Frequently Asked Questions



What should I look for in a used instrument?

The moving parts (trombone slide or trumpet pistons) need to move. Not only do they need to move, they need to move quickly with little to no resistance. Also, there should be no major dents. Any dent that restricts air flow through the horn will cause the tone quality to suffer and makes it harder to blow through the instrument. The most common place to find a “death ding” is a crushed slide crook.

What about this brand new $100 instrument on Amazon?

For $100, you can purchase a new instrument-shaped object (ISO for short) over the Internet. These may look like a trombone or trumpet, but they do not sound or play like a trombone or trumpet. These instruments do players a disservice.

Do you offer a maintenance plan?

Sleister Brass has our own repair shop. We offer cleaning services and repair work for any instruments purchased from us.

Can I buy a used instrument online through eBay?

Yes, but in our experience, there are a number of issues that are often undisclosed by sellers that can make an instrument unplayable. It is smart to see a used instrument in person before purchasing it.

I’m not sure that my child will like band and stick with it and don’t want to be out a lot of money in case band isn’t for my child. What do I do?

Sleister Brass’ mission is to offer quality instruments at fair prices. If you purchase an instrument for us and no longer need it 6 months later, we will buy it back from you at the purchase price minus a monthly rate ($25). If your child really likes band, you own an instrument at a reasonable price. If not, you end up spending less money than renting.

My school band director gave us a list of approved brands/models- are your instruments on the list?

The models that Sleister Brass offers are exclusively from reputable manufacturers with a history of quality and dependability. Our used brass instruments come from the following brands: Bach, Yamaha, King, Holton, Getzen, Conn, Olds, Blessing, Besson. We also offer new student trombones and trumpets from Blessing; these instruments are approved by band directors in the Ankeny Community School District. We are certain that we have an instrument that matches your needs.


How many months will I have to rent before I own the instrument?

Excellent question! Short answer is between 24 and 36 months. You also have the option to buy the instrument and receive a discount on the remaining balance. For example, you are renting a used trumpet at $20 per month. An excellent condition used trumpets costing $400 to purchase outright might have a rental period of 28 months for a total of $560 in payments. If after 10 payments you wish to buy the instrument, you may be able to do so for the discounted price of $260.

Note that R&M payments do not apply toward the rent-to-own equity.

What kind of condition of used instruments are these?

Sleister Music rents brand-new instruments as well as used instruments. The used instruments are all in excellent playing condition with minor cosmetic flaws.

Do you offer a maintenance plan?

Yes! For $5 per month, you can subscribe to our repair and maintenance plan, which covers routine maintenance and accidental damage that may happen to your rental instrument. This covers 100% of any repair expense, so long as the damage is not deliberate. The details of everything that is and is not covered by the R&M plan are available for your reading pleasure in our Rental Agreement.

What if my student changes instruments or wants to upgrade his/her instrument?

Sleister Music’s rent-to-own program understands that sometimes a student will start out playing one instrument but later change his/her mind and play another instrument. You are able to do this with our rental program, and we will apply 100% of the equity built up toward the new instrument.

Another advantage of Sleister Music’s rent-to-own program is that you can apply 100% of the equity built toward an intermediate or professional model instrument!