In COVID-ridden times like these, we’re all slowly adapting to being stuck indoors for long periods of time. Eat, sleep and work from home (or office, for those of that aren’t so lucky) can get monotonous after a while. Weekends seem like a dead-end back with COVID on the rise again and most workshops and classes hampered by new regulations. But there’s a silver lining to this jet-black cloud of restrictions.
Suddenly, hobbies like learning to paint, exercise or learning to play an instrument at home don’t sound so bad, do they? Since the first two activities are pretty vast and deserve articles of their own, today, we’re just focusing on music and giving you some tips on the things you should consider before buying an instrument.
1. Research First
Buying an instrument is a big commitment and needs some research, especially if you’re planning to spend some serious money. If you’re a first-timer, we don’t recommend immediately splashing out on an eight-string electric guitar with maple finish just because you saw one of your guitar idols using it on YouTube. Those guys are experienced professionals and started their way up from the bottom with an acoustic or semi-acoustic, just like you should.
The good thing about instruments like the guitar and piano is that they have a relatively large number of players compared to the cello or violin. There’re also a lot of online tutorials that can help you master their basics quickly and both instruments have the versatility, ease and range to help you express yourself musically compared to other, more expensive instruments such as the drums which require a lot more hand-eye (and foot!) coordination.
We briefly mentioned price as a factor above, but the truth is it’s a really important thing to consider when buying any instrument and deserves its own explanation.
If you’re a first-time buyer, your best bet as a beginner, would be to avoid expensive professional models until you’ve mastered the basics on a less expensive instrument. It’s pretty common for beginners to go for a low to mid-range instrument which is enough to get you started and comfortable. Once you’re proficient enough to play that, then you can start thinking about getting a higher-end item.
3. Try Before You Buy
We really recommend you try whatever instrument you’re planning to buy, beforehand because there’re a lot of defective instruments on the market, especially online. Unless you’re an experienced buyer who knows what brand, model and serial number to look for, we don’t recommend buying music instruments online, especially for amateurs. Experienced buyers know the right price range to negotiate within, what questions to ask regarding the instrument’s condition and what dents or problems are hard to deal with and which ones are fixable.
Many musical instruments are bought online these days. However, for your first ever instrument it can be nice to do it the old fashion way and visit a music store. Not only will experienced staff be able to assist you in selecting the right one for you, but you’ll also be able to handle and test them for yourself. There’s no replacing the tactile connection on a good instrument even if it’s a keyboard.
For your first buy, we recommend visiting music stores in person and trying the instrument first. There’s no replacement for handling and testing a kit piece first even if the store staff are knowledgeable enough to help you. That old-fashioned hand-to-instrument feel and the tone and sound it makes is personalized and you really need to be comfortable with that sensation first and foremost.
Buying an instrument is a fantastic investment but its best to do a little bit of research to get the most bang for your buck. So before making your first buy, try knowing how long the instrument will be used and know the right questions to ask when trying it out.
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