How To Choose A Musical Instrument

Music, like many other things in life, requires the right tools.  Imagine a roofer trying to hammer in nails with a wrench.  He would have quite a difficult time getting the job done quickly and well.  Music is no different.  Having a quality, durable instrument is essential to smooth a smooth learning process.  But, what do you need to look for?  Let’s examine.



This is probably the most important aspect of buying an instrument.  The most common mistake made is the thought of “Well, it’s for a beginner.  I just need something cheap.”  There are a few issues with this line of thinking.

First, not all brands are made to be quality.  Some are made just to be a quick sale.  The manufacturers of those often offer no warranty, parts, or service.  So, when it breaks (not if), it’s just done.  You just throw it away and move on.  In addition, cheaper instruments have major problems in their manufacturing that lead to making them harder to play.  As you could imagine, if it’s hard to play, it will discourage the student.  If the instrument won’t function correctly, the player will think they are lousy, and will be more inclined to give up.  As such, you’d want to make sure to get a quality brand that is recognizable.

Another benefit of a quality brand is that they are designed to be durable.  Quality manufacturers understand the implications of “student model”.  They know it will be put through a lot.  As such, quality brands are made to not need as much attention to function correctly.  They are also made to last considerably longer than cheaper instruments.  A good rule of thumb is “the cheaper the cost of the horn, the higher the costs of repairs”.



Speaking of repairs, all equipment eventually needs repairs.  As mentioned earlier, parts are often not available for cheaper instruments.  As such, you have to get universal replacement parts, and the work usually ends up being more than the cost of the instrument.  Quality brands not only have parts available, but their instruments are often set up to be easily adjusted.


Ultimately, consulting with a music store is the best way to know if you’re getting quality.  Many people think that a music store “will say anything to make a sale”.   While yes, bad companies do exist, most are run by musicians who want you to love music as much as they do.  As such, they’re going to have your best interest at heart, and help guide you to what you need.  They can tell you if something is a quality brand, with a track record of durability.  If it is in need of some repair, they can tell you how much it will cost.  Always keep this in mind, there IS such a thing as “too cheap”.  Ultimately, if a music store doesn’t have it, can’t get it, or has never heard of it there’s a reason.

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