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The Christmas season is always a time for exciting opportunities. For many people, this is best observed by shopping for cool new gadgets and toys. There’s just something appealing about buying a shiny, new music instrument for most musicians. For some, the purchase is a chance to double down on something they think might interest them. For others, getting a new music instrument is just some form of an obsessive compulsive shopping disorder. How can you know whether buying a new music instrument is a good way to spend your hard-earned dollars? We’ve got a few questions to help you ease your mind.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Like with many other hobbies or interests, the price of equipment will limit just how much gear you can acquire. It doesn’t matter if you are into photography, fashion, or pottery. Money often dictates what you can do. So the first question you need to ask yourself is how much you are willing to spend. If you’re reading this, there’s a chance this is something you are buying for a niece, son, or otherwise close family member. The question is equally important regardless of who you are buying for, but it may change your answer if the item is not actually for you. The reason why you want to ask this question before you start looking is because you may be more easily swayed into spending an irresponsible amount later on. Once you have a budget, you can think about actually shopping.
What Kind of Deals Can You Find?
As of this writing, Black Friday in 2018 has already passed. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find any good deals, though. Depending on how much money you are able to dedicate to this purchase, finding a good deal might be a make-or-break situation. Answering the question of whether you should buy a new music instrument for Christmas often comes down to how affordable of a prospect that is. We suggest you check everything, from your local music store to Amazon to your neighborhood message board. Start with places you are more familiar and feel secure in making a purchase, but don’t be afraid to hunt for a bargain. Just remember the phrase “too good to be true” is rooted in experience.
Why Do You Need This New Music Instrument?
Aside from finances, this is probably the most important question to ask yourself. If you are running around town trying to keep up with the Joneses or satisfy the whims of your child, you’ll end up spending a lot more money than you ever intended. So why do you need this new music instrument? Do you think it will better help you create the music you want to make or is this a bad case of envy? Either answer is okay, but we need to be honest with ourselves. If you truly need the instrument, you’re going to feel more comfortable handing over your money. If it’s just you being frustrated with your current situation, then at least you now know how to handle that problem. PS - If you have the money and you just want to buy yourself a nice toy, there’s nothing wrong with that either.
How Often Do You Play Your Current Music Instrument?
This question may sting for some people. However, if your current music instrument is not getting the attention it needs from you, why should you go waste your money by buying ANOTHER thing that’s going to collect dust? If this question brings you a little conviction, we encourage you to commit to playing the instrument you have for a few weeks before sliding your card at the register. If after that time you still feel like you need the new instrument, then you’ve at least made an effort. Obviously if you are changing instruments (ie switching from piano to violin) this question may not be quite as applicable, but we still think it’s a good question for any musically inclined person to ask themselves from time to time. If you’re not growing as a musician, you’re dying.
Is There Something Cheaper You Can Use Instead?
Sometimes you need to pay top dollar for equipment, but that’s not always the case. Is there a cheaper option available for the instrument you want? You can always borrow a friend’s instrument (assuming you’re a trustworthy individual) or, again, look for better deals. If you’re changing instruments, say from a clarinet to a guitar, you probably don’t need to swing for the fences on that first purchase. A first time buyer should stick with something reasonable. If you are buying an instrument as a Christmas gift for a child, this is doubly important. It’s great that you’re encouraging him or her as a creative person, but a $1000 guitar is very risky for someone who is a relative beginner.
Is There a Particular Instrument You Have in Mind? Or Do You Simply Want *Something?*
During your journey as a musician, there are times when you will feel restless. On a human level, one way we try to solve these periods of restlessness is by filling that hole with new stuff. Is there a particular instrument you have in mind this Christmas? If not, there’s a chance you are only looking for a new music instrument to make yourself feel better. That’s not all that bad, but you should know this prescription is only going to satisfy your condition for so long. We think it’s great you want to expand your collection of instruments, but don’t make a big purchase under false pretenses.
Could You Better Invest Your Money in Your Music?
It’s perfectly natural for a musician to want music-related things for Christmas. Whether you are buying for yourself or investing in someone else’s music journey, we commend you for looking to upgrade. The things is, you don’t always need a new instrument to make your sound better. You can find all kinds of gear, from pedals to soundboards to editing software and beyond. There are a lot of really cool gadgets and accessories out there. Even past physical items, you could invest in music lessons with a respected instructor or purchase membership in some online resource. What do you really need this Christmas season? Don’t stop brainstorming with instruments. Think about all of the cool things you can find out there and see what would be the best addition to your gear.
Of course, we believe one of the best Christmas gifts you can give this year is to send young Christian musicians to Camp Electric. Our instructors are made up of band members from today’s biggest Christian acts and they can’t wait to invest in future musicians. Find out how you can become our next student by clicking on the link below.