Buyers should choose the best marching trumpet by looking at the strength of the instrument's construction, testing the instrument out, choosing a durable, silver-plated finish, and finding an instrument with a warranty. The main difference between choosing an ordinary trumpet and choosing a marching trumpet is the durability. The construction of the instrument can help to determine how durable it is, particularly the bracing and the bell. A test of the trumpet helps to reveal issues with the valves, which are a key component on the instrument. Trumpets with warranties are hard to find, but warranties make repairs less of a financial and logistical issue.
The first thing buyers should look at when choosing a marching trumpet is the construction of the instrument. The bracing of the instrument are the vertical bars which support it. These should be solid in construction to ensure maximum durability. The connections between the sections of tubing should also be firm and solid. One-piece bells are more expensive but provide greater durability than two-piece bells.
Players should always test several instruments out before choosing a marching trumpet. The most vital things to examine are the valves, which change the note produced. These should be easy to press down and operate smoothly. Buyers should hear a light “thunk” sound when they press down the valves. It is important to ensure that the casings at the bottom of the valves are free from dents and imperfections.
The type of plating used on the instrument can also help buyers determine which marching trumpet to choose. Most trumpets have a lacquer finish, which is suitable for ordinary use but wears quicker than silver. A silver finish makes the tone produced by the instrument slightly brighter, but it is much more durable. The price of trumpets with silver finishes is usually more, but they are better suited to marching bands because of their durability.
Finding an instrument with a warranty is a good idea when buying a marching trumpet. Players in marching bands put their instruments at greater risk of damage, so ease of repair is important. A warranty not only removes the cost of fixing the instrument, it also serves to prove that it can be repaired easily. Choosing a marching trumpet made by a respected manufacturer can help to ensure that fixes are possible, because lower-end trumpets are often irreparable. Players should ask if the instrument can be fixed easily before buying it.