Rent or Buy?

There are pros and cons to both renting and owning your instrument as a new player.  I usually recommend that beginners start with a rental instrument.   This allows them to get started with a reasonably dependable instrument, guaranteed  free repair, and a smaller financial commitment up-front.  However, there are good reasons to go either way.

  Pros Cons
Rental (from most string=specialist companies Free maintenance AND strings! (for beginners, this is definitely a plus). You don’t get to pick your instrument, though most rentals from a reputable shop are of reasonable quality.
  You can change sizes for free whenever necessary. The price of a rental can add up significantly over the long run (though this can often be applied to a future purchase!).
  You won’t have to commit to an instrument until the student is mature enough (hopefully) to pick out a good one.
Purchase You can pick your own instrument. Families can be tempted to get what’s cheapest, which may not be what’s quality.
  After it’s paid for, you can stop paying for it. Maintenance and strings are no longer free.
  Sense of ownership. If the child is still growing, a new instrument has to be purchased each time they size up.

For more information on finding a good rental or purchase instrument, check out the page on Finding Your Perfect Instrument.

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