Buying Your First Instrument? Here’s A Helpful Guide
A very common question asked of our team at The Music Works is ‘what do we recommend as an affordable option for a first music instrument’. Where do you start!?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve quizzed some of our teachers for their recommendations of what music instrument to purchase and come up with the following guide to help you keep on the right track. Every music instrument mentioned is available at most major retailers, but for the frugal can also be found on secondhand sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree & eBay.
Modern Keyboards are just awesome, with a plethora of fun sounds available at your finger tips, while still being able to sound like a traditional piano. Our keyboard teacher George Wilkinson suggests:
“For parents looking to buy their kids a keyboard as a beginner, I would look at the Yamaha PRS series. Mostly because it will look familiar to what we teach on, but also there are lots of sounds and features for them to play around and have fun with.”
In particular, if you are on a modest budget look at the Yamaha E363 series! If you have a bit more money to play with, the Yamaha PRS series are great value for money.
There are lots of cheap options for guitar readily available, but our experience suggests that you need to be careful to avoid a proper mess! Guitar Joe Boult says:
“Our lessons are based around electric guitar, so I would suggest one of those first and foremost plus they’re much easier for beginners than acoustic guitars. The strings are easier to press, the bodies are smaller, and the necks are usually much thinner. I recommend anything by East Coast or Yamaha - these brands are known to have the best performance per pound for a beginner, and a few of them offer starter packs with a small amp, strap and picks. Also, definitely use a full-size guitar from the beginning (if you can) to avoid an upgrade too soon!
In terms of price, £100-200 is a very safe bet from the above brands. There are cheaper guitars, but you’ll gamble running into some quality issues that could seriously hinder playability.”
There are lots of options with drums, from big, loud and expensive to small, quiet and inexpensive! Our drum teacher Quilly suggests:
“Carlsbro, Millennium and Gear4Music brands would be good cost/quality ratio. Yamaha and Alesis are a bit more expensive but would be higher quality and my recommendation. Roland is known to be the best for electric but can cost anything up to £8000!
The only brand I'd advise against is ION - they are more of a toy than an instrument and trend to fall apart within a matter of months. If you are just starting out and unable to buy a full kit for space or financial reasons, I would recommend some Vic Firth 5A American Rock Drumsticks and a small practice pad.”
And last, but by no means least, the humble ukulele! Ukulele teacher Kyle MacKenzie says:
“After years of teaching I have tried out quite a few different Ukuleles! Although the vast majority of Ukes are relatively inexpensive, there are definitely huge differences in quality, even among the budget ranges.
We recommend Octopus, as these are what we use for our lessons each week. Ukulele is the only instrument we currently sell directly to customers, you can pick one up at our online store.”