Shopping for a Used Instrument
When you drive a new car off the lot, the value depreciates; same goes for the value of musical instruments. If you buy an instrument that is several years old, you can save a great deal. The problem with buying used is if you have never played before, or don’t know someone to help you shop around, it will be hard for you to know if the instrument is in good condition. There are things to look out for like large dings, pads that are dry or have green mold on them, corks that are dry, cracked, or falling off, a trombone slide that isn’t smooth, sticky valves on a trumpet, French horn, or tuba, or any other cosmetic flaw aside from light scratches in the lacquer. The next step is to find out if it plays all the notes within it’s range, and plays them in tune. One option might be to ask the person selling the horn to play the chromatic scale for you, slowly, so you can hear each note ring.