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 understand now more than ever that the quality of the instrument has a huge part to play in the person’s enjoyment and progression. I do appreciate that 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. When purchasing an instrument if you go too cheaply you can often end up with something that is 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 and it was made so badly that 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! That particular flute cost £80 new from eBay including a case which just isn’t enough to get something playable and is definitely not going to be very encouraging for someone who wants to learn.
Similarly I have played on new guitars that people have bought cheaply elsewhere and the action (height between the strings and the fingerboard) is so high I could barely play it myself! It can often be the case where people (especially new learners or younger players) have bought a guitar cheaply online with no advice and have found themselves with an instrument which is difficult to play and end up thinking that it is there technique which is the problem when in fact it is a poorly made instrument which has hindered there progress. I have heard many times “oh well, it’s just not for me, I gave it a go but I can’t do it” and that is really sad! A good quality instrument versus a poorly made one could be the difference between a life of playing and enjoying music or giving up in short space of time.
We also 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 YFL-212 Flute Outfit – £499
Yamaha YCL-255 Clarinet – £469
Yamaha YAS-280 Alto Sax Outift – £899
Yamaha YTR-2330 Trumpet – £429
Stentor Conservatoire Violin Outfit – £269
Fender Player Series Electric Guitar – £599
Yamaha TRBX304 Bass Guitar £339
Sigma Solid Top 0MM-ST Acoustic Guitar -£235
Faith FVHG Electro Acoustic – £799
Yamaha YDP144 Piano – £799
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.