But I can't afford a Stradivarius!

Don't panic! Although there are many cheap and inferior-quality instruments on the market, there are also many excellent value student and intermediate models available.

Buying a recognised brand name (consult your music teacher, or do some further research on the internet to discover what these are for the various instrument families) from an established dealer is by far the best way to ensure you get a good deal.

If possible, buy from a dealer who specialises in your specific instrument family, since they will undoubtedly have the most knowledge about their products. You wouldn't buy meat from a baker, and similarly you shouldn't buy a trumpet from a shop which specialises in guitars, if you can help it.

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