Six Top Tips for Buying an Instrument
Choosing an instrument can be a difficult and confusing thing! There are so many different makes and models of instruments available today. With so much conflicting information, it can be an overwhelming process. So we've put together six top tips to help you begin your search!
1. Get Advice
Searching online is a great way to start researching your new instrument. There is a wealth of information available, with lots of websites and blogs giving advice on which make and model is best.
Perhaps ask advice from professional teachers or performers on your instrument. If you don't know any, instrument societies are a great way of putting you in touch and offering advice themselves.
Speak to staff at a specialist music shop such as The Early Music Shop, which is staffed by musicians who have significant experience of buying and playing instruments, as well as decades of experience helping other people find their new instruments. If you need help selecting the perfect instrument from our range, get in touch today, and we'll be delighted to assist.
2. Bargains aren't always good...
As the saying goes, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! Sometimes it's possible to find an amazing bargain, but you really need to know what to look for and what to avoid.
There are lots of cheap instruments around, which are usually of poor quality, so be wary of simply picking the cheapest instrument. Read reviews from others!
Previously-owned instruments can be a great way to get your hands on a more expensive – even unique – instrument for less. All of our previously-owned instruments have been thoroughly serviced and restored by our specialist technicians for that extra peace of mind.
3. Choose well-known brands
When it comes to instruments, it can often be a good idea to stick to well-known brands. Make sure the brand/make you're choosing has a good record of making your instrument. They have often developed and improved their models over decades or even centuries!
An indicator of a good brand for your instrument is either one that has models in different price ranges or is stocked by a specialist music shop. At The Early Music Shop we have established close relationships with a whole host of instrument makers and brands – we even act as the appointed UK dealer for a few. Browse our ranges of recorders, woodwind and brass, strings, keyboards and percussion today to find out which instruments we have in stock!
4. Set a budget
When deciding on an instrument, it's always good to set a reasonable budget. It will really help narrow down your search. Your budget should be reasonable in the sense that you can get what you want for that price. There's no point setting a budget of £500 for a pedal harp!
This is where asking advice from specialist shops such as ours comes in handy. We'll be able to tell you the price ranges of instruments, and what you get for different price bands. If there is something specific you want the instrument to have, or be able to do, it may be that the starting price is higher than you thought.
When it comes to instruments, pricing is usually a good indicator of quality. Sometimes it can be worth investing more in an instrument which will continue to serve you well as you develop as a musician.
There are many different options for financing instruments, from payment plans to specialist loans and grants for musicians. Take a look at our blog for more information on the options we offer to support musicians with their purchase.
5. Be open-minded!
When you're searching for your new instrument, be open-minded. Look at more than one model or more than one brand. If you have the opportunity, try different instruments and compare them. At The Early Music Shop, we have an approval service so take advantage of that if you are unable to visit us in person!
6. Fall in love!
It's your instrument – you've got to choose something you'll love! At the end of the day, as long as the instrument plays well and is suitable for what you need, anything else doesn't matter. Instruments are such personal things. An instrument you've been recommended, one that ticks all the boxes, might not be the one for you. If you don't love it, you'll end up not playing it.