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What To Look For In A Beginner Instrument

What To Look For In A Beginner Instrument

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Getting Started

Looking for an instrument to start out on can be very confusing and hectic! There is so much out on the market that you might worry about buying low-quality gear. Any musician will tell you that they have been in that position before, and there is definitely a good, and a bad approach to buying a first instrument. Shopping for an instrument is a lot like shopping for a car. Some do not work properly at all. Some simply get from place A to place B with nothing fancy installed. Lastly, some get from place A to place B with flying colors, and have the latest and greatest technology installed. Instruments are similar, and a first instrument should be able to perform its job well, but does not need anything fancy!


Just like every other product line, not all instrument manufacturers are made equal. There are brands that do not play at all, some that practically play themselves, and everything in-between! Some brands build quality trumpets, but low-quality guitars, so just because there is a safe buy within a brand, it does not mean that all buys within that brand are safe! Many brands will have a large selection of models within which are bad instruments, and good instruments. There are some brands that simply do not make bad instruments. These are what I call "safe brands," and they can almost always be trusted. Within this category are brands such "Yamaha" and "Conn-Selmer."

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In most cases you get what you pay for. This is the golden rule of shopping, and is no different in the music world! Generally, if you find a cheap, no-name brand instrument, it is not going to work properly. If you can buy it in Wal-Mart, it will not likely last you long. Don't be afraid to look on the internet for reviews on a particular brand or model! Bad reviews are usually a red flag! Many times, you can find a used instrument that works better than some new instruments, and at a better price! There is nothing wrong with shopping used. Another thing to keep in mind is the well known phrase, "Too good to be true, usually is." You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a quality instrument, but if you go really cheap, it will probably play that way!

Student Models

You can get a good instrument for a good price. Instruments are usually split up in terms of level. There are generally four levels of instruments: student (or beginner), intermediate, semi-professional, and professional. These levels are designed so that you can work your way up to a better playing instrument. Starting a student off on a professional level instrument is not the best idea. Many student instruments are made in a way that beginners can develop strength, good habits, and good technique. Upper-level instruments are usually made in such a way that those with good technique and a lot of experience can focus more on their playing, and less on learning. This generally makes them less suited for beginners! Buy a student model to stay safe.


Want to know more? Our staff here at The Music Academy would love to help you find an instrument, start lessons, or do anything else to assist you!

152 N Marion Ave, Lake City, FL 32025 - - 386-438-5912