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Buying a new instrument for college-level study

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
#1

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#2
If you are preparing to start a college music degree, you may need or want a new instrument. I strongly suggest that you contact your professor before making this purchase.
Gee, I've mentioned this a billion times. Actually, I've mentioned just about everything in that article a billion times. Wait ... am I Bret?
 

bpimentel

Broadway Doubler List Owner
Distinguished Member
#3
Actually, I've mentioned just about everything in that article a billion times.
You, me, and many, many others. And yet I got a phone call from an incoming student yesterday with "good news" about the great deal he just got on a new instrument.

Wait ... am I Bret?
If so, you've got yourself a new student... Good luck.
 
#4
im my personal opinion, buy a used instrument. First off, they're cheaper especially for college students. And second, a used instrument has already been played by multiple musicians so the said instrument has already developed its sound and timbre. with brand spanking new instruments you can only play for a certain period of time before you have to stop playing. and besides, you can find amazing deals on used professional instruments. I bought a used Selmer Series 9 professional Bb clarinet for $1100 (it should be almost finished though as i bought it almost a month ago and it has to go through basic overhaul). This is my first professional instrument and when I tried it out it sounded amazing and way better than the used Buffet R-13 clarinets I also tried.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#5
im my personal opinion, buy a used instrument ... and besides, you can find amazing deals on used professional instruments.
When it comes to saxophones, I moderately disagree with this, unless you do a very, very focused search. For the sake of argument, I did this, recently, not only because I wanted to see if it could be done, but because I got some great pictures out of it. The article: "... And They're All Around $1000."

I disagree a lot more with this on other instruments. For instance, there are a lot more clarinet makes and models out there than there are for saxophones. Again, if you have someone to give you targeted advice about older instruments, the problem goes away. Fortunately or not, I've never seen any article on this for any instrument and for any user other than "student." It might be a good idea to start some articles on this.

And second, a used instrument has already been played by multiple musicians so the said instrument has already developed its sound and timbre
I think it's pretty hard to argue that this happens with woodwinds. First, there are multiple entries on this website about "blowing out" wooden instruments, an argument which implies that older wooden instruments aren't a good idea. Second, while you can prove, for instance, that lacquer does change color with age/care or lack thereof, the metal itself is stable. I think that all of this really boils down to condition and how the instrument is set up.

with brand spanking new instruments you can only play for a certain period of time before you have to stop playing.
When your gums start bleeding, you've played for too long. Otherwise, I don't really know where you're going with this comment.
 
#6
When it comes to saxophones, I moderately disagree with this, unless you do a very, very focused search. For the sake of argument, I did this, recently, not only because I wanted to see if it could be done, but because I got some great pictures out of it. The article: "... And They're All Around $1000."
Wow, I just read the article and I was quite surprised at not only the different models of saxes, but how they were in basically a similar price range. It'll be good for me, because hopefully I'll get a professional tenor sax; this will be my second professional instrument I get. The sax I have now is in the shop, and it's a Yamaha. That's all I know about it. It's a Yamaha.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
#7
I need a "You're Welcome" button :D.

I'm thinking of taking the idea of "good instruments, cheap" and running with it. I'm probably going to ask the folks here for some input, too. (Or, I'll set up shop at one of the crowdfunding websites so I can quit my job and write about saxophones full time.)
 
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