Purchasing a Musical Instrument

Buying a musical instrument is something that most parents will need to consider at some point in their child’s musical journey.

Purchasing a musical instrument should be seen as an investment in your child’s musical future and not something that is done quickly.

Many schools have fleets of instruments for hire and we strongly recommend that you consider hiring from the school for at least your child’s first year of music lessons – if this option is available. School instrument fleets are in most cases good quality and serviced regularly to maintain their longevity.

If you do choose to purchase your own musical instrument you may wish to consider the HIRE/BUY option. Most leading music stores will offer the option to hire for a period of time (usually 3-6 months) and then allow you the option to buy out the instrument, with much of the hire fees deducted from the buy-out price.

When purchasing a new instrument, we recommend that you stick with name brands:

Brass – Yamaha, Jupiter, Bach
Woodwind – Yamaha, Jupiter, Buffet, Pearl
Drums – Yamaha, Pearl

There are many other brands available, many of them are made cheaply overseas and are of lower quality as these use cheap parts and materials. This more often than not leads to problems with the instrument requiring expensive repairs.

Whilst it may seem appealing to purchase a cheap instrument on the Internet (eBay has many listings of instruments in bright colours with free shipping etc etc) – if it looks too good to be true, it usually is!

Parents often ask us where they can find a good 2nd Hand Instrument to purchase. It is hard to find a good 2nd hand instrument. The best 2nd hand instruments are often purchased from friends or family as you can trust them to give you an accurate history of the instrument and not get tricked in our paying more than an instrument is really worth. Music shops do have some 2nd hand instruments for sale but these are usually ex-hire instruments that have been on hire for a few months and returned. These will mostly only sell for a small reduction on the regular purchase price of a new instrument in-store and you don’t know how well it has been looked after while it has been out on hire.

The Internet does provide a range of 2nd hand instruments for sale – eBay has a number of options available. The difficulty is you are usually purchasing something not knowing its full history and often without being able to play test it. You can get lucky and find a good 2nd hand instrument. Again we recommend you stick to name brands as listed above. It’s worth factoring into the purchase price that you may still need to have the instrument serviced after purchase. Brass instruments often need a good clean and adjust inside and out. Woodwind instruments will often need lots of adjusting and pads replaced. You may need to┬áspend around $100-$150 to have your instrument serviced after purchase. So it’s advisable to factor this into the purchase price as well.

Visit Turramurra Music for more information about Hire/Buy options. They also have an extensive range of new instruments for purchase as well as some 2nd hand.

Matt Dalziel

Key Music Australia - Managing Director