If you do not have long-term experience with band instruments, the purchase of an instrument can be a daunting challenge. I advise parents that they not purchase an instrument right away. On occasion, we find that a student needs to switch instruments, or they purchase an instrument that hinders what would be normal progress, and must struggle with a poor quality horn.
However, far more often, I have seen families but instruments that are of such poor quality that they cannot be repaired, and are VERY likely to bend and malfunction. I recently had a student who was struggling to play on a discount instrument. Their sound was cutting through the entire 45-piece ensemble like a laser beam. I checked the instrument, and, try as I might, with 40 years of musical training behind me, I was NOT ABLE TO PLAY IT IN TUNE. It wasn't the student's fault, nor the family's. The instrument, quite simply, DID NOT SOUND AS IT WAS SUPPOSED TO!
I appreciate that better quality comes with slightly higher prices. But, for just a few more dollars, they are more likely to blend their sound with the ensemble, become less frustrated, and, thus, be more successful.
Every band director will recognize the following instruments as being "industry standard." Some make only clarinets, some make only brass. I am not alone in recommending the following brand names:
Each of these is a hyperlink leading to the manufacturer's web site.
Beginning bassoon video links are located on the "Oboe and Bassoon" Page. Navigate there from the "More" tab, above...