7 Things to Look for When Renting Used Instruments on a Budget

Renting a musical instrument can be stressful because you don’t know what you are always getting.Here are 7 things to looking for when renting used instruments.

Maybe you have children who are starting to show an interest in music. Or you’re an adult looking to learn a new hobby in your spare time or rediscover an old one.

Either way, picking up an instrument can be a life-changing moment.

Unfortunately, buying an instrument is expensive. From pianos to flutes to drums, instruments range in prices starting as low as a couple hundred dollars all the way up to several thousand or more. Even buying used can be expensive.

If you’re not sure how long you’ll need the instrument, or you already know that you won’t need it for long, buying may not be the right choice anyway.

Luckily, renting used instruments offers an affordable, smarter way to get access to the instruments you need when you need them. But before you head out to your local music store, check out this list of the 7 things you need to be looking for when renting used instruments.

1. Instrument Quality

Renting used instruments is a great way to get access to higher quality instruments than you might be able to afford if you were instead looking to buy new. The last thing you want to do is rent a used instrument that’s in poor condition.

If the instrument isn’t in great condition, you’ll likely be dealing with broken parts or poor sound, which can get in the way of you learning or using the instrument.

Before you commit to a rental, be sure to ask about the quality of the instruments. Ask how old the instruments are or how long they are rented out before they are retired.

While some instruments remain working great for many years and lots of use, knowing these details can help give you an idea of the quality you’ll be getting.

2. Access to a Variety of Instruments

If you’re renting an instrument for your child to use in band class, you may only need one thing. But if you’re looking for band equipment rental, you likely need more than one instrument or piece of gear.

You could find multiple companies that rent out each instrument that you need. But then you’ll be stuck dealing with multiple bills and return deadlines to keep track of.

By finding one company that offers a variety of the type of instruments and gear that you need, you can streamline the entire process.

This is also a good idea if you aren’t sure exactly what you’ll need. This way, you can rent one instrument, and then rent others or swap them out once you figure out exactly what you need, without starting the entire process over again.

3. Brand Names

If you’re looking to buy a budget-friendly instrument, you might try to avoid brand names that carry a higher price tag. But as a result, you’ll likely be sacrificing some degree of quality.

When you’re renting used instruments, you have the chance to get access to brand name instruments at a much lower rate. That’s why when you’re searching for a company to rent from, it’s a good idea to ask what brands they carry.

If you already know how to play the instrument, you might have a brand in mind that you’re looking for. If not, a little bit of internet research can help you figure out which brands have the best reputations.

If you’re renting an instrument for your child to use in a band or orchestra class, you should research approved brands for younger learners to make sure you’re making the right choice.

4. Price

One big factor that you need to consider when searching for used instruments to rent is the price.

The quality and brand, as well as the type of instrument you’re renting, will have a big effect on the price. But even instruments of similar quality might cost more from one company than from the next.

Asking about prices ahead of time can help you narrow your search for the right company. You should also compare the price of buying the same age, brand, and quality of instrument versus the rental price to make sure that you’re getting a good deal.

5. Maintenance Schedules

All instruments need care and maintenance to continue operating correctly. Older instruments or those that see a lot of use, such as rental instruments, need even more care.

When looking for a rental company, ask about how often the instruments get repaired or serviced.

If you’re renting a woodwind or brass instrument, ask about whether the instrument will be cleaned and oiled before you rent it. If you’re renting a guitar or other string instrument, ask about the age of the strings and whether you’ll be responsible for replacing them if they break while the guitar is in your possession.

6. Specialties

There are plenty of companies out there that rent tons of different types of instruments. But while these can be convenient, it could mean getting an instrument that doesn’t get the care that it needs.

Renting from a company that specializes in the type of instrument you’re renting often means getting an instrument that has been better cared for, as well as getting access to expert tips and advice.

7. Company Reputation

Finally, before you sign a rental agreement, check out the rental company’s reputation. A quick internet search can often turn up reviews from prior customers and let you know whether their experiences went well or were a flop.

Checking out how other peoples’ experiences’ went can be a great way to avoid a disaster of your own. Even if a company doesn’t have a perfect reputation, knowing what to expect can help you plan ahead and still rent from the company offering the best deal or the instrument you need.

Finding the Right Used Instruments to Rent

If you’re living on a budget or just looking to save some money, it can be tempting to give up your favorite activities, especially if they require something as expensive as a musical instrument.

Renting used instruments can be a great way to save money while still enjoying your favorite hobby or learning a new skill.

If you’re looking to save money in other areas of your life, check out this article to learn how you can continue to stay fit and healthy while on a budget.