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How to Play Test Instruments and Find the Right One for You

If you have been playing your instrument for a few years now, you are probably feeling the itch to see what else is out there. Once you decide you are ready to upgrade, there are a number of things you will need to consider. 

Have a conversation with your teacher. Your teacher will have a good idea of what you will be needing from your instrument in the next few years. Depending on your type of instrument, some will have key features that are needed for particular music genres or examinations. 

Consider your budget and how much you need to spend to get the quality of instrument you are looking for. Think about whether you are willing to pay extra for certain features or a more advanced model. Your upgrade instrument may cost a few hundred dollars extra than your student instrument did, or thousands. A knowledgeable salesperson will be able to guide you through the different advantages of each price point. 

When you get to the store, let the salesperson know how long you have been playing, what kind of music you like to play, and how much you are roughly wanting to spend. They will be able to select a few models for you to try and compare.

Test each instrument by playing pieces that are comfortable and familiar to you. Play the same excerpts on each instrument so that you can directly compare them. Observe how each instrument responds to you playing softly, loudly, slurred, and articulated. It can be great to have someone with you who can help you blind test* the instruments. Focus on what feels and sounds the best to you and try to not be influenced by how you think you should feel about certain models.

*Blind testing involves having an instrument handed to you and you assessing it without knowing the brand or model you are trying.

Although instrument specifications can give you an indication of which instrument will suit you, playing the instruments yourself will ultimately reveal which model best compliments your playing style. Fine Music welcomes players with a few years' experience down their belt to try a selection of our instruments in store, so you can meet your match.

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