Musical instruments cost a lot of money. Even if you are buying for a complete beginner, you can expect the instrument to come with a fairly hefty price-tag. Therefore, more and more people are looking into second-hand instruments to help them get a leg up in the musical world. Here is everything you need to know before you decide to commit to buying a second-hand instrument.
Second-hand Does Not Mean Bad
You might think that going second-hand instead of brand-new means that you are always going to get something cruddy which sounds bad but nothing is further from the truth. A Stradivarius is technically a second-hand instrument and no strings player worth their salt would pass one up if they had the opportunity. Some of the world’s greatest rock stars have also played second-hand guitars for years without batting an eyelid.
Everything comes down to the quality of the instrument. Second-hand ones can be just as amazing as and sometimes even better than new.
Be Wary of Private Sellers
This does not necessarily mean don’t use private sellers at all. If you know what you are looking for, you might be able to find a great instrument for a fraction of what you think it would be worth. However, the rise in popularity of auction sites like eBay means you might not always be getting what you think you are.
Musical specialists Dawkes has a wide variety of different musical instruments for sale, some of which are indeed second-hand. When buying from a company like Dawkes, you know that you will be getting a serviced instrument that will look and sound exactly as you expect it to.
Does the Instrument Look Good?
Are there any noticeable bumps or dents in the instrument’s surface? Are any of the keys or pegs damaged? Will any of the components need replacing soon? Small things like this can all add to the sound and playability of the instrument.
You want an instrument which looks good while you are playing it. If you think it is going to need some costly maintenance to bring it up to standard, it may be worth investigating other options.
Does It Sound Nice?
You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a road-test so why should you buy an instrument without playing it? If the seller does not live close to you then this may not be an option. However, if you do have the opportunity then make sure to grab it.
If it is a woodwind instrument, remember to take your own mouthpiece or reed for your test-play. You should be able to tell if the sound is smooth and agreeable, and if it isn’t then that is plenty of reason for you to walk away from the deal.
No matter how you choose to buy, a second-hand instrument is a great option. With a little luck, you will hopefully land yourself a dream instrument to help you on your musical journey.