Music instruments have several levels of quality: beginner, intermediate and professional. Beginner trumpets, while the most cost-effective, offer the least quality benefits, but work fine, however, for middle and high school students learning how to play. As you advance through the ranks of trumpet player, you'll develop an ear for the sound quality, responsiveness, intonation and resistance of your instrument.
The sound of the trumpet you choose should ideally match the sound of the trumpet you hear in your mind. Listen to the sound quality of your potential trumpet in a music hall with superb acoustics to get a feel of the actual quality of sound. Getting a professional-quality trumpet as a beginning probably won't help you sound like Louis Armstrong, however.
The response of the trumpet is highly subjective depending on the player's preferences. What seems responsive and lively to one player may feel dull and unresponsive to the next. There are no determining factors into what makes a trumpet responsive, but the material of the trumpet, thickness of the bell, bracing and mouthpiece are all contributing factors.
Intonation is the pitch accuracy of an instrument. The quality of the intonation depends on the style and preferences of the player. Intonation can be sharp, flat or even both.
The resistance of a trumpet refers to the actual feeling of blowing in the mouthpiece. Some people may prefer an "against the current" feedback, and search for instruments with medium-bored horns and smaller-bored mouthpieces. Those that prefer the feeling of no resistance at all search for trumpets with medium to large-bored horns and larger-bored mouthpieces.
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