When it comes to buying musical instruments or other equipment, many musicians struggle–including those who aren’t making a first-time purchase. Buying a new instrument or piece of equipment is stressful, to say the least. There are a lot of different factors to consider, and if you’re not careful, you can easily make a purchase that leaves you with a serious case of buyer’s remorse. Follow these tips to avoid feeling guilt or regret after your next purchase.
1. Don’t Rush into Your Purchase
As excited as you probably are to buy your first instrument or piece of audio equipment, it’s best to take your time and weigh each of your options before making a purchase. Do as much research as you can to find the best possible item (that’s within your budget, of course), and you’ll be happier in the end. More than likely, you’ll hold onto your initial purchase for years to come, so it pays to shop carefully and do your homework. Don’t just buy the first cool thing you see.
2. Trust More Than Just the Specs
Often, manufacturers of both musical instruments and equipment laud their seemingly important specs – leaving you, the buyer, with the responsibility of determining which are the real benefits of the product and which are more or less for show.
Just because the best amp for metal musicians touts a full stack, doesn’t mean that it’s automatically guaranteed to sound so incredible that you don’t even need to hear it in person before you buy. In fact, you should always test an instrument or piece of equipment out for yourself if you can. This way, you can ensure that the best amp for metal musicians you just so happened to stumble upon actually does sound as great as you’ve been led to believe.
3. Don’t Invest Everything You Have into One Piece of Equipment
This is a rookie mistake.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned musician who’s been playing for years, it’s unwise to throw all of your money down for one piece of equipment. Sure, it’s easy to become obsessed with that one piece of equipment you’ve convinced yourself will finally help you achieve that tone you’ve been after…but in most cases, one single item isn’t going to do the job all on its own.
To achieve your ideal sound, you have to focus on your system as a whole.
4. As Always…Know That You Get What You Pay For
This statement is true with, well, most things.
In the case of professional quality gear, you’re pretty safe to assume that the price tag of the item reflects its quality. Items like these are created to last for years and meant to have a much longer lifespan than their budget counterparts. If you invest your money wisely the first time, you’ll have a piece of equipment that will last you for many years to come. Don’t want to spend a lot of time on fixes or finding replacements? Buy high-quality the first time around. You’ll save more money in the long run, too.
5. Build Relationships at Your Local Music Store
Then, you’ll always be able to get an expert’s opinion before making a purchase. No matter how much research you do or how many of your peers’ opinions you get, nothing beats advice from an expert who has real-world experience—especially for a first-time buyer.