There are many reasons to buy used trumpets. Regardless of whether you are looking for an instrument for yourself or for one for your child, you should what to look for in order to get your best value.
Give the body of the horn a good looking over. While not having scratches is preferable, remember that looks are everything when looking for an instrument. Small dents, scratches, and discolorations have absolutely nothing to do with function or tone.
It is important, however, to remember that the outward condition of the instrument may be an indication of well the trumpet has been taken care of. You’ll want to make sure that the movable first, second, and third valve slides and the tuning slide is in good working order.
The most important part of the trumpet is the valves. Regardless of what your experience or skill level is, if you have a trumpet that bent valves or ones that perpetually stick or leak air, it will ruin your whole experience.
Buy used trumpets that have valves that have good speed, feel, and responsiveness. You’ll want to carefully unscrew each valve and inspect them. Check to see if they are free from scratches, totally straight.
You’ll want to make sure that you remember not to have more than one valve unscrewed at any time. The reason for this is because if you accidentally confuse which valve goes where and then try to play the instrument, you’ll likely permanently damage it.
It is always a good idea when you buy used trumpets to get to know either the previous owner or check to see if the online retailer is reputable. If you’re talking to the previous owner, ask questions such as, “When did you first start playing trumpet?” or “When did you pick up this particular horn?”
You may also want to ask when they stopped playing the trumpet. If the owner does not want to answer the question, you may assume that something is wrong and it’s not a good idea to buy used trumpets from him. It is possible that you may find a trumpet in better condition for basically the same price. You may also find that he is trying to charge you too much for the horn.
In the end, make sure when you buy used trumpets that they work, that it looks good enough for the price, and that it is not about to fall apart.