Meri’s Musical Musings

How to get a good instrument

Posted on: May 12, 2009

If you don’t know what to look for in an instrument, seriously consider having a good private teacher help you pick one out–especially if you are on a somewhat limited budget. Though you will likely have to pay them for their time, even the short term savings will be well worth it. Good private teachers can recommend instrument makes and models that are suitable for the student’s level of playing, and often know of good-quality, fairly priced (or sometimes underpriced) instruments for sale. Sometimes they have students who are upgrading to a better quality instrument, but that student’s instrument is often still in good mechanical condition and plays well, perhaps because it was originally chosen by the teacher when that student started learning. I have found good quality clarinets for some students with limited funds for 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of a new one, which is better than buying a new instrument of an unknown make that may break down quickly and often. With pianos, a good teacher can sort out the junk instruments from the ones that are worth the money. Even if you buy new, a good teacher can send you to a reputable, though not necessarily the least expensive (there’s one place I often take families of clarinet students to buy an instrument, though the prices are higher, the service is amazing, plus they do quality repairs and adjustments within two to three days, sometimes on the spot, and with the on the spot adjustments, they usually don’t charge for such a job, especially if you are a referral of their regular and/or long-time customers.With pianos, there are many amateurish dealers, and only a very few professional ones, they will take you to a good dealer. In any case, you will usually get an instrument that plays well, and most will make sure you don’t pay for an overpriced instrument, which some dealers do!


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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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