Picking up a musical instrument shouldn’t be a privilege reserved only for the well-off. Nowadays, there are many ways to learn an instrument on the cheap. Here are a few money-saving methods for budding musicians on a budget.
Share and borrow
We’ve all got that friend who owns a guitar but never picks it up. Asking to borrow it could help you learn and give you a chance to figure out whether that instrument is for you before buying your own. As for accessories such as capos and tuners and effects pedals, these can all be shared to save money. You can even rent instruments from companies such as Big Fish Rentals.
Buy second hand
There are plenty of second hand places where you’ll be able to pick up a cheap used musical instrument. You should always check the condition – buying with a knowledgeable friend is advantageous. If you’re buying online, make sure that they supply images and a description of any faults. You don’t want to fall trap to buying a warped piano that’s untunable.
Cheap acoustic guitars are easier to find than electric variants. However, when it comes to some instruments such as pianos and drums, you can save money by opting for a digital substitute. Touch sensitivity has advanced enough that many electric pianos are just as sensitive as the real thing (obviously the sound won’t be as organic, but as a beginner this won’t matter). Some of the best digital pianos of 2017 are also surprisingly affordable. Read reviews to get the best instrument for your money.
Having music lessons isn’t a must considering that there are so many tools on the internet that can allow you to effectively teach yourself. Many of these tools are free – you’ll find some superb tutorials on Youtube and there are plenty of places to get free tabs and music sheets. Paying some money to subscribe to a tutorial service or music sheet site may give you a little more freedom and will still cost you less than hiring a music tutor. There are also beginner’s books out there that may be better suited to some people. The key to self-teaching oneself is to keep track of one’s pace – challenge yourself occasionally but don’t forget to cover all the basics first otherwise you won’t get anywhere.
Do group lessons
For those that need the social interaction to learn, opting for group lessons could be a cheaper alternative to a private lesson. You will get less one-on-one time, but you may have the opportunity to learn group songs and develop harmonisation techniques, useful for if you have dreams of playing in a band. You’ll also get to meet people and develop a sense of camaraderie. Many find that self-teaching the basics and then moving to group lessons works better.