Every musician needs an instrument that will allow them to reach their full potential. Learning to be a musician is hard enough when everything is going right. The last thing learners need is to be discouraged by a subpar instrument. But finding the right instrument is easier said than done. If you’ve spent any time looking at the options available, you’ll know there are dozens of different baritone horns available. Instruments may all seem the same to the untrained eye, but an expert can tell you that each has strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most obvious differences between horns is their price tag. Many people think that you have to pay thousands of dollars to get a good baritone. We want to start out by telling you that this is false, there are affordable horns that can produce some of the most beautiful sounds imaginable. That’s the sort of horn we want to help you find.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the baritone horn shopping experience. Even experienced musicians have trouble choosing between the better models available on the market. That’s why Surf’n’Buy prepared this guide, to help you find the perfect baritone horn. We want to bring you the best baritone horns that can be purchased at reasonable prices. We know that most people looking for these horns are learners, so we focused on instruments that are perfect for musicians who are looking to buy their first baritone.
We’ll start by looking at the top models online, addressing the pros and cons of each. If you’re still not sure which to buy, we’ll help show you how to determine whether a particular baritone horn is right for you. As an added-bonus, we’ve included advice on getting the most out of your new instrument. It is our hope that our information and advice will make your purchasing process smooth and successful.
Now let’s take a buzz through the top 4 baritone horns in 2019.
Top 4 Baritone Horns
1. Mendini MBR-30: Best Baritone Horn for Intermediate Player
- Lacquered yellow brass body and bell intermediate Bb baritone horn
- Lightweight, .528" bore, 9" upright bell, 3 stainless steel smooth top action pistons
- Includes: silver plated mouthpiece, pro-deluxe hard case, polishing cloth and a pair of gloves
- Bonus: Cecilio 92-D chromatic/string tuner with metronome
- 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer's Defects
- This is a baritone horn, not an euphorium even if it looks like it, because the tone is not as deep as on most euphoriums.
- Made for students and intermediate players.
- Constructed with yellow brass that has been finished with lacquer.
- Three montel top action pistons.
- 23 inches long, 0.528-inch bore, and a 9-inch upright bell.
- Bb Tuning (Bb Flat).
- Comes with a case, metronome, cleaning cloth, mouthpiece, and gloves.
- Covered against defects in construction by a 1-year warranty.
- Constructed in China.
- 15.8-pound shipping weight, including accessories and packing materials.
- It’s a very good looking, especially for the price range.
- Produces a lovely sound – The Mendini MBR-30 is capable of the exact tone and sound you would want from a baritone. And there are few things as important as tone when it comes to a baritone.
- Fairly well constructed – Some of the best materials and workmanship in its price range.
- Affordable pricing makes this a good selection for shoppers on a budget.
- It sounds like a full-sized baritone even though it is a more compact model. This makes it a good selection for anyone who might have trouble holding up a larger and heavier instrument for the length of a concert.
- Comes with a very wide selection of accessories – With this one purchase, you have just about everything you could need or want.
- The gloves are made of a nice, comfortable material.
- The included mouthpiece is silver plated. It certainly looks nice.
- Carrying case is designed to perfectly fit this baritone. Prevents unwanted movement during transport.
- Covered by a one year warranty that will help you get a replacement horn if you experience issues with factory defects.
- Poor quality mouthpiece – The horn itself is likely to be good, but the mouthpiece is much more questionable. If you’re buying this instrument, it’s worth budgeting for a new mouthpiece. You only hear this instrument’s full potential with a new, high-quality mouthpiece.
- Construction quality runs the gamut – Most Mendini baritones are put together well, but a significant minority have issues. These problems are covered by the warranty, but they can still cause problems.
- Difficult to maintain – The individual parts are fairly unique, and it’s difficult to find replacements for them.
- Mixed silver and gold color scheme may not appeal to everyone
- Included accessories might not be everyone’s choice – Some would prefer buying the accessories separately so they could choose the best individual models.
- Side pocket on the case is a bit small – It works for holding small and thin accessories, but it might not be able to hold larger sheet music.
- Made in China – Would be less of a problem is the company listed this in their product information. No information on where quality assurance is performed.
- Metronome is cheap and easily broken – Might be helpful to some but it’s clear to see why it was tossed in for free.
This horn is a fantastic choice for intermediate player looking for a quality sound at a budget price. With this horn, beginners can start producing beautiful sounds as quickly as possible. Not only is the horn itself affordable, the price includes the accessories every baritone player needs. Included with the horn are a case, a whipping cloth, gloves, valve oil, and a metronome. With all of these, you’ll be able to keep it clean, play in time, and carry it safely with you. These aren’t the priciest accessories, but you can’t argue with free! This one package will help you seriously cut down on shopping time. The reliable horn, excellent variety of accessories, and persuasive price point make the Mendini MBR-30 Intermediate Brass B Flat Baritone is our #1 buy option.
2. Hawk WD-BT511: Best Baritone Horn for Beginner Player
- Bb Tuning (Bb Flat)
- Brass Lacquered Construction
- Extended Life, Extra Durable Pistons
- Bb Baritone horn
- Includes high quality case and mouthpiece
- Just about perfect for a beginner player looking to dive into the baritone.
- Made using lacquered brass.
- Double-strength bracing on the sides.
- Valve springs made of stainless steel.
- Bb Tuning (Bb Flat).
- Capable of playing bass or treble.
- Available in nickel and gold.
- Comes with a case and mouthpiece.
- Assembled in China and inspected in the United States of America.
- 9.8-pound shipping weight, including accessories and packing materials.
- Made using a compact, lightweight design – It’s made to be smaller than standard American baritones. This makes it easier to carry around and hold up without losing out on the rich and iconic baritone stand.
- The horn and the mouthpiece are made to Bb tuning specifications. Bb flat to be precise.
- Produces a great sound – Exactly what you would want from a concert baritone. Easy enough for a student but it produces a professional-quality sound.
- Hawk designed this horn to be as easy as possible to learn on. This makes it a perfect fit for a student looking to learn. A great buy whether they’re a complete beginner or someone with experience looking to reach the next level.
- The fact that it’s available in two different materials means you can find an instrument that expresses your style or helps you fit in with the rest of your band. The gold feels more traditional, but with the silver, you get a clean look that will help you stand out in a crowd. The choice is yours.
- Made with a beautiful looking lacquered brass that will make anyone with Hawk WD-BT511 the envy of the band.
- Available with an included case – This means that you won’t have to budget for this essential accessory or run the risk of purchasing a case that doesn’t fit your instrument.
- Carrying case includes rubber feet so it can stand up firm, a double strapped handle, and side pocket for carrying written music and accessories.
- The package also includes a mouthpiece, making it the total package in one place.
- Made with relatively thin metal.
- The bell is susceptible to dents and dimples if not handled carefully.
- Some purists won’t appreciate the smaller size than a standard baritone. Experts may find that it makes a slightly different sound than a larger baritone, which may be an issue for people beyond the intermediate level.
- The included case and mouthpiece might not be everyone’s ideal choice. The inclusion of these items removes choice in this department, exchanging it for convenience.
- Made in China – Most instruments are made in China these days, but some may still be wary of buying a Chinese-made instrument.
- Made for concerts, not marching bands.
- Doesn’t include cleaning size.
Anyone looking to get started playing the baritone would be wise to pick this instrument. In addition to the quality workmanship and materials the package also includes the necessary accessories. With a case and mouthpiece, you’ll have what you need and the confidence that it will all work together. It beats buying these parts separately, only to find out that you purchased the wrong size. Choosing this option saves you from wasting time and allows you to get right to practicing. It’s a concert baritone that is smaller than the standard American Baritone but it produces the same range of sounds in B flat. This makes it a perfect choice for anyone that might have been put off by the size of Baritone horns in the past. Put it all together and you can see why we chose the Hawk WD-BT511 Lacquer Baritone Horn as our best budget option.
3. Yamaha YBH-301S: Best Student Baritone Horn
- Key: Bb
- Bore: .504-inch
- Bell: 8-3/8-inch
- Bell Material: Yellow Brass
- Bell Position: Upright
- Yellow brass upright bell.
- 3 top action valves.
- 0.504-inch bore.
- 8.375-inch diameter bell.
- Bb Tuning (Bb Flat).
- Silver finish.
- Comes with a case, valve oil, and mouthpiece.
- 14.9 -pound shipping weight, including accessories and packing materials.
- Covered by 5-year warranty when purchased from Yamaha Authorized Dealer.
- Beautiful silver finish.
- The high quality of his baritones design and construction makes it very easy to coax a nice sound out of it.
- The sound is particularly vibrant.
- Fits very comfortable in your hands – Thanks to Yamaha’s decades of expertise in instrument construction every horn they make is very light.
- All the parts fit together precisely – It’s clear that a lot of care and attention was put into the design and assembly of this instrument.
- The Yamaha YBH-301S comes with a high quality hard plastic shell case that will keep the horn in top condition as you carry it from place to place. Like the horn, itself this case is professional grade. With your horn in this case you can rest assured that it is safe and secure.
- When purchased from a Yamaha Authorized Dealer this horn is covered by one of the best warranties. The warranty lasts for five years and covers factory defects, shipping damage, and malfunctions that occur during normal use.
- Pricey – There’s no way around it, this isn’t a cheap horn. Even if you find it new it will cost more than a thousand dollars.
- Harder to replace if lost – May not be right to buy for children. If a forgetful child loses this on a band trip it will be very difficult to replace it.
- It’s a superior horn but for many people the difference in price is not matched by the difference in quality. This horn’s MSRP is over four times as much as the other horns on our list but this horn’s sound is not four times better than any of them.
- The case is nice but it isn’t as good as the horn itself. Anyone willing to spend more than a thousand dollars for this instrument might feel the need to buy a different, high-end case.
- Ships with a limited number of accessories given the price. You can find instruments that are much cheaper and come with even more add-ons. This means that if you want things like gloves and wash cloths you’ll have to budget additional spending on top of the cost of the horn.
- Yamaha’s official warranty only covers instruments purchased from Yamaha Authorized Dealers. If you buy this horn from someone who isn’t an authorized dealer you will have to get an assurance of quality from them. If you don’t get a guarantee in writing and you experience problems with the horn, you will be out of luck.
Budget horns might be fine for most beginning players, but some students and advanced musicians demand the best. All of the instruments we’ve looked at can produce lovely sounds, but no horn matches the quality of the Yamaha YBH-301S Series Bb Baritone Horn. This instrument is for people who are willing to make a serious investment in their future as a horn player. Other horns are built to last a couple of years; this horn was made to last a lifetime. It also helps that it’s incredibly fun to play. The horn is lightweight, responsive, and produces the sort of tone that every baritone player looks for. Yamaha horns aren’t for everyone, they are definitely for a very particular type of musician. But if you can afford a Yamaha YBH-301S Series Bb Baritone Horn then it is an option that you simply have to consider.
4. Cecilio 2Series BR-280: Best Baritone Horn for Beginning Band Student
- Lacquered yellow brass bell and body standard Bb baritone horn
- Lightweight, .528" bore, 9" upright bell
- 3 stainless steel smooth top action pistons
- Includes: silver plated mouthpiece, pro-deluxe hard case, polishing cloth and a pair of gloves
- 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer's Defects
- Crafted from lacquered yellow brass.
- Smooth action pistons crafted from stainless steel.
- 0.528-inch bore, and a 9-inch upright bell.
- Bb Tuning (Bb Flat).
- Comes with a cleaning cloth, metronome, case, gloves, and mouthpiece.
- Covered against factory mistakes by a 1-year warranty.
- Assembled in China.
- 15.8-pound shipping weight, with add-ons and packing materials included.
- Larger bore and stainless steel valves help it produce a rich tone that baritone players demand. Even if players don’t always hit the right notes the rich tone can cover this up and help produce a pleasing sound.
- Made with quality materials – The Cecilio 2Series BR-280 is a lovely looking instrument that will make anyone who holds it feel like a true musician.
- Capable of projecting sound quite nicely – This horn can be played in class or in an auditorium, people will definitely be able to hear it.
- This horn is designed to make a big sound without weighing too much – Comfortable to hold up and carry around during practice and performances
- This is the total package – With this one purchase, you get all of the things a baritone player needs to get started.
- Comes packaged with supplies to keep it in clean, working condition. The gloves can be used when playing to keep the lacquered brass as clean as possible. If anything gets on the horn, you can wash it using the included cloth. This set makes horn maintenance simple.
- Comes with a case that fits this horn perfectly and has a built-in pocket that musicians can use to store their sheet music.
- Can sound more like an alto horn. May work for a beginner but the notes are too unclear for anything too advanced.
- Better for practice than for actual performance – You can learn the fundamentals on this instrument but It might hamper you as you go along.
- To get a better sound from this instrument you have to buy a new mouthpiece. The included mouthpiece is very cheap and helps hamper the overall sound. Replacing the mouthpiece makes it perform like a new instrument.
- The case is fine to start with, but it isn’t a true hard-shell case. It is actually made from nylon stretched over Styrofoam, which means that
- Made in China – This isn’t as big of a concern as it once was but it is still a fact that instruments made in China tend to be on the lower end of the quality spectrum. Still, it is clear that it was necessary to make it in China to sell it at the current price point.
This horn is the definition of a learner’s horn. Anyone who is looking for an affordable horn they can use to get the hang of the baritone fundamentals can use this horn. This horn produces a rich tone and projects with minimal effort. This horn is never difficult to hear. It offers all the necessities in one package. It should be noted that while there’s a lot to like with this horn, there is one important drawback to keep in mind, the mouthpiece. With a better mouthpiece, this horn sounds much better, so think about ordering a high-quality mouthpiece with this instrument for the best experience possible. Fortunately, the savings this horn package offers means that an additional mouthpiece isn’t a deal-breaker. Whether you’re willing to buy a new mouthpiece or stick it out with the included option, the Cecilio 2Series BR-280 Brass Bb Baritone is a good selection for beginning band students dipping their toes into the baritone world.
How to Distinguish a Quality Baritone Horn from a Cheap One
New or Used?
The minute a baritone is sold its value goes down. This is the same with many instruments, but it’s especially true with horns. Even the best horns don’t last forever, and a used horn won’t last as long as a new horn. The difference might be just a few days, or a few years, unless you’re an expert, you won’t be able to tell. If you want a horn in top condition, you simply have to buy it new.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can get a sense of the quality of a baritone from the way it looks. A horn that shows visible damage and imperfections is going to be less trustworthy than a horn in pristine condition. Look carefully for blemishes, scratches, and dents. These signs are especially problematic if, you’re looking at a supposedly new instrument. A quality baritone horn is well made and durable so that these issues will be very rare.
Quality horns come from experienced and well-regarded manufacturers. Before buying any baritone, you should try and learn something about the company that manufactured it. That’s why Surf’n’Buy included a section on “Best Baritone Horn brands” to help you find a quality horn. If you can’t find out who manufactured the horn, then the purchase will be a gamble. To ensure the best quality possible try and buy a horn made by a reputable company.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Baritone Horn
When shopping for a baritone home it’s incredibly important that you make sure you’re actually getting a baritone horn. The baritone horn belongs to a segment of the brass instrument family where the horns can look very similar but produce different sounds. One common mistake made by second-hand dealers is labeling alto horns as baritone horns. This is because the two horns look similar and baritone horns are more common, so people just jump to conclusions. Pay attention, alto horns produce music in E flat while baritones produce music in B flat.
Anyone who has seen a baritone in person knows that they can be fairly large. If you want a baritone you can play comfortable for extended periods of time it’s worth looking for a model that isn’t too large or heavy. Keep in mind that anyone who plays an instrument in a band will have to be able to hold their instrument up for anywhere from five minutes to an hour. An instrument that feels just a little heavy when you first hold it might feel like it’s killing your arms after an hour. This is why it’s worth finding an instrument that is as light as you can get without sacrificing tone and projection.
A good-looking baritone might not always make the best sound but in general the top horn makers ensure that their horns look and sound great. Therefore, if a horn looks good it’s more likely to sound good. Blemishes and visible damage are signs of shoddy workmanship. Of course, it’s also worth finding a horn that looks good to you. Brass instruments have a very classic look that will make you feel like you’re playing during the big band era. Silver nickel horns can feel a little more classy and modern. It’s also worth thinking about what sort of instruments the rest of your band will be playing. You might want to try and find an instrument that will help you fit in with the rest of your band.
An instrument is only as good as the material that is made with. The two most popular options are nickel silver and brass. Please note that when you see a silver instrument you’re not looking at a device made of pure silver. Often the horn will just look silver, with little to no silver actually used in the construction. That’s what the term nickel silver mean. It’s a silver-looking material made with copper, nickel, and zinc. If the horn is made with actual silver, it’s usually silver plated. Make sure you read the fine print to learn what a horn is really made with before purchasing it. Nickel silver tends to be better for instruments with larger bells while brass works for smaller bells.
One of the key things that separates high quality horns from their mediocre counterparts is how well the valves respond. A good baritone will react smoothly as your fingers move up and down. Of course, responsiveness depends on how well-oiled the valves are. Still, even when oiled similarly a subpar horn will be stickier and tougher to play. If you want to have an easier time learning and playing your baritone make sure the model you get is highly responsive.
When buying instruments online it’s very common for accessories to come bundled into the deal. The two things that are most commonly included are a mouthpiece and case. Remember, a mouthpiece is technically separate from the horn itself. Therefore, baritones can be sold without them even though you can’t play them without a mouthpiece. If you want to be able to play your new baritone right out of the box you should either buy a horn with a mouthpiece included or order a separate mouthpiece at the same time. Other accessories can add even more value, but they aren’t strictly necessary. Instruments we’ve looked at include bonuses like valve oil, gloves, metronomes, and wash clothes. All of these can be bought separately but it’s hard to deny the appeal of getting it all delivered in one nice and tidy package.
Anyone who has been in a music store knows that instruments can get quite expensive. Fortunately, the internet has made it easier than ever to find affordable instruments. Budget baritones are better than ever but there are still tradeoffs involved. Cheaper instruments are more likely to have defects and will probably have a shorter lifespan. You should also consider the cost of necessary add-ons like a mouthpiece and a case.
You can tell a lot about an instrument by looking at the people who made it. Any company can promise you the world but a proven track record can’t be faked. This is why the next section of this guide is “Best Baritone Horn brands.” Generic brands may produce passable products but if you want the best horn possible you need a well-reviewed horn produced by a trustworthy company.
Even the top brands can make mistakes. A step in the production process is a little off; the inspector overlooks a fault, the box is dropped during shipping, all of these things are bound to happen when a company produces thousands of instruments daily. If you want to be totally confident in your purchase, you should look for instruments that come with some sort of quality guarantee. A one year warranty that covers factory defects is the basic assurance you should ask for. More protection is better, but it usually comes at higher costs. On the other hand, you can find cheaper instruments that have no protection of any sort. These instruments will always be a gamble. If any of the mistakes we talked about earlier happen between the factory and your doorstep, then you will be stuck with a damaged instrument.
Best Baritone Horn Brands
Since 2004 Cecilio Musical Instruments have been striving to make great music affordable to the masses. According to their official statements, their work comes from a very personal place. The founder heard a parent struggling to find a violin they could afford for their young daughter. In the past, fine instruments could cost thousands of dollars and regular people had to rent. This is why Cecilio produces the instruments that they do. They pride themselves on the fact that their instruments are instructor approved. This means that musical teachers across the country have examined their instruments and found them to be satisfactory.
We actually looked at more than one horn by this company. Cecilio 2Series BR-280 is clearly by them, but there is another. The Mendini MBR-30 we looked at is also from this manufacturer, just sold a different name. Cecilio is a full range instrument manufacturing company. Their goal is to make quality horns at the lowest possible price. This allows retailers to bundle their horns with a variety of accessories and still sell the packages at prices low enough for students. If you want a solid instrument and all the necessary accessories at one low price, you should look for names like Cecilio and Mendini.
Hawk is another company that is famous for making instruments for budget-minded shoppers. They specialize in producing brass instruments like the baritone but they also make wind instruments and drums. Their products regularly come with a variety of accessories that make their instruments ready to use out of the box for students. Between this and their pricing it is easy to see why Hawk instruments are popular among school band leaders and musicians.
Hawk baritones like the WD-BT512 are designed to pack a high-quality sound into a highly portable instrument. The nickel-plated material is attractive and durable without weighing the instrument down like other horns. Beginning players can use their horn while standing up or marching for extended periods of time without wearing their arms down.
Musicians willing to pay top dollar for their next instrument may want to consider purchasing from Yamaha. The name Yamaha is probably familiar even to people who aren’t musicians. This Japanese conglomerate started out with a complete dedication to musical instruments but has since diversified into producing home electronics, sports equipment, and watercraft. Still, their musical department is their oldest and most storied. If you want an instrument with a superior pedigree, a Yamaha is a good choice.
Anyone considering a Yamaha should understand that their horns can cost over a thousand dollars used. This means that purchasing one can be a tall order for beginners and students. They’re not for everyone, but players with professional aspirations may see them as a worthwhile investment. These days even budget instruments can produce high-quality music but for professional grade sound and durability, a higher-grade of equipment is still required. Yamaha is one of the companies offering these kinds of baritones.
Choosing the Best Baritone Horn for Your Needs
You can’t find the right baritone until you know what you need. Each of the options we have looked at can satisfy different musicians, it’s just a matter of matching your needs with the right instrument. We’ll look at the factors that separate different shoppers and how they relate to the search for the best baritone.
How Strong Are You?
This is something that’s especially important to consider if you’re going to be in a marching band. Holding up an instrument as large as a baritone all day is hard enough, marching around with it in your hands introduces a whole new level of difficulty. If you have played an instrument in a bad before you have some idea of what you can comfortably hold. If not then you will have to estimate your skills based on other experiences. Please note that even relatively light objects can feel heavy after you’ve been forced to hold them up for a lengthy period of time. If you’re just starting out it’s better to buy a horn that’s lighter than you think you need it to be.
What Are You Going to be Using This Baritone for?
If you’re just curious about the instrument and looking to experiment with it then you should probably buy a cheaper model. This is especially true for parents looking to buy a horn for a child who isn’t the most committed individual. There are few things as frustrating as buying a top of the line product for a child who decides they aren’t interested in it a month later. On the other hand, if you’re seriously committed to mastering the baritone then it’s worth paying extra for a truly top-of-the-line instrument. The top models are the instruments that last the longest. A professional knows that an instrument that seems expensive is actually a wise investment since it will continue to work perfectly for years after cheaper models would have fallen apart.
Buying a quality horn is important but you don’t want to spend money you don’t have on an instrument. Fortunately, you’ll find that budget instruments are better than ever before. It also helps that there are some wonderful bundles that include all the accessories you could ask for with the horn itself. If you set a budget before you go shopping, you’ll have a much easier time finding the right horn. Just remember that at a certain point lower prices mean questionable quality. Expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars to buy an acceptable baritone.
Baritone horns are very intimate instruments. You deserve a horn you can feel good about. You’re going to have a much better time playing an instrument that makes you feel better. This is why it’s worth investing in a horn that’s as beautiful as the sound it produces. For example, do you prefer the way a brass horn looks compared to a silver nickel horn? Then don’t feel like you should deny yourself! The sound differences between the two metal types are relatively limited, especially to inexperienced ears.
Baritone Horn Accessories and Parts
Blue Juice Valve Oil
Learning to take care of your instrument is almost as important as learning how to play it. One of the most essential steps in baritone maintenance is oiling the valves. Without proper lubrication valves stick and make it difficult to play notes properly. Buying a baritone horn is a big investment so why not pay a few extra dollars for valve oil that will keep your horn clean? There are a lot of brands out there but Blue Juice Valve Oil offers the best balance of quality and affordability. Add this to your purchase and you’ll have what it takes to keep your horn in performance condition.
Gard Mid-Suspension Baritone Horn Gig Bag
Keeping your horn safe and well protected is something worth investing in. If you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on an instrument it’s worth paying a relatively small amount of cash to secure your horn as you move it around. The last thing you want is to carry your baritone around unprotected. Even if you constantly hold your horn in your hands then you’re going to be getting the oils from your skin on the metal and that means you’ll need to clean it. Pack your horn up in a case like this and you’ll be able to keep it safe and sound during trips and in storage when you’re not using it. Another great thing about this case is the roomy built-in pocket. This gives you space to store sheet music and accessories. Every band member has nightmares about losing their sheet music on the day of the big performance, get a case that will help you fend off this kind of disaster.
Movo MS-20L Neoprene Instrument Neck Strap
Please pay attention to the length. We’re linking to the long model because it’s length and adjustability means it can work for anyone. Still, some will find the full length is overkill and might prefer the short of medium models. The short has a max length of 19.6 inches, the medium has a maximum length of 22.8 inches, and the long has a maximum length of 27.8 inches. As an added bonus this neck strap comes in four different colors. We’re linking to the black version but you can also get the strap in green, blue, and red.
If you want to make beautiful music, then you need to make sure that your instrument is in tune. In the past, this process could be very difficult. Players had to rely on their ability to recognize notes by ear or use tuning tools that were limited and finicky. Now students can ensure that their instrument is always in tune with relative ease thanks to electronic tuning devices. There are many on the market but the Real Tuner from Groovy Center is a sure bet. It is designed with an easy to read screen and a clip that allows you to attach it to your instrument so you can use both your hands for tuning.
Tips and Tricks
If you want to have the best experience possible with your baritone you need to know a thing or two about using it. Buying a top-of-the-line instrument is important but you need to know how to take care of it to keep it in top condition for years to come. That’s why we’ve prepared some tips and tricks you should keep in mind as you use your new baritone.
Make Sure You Clean Every Part of the Horn
Cleaning a complex instrument like a baritone can be a difficult task. You might be tempted to simply run water down the bell and leave it at that but that’s not the right approach. Full cleaning will require towels, a bathtub, and a cleaning snake. Here are the full steps:
- Disassemble the horn.
- Lay one towel in the bathtub and another on a nearby counter or some other flat surface.
- Place every part on the towel in the bathtub except for the valves, which go on the counter towel.
- Clean off any grease or other visible particles clinging to the parts, paying special attention to the tuning slide.
- Fill the tub with warm water and add a bit of soap that is gentle enough to avoid damaging the horn.
- Let the horn sit for around an hour.
- Run a cleaning snake through the tubes to remove any particles trapped inside.
- Remove the parts from the water one by one, rinsing them with lukewarm water and placing them out on a dry towel.
- The valves should be washed separately because the cork section should not be allowed to get wet.
- Let everything dry.
- Reassemble the dry parts.
- Oil the valves and tuning slide for smooth and responsive movement.
- Polish it all off with a clean, smooth, and soft washcloth as a finishing touch.
Always Clean the Mouthpiece
Clean the mouthpiece thoroughly every time you play your instrument. Run warm water over and through the mouthpiece. Remember, warm, not hot. You don’t want to melt or damage the mouthpiece. After it has been thoroughly washed it should be carefully dried with a clean and lint-free washcloth.
Keep it Well Oiled
Always make sure that the valves are well-oiled. One of the most common issues reported with baritone horns is unresponsive play, and this is usually caused by a lack of lubrication. To apply lubrication, you need to begin by carefully removing the pistons from their casing. Once they are all the way out you have to clean them off, removing old oil before you can apply new oil. Once the pistons are cleaned off you simply apply fresh oil and replace the pistons. Always keep valve oil and a clean cloth near the baritone so you can apply some to the valves if you the valves start to feel sticky.
Know When to Call in the Experts
When in doubt, take your horn to a professional. If you have an issue with your baritone that you don’t completely understand then don’t just start messing around. You can turn a small issue into a big problem if you go to work without the right tools and expertise. If you don’t feel completely comfortable making a fix on your own, then you should find someone who is trained to work with brass instruments. Even the most seasoned veterans take their horns in for professional maintenance once a year.
Store it Out of Sight
Keep your horn in a case when it’s not in use. You never know what might happen to your horn when its gone. If you prop up your horn and it gets knocked over it can become damaged. Also, horns that are left out in the open can be a tempting target for thieves.
Lay it Down
Lay the horn down lengthwise when you’re not using it. Even if it’s in the case you should avoid storing it vertically. It can be tempting to try and rest it on the end of the bell but this isn’t stable and any fall can lead to damage. Laying your horn down horizontally on a stable surface that won’t be disturbed is the best choice. Avoid standing it up vertically on the ground where it might be kicked over or stepped on.
Protect Your Horn from the Elements
You don’t want to let your baritone get too hot or too cold. Don’t store your horn directly in the sun. When it’s hot don’t leave your horn in the car for more than a few minutes. Extreme temperatures may not immediately destroy your instrument but they can cause damage and hurt its longevity. You should also make sure that the horn isn’t exposed to rain, snow, fog, or moisture of any sort. Store it in a waterproof case when carrying it through the rain, keep it away from moist areas, and always carry a clean washcloth to remove any water that might get on your horn.
After looking at the best baritones on the market one particular model rose to the top. The Mendini MBR-30 is an instrument that has everything a baritone player could want. It looks beautiful, has fantastic tone, and comes with the necessities. The only thing missing from this package is a teacher to tell you how to play. Anyone who orders a Yamaha YBH-301S will find themselves in possession of a superior instrument. While the Hawk WD-BT511 baritone is especially tempting to budget-minded shoppers.
There are so many baritones on the market because different musicians have different needs and tastes. We can point you toward the most well-regarded model, but in the end, you need to listen to your own gut. Remember, in the end; an instrument is never any better than the musician playing it. A quality baritone makes it easier to create beautiful music, but in the end, it still takes hours and hours of careful practice. Still, when you start learning on a quality horn, the learning process will go much more smoothly.
We hope this guide has answered your questions. The Surf’n’Buy wasn’t able to cover all of the horns on the market, but you now know something about the most popular products on the market. After examining these best options, we are confident that one of them is your perfect match. If you have any other purchases you need help with, then take a look at our other guides. We are striving to make comparison shopping as easy as possible. More guides are released all the time, so keep coming back to learn which products rise above the rest.