Making Music on a Budget: Ways to Save so You Can Play

Making Music on a Budget: Ways to Save so You Can PlayMaking money usually is a prerequisite for making music.  But, instruments, studio space, and associated materials get expensive.  

However, informed music players know how to save money on immediate needs.  Check out the following ways to save so you can play.

Head over to Craigslist

Musicians are community-minded souls, often playing in bands or groups.  It’s likely someone else shares a musical interest with you whether you play guitar, drums, harmonica or bass. 

Use Craigslist’s search engine to seek used (and sometimes new) equipment in your area.  Second-hand equipment is often a great way to get your hands on musical items while keeping extra coin in the pocket.

Check out Online

Get online to seek individual vendors, third-party sites comparing prices of stores in your area, and tons of stores providing sales and discounts on a number of desirables. 

Online vendors often host lower prices due to the limitation or exclusion of in-store costs.  Visit brick-and-mortar stores to get a feel for brands and models you like and then go online to check for lower prices and better deals.

Social Media Shoutouts

Similar to leveraging Craigslist, consider mentioning your desire or using the search options on sites like Twitter and Facebook to monitor any ongoing discussions.  It’s a great way to get information about repairs, see what vendors are passionate and discussing instruments, as well as get a real-time ‘tips’ on existing sales and discount opportunities.

Layby or Credit Card Options

This article is about finding ways to save, yet sometimes you need to spend money to make money later on.  Like other products, musical instruments are offered in grades of quality.  You can buy an acoustic guitar for under $50, but you may find the strings breaking after a few days and quality of wood pale in comparison to better models.

In music, as with most sought items, you pay for what you get; consider placing higher-end models on layby or purchasing with a credit card and pay it off progressively.  Buying one quality piece of equipment that will last for years is not a bad investment.

Part-time Work

Consider working part-time for a music vendor, whether that means sweeping floors after close, helping consumers select instruments, or doing the books in the back office.  If music is your passion, find a way to get involved in the industry from the wholesale or retail side.  Doing so can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars via employee discounts and ‘insider’ information.

The Power of Friends

Ask a friend with a common interest to invest in the instrument. For example, in the winter two friends can split a bass guitar, both sharing the instrument and helping one another learn how to play the instrument.  In the spring, the same friends could buy a surfboard together, alternating turns while learning to surf and gaining experience. 

It’s easy to desire an instrument, purchase, and then let the preceding interest wane and the instrument collect dust.  Investing in a new interest with a friend usually compounds the intensity of the pursuit.

Musicians have been finding alternative ways to keep instruments in hand despite only mounds of lint in the pockets for decades.  Try the above ways to get musical without going broke.



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Meet Russell Matthews

Meet Russell Matthews

Russell Matthews is a music instructor. After working with countless students over the years, he often blogs about his ideas and experiences to help other young musicians enjoy making music.



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