaired! Your child will be carrying the instrument to and from school, in and out of the case, back and forth across the rehearsal area, and likely up and down the marching field. A lot of things can go wrong when you are carrying around a delicate instrument.

Let’s get you armed first with a list of brands that are quality used instruments. These brands can be repaired and there are a lot of them out there for sale.

Artley, Bach, Benge, Besson, Blackburn, Blessing, Boosey&Hawkes, Buffet, Bundy, Buescher, Conn, DEG, Eastman, Emerson, Gemeinhardt, Getzen, Holton, Jupiter, Kanstul, King, LeBlanc, Meinl-Weston, Olds, Reynolds, Selmer, Schilke, Vito, Yamaha

Doesn’t seem like a very long list? However, the list of what not to buy is 10 times that long! There are new names popping up every day, it seems. There is no way you could get more than an opinion on which of these are better than the others. There are so many factors to consider. A lot of these brands have several different styles.

There are also instances where several of the above names are used in conjunction with one another, like; “Selmer Bundy”, “Besson-Boosey&Hawkes”, “Getzen DEG”, or others. Don’t worry, that is common. A lot of these companies have combined and even bought one another out over the years. But, these are names to be on the lookout for.

Remember a used brand-name is much better than a new no-name internet or big box discount horn that never will work correctly.

Ok, now we know what brands we can trust and have narrowed our search down considerably. Next thing you need to arm yourself with what questions to ask.

Do all of the slides operate smoothly?
Are the valves dragging, sticking, moving?
Do the water keys close tightly?
Does air flow freely through the horn?
Is the horn dirty inside, or outside?
Are there any holes in the brass?
Is the laquer or plating worn?
Are there any loose braces?
Is there a mouthpiece?
Is the mouthpiece stuck?
Are there any parts missing?
Is a case included?
Does the case latch tightly?

If the seller won’t respond to your questions, find another seller to deal with.

Try these key words when searching for a used trumpet online.

used trumpet
student trumpet
old trumpet
trumpet for repair
quality trumpet
trumpet with guarantee

We also can give you some help with eBay used horns.  See this link.

Or, for the best advice and great used prices, contact our brass supplier, Jason, at

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