So you’ve made the decision to get started in lessons and decided on which instrument you would like to learn. Now it’s time to get one. There are a number of challenges here
- Decide if you would like to own your first instrument or just rent one to try out. For more popular instruments (guitar, piano etc) the cost of a beginner instrument is very low so it’s not worth renting out, but when looking at concert band instruments (trumpet, cello etc) it may be worthwhile and there are many companies that do this. You may also look to borrow an instrument from friends/family as a zero cost start.
- Be mindful how cheap you go. Yes it’s true you can get very cheap instruments online, and there are some great ones, but there are some not so great ones. We have seen some truly awful instruments come into lessons and they make the lesson process very challenging for our students and teachers. We would recommend buying your first instrument at a shop with a warranty that way any issues can be resolved and you will not have wasted time and money in attempting to make the right decision when this is all new territory for you.
- Getting an instrument before or after starting lessons. We recommend having an instrument to get started in lessons, simply because without one you will not be able to practice during the week. If you would like your teachers advice before purchasing an instrument arrange a meet and greet with them to talk it through.
- Electric or Acoustic? Most instruments come in both electric and acoustic and while you likely end up with both as your music progresses, you will need to start with one. Your choice will come down to what style you want to learn (eg. rock = electric, folk = acoustic), your house and the control you need over volume (electric instruments can be played through headphones), space (can be packed down easily if needed) and maintenance (piano tuning, setups etc).
- We recommend going with a brand that is popular and trusted. A simple online search will give you the top five brands of any instrument. By going with a brand with a good reputation you know that they have a stake in the success of your playing and will ensure their instruments play well. Even the beginner ones.
- Instruments come in different sizes, discuss these with a music shop or your teacher to get properly sized up. We recommend getting the closest to full size that you can, while still being the correct size for learning as young beginners will quickly grow out of scaled down instruments and parents will end up back at the shop for an upgrade sooner rather than later.
- Decide if you want to spend as little as possible to get started or put a bigger investment in to start up. Starting cheap means you can upgrade later and no harm done if the instrument doesn’t end up being what you thought it would be. However cheap instruments, are just that, cheap instruments, and they can be frustrating to learn on. Spending more will mean you get a better instrument fit for purpose, but will be in for a larger upfront cost.
- Buying your first instrument is super exciting and choosing a colour, style, size, feel, impression you like is absolutely worth considering. Fall in love with your instrument and enjoy it. It’s a special time and you will be spending alot of time together so choose well.
We hope that helps and please reach out to us if we can be of any help to you!