Your kid wants to learn the cello, but cellos take up space and cost a pretty penny. Plus, there’s a chance s/he won’t stick to it. With a quality used instrument (purchased or rented) from Bookmans and a few pro-shopping tips, you can support every instrumental whim. We consulted with music instructors at Allegro and researched other sources to come up with the following tips for providing all budding musicians solid instruments that inspire and support their efforts.

How to Buy Musical Instruments

♫ Buy used. DUH! What did you think we would suggest? Buying a used or refurbished instrument is much cheaper than new.
♫ Buy quality brands. Do your research. Do you want electric or acoustic? Which companies excel in the production of the instrument of your interest.
♫ Ensure they are “ready to play”. Does it have the bow, mouthpiece, pedal or stand required to make it useable? Is it the right size for your musician? Play a few notes. What’s the sound quality? Can it be tuned? Avoid rust!
♫ Buy for now. Very few musicians (none?) buy one instrument to last their lifetime without ever buying another. Get an instrument that fits your needs today knowing that as the musician grows so does their musical instrument library.
♫ Talk to a musician. Find out what’s important to the pros in selection, quality and price. The same will apply to you and your musician. Instructors are a goldmine of information on this subject.
♫ Renting is not always cost-effective. Renters pay a monthly fee for a utility-grade instrument that you’ve more than covered the cost of by the end of the year. It may be a good idea the first month or two, but after that it’s better to buy.

Music has been shown to increase gray brain matter and it brings us pleasure. Anyone interested in picking up a musical skill should be afforded that opportunity. With careful planning, you can use your arm and leg to play that instrument and not to pay for it — use your trade credit instead.

Post author Rebecca Ballenger is a wannabe Internet practitioner, subtly charming public school advocate and amateur communicator who asks too many questions and writes mostly about books at RebL Nation.