Recommended Instruments

While a good instrument can be attained at a variety of prices, students that use instruments with certain characteristics have a better band experience. When picking a student instrument, look for the following:

FLUTES

  • Undercut and beveled embouchure hole
  • High quality head joint
  • Double bladder pads
  • Nickel-silver forged keys
  • Durable, high quality silver plating
  • Ergonomic key design
  • Calibrated for excellent intonation
  • Sturdy material used for keys that stand up to daily use
  • Sturdy case
  • Strong and durable key posts
  • Adjustment mechanism for pad alignment

The following brands have been found to serve students well, and have been of consistently high quality. We are happy to look at other instruments upon request.

Yamaha, Gemeinhardt, Selmer, Emerson, Armstrong, Olds, Jupiter

CLARINETS

  • Quality of material used in body of instrument, such as ABS resin
  • Barrel design that enhances response for the beginning student
  • Bell with resonance chamber that produces a focused tone and quick response
  • Sturdy pads that hold up to the demands that a beginning student place on the instrument. This aids in maintenance during the first year. In addition, the instrument will be more stable in varying conditions of temperature and humidity
  • Ergonomic key design
  • Adjustable key design on thumb rest
  • Sturdy material used for keys that stand up to daily use
  • Undercut tone holes
  • Tight fit on tenons and clamps that ensure air tightness and easy response
  • Sturdy case
  • A Yamaha 4C mouthpiece gives a great tone and easy response. Some mouthpieces that are included with rental instruments make the clarinet difficult to play. They are hard to blow, make it difficult to get a good tone and make the clarinet play out of tune. If the rental store does not include one with the instrument, parents could try requesting one. If the rental store will not provide one, parents may purchase this mouthpiece online for under $25.

The following brands have been found to serve students well, and have been of consistently high quality. We are happy to look at other instruments upon request.

Yamaha, Buffet, Selmer, Bundy, Vito, Leblanc, Artley

TRUMPETS

  • Valves
    • Nickel or Monel only (unplated valves will corrode in months)
    • No dents on valve casings or slide crooks
    • No corrosion
    • Clean!
    • Slide moves smoothly, no resistance or catches
  • Standard American dimensions and weight
  • Solid quality case
  • All slides maintain good tolerances and move freely
  • Medium to heavy gauge materials
  • Solder and brace workmanship
  • “Slotting” and pitch center
  • Water key working and not leaking
  • Bach 7C or comparable mouthpiece

The following brands have been found to serve students well, and have been of consistently high quality. We are happy to look at other instruments upon request.

Bach, Besson, Blessing, Bundy, Conn, Getzen, Holton, King, Olds, Yamaha

TROMBONE

  • Slide
    • Nickel inner slide, no signs of wear
    • No dents on outer or inner slide
    • Inner and outer slide is aligned properly, not sprung
    • Clean!
    • Slide moves smoothly, no resistance or catches
  • Standard American dimensions and weight
  • Medium to heavy gauge materials
  • Solder and brace workmanship
  • “Slotting” and pitch center
  • Water key working and not leaking
  • 5GS, 7C or 6  AL mouthpiece
  • Slide Cream, Spray bottle, Cotton cloth. No slide oil please

The following brands have been found to serve students well, and have been of consistently high quality. We are happy to look at other instruments upon request.

Yamaha YSL 354, Getzen 351 (or 300-400 series), King 605 or 606, Bach TB200, Bundy, Conn, Holton, Jupiter, Olds, Besson, Blessing