How to choose an instrument Part 3: Buying an instrument
You’ve finally chosen an instrument! This is a very exciting time!
If you’ve managed to stick to your budget or found something below your price range, that’s great news! Otherwise it’s time to look for financing options. Aside from a regular bank loan, there are quite a few other loan and even grant opportunities out there. The Countess of Munster Musical Trust has a comprehensive list which you can find here: Funding for musical instruments.
We would like to emphasize how important it is to have realistic expectations when purchasing an instrument. If your budget is limited to £10,000, you can find loads of really good quality instruments but it’s unlikely that it will sound like an instrument worth 10 times that price tag. There will always be a compromise somewhere and it doesn’t always have to do with sound quality or projection. In investment terms, the future value of a certain violin or bow will affect its current price today. If you buy an instrument made by a very-well known maker, chances are you’ll have made a safe investment but you’ll also pay a premium for that safety.
That being said, virtually all instruments will gain some value if they are well maintained and not damaged in any way. The increase in value depends on many factors such as the maker’s name, original value, instrument condition, etc.
Before agreeing to a price, it may sometimes be worth negotiating. Some dealers can be flexible on the final price if you offer to pay the whole amount right there on the spot. It’s an avenue worth pursuing as you can end up saving quite a bit.