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What Should I Know Before I Buy a Cornet?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2014
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Before you buy a cornet, consider the overall costs, whether you plan to play long-term or professionally, and how the instrument will be protected between performances. Cornets are cheap instruments on the low end, especially when bought used, but they are still relatively hefty purchases. People who plan to play a cornet seriously in competitions or professionally should keep their goals in mind when looking to buy a cornet. In addition, cornets require a case to prevent dents that are rarely cheap to repair. Lastly, remember that every instrument has its place, and cornets are most often played in brass bands, concert bands, and jazz bands.

Buying a cornet can be expensive, but these instruments are less expensive than some wind instruments, like tubas. Consider buying a used cornet if having a new one is not important to you or you are not sure if you will want to play a cornet long-term. To buy a cornet used, you should either know a lot about cornets and identifying possible deal breakers like irreparable damage or know someone who can. Music teachers and people who repair instruments can help with picking out a suitable used instrument for a beginner. Used cornets can be purchased directly from people who no longer play or from secondhand stores like pawn shops.

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If you are planning to compete or play professionally, some people recommend purchasing a new cornet rather than a used one. In fact, sometimes experts advise such people to buy the best cornet they can afford. Quality generally affects the price of cornets, so in theory buying the most expensive instrument available should yield the best instrument available. While this can be used as a rule of thumb, it is usually best to research and ask professionals for advice too.

Cornets may look tough because they are made of metal, but they are easy to dent. A few dents here and there usually does not matter or affect the quality of music produced. These dents are often expensive to repair, however, and deep dents can render the instrument useless. It is important to purchase a case to transport the instrument and store it when not in use. Sometimes a cornet comes with a case when it is bought, but in many cases this accessory must be purchased separately.

This type of instrument is often used in certain bands. In some cases, the instrument has been replaced by the trumpet, which is a very similar instrument. If you are looking to buy a cornet for the first time, keep in mind what kind of bands you wish to play in. Cornets are rarely or never found in some bands and may not be the instrument for you if your goal is to be in such a band.

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