Do I Need An Instrument To Start Lessons?

Do I need an instrument is one of the most basic questions when we think about starting lessons.  The most intuitive answer may be, yes, however, that isn’t necessarily the right answer.

What Music Instrument Do You Want To Play?

Music Teacher
Do We Need A Piano

First, it depends which instrument you’re starting with.  If you’re taking piano lessons, you do need an instrument to start lessons.  However, you do not need a full baby grand to start piano lessons.  So, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular instruments to find out about your specific situation.  However, make sure you ALWAYS see and touch the instrument before buying.  Never buy an instrument without having a chance to see how it works and how it sounds.

Do I Need To Buy A Piano?

The simple answer here is no.  You do not need to buy a piano when taking piano lessons.  The concern that every teacher will have, push or hope that you do buy a piano is the concern of feel.  If all you want to do is start lessons, then a 76-key keyboard that is touch sensitive and has a damper (sustain) pedal will do just fine.
If you go out to search for a piano, then go to a piano store and play around with them a bit to see if they feel nice.  When you play them one after the other, you can feel the difference while quickly switching between them.  Pianos have little variations; however variations exist in the feel of each key when it’s pushed down by the pianist.  These things can be changed by your piano tuner to match what you want the piano to feel and sound like.

Do I Need To Buy A Guitar?

This one is a yes, however most guitar teachers have several guitars and can provide a guitar for the first lesson and can help you find a good guitar.  When starting with guitar lessons, most teachers will recommend an acoustic guitar to build strength in the fingers.  The strings on most acoustics are harder to press than electric guitars.  When you start on the acoustic, it’s easier to switch to electric guitar.  Something you want to look out for with guitars is a warped neck, which may make a lot of buzzing when you play it.  Press down the string with your finger in the center of the space between the frets, the straight pieces metal on the neck of the guitar and pluck the string.  Do this on several strings to make sure that the neck is in good condition.  Many things can be fixed, but a warped neck can be the end for the guitar.

Can I Start Drums Without A Set?

Most drum lessons can actually be started with a pad, which is not nearly as fun as a drum set, but there are some basics that need to be learned and is probably best to concentrate to learn those basics.  A pad is not sufficient for the long term.  So, a basic drum set is recommended usually in the cost area of $350 – $450 for a decent set.  Again, your teacher will help choose the best set for the student.  A basic set can include the following: A kick drum and pedal, a snare and snare stand, high hat cymbals and stand.  Typical basic extras are riding toms, ride cymbal and crash cymbal.  Anything above these pieces are not necessary or recommended for a beginner student.

Brass And Woodwinds

Since these pieces require mouthpieces and are rather personal pieces of equipment, in most cases they are required to start a lesson.  The good news is that these instruments can be rented.  If you are like most parents, you want to give your little musician a chance to try something before committing the money to purchasing an instrument, which leads to the next topic of discussion.

Renting An Instrument

Can you? Absolutely, yes, there are a ton of instrument rental services that allow this for practically every instrument, including pianos.  The cost of instrument rental can vary depending on service and instrument.

I already have an instrument, but it needs repair

So, your mom or grandparents have an instrument that they no longer use and are willing to hand it down for music lessons.  These are typically great instruments to have, and it’s a family heirloom, so carries some meaning.  The only bad thing is that most of these items are in need of a little tender love and care.  If your instrument needs some repair, make sure that you get a technician who knows how to repair those instruments.  This is especially true for complex instruments like woodwinds and pianos.

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