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Choosing a Musical Instrument For the Child - A Parents' Help guide to Brass

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

Clearly step one is to choose a guitar. Let your child their very own choice. Kids don't make the greatest big decisions regarding their life, and this is a big one that can be very empowering. I can also 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 in to a room to try at most 3-5 different choices, and allow them to make their choice using the sound they like best.

These details are intended to broaden your horizons, never to create a preference, in order to put you in a position to nit-pick within the store! Most instruments are really well made these days, and selecting a respected retailer will help you trust recommendations. Ask your school and/or private music teacher where you can shop.

Brass instruments are created all over the world, but primarily in the USA, Germany, France, and China. Whenever we talk about brass instruments, we're referring to members of the Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, and Tuba families.


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

Brass useful 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 types of brass are all employed for instrument construction. Each also carries a certain tendency towards a particular quality of sound - however, this 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 aspects of your instrument. It features a very pure audio quality, projects best of the three alloys, and holds up very well at high volumes.

(Gold brass can also be extremely popular, mainly because slightly more complex quality of sound, and personal feedback. Usually a player hears themselves just a little better using gold brass, however the trade off is a very slight decrease in projection. This more 'complex' quality is quite attractive to the ear, but tend to get harsh at high volumes if the player is not in charge of all of their technique. It's just like the transition to screaming from singing - there's a point at which you can easily go too far. Gold Brass just sits there for the whole instrument (in The united states, but a lot in Europe). We primarily use it for the bell (the location where the sound comes out), along with the leadpipe (the first stretch of tubing within your instrument). The leadpipe usage is starting to become common for student instruments, because it resists corrosion well, the industry concern for teenagers whose body chemistry is volatile, and for students who rarely clean their instruments.

The same holds true of Red brass. This is the very complex sound, not often 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 in mind, it can produce a marvelous sound when well balanced against the rest of a well designed instrument. An example is the famous 88H Symphonic Trombone, which was a staple of the north american market for over 60 years.

The other material that is used to make brass instruments is nickel-silver. Interestingly, there is no actual silver with 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 hails 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 portion of your instrument. Unlike brass, it is often very hard. This makes it perfect for use on instruments to:

Protect moving parts
Join two tubes with a ring (called a ferrule)
Wear parts of the instrument that come into a lot of connection with the hands to protect against friction wear through the hands.
Companies use nickel silver in various ways, and on various parts of the instrument. These construction facts are minimal, but here are several suggestions to look for which can help the stability and strength of student instruments:
o The outsides of tuning slides. This can be good, because it protects parts that regularly need to be moved from damage.
o The interior tubes of tuning slides. Well suited 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 number of shapes and sizes, at the discretion with the designer. Sometimes the inside of the ferrule is regulated to change shape (taper) right through to a larger consecutive tube. Some standard student instruments just fit expanded ends of brass tubing together.
o Parts that the hands touch. Brass is definitely eaten away, albeit slowly, by normal body chemistry, so a student instrument containing these areas in nickel-silver is an asset for longevity. You will find exceptions to this rule, for Trumpets, whose valve casings are usually made of brass alone.


Mouthpieces for brass are likely to be referred to as 'cup' mouthpieces, and tend to be made of brass, but plated in silver. Brass by itself can cause irritation, and is also mildly toxic to stay in such close proximity on the lips, whereas silver is generally neutral. There are cases where 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 a music retailer that's specifically intended for mouthpieces, and clean the mouthpiece both before and after each use. This is a great idea, anyway. If the irritation persists, think about a gold-plated mouthpiece, or like a last resort, plastic. Note as well that not all companies add a good quality mouthpiece making use of their instruments. Be sure to talk with your retailer to be sure what you are getting is exactly what you should be using for your student.

As with instruments, mouthpieces come in a dizzying array of shapes and specifications. Items that you have never heard of, like Rim, Throat, inner diametre, Backbore, etc., may confuse you.((To create matters more complex, there is 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 your various parts be?

Usually, schools start kids on small mouthpieces because it is easy to get a response beyond them. The downside on this is that small mouthpieces can mean a very bright sound, and can actually hold a student back from developing the disposable blowing of air which is essential to developing a good sound. There's a generally accepted order of progression from bare beginner to solid student. I propose getting the second mouthpiece right off the bat. This will produce a bigger/fuller sound, and definately will encourage more air to be utilized right from the start. Don't let the numbers throw you here, the second mouthpiece is the bigger one. The bracket indicating numerology could be the company that makes the mouthpiece, suggested here just for comparison.

Trumpet: 7C, 5C (Bach numerology - for strong players consider also 3C)
Horn: 30C4, 32C4 (Schilke or Yamaha numerology)
Trombone: 12C, 6½AL (Bach numerology - for strong players consider also 5GS)

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

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

When and for what reason can i not buy a new mouthpiece?
Kids often look for the short-cut. Not being able to play low or high enough is a challenge and often the kid looks for a quick answer, or has seen a colleague playing something different. Often, when your child approaches you about a new mouthpiece, it could very well be the time for it. Make sure to ask lots of queries about what they do and do not like about their mouthpieces so you can uncover from your retailer if it is a good request. Make sure to know what they already have. The best changes to make will be the subtle ones. Small variations in a mouthpiece design can help get the desired result, and not sacrifice some or all the other areas of playing. The scholars that make the big changes simply to get high notes often pay the biggest price inside 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 is a good idea, as slide repairs cost a lot. - August Alsina type beat 2015

For Horn, get a double horn. It has 4 valves, and offers way more choice to the player once and for all tuning, and development down the road. Horn is tricky, so helping using this is a good endorsement of one's child's chances.

For Tuba, attempt to get one that fits your kids, and on which every aspect - including tuning slides - will be in a state of good repair. Push the school if it is a good school instrument. If your kid can handle a big instrument, get one.

Brass instruments need consistent maintenance to perform well. Be sure you know what lubricants to use about what 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'll 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 own home once a month using mild soap and lukewarm water (warm water will cause your lacquer to peel of the horn), and a flexible brush from your retailer.

Avoid cheap instruments. With musical instruments you get what you buy. There are a lot of instruments via India and China now. Most are excellent, while many others must not even have been made. Your neighborhood, respected dealer really should have those that are reliable, and will stand behind them. Your big-box Costco, Wal-Mart, BestBuy, and e-Bay has no expertise in these matters, and operations for their bottom line only. Avoid these places. They won't possibly offer you the continued assistance, service, or repair that a developing and interested student will need. If you choose this route, ask for american-made instruments (and Japan). This is a major separator of good from bad. People that make brass in the USA are generally very well trained and portion of a history of excellent brass making, specially those in the Conn-Selmer family of companies. Your neighborhood, trusted retailer will guide you in the choices available, and don't forget that just because it says USA, or Paris onto it, does not mean it was stated in these places. Increase which mean sometimes making these things part of the 'name' of the instrument.((Simply how much should I spend?

Which is the big question. Be aware that popular instruments, like Trumpet, be cheaper because they are made in greater quantities. Some instruments, like Horn and Tuba, are challenging and time-consuming to make, making them more expensive. Here is a list of acceptable pricing (during the time that this is being written) for brand new student instruments that work well for both American and Canadian currency.

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

When should I obtain a better instrument, and Why?

Sixty years ago, there were no 'student' and 'intermediate' instruments. Manufacturers were just going to the realization that there was a growing, post-war market that was changing to guide a more commercial style of instrument making. Today, instruments are engineered to obtain to buy three times. First as a beginner, then as an advancing student, and finally as a professional. Clearly, this can be a model that makes a lot of cash for manufacturers.

Ideal reasons, I often encourage parents first of all the better instrument, or perhaps a good used intermediate or professional instrument. Starting on better equipment is like starting on that slightly larger mouthpiece; receiving a bigger, better sound is encouraging. The greater construction and materials mixture of these better instruments will even leave more room growing. So what are the right reasons? Listed here is a list that works not just as guide for helping to choose the right instrument, but for what you should watch for to aid musical growth:

-Going with a school with a strong music program.
-Getting private lessons, or has requested some. (Check with private teacher for recommendations before selecting, this will help.)
-Practicing without parental encouragement
-Has at the very least 4 years of playing in front of them.

These factors are great indicators of whether or not to buy, and whether or not to buy intermediate or professional. When the bulk of these are unclear, look at a rental for a year to ascertain if they get any clearer, and supplement with regular (weekly) private lessons.

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


Posted Nov 13, 2015 at 11:36pm