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.
Do Your Research, Trust Your Sources
If you've never played a woodwind instrument before, we recommend that you do plenty of research before buying the first instrument you come across. Whilst there is a lot of information available on the web - customer reviews, professional endorsements - beware its partiality. There are lots of people who are recommending instruments on an paid affiliate basis! If you have a music teacher whose opinion you trust to be impartial, they may be able to offer their own recommendations on what to buy.
Bargains Aren't Always the Best Buy
Be wary of bargains, as they are often not the deal that they first appear to be. There are a large number of incredibly cheap (but poor-quality) instruments around, and buying cheap can actually end up costing you a lot more in repair bills, upgrading sooner than you would expect etc. They can also be harder to play, heavier, and with little to no resale value. We've seen many customers over the years who over the course of an instrument's life have spent double the instrument's original sale price in repair costs - with no resale value at the end. A good brand will hold its value and be easy to resell.
Stick With Known Brands
The best recommendation we can give is to opt for a well-known brand which has a proven track record. If it's available at more than one retailer, that is a good sign: if it's an own-brand line, be wary: some are good and some are plain awful. If you do opt for an own brand, stick to a retailer which specialises in your instrument. Buying an own-brand flute from a guitar shop probably won't end well.
Lowering the Cost
The price tag can be a worry for a number of reasons: trusting your child with an expensive instrument; and the thought that they might not stick with it.
- Our Rental Scheme (currently suspended) allows you to try out a brand new, great quality instrument with affordable monthly payments, without having to commit to a purchase.
- The VAT Assisted Purchase Scheme allows you to buy a brand new instrument without paying the VAT: the school or music service will pay the VAT for you. If you qualify for this scheme, this is almost like buying brand new at a second hand price. More info
- A good quality pre-owned instrument can be a good option. All our pre-owned instruments are fully checked and set up prior to sale, so will be in full working order. Browse Pre-Owned
- We offer several finance options which split the purchase price in to manageable monthly payments.