Our last post talked about where to look for and buy musical instruments and if you have really decided that the gift to get your loved own is a musical instrument you then the next step is to start to look at your budget and value of the actual instrument. Obviously, if money is no options it is very easy, just pick the most expensive item and you are good to go. Well, that’s not always true nor does price mean everything. Also, if you get to a point where the money is no issue you are probably really good an understanding of getting your money’s worth instead of just spending carelessly. That’s why we want to discuss some key things regarding getting good value when you when buying a musical instrument as a gift and helping you get the best option no matter what your budget is.
Let’s start by getting something out of the way, musical instruments aren’t cheap. So a lot of times when people decide to buy a musical instrument they end up being on the lower part of the price range just by default. Who knew a drumset can be worth more than a car, but the reality is, they can, and that goes for all instruments. If your budget for this gift is limited that’s ok, you can still get a good quality product. Our first advice would be to look at the used instrument option. This doesn’t mean you have to settle for a dusty drum set from a guy in a dark alley or a piano with missing keys and strings. It just means you have to look for the right deal and work a bit harder to find the right one. Many times you can get a lightly used or sometimes even like-new instrument that someone changed their mind on for a deep discount. The only challenge with trying to buy used is finding the right deal and since we are already so close to the holiday time is not on your side. To get the best deal on a used item, you just have to wait and look regularly to find that special deal. If used isn’t an option because you have your heart set on getting something new you are in luck because many companies make affordable new instruments. The only thing you have to be content with is that you will have to sacrifice some quality. If you are ok with that, and you want your gift recipient to have the experience of opening a brand new gift, then the next thing would be to do your homework. Read some reviews on the product and ask experienced musicians which instrument is going to be the best one of the options that you have available in that price range.
If you do have some wiggle room in the budget then your options in the new musical instrument category broaden. Then you can start looking at things like brand reputation or the most popular instrument in that category. For example, when it comes to drums we think the Yamaha Stage Custom drumsets are the best bank for their buck. It has been one of the gold standard for decades now in the drum industry for the best value for the price. We have been using the same Stage Custom drumsets at our locations since we started and not one kit has had an issue. Also, consider that we use these kits 8+ hours a day 5-6 days a week, all year round! Well above normal usage and not one issue or problem. The Yamaha Stage Custom doesn’t break the bank but gives you incredible value. There are many examples of instruments like that in every instrument category and from many different brands. So, when you are trying to get value do some research on brand reputation and see which brand has the best long term reputation and which brands or models are most widely used. If you do know that your friend or loved one likes a certain brand or model more than the one you think is best still get them what they want because at the end of the day many companies make very good products but getting them exactly what they like, trumps any kind of popularity contest or product review you might find online.
Buying a very expensive musical instrument as a gift is very tricky because this is usually reserved for a seasoned or experienced musician. If you are doing that for a beginner we would HIGHLY recommend with getting them a middle of the road instrument and investing the rest of the budget left over for lessons to help them learn how to play the instrument instead of just spending all of it on an expensive instrument that they don’t know how to play. You wouldn’t give a kid a Ferrari as soon as they got their driver’s license, even if you could, because they wouldn’t even know what to do with it. In that case, get them a good instrument and a gift certificate to a location music school or lesson facility help them fall in love with their new instrument. If you are interested in gift certificates at Music Lab we offer those and you can get them at the location that is nearest to the gift recipient. Contact us for a list of locations that we currently have in your area. Back to the topic at hand. Let us assume you are getting the instrument for an experienced musician in your life and your goal is to get them the best of the best then your next step is to make sure that you get then the right instrument. Buying a high-end instrument is so subjective so we would highly advise getting crafty with your research and maybe talk to one of their close friends that might be able to get you some insight about what they really want so you don’t spend a ton of money and get the wrong instrument. With this category of instruments, it’s hard to find companies that make high-end instruments that are poor quality, there are some horror stories out there but this is rare. The choices at this level are more about preference, sound, finish, rarity, uniqueness, etc. It’s less about quality and more about what you like or want. So that’s why it is more important to do your homework with this budget category than the other two.
Buying a new musical instrument should be fun and exciting and we hope that we are helping you eliminate some of the stress that might come with your holiday shopping experience. We hope this is helpful and if you do need more guidance or help with your instrument purchase please feel free to reach out and we will gladly help you out.