How to choose an instrument Part 2: Trialing the instrument
Once you’ve accomplished the preliminary task of choosing an instrument, let the trialing begin! Usually, you have a week or two to try the instrument in different settings and in various locations. This is a great way of discovering how it responds to your playing in contrasting acoustics.
Unless you’re absolutely sure from the outset, it’s usually a good idea not to make up your mind immediately. For instance, many trying rooms in dealerships are very resonant which enhances the sound of any instrument. This will not give you an accurate overview of an instrument’s potential or capabilities.
Another essential component when trialling an instrument is to know the context in which you would play it in the future, and test it accordingly. If you perform solo recitals frequently, try it in concert to see how it responds to that kind of situation. If you’re a quartet musician, perform with it and ask your colleagues for their opinion. After you’ve gone through some of these steps, play for your friends, family and colleagues and ask them what they think. If you can, it’s also a great idea to have someone else play the instrument so that you can hear what it sounds like objectively.
If you’ve found your perfect instrument, it’s time to move on to Part 3: Buying an instrument. We’ll discuss what to expect and various other aspects surrounding the purchase of an instrument.