Buying an instrument is not an easy task. While you can walk into a shop and pick yourself a pair of white socks without thinking about it, you don’t want to do the same with a musical instrument.
If you are looking to add a bit of music to your life, then ask these ten questions before you hand out the money.
Selecting a musical instrument to play is a bit like buying shoes. If you don’t get the right fit, you are most likely going to end up with an aching body and hurt feelings.
You might love the sports shoes, but if you never go running than what is the point? Even if you dream of playing the guitar, the violin might actually suit you much better, so pick carefully.
As well as finding the right instrument for your personality and play style, you also need to stop and think why you are getting the instrument. Are you just buying the guitar to impress the ladies?
If you have no interest in learning the specific instrument, if there’s no passion in your belly then don’t bother. You’ll learn a lot faster if looking cool isn’t the only reason you re picking the chosen instrument.
It might sound obvious but people are sometimes silly when it comes to instruments. You might be destined to play the piano, it might be your dream and passion, but if you live in a studio flat the size of a small closet, you might need to put your dreams on hold.
Some instruments, such as a cello, can take quite a bit of space. It’s crucial you think about where you’ll keep your new shiny toy when you’re not playing.
Certain instruments might make a lot more noise than others. If you are living with other people, be considerate and think a bit about how you could perhaps tone down the noise.
You can often wear headphones with an electric instrument to ensure you get to play even in the middle of the night. On the other hand, if you live in the middle of a field, go ahead and get the noisiest instrument available!
This isn’t a question about whether you opt for a big instrument like a piano or a small instrument like a mouth organ, but rather the size of your chosen instrument. You might not be aware but most instruments come in different sizes.
For example, you can find different sized guitars. So, if you are not the biggest person in the world, make sure you test out different options to find the right fit.
You naturally won’t be able to break into a song straightaway, but you don’t want the playing to feel too awkward. If you can’t hit even a single note from the start, you might want to try something else instead.
It might not even be only about having picked the wrong instrument-type. For example, saxophone reeds perform differently and while one instrument might sound bad, another one might work better for you. Never buy an instrument without trying how it sounds!
The price tag of different instruments can vary quite a bit. A piano is often much more expensive than a guitar. But the price tag can even vary within a range of guitars. Acoustics can cost less than electronics, with even more variation depending on the guitar manufacturer.
Remember to think about your budget beforehand. It’s a good idea to not just think your financial ability, but ask yourself what you are willing to pay even if you don’t end up playing more than once.
If you are unsure about spending money on an instrument you aren’t quite sure you’d love to play, try borrowing it first. Certain music shops might be able to rent instruments for a few weeks and this is a great way to get to know the instrument.
You might also know someone who plays a specific instrument. Ask if your saxophone-playing friend would let you try to the instrument overnight!
You should also keep in mind not all instruments need to be brand new. You could start with a second-hand instrument, as it could save you money and help you know whether you love the instrument or not. Just keep in mind some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying second-hand.
Finally, make sure you are spending your hard earned money for something of a good quality. Even if you are buying a second-hand instrument, you need to make sure it won’t break down after first use.
A good instrument can last a lifetime, as long as you keep it clean and safe. Make sure you knowhow to treat your instrument well and that the previous owner has shown love for the instrument!
By asking the above questions, you can find the right instrument for yourself. After that, it is all about spending hours learning to play!
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