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Upgrading your trumpet (beginner to intermediate)

When it comes to upgrading your trumpet from your starter instrument there is a pretty wide choice as they range in price from about £400 to over a thousand and all with good claims to be an intermediate trumpet.  Chances are that you have started on something very basic; either trumpet, pocket trumpet or even cornet. Most of the available options should feel al lot better, but how to choose? Well budget will come into it, buit so should how it feels to you and how it sounds. Different people like slightly different things, so if all your friends have one thing, but you sound better and feel more comfortable on something else then go for that.

An example of this would be the B&S Challenger I. One of the most expensive trumpets in the intermediate range, but with the credentials to back it up. Despite what the makers would tell you it is undoubtedly a very good copy of a Bach Strad. The one piece bell gives an excellent sound and allows for a lot of resonances - your tone will grow as you improve with this trumept. The gold brass lead pipe and tuning slide add warmth to the sound and the hand fitting of the valves and mobile slides make this feel like one costing twice the price. The downside to this trumpet is the weight - a good solid build makes this a bit heavier than the opposition and it does take a bit more filling which some younger buyers find harder. 

The Yamaha YTR4335GII is probably the most teacher recommended upgrade trumpet. There are many reasons why this is so - it is a great instrument. Yamaha have put together a nice package of a trumpet with a gold brass bell which gives a smooth, even response straight from the case, it is quite light weight and has a backpack case which everyone else has copied. They have also, very cleverly, supplied it with a slightly shallower mouthpiece than the traditional 7C so people instantly think it is easier to play and gives them an instant range boost. The drawback is that this trumpet doesn't have the projection of the challenger or the breadth of tone so as you get more serious you will need to uprade further. Here's what Tristan thinks of the whole Yamaha student range.

Our own Series 2 trumpet has been designed to fit this space perfectly. It has loads of features more commonly associated with much more expensive instruments. The mobile 1st & 3rd slides move easily for exellent intonation, the model valves have a lovely smooth action, the yellow brass bell is just the right weight and taper (very similar to a 37 bach) to get a ballanced tone and projection. The backpack style case turns this into a great value package.

Schagerl Academia range instruments are another alterntive sitting just below the B&S price point. We normally have a few different options in stock to compare. The Yamaha YTR5335G also sits at this price point - very similar to the 4 series but with an upgraded valve block made in Japan.

Things to think about when visiting us to upgrade your instument - most important, bring your existing mouthpiece. You should ideally stick with your existing mouthpiece for a few months after changing instruments. Obviously this isn't possible if changing from cornet, but if you bring your existing moutpiece we can check we are giving you something close to test with. With all of the upgrade instruments the mobiles will work well so check you are in control of them when blowing and don't hold an instrument just by the slide - yours may be stuck and not moved for a few years, but we have seen instruments or slides dropped after unexpected movement. Make sure you ask us how to do routine maintenance on your new instrument so that stuck slides can be avoided.

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