So you’ve weighed your options, you’ve thought it through multiple times, and you’ve finally made the most crucial decision: you’ve decided to learn how to play an instrument.
And now that you’ve mastered such a mountain, peaked its summit, and come down the other side successfully, you come to the next one that would have inevitably arrived in your path: how should you choose an instrument?
You may already know what you want. Whether it be an acoustic guitar, keyboard, or even a drum set, by this point you’ve likely your choice. But now, how to go about getting the kind of instrument that would be appropriate for such an occasion? What factors do style and brand play into the purchase process?
And these questions arise, not just for beginners, but for even the most mastered of musicians. The quest to buy the perfect musical instrument is not only for novices. You could be a maestro with decades of success under your belt, and suddenly you find that the “best friend” you’ve made sweet music with for so many years is about ready to pass on to greener pastures. Well, now it would be a good time to seek a worthy replacement for such an amazing counterpart of your artistic expression.
Whether deciding how to go about buying your first instrument or deciding what kind of replacement you need, there are some key points you’ll want to consider.
First of all, don’t be hasty in your purchase and buy the fanciest instrument of its kind. For first-time players, you may consider yourself the kind of person who will stick to his or her guns once you’ve made your mind up and will never quit until you’ve accomplished your determined goal. But at the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with discretion, especially when possibly buying something that could cost you anywhere from $100 to $5,000 and up. And the same is said for advanced players. Granted, you’ve already had many years of trial-and-error to know what you want and like, but it’s still quite admirable to play it safe. So your first step to buying an instrument is to have patience initially. Just relax and take your time.
Your second step in the process is to do some research about the various brands and styles of instruments out there. For example: if it’s a guitar you’re buying, how does the brand Taylor compare with Martin, Peavey or others? Weigh your options based off of the type and style you want, and then compared to the pros and cons of the manufacturer’s reviews. And it’s recommended that you actually read the reviews. Honestly, can you truly just trust the amount of stars that are listed? After all, you’re wanting to learn about the instrument you’re potentially going to buy. Knowledge is power.
New or used?
If you’ve made a choice on brand and build, next you should decide between purchasing a new or used model. For beginners, it is highly recommended that you choose to buy a cheap beginner’s model or a used model first. As you practice and learn the instrument, you will both come to the realization if you want to continue playing this instrument, and additionally gain the experience necessary to handle a more expensive model without shelling out hundreds or even thousands of hard-earned dollars from your bank account. If you’re an advanced player, your budget and relationship with the instrument should lead your decision process. You may opt to buy a brand new instrument because you have years of experience with that given instrument. Or, maybe you’re the kind of player who prefers broken-in instruments because you feel they sound better. Either way, the ball would totally be in your court.
Where to buy?
The final step in the instrument-buying process is to search for availability of your concluded-choice. You could go to the manufacturer’s website and order there, or visit common marketplaces like Amazon or Ebay. Searching online through Google or Bing is a great way to find some good options from less well-known places, but watch out: you’ll need to establish that these sites are legitimate before you offer your credit card information. You can also head to local music stores, and wouldn’t have to wait for the agonizing shipping process.
For any person looking to buy an instrument to play, be they a novice, intermediate, avant-garde connoisseur or master, following these steps will make your next musical instrument acquisition a process to remember.
Happy shopping, and keep on rockin’!