The Best Time To Upgrade Your String Instrument: Our Expert Advice

One of the major milestones of a musician's life is when it's time to upgrade your string instrument. Eventually, every player outgrows their instrument—either in size or skill. While upgrading their instrument becomes a natural step in their journey, it can also be a big commitment. Here are some guidelines to help you recognise the best time for you to upgrade your violin, viola, cello or double bass. We've also included some of our expert tips and considerations on choosing the most suitable one for yourself.

When Should I Upgrade My String Instrument?

Have you been playing your instrument for some time? Here are some factors that may indicate it's time for you to level up.

You've Physically Outgrown Your Instrument

Young students are often given smaller instruments to play as it would be more physically suitable for them. If you've been playing your current instrument for some time now, there's a good chance that you may have physically outgrown your instrument. This can lead to discomfort or even pain when playing, which can significantly reduce your enjoyment of music.

You're Getting More Serious About Your Sound

Beginner model instruments are most ideal for those new to the world of string instruments, and have yet to discover their unique sound style. In some cases, they may not have committed completely to an instrument of choice.

Those who are ready to jump will find that intermediate and advanced level instruments are completely different. Better craftsmanship and materials mean richer sounds, clearer tones, and more adaptable playing style that elevates your performance.

Your Current Instrument Has Worn Out

If your string instrument is showing signs of wear and tear, it may be time to consider investing in an upgrade. High quality instruments can generally be in playable conditions for decades or generations even. However, this depends on how well they have been maintained and stored. Sometimes, even the most skilled luthier may not be able to restore the condition of the instrument. In such cases, an upgrade is definitely in need.

Tips and Considerations on Choosing the Right String Instrument

Find yourself relating to the issues above? Then an instrument upgrade is definitely in order! Here are some of our expert tips on what to look out for when shopping for an upgrade.

#1 Set a Budget

String instruments for intermediate and advanced players can be pricey. We recommend that you begin with a budget in mind. This will help to set the class of instruments that will be available to you.

#2 Do Your Research

It may be an exciting step, but be sure to do your due diligence and research before heading out to make your purchase! Before you make a decision, reflect on your current instrument and the kind of sound you are going for. Explore the different brands and makers within your string instrument type, and what people are saying about them.

Doing your research can also point you to places that might have great deals available for you. Some places may offer discounts, installments, trade-ins or even package deals that include accessories such as strings, cases or bows. For example at Gramercy Music, we've partnered with Shopback PayLater as an option for flexibility and ease in payments.

#3 Test, Test, Test!

Each instrument, be it a cello, violin, viola or double bass, has its own unique sound, tone and personality. This is the case even when they are made by the same maker. Make sure that you head down to the store to try out some of your options. An instrument is a personal choice, so make sure that you are comfortable with the quality and feel before you decide.

#4 Get a Second Opinion

Instruments are for life. If you've found one (or a few) that you're thinking about, get a second opinion from a fellow string instrument musician, your teachers, or instrument experts. You may have your own preferences and opinions on what might be suitable for you, but getting an objective opinion can help to steer you towards the right decision for your personal needs.

In a Nutshell

An instrument is a life-long investment, and it's important for you to make the right choice. Before making an upgrade, take the time to think through if it is indeed the best time to do so. From there, use our guidelines above to help you in making a clear choice on deciding on your next instrument.

Looking for Inspiration For Your Next String Instrument?

Whether you're a beginner looking to upgrade, or an advanced player in need of something that is more adaptable to your skill, we've got it for you at Gramercy Music. Explore our range online or visit our store for a more personalised recommendation. 


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