Tips on Buying Musical Instruments Second-Hand

There is a consensus that studying music is beneficial for children. Many parents these days aim to give their children a well-rounded education which includes significant exposure to the arts. Almost all school systems offer some form of a musical schedule such as an orchestra or band where kids can join and learn music for free. While instruction and practice are free, parents often have to shoulder the cost of buying or renting a musical instrument for their children.

Renting is typically considered as the cheaper option if the child will use the instrument for only a short period. However, if your child plans on taking up music for a long time, you might want to invest in a brand-new musical instrument or at least buy one that is second hand.

When buying second-hand musical instruments, there are a few precautions you need to take. Musical Instrument Specialists have the following tips on how to evaluate a used instrument before you decide to buy it.

Know the common issues you may encounter with the instrument

You need to take the time to learn more about the musical instrument your child wants to play. For example, brass instruments tend to end up with broken valves or bent slides. Some issues with musical instruments are easy enough to fix, while some could be a bit more complicated.

Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions

Buying a used instrument from a private individual will give you the opportunity to learn about the history of the instrument. You need to ask questions about how well the owner maintained the piece as well as whether the item has been in storage for a long time before being put up for sale. You can also enquire whether the instrument has undergone significant repairs and about the last time the instrument was taken for routine maintenance.

Conduct a thorough inspection

If you are not a musical instrument expert, it is not always easy to know if there is a problem with the instrument. However, a physical inspection will give you an idea of how its previous owner treated the instrument. Scratches and dents are visible signs that the musical instrument has been neglected. If any of the moving parts are sticky or won’t move, it is possible that there is a more severe underlying problem.

If possible, ask for a warranty

Most sellers will not offer a warranty for used musical instruments, but it is likely that you’ll get a return policy for a specific amount of time. If the store does offer a warranty with the purchase, try to negotiate for a longer term. You may also want to check on consumer laws to ensure that you are exercising your right to return or have an item replaced in case you encounter problems with it after your purchase.

If you are careful, you might be lucky enough to find a used musical instrument that is still in excellent working condition. Buying a second-hand musical instrument does offer the best value for money if you consider the cost of ownership and how often your child will use it.