The true value in a quality instrument
It’s been fifteen years since I starting working at Music World as an 18 year old sales assistant, in that time I have seen virtually every type/brand/ cost of instrument you can imagine. I now know more than ever that the quality of the instrument has a huge part to play in the person’s enjoyment/progression. Now I understand sometimes it’s a cost issue for a beginner and I understand parent’s need to weigh up how much to spend depending on how serious the child is. The thing is if you go too cheap what you end up with is something that resembles an instrument but is in fact very difficult to play- to the point where people give up thinking they are no good!
Take for instance a Flute repair that came into the shop on a new cheap flute a few weeks ago- it was made so badly it wasn’t pitched and the metal work on one of the keys was so bent you couldn’t get a note out of it- It cost £80 new from eBay including a case-It just isn’t enough to get something playable- now that’s not going to be very encouraging for someone who wants to learn.
Similarly i have played on new guitars where the action (height between the strings and the fingerboard) is so high I could barely play it myself. People aren’t going to know the differences if they have just started or if they buy online and have no advice given- they are literally going to think “oh well, it’s just not for me I gave it a go but I can’t do it” I have heard that a lot in my time- it’s sad, it could be the difference between a life of playing and enjoying music or giving up in short space and never getting past that beginning.
We have many older customers who are just starting their musical journey- maybe they have recently retired and have the time now to really concentrate on learning the instrument they always liked the sound of or fancied giving a go! That’s great! We would love to help and encourage you and it really is never too late to start! There are some good local teachers and we stock some great starter books to help as well. Likewise if you get a quality instrument from the outset you won’t have to worry about anything holding you back and you won’t need to upgrade it in a year or two.
What I believe is that if you go in at a reasonable price point and choose a brand you can trust you will progress faster and it will sound nicer giving you the encouragement you need to continue regular practice.
So in my experience the following are a guideline where I would start on the most popular instruments and the prices you need to spend on something that will give you satisfaction.
Yamaha YFL212 Flute outfit – £499
Yamaha YCL255 Clarinet – £499
Trevor James Classic Horn Alto sax- £599
Yamaha YTr2330 Trumpet – £399
Stentor conservatoire Violin outfit £249
Fender Player series electric guitar – £549
Fender Player Bass £599
Sigma Solid top acoustic -£249
Faith FVHG Electro Acoustic – £799
Yamaha YDP144 Piano – £749
Please get in contact if you would like more info on any of the instruments. We can rent instruments out for beginners to see how they get on and we regularly check our prices to make sure we are very competitive. We offer great after sales care and genuinely want to help customers find the right instrument for them.