A Real Band and Orchestra Specialty Store

When Should I Get An Instrument Upgrade?

When is the right time?

There are so many benefits to an intermediate or professional instrument, but you want to consider the musical goal of your student.  It is always best to bring the student to try out instruments before purchasing one — most music stores offer this service.  Select the picture that best fits what you’re researching!


Upgrades and Marching Band

If your child is in the public school system, they will most likely be in the marching band.  Marching band is a very fun and rewarding experience, a place where you get to meet and hang out with people that become some of your closest friends.

There is a level of multitasking learned that most people cannot even fathom and…it is great exercise!  Nearly everyone at our store marched in high school and enjoyed it, so this isn’t saying to try and avoid marching band.  However, if you ask someone who marched their intermediate or professional instrument on the field if they regret it, you will almost always get a “yes!”

What’s the big deal?

Marching band will age any instrument faster than would normally happen and especially with silver-plated instruments, having them in the rain, sun, setting them on the ground, and not being able to wipe them up frequently will cause tarnish and possibly cosmetic wear that cannot be fixed.

You have anywhere from 50-200 high school kids walking on a field, playing, and always facing the sideline no matter which direction they are marching!  There are bound to be collisions.  It is better to have the beginner instrument (that has already seen the clumsiness of beginning band) be sacrificed to marching band rather than the upgraded instrument in which you’ve recently invested.


There’s no time when you “have to” get a more advanced instrument, but there will be a time when your student advances beyond the capability of their current instrument.  The instrument will still function, but your student will greatly benefit from one of higher quality.

What is the next step?

If your child approaches you with the desire to upgrade, come down and try some out!  You know your child better than any store employee, so you know how dedicated, responsible, and so forth your student is.  You can even sit in the room with them as they play-test and hear the difference.

The band program will benefit.  Your student will benefit.  It is worth the investment!

Whatever you decide, we’re always here to help and can offer advice as needed.  After all, we have been through school music programs and will gladly share our personal experiences to aid in your decision!