Richard J. Chandler

Composer for Performing Musicians

The Top 3 Things to Consider When Looking for a High Quality Used Instrument

Too often, beginning musicians or their parents, pay a good deal of money for an instrument that will not keep up as a musician improves his or her skills. Furthermore, student instruments lose there value rapidly; their resale value is low. Rather than renting or purchasing a new, student-level instrument, instead consider purchasing a high quality used one. Here are the top 3 things to consider:

  1. The Manufacturer, which primarily relates to the sound of the instrument. Be careful here… Often one can find a fine instrument that may not have as much name recognition. A good example of this is with saxophones. Most players think of the brand “Selmer” first for saxophones. Personally, I prefer the brand “Buffet” for my own saxophones. For Clarinets, “Buffet” is considered the best by most, but I also know of fine clarinetists who prefer “Selmer” clarinets. In the case of clarinets and saxophones, playing the less famous brand can translate into hundreds and sometimes a few thousand dollars of savings.
  2. That Instrument’s Condition.  Is it somewhat worn or is there still a good many years left of quality play-ability?
  3. Ergonomics… How comfortable is it in your hands?