The woodwind family includes clarinets, saxophones, flutes & piccolos, oboes, recorders.
With hundreds of moving parts and intricate mechanisms, a wind instrument requires expert manufacture in order to perform properly and withstand the rigours of student use. In recent times there has been an influx into the Australian market of inexpensive, poorly made objects that will put a child off their learning. Substandard manufacture causes tuning issues, difficulty in reaching high or low notes, soft metals can bend, rusting can occur, faulty soldering and sticking valves and keys all cry BEWARE! Students playing these cheap, poor quality instruments can soon think they are no good at this music thing and move on to something ‘easier’.
There are many quality student instruments on the market in Australia. You may pay a little more, but you have service and warranty back up here to keep the instrument in good nick.
New vs Second Hand
To buy second hand woodwind you must know what you’re looking for. Most wind instruments don’t get better with age (unlike other quality instruments). Qualified repairers can provide an assessment of a second hand instrument for you, but with so many moving parts wearing over time, and if the instrument has not been well maintained, you may be better to go NEW.
An instrument purchase is like any long-term investment – buy quality and reap the benefits over time.