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Thread: Help for a beginner :)

  1. Help for a beginner :)

    Please help with recommendations for what a beginner should start playing with. If you had a 5th grader new to playing an instrument, that needed a 3 valve baritone euphonium, what brand and model would you recommend? I've been told that they will probably use this for 2 years and switch to a 4 valve in 7th grade. He has 2 little brothers that might want to play it as well. After that I will probably resell. Looking for good sound/easy to play and best value. Thank you for your help!

  2. #2

    Help for a beginner :)

    What you want is a euphonium, which is sometimes called a baritone horn. (However, a true baritone horn is smaller than a euphonium and not in common use in the USA.)
    Euphoniums come in three basic configurations.
    Some are made for marching. They look like really fat trumpets, and are not what you want.Some have the valves in front of the player and a bell that is either straight or curved forward. In either case the bell will extend to the player's left.Some have valves to the player's right side, and have a straight bell that extends to the player's right.
    It is the 3rd type that you want, because that is the configuration in use professionally and by about 90% of high school players (although with the extra valve).
    Yamaha makes a very nice instrument in this configuration. It is more expensive than some off-brand instruments, but is sturdily built, has good intonation, and retains good resale value. It also comes in a good case that takes abuse pretty well. Here is a link:
    Yamaha YEP-201 Series 3-Valve Euphonium Lacquer
    You can find some well-made Chinese euphoniums with 4 valves for this price or less. However, their durability is not proven in public school use - they are better suited to older players. Also, the 3-valve model I linked above is lighter and easier for small players to hold.
    Yamaha instruments have been proven in schools for many years. The threading on the valve caps is good, which is important because you often take those off to oil the valves. Slides work well. They can take a few hits and dents and just keep right on playing. Unless you run over it with your car, the YEP-201 should be dandy for a hand-me-down.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3

    Help for a beginner :)

    If possible resale value on down the line is a primary consideration, then the Yamaha 201, Jupiter 468, or King 628 would be a good choice.

    OTOH, if possible resale value is not primary consideration, depending on which vendor you went with, you could buy 2 or 3 Jin Bao 1180s (a Yamaha 201 clone) for the cost of a new 201. FWIW, the middle school that my niece attends (and my nephew prior to that) bought 4 Tuba Exchange-branded Jin Bao 3-bangers about 4 years (the year my nephew started band). So far, they haven't experienced any issues with durability or workmanship, beyond the expected run-of-the-mill use and abuse at the hands of middle schoolers.

  4. Help for a beginner :)

    WoodWindBrassWind has a student 3-valve York upright "used" listed at $559.20. Hope this helps.

  5. #5

    Help for a beginner :)

    Originally posted by: davewerden However, a true baritone horn is smaller than a euphonium and not in common use in the USA.
    I feel like the true british-style baritone might be a good choice for an elementary school student who is going to get a real 4-valve euphonium for 7th grade. It's a heck of a lot lighter, the case is smaller and easier to maneuver onto the school bus, the instrument is easier to hold and handle (resulting in less accidental damage?), and the difference in sound between a baritone and a real euphonium isn't going to matter much in an elementary school setting. Once the player gets to middle school, upgrading to an intermediate euphonium like a YEP-321 would be perfect. A Besson 1057 (or the older Besson 757) or a Yamaha YBH-301 or YBH-301S (NOT YBH-301M) would be a great choice.


  6. Help for a beginner :)

    Thank you all for the help! I think I am going with the Yamaha 201. He will have a similar one at school to use, so this way he doesn't have to lug it back and forth, but is still using similar models. The case is about as big as he is . I had been considering that one before posting but wanted more educated opinions about a good purchase. I have spent about 6 hours looking into these, as I had never heard of them before my son told me he wanted to play one this year. He is really excited about it, so thank you all again!

  7. Help for a beginner :)

    get a used horn, quality.
    King, Conn, Yamaha, Bach, Olds, Blessing, Jupiter, Besson, Weril, Holton...

    If it was made in the USA, Britain, Japan, or Taiwan you're ok.
    If you want to put money into an instrument after that, get a good pro one.

  8. Help for a beginner :)

    Many years ago I had to play euphonium made in China called Skylark in Malaysia,that is bad enough for me to quit the band.Really a nightmare for me.

  9. Help for a beginner :)

    Originally posted by: rolling

    Many years ago I had to play euphonium made in China called Skylark in Malaysia,that is bad enough for me to quit the band.Really a nightmare for me.
    China has gotten a lot better, these early Chinese horns are truly terrible.
    When I first started in repair, one of my mentors told me "don't buy an instrument named after a bird or a deity." There was a bit of a trend with : Lark, Skylark, Parrot, Swallow, etc...

  10. Help for a beginner :)

    That is truely funny! "don't buy an instrument named after a bird or a deity" it's a bit like "don't eat the yellow snow" Sorry, it must have hit a funny bone on that one.

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