So you have decided to study music? But did you know that new musical instruments can cost anywhere from $100 to over $2500, depending on the type and quality of the instrument you are in need of? To make matters worse, low-end instruments or what are generally referred to as affordable instruments are normally of such poor quality that they tend to detract you from your studies. This becomes a source of discouragement rather than a chance to grow and succeed in your chosen career or hobby. Luckily, this all can be solved by purchasing quality instruments, something that makes studying music really expensive.
Fortunately, there is a perfect way out - opting for quality used musical instruments. There are many used instruments in the market that can be considered when you want to study music. These are far less expensive compared to their new counterparts. For less than half the price of a new music instrument, you can be playing a quality and better gently-used instrument.
But before opting to purchase used musical instruments, it is advisable to have them evaluated so as to get a kind that perfectly suits your requirements. Remember that used musical instruments are not all the same since some are of a higher quality or in a better condition than the others. Here is how to evaluate the condition of a used instrument before its purchase.
Ask many but the right kinds of questions
If you are buying the used musical instrument from a private individual, it is recommended that you ask the right kind of questions in regard to its history. Ask the owner if he has properly maintained the instrument, or performed routine maintenance tasks, or how long the instrument has been in storage, or whether there has been a major repair on the instrument. If you are buying the instrument from a second-hand dealer or store, they might not have this kind of information. Nevertheless, they can be able to tell you what repairs they may have done to make the instrument sale-ready.
Investigate all potential issues about the instrument or what could go wrong
Spending a little time reading about the potential issues of the instrument you are about to purchase is advisable before its purchase. Some of the issues are easy to repair while others are unrepairable. So you really need to know how to recognise one from the other by doing some research.
Perform a physical inspection on the instrument you are about to purchase
If you can be able, it is recommended that you carry out a physical inspection on the used musical instrument you are about to purchase. While you might not be able to diagnose issues with a single look, you certainly will be able to get a feel on how the instrument has been treated. For example, if it is dented and tarnished, then you be fairly sure that the instrument was badly maintained or neglected. Check all the keys and valves to ensure that they are in a good working condition. Sticky valves or keys are a clear indication that the instrument was badly treated by its previous owner.
Play it and test it
If possible, make sure to play a used music instrument before its purchase. If there are obvious intonation issues, or some kinds of mechanical problems, then it is recommended that you opt for a different piece. A few seconds playing a used instrument can tell you much more about its condition rather than staring at it for ten minutes.