Buying from your local music store

Before you go

  • If you have a music teacher, they may recommend brands or models.  If they do, ask them why they recommend these so you can make an informed decision when you visit the music store to buy.
  • You might want to consider the options for rental, rent to buy or a straight out buy.  If the instrument may not get used for long, then you may consider a rental option.  Alternatively, there may be a great deal if you buy outright on the day.
  • You may want to research the instrument and music stores online.
    • Search for a retailer here
    • If buying on the internet make sure that the guarantees, repairs and return policies are all fully explained.  We recommend purchasing from a reputable music retailer, such as those found in our directory.
    • Please be aware that Australian consumer protection laws don’t apply outside our borders. Consider the potential for a repair or replacement if the instrument/product arrives damaged or you encounter faults within a reasonable period of time. 

In the store

  • Ask if they can help you with maintenance and and servicing, particularly for brass, wind and stringed instruments. If you buy a piano, the store may be able to recommend a piano tuner.
  • Is there a practice or demonstration room in the shop, if so you can try it out first?
  • Does the instrument get checked and/or set up before you take it home?  This will make sure the instrument is playable to its full potential from day one.
  • If you don’t have a teacher:  Does the store have a school or connections with teachers in the area?  Or can they recommend some ‘teach yourself’ resources?
  • What sort of warranty does the instrument have?  Most instruments from reputable brands are well made and have been extensively checked before leaving the factory, but a guarantee ensures peace of mind.
  • Make sure that the full details of the instrument, are on the receipt. This is useful if the instrument is ever lost or stolen.

When you get home

  • In the box there may be a warranty card from the manufacturer or distributor.  Make sure to complete that process as directed.
  • Save or scan the receipt and take some photos of the instrument/product, in case you need them later.
  • Insure your instrument.  Depending on its use, you may cover instruments under a home and contents insurance policy, or you may need specialist musical instrument insurance. Two advantages of musical instrument insurance policies are that they cover the instrument wherever you take it, and you can insure the actual value without worrying about limits on your policy. There may be a ‘professional use’ clause on a home insurance policy that sets a threshold for payments when professional equipment (such as musical instruments) is damaged or stolen.

If you have a problem

  • Your first point of contact should be the store you bought the instrument/product from.
    • If there is a fault and it is under warranty, they can assist you with that process
    • If there is a fault and it is no longer under warranty, they can assist you with understanding any consumer guarantee rights you may have, and/or assist with finding someone to repair or service the instruments
  • Some stores do not have repair facilities or experts in-house. They may be able to recommend someone, or you can search for technicians by instrument/product category here
  • Remember, some instruments require regular maintenance, servicing and/or tuning to keep it in good condition for playing and to ensure that it can be played for many years.
    • Pianos require regular tuning. The Australasian Piano Tuners & Technicians Association recommends as a general rule, a piano should be tuned twice per year as changes will occur because the pitch is dependent on changes in humidity (read more)
    • Brass and wind instruments require regular servicing
    • Stringed instruments such as electric and acoustic guitars, electric basses, violins, double basses, and so on will require servicing and setups from time to time. This can include the work of luthiers, maintaining, building or repairing an instrument, and/or a technician that can set up pickups, electronics, etc.
  • You can read more about your consumer rights here

We wish you all the best in your search for the right instrument and in making music for many years to come!