Six reasons to buy a musical instrument in a local shop

World Heart Beat performing at our 10th anniversary event, 2018

It’s tempting to take advantage of the thousands of cheap offers available at online retailers. In contrast, buying from a music shop has advantages that can give your child a better chance at mastering their instrument.

Here we outline six key benefits of visiting your local music shop.


1. You get to try before you buy

Encourage your child to try some instruments in store, visit more than once if necessary. Instruments of the same type have a different sound and feel from each other. Each is unique. Therefore, trying instruments out is essential in helping your child to choose an instrument that feels ‘right’ for them. Many shops, such as Billy Bowman‘s in Cockermouth, offer a “try before you buy” scheme.

2. Expert, tailored advice

Having conversations with a music expert will give you an opportunity to learn a lot, and above all, talk about your child’s needs and aspirations.

Our Take it away retailers have many years of experience and many are musicians themselves. Your salesperson can explain the benefits of comparable models for all budgets. They will know which instruments are required at different exam grades, and the characteristics offered by different brands.

3. Aftercare

Your music shop will offer reliable and convenient aftercare services. An online retailer is unlikely to be able to offer this personalised service. You’ll benefit from regular tuning and maintenance services, which are essential to extending the life of the instrument. As a result, the instrument will always be ready for a big school concert or exam!

Additionally, when you’re ready to upgrade, some of our Take it away retailers offer a buyback scheme.

4. A better deal

Music shops tend to be open to negotiation. They also offer savings on bundles of instrument accessories like cases, strings, reeds and amplification.

In addition, Take it away retailers are trained in offering our interest-free finance which allows you to spread the cost and pay in 10 or 18 equal installments (depending on the shop). As a result of the scheme, more expensive instruments are accessible to more people.

5. Support your local high street

By shopping on a high street, you are boosting the economy within your local community and helping an independent business survive, thrive and provide jobs for local people. Research shows that for every £1 spent with an SME there was an additional 63p benefit for the local economy compared with 40p in every £1 spent with a larger business.

6. Build a lasting partnership

A musical instrument can take your child on an exciting journey. Your local music retailer can become a long-term partner in this process, providing advice on upgrades and improvements. Many of our retailers build lasting relationships with their customers and see them progress in proficiency.

Nigel James, of All Flutes Plus, recalls one 13-year-old boy studying at Chetham’s School of Music. “He bought a new flute from us, progressed brilliantly, and a couple of years later was at the Royal Academy of Music. Now he plays in a top London orchestra. A late starter, but a phenomenal talent and a highly rated young professional flautist”.

Dan Young bought his first guitar using the Take it away scheme, and now has a successful music career with his band October Drift.  When he’s not touring, he makes sure his current guitar gets a regular six-monthly service from the same shop he bought his first.

More about Take it away

If you’re interested in hearing reading more about the Take it away scheme and our mission to make the purchase of musical instruments of all kinds affordable and accessible for all, or if you’re a retailer interested in joining the scheme, please get in touch.