Your First Instrument
It is getting close to that time of year where parents rejoice and children shudder as the thought of returning to school approaches. For some of you it will be the first year your child will be introduced to musical instruments and the school band which means you will need to take on the very daunting task of buying, renting or borrowing their first saxophone, flute, trumpet or whatever instrument the dreaded ‘blow test’ deems appropriate for them to play. So, allow me to make the process as smooth as possible and give you the crash course on your first instrument.
The inevitable day will arrive where your son/daughter comes home to announce they now have to play a particular instrument in the school band which they’ll either be ecstatic or indifferent about (let’s hope for the former). This means money being spent on an instrument along with servicing, books, lessons and cleaning products to go along with it. My aim here is to save you as much money as possible while getting the best quality that is available.
My strong suggestion would be to rent an instrument before you buy anything, unless you have friends or family members with an old instrument, they’re prepared to lend you. Renting allows time to see whether or not you child embraces this new endeavour or it is simply a novelty that wears off in a few months, and for a bunch of you this will most certainly be the case. Mall Music and other instrument stores in Sydney offer great rental programs and on average will only cost you about $120 over 6 months. If your child makes it through the year without quitting, SUCCESS, they could be on their way to becoming the next Charlie Parker and you should consider investing in a brand new instrument. Which leads me to my next point
Buying is something you should consider for the second or third year of playing so you can be sure this is something your child is truly invested in and prepared to put the work in. It can be enticing to go for the cheapest option but BEWARE this will probably end up costing you way more in the long run with it requiring many more services than a quality instrument and may even not be worth the work. The two best options would be to go the Yamaha and Jupiter student instruments. Yamaha while ever so slightly more expensive is the best quality in student instruments and provides the best playability but Jupiter follows closely behind if you want to save a little coin. Not only are they great instruments but they tend to hold their value quite well so when it comes to upgrading you will get a decent amount of money back from the sale. Anything less than these brands will tend to cause more headaches and should be avoided.
Digby is available for saxophone & guitar lessons.