Choosing A Student Brass or Woodwind Instrument Online

Monday, 25 May 2020

Online shopping has become a popular trend; it’s easy, convenient, and saves a lot of time. Most brand name student instruments are satisfactory, but sometimes comparing specifications doesn’t leave the prospective buyer with a clearer idea of what the difference is between each instrument. Here are some suggestions to help you when choosing an instrument that is also a worthwhile investment, all from the comfort of your living room.

1. Find a Store

Find a musical instrument store near you that stocks a few options of the instrument(s) you are looking for. Do some research and ask questions about specifications you may not understand. Most web stores will have the specifications on the product page, but you can always visit the distributor or manufacturer’s website for more information.

2. Talk to an Expert

Speak to the store’s expert on that instrument; they should be able to answer any questions you may have. Some additional questions you may want to ask:

  • Are parts readily available?
  • How much maintenance does the instrument need and how much does it cost?
  • What additional accessories will I need?

Keep in mind that sometimes more professional features aren’t necessarily suitable for beginners, for example; leather clarinet pads can sound and feel great, but will wear quicker than synthetic pads, especially if improperly maintained. A wooden oboe produces a beautiful sound, but can be susceptible to swelling and cracking, particularly in the first 6 months. For students, a resin or resin-lined instrument (like Duet+) is more suitable. If you don’t understand why a feature is beneficial, don’t be afraid to ask your local expert.

3. Shop Local

Your local store will likely be your first point of contact if your instrument needs servicing or if you need additional accessories. These stores also sponsor local events, bands, and schools, to enrich the entire musical community. Ask your teacher who they prefer to deal with if you do not have a local store near you (or if you have several and are spoilt for choice!). Support your community by supporting these local stores. Remember; you may be able to find better prices online, but good service and knowledge is priceless. Some stores may not have a comprehensive website, but will still be able to deliver to you and take your order over the phone.

4. Avoid Fakes

There are a number of counterfeit instruments being sold online. If you’ve been shopping online for a while, you’ll know that sometimes the product that arrives isn’t exactly what you’d imagined from the images and description given on the product page. As a result, Yamaha have contracts to ensure that new Yamaha instruments are not sold on eBay or Amazon; all ‘new’ instruments advertised on these sites are likely counterfeit. To make sure you are getting an authentic Yamaha instrument, visit our Yamaha Authorised Dealers page to find your nearest dealer.

5. Used vs New

Buying used is a great way of saving money. Unfortunately, these items are often listed on auction sites and classifieds with descriptions that omit the truth. In addition to this, it’s not worth taking the inherent hygiene risk. Unless you can be guaranteed the instrument will be serviced before sale, you should factor in the cost of a service, as well as a new accessory kit. Visit our Used Buyer’s Guide for more information.

To see the full range of Yamaha Brass and Woodwind products, click here.