Used or New - What To Do What When Purchasing an Instrument

Saturday August 03, 2019,0/-/resize/1356x1104/

When learning to play an instrument, a lot of thought has to go into thinking about what instrument to play. With so many wonderful and varied items on the market, it can be pretty overwhelming.  If your child wants to try their hand at many different things, it can also be quite the investment.

There are a lot of second-hand shops that will sell you a musical instrument for a fairly good deal. But sometimes, it’s nice to have that feeling of pride for a new piece.

But what’s better?

Below are some things to help you decide whether to buy new or be thrifty. Use this as a guide to pick your next instrument, so you and your kiddo can start turning out some of those old country tunes.


If you or your child are particularly indecisive, this can be a challenge when picking an instrument. Your child might think they want to be a drummer. If you’re inthe market for drum heads, you might jump online to find the nearest shop selling kits or have a look at brands. You then pick up the brand-new kit, bring it home and your child is happy.

However, a month later, they come to you saying they were wrong and want to play the saxophone instead. Thus, a vicious cycle begins.

Brand new instruments can be expensive. That drum kit, even if it is very basic, can still be upwards of $200. If you think you’re going to end up purchasing multiple instruments before your child finds a favourite, think about shopping for second-hand gear. It will save you money and allow the child to experiment. If they decide they don’t like it, you haven’t broken the bank.

If your child settles on a favourite, then consider investing more money and get them their own brand-new instrument.


As with anything, people out there selling items second-hand may try to scam you. If you see a deal online for an oboe that looks a little too good to be true, don’t be afraid to double-check all the details. They may claim something is new when in reality, it’s second hand.

Vice versa, something expensive may not live up to the price. If you are buying new, you can usually avoid this issue. It’s more likely to happen when buying used.

A good way to avoid this is perhaps going to see the item before you buy. Also, know what to look out for. Drums can have damage to their shells or heads, woodwind instruments have invisible air leaks that make them virtually impossible to play, and parts could be missing like strings. Even used instruments can be a little expensive so do all the checks before purchasing.

Getting Better with Age

Certain musical instruments surprisingly get better with time. This is true for classical instruments such as violins and cellos.

 Newly-made instruments can actually be cheaper than antiques. It’s believed that the sound gets richer with age and playing. As the wood goes through stresses, slight warping, and temperature changes, the wood gets more ‘flexible’. This gives it a better sound than a younger instrument. A second-hand violin with a high price point is worth the investment should it be something into which you invest time.

 This can make shopping for certain, mainly stringed, instruments a little more complicated. This is when it is best to talk to the experts. Head into a music shop and ask the people at the desk. They are going to be a fountain of knowledge and happy to help get the right instrument for you.

 In Conclusion

 So, is it better to buy used or new? Well, both have their benefits and downfalls, so it is entirely up to you and your circumstances. Learning to play a musical instrument is an amazing opportunity to gain a skill, stretch your mind, and generally, have an enjoyable pastime.