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First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying your first woodwind or brass instrument

There's a bewildering number of makes, models and types of instruments available - in fact, it's fair to say that there's never been a more confusing time to buy an instrument. With so much choice, it is easy to get caught out by buying the wrong thing: not all makes and models are suitable for a beginner.

Beginner Flute Player

Do Your Research

If you've never played a woodwind or brass instrument, we recommend that you do plenty of research before buying the first instrument you come across. There's lots of information available on the web - especially in forums such as the ABRSM 'Viva Woodwind' and 'Viva Brass' ones - and if you already have a music teacher lined up, they should be able to offer their own opinion on what to buy.

Bargains Aren't Always A Good Buy

Be wary of 'bargains', since they are often not the deal that they first appear to be. There are a large number of ultra-cheap, poor quality instruments around, and the fact that many of these won't work when you receive them, coupled with the fact that after a year or so you will need to buy an upgrade, means that buying cheap can, ironically, end up costing you more.

Stick With Known Brands

The best advice is to stick with well-known makes which have a proven track record. Many retailers carry their 'own brand' lines - some are good and some are not. Read our article on cheap musical instruments for guidance on how to avoid the bad ones.

Taking the Worry Out of Instrument Buying

Is the price tag worrying you, when you or your child may not stick with the instrument?

  • The VAT Assisted Purchase Scheme allows you to buy an instrument without paying the VAT portion. This is almost like buying brand new at a second hand price.
  • A good quality pre-owned instrument can be a good buy. All our pre-owned instruments are fully checked and set up prior to sale, so will be in perfect working order. If you need to sell it on, you can often get back what you paid for it.
  • We offer numerous finance options which can help break the price of the instrument up in to more manageable monthly payments.
  • Our Buy-Back Guarantee on selected beginner instruments means we will buy your instrument back from you within 2 years, at guaranteed prices.

If you're still unsure as to what to buy, you are always welcome to get in touch. Our friendly staff are experts in educational instruments and are able to give you appropriate advice on what might suit you or your child best.

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