If you are looking to buy or hire a new instrument, it’s always a good idea to support local music shops – you can go in and try out the instruments, which is loads of fun, plus it’s great to support hard working independent retailers! Saying this, if you want to go shopping within the comfort of your own home, then eBay is a great place for second hand starter instruments. We’ve compiled some of our favourite music shops here to make the choice easier for you.
When choosing a piano, it’s important to think about where the piano comes from and what that means when it comes to sound – Robert Morley and Steinway pianos are German and have a softer sound when compared to the Japanese Yamaha pianos, which have a bright sound mostly associated with American models. You can spend from £2,000 – £20,000 on a new piano (or if you win the lottery then go ahead and buy a £70,000 Steinway!) Becky is happy to come along and play the pianos to help you choose the correct instrument for you.
Here are the numbers of two piano removal companies that we can recommend – always useful to have in the phone book.
G & R Piano Removals – 020 8994 9733 (more expensive and therefore better suited to more expensive pianos.)
Matco Piano Transport – 020 7281 9555
If you’re looking for a local guitar retailer, you could try Greenwich Guitars – they’re fairly priced and are located on Greenwich South Street so are easy to get to. However, we recommend that if you’re looking for a good selection of guitars, take a trip to Denmark Street in Soho where you will find five or six guitar shops all within less than a minute’s walk of each other. All provide a friendly, professional service and really know their stuff! We recommend No.Tom Vintage and Classic Guitars – the shop has a great atmosphere and a brilliant selection of unique instruments for guitarists of all levels.
UKULELES – Duke of Uke
Looking for a Ukulele? Look no further than Duke of Uke, a quirky Ukulele and Banjo shop in Shoreditch. They have a wide variety of instruments and also sell a great range of unique vintage Ukes. For an alternative Ukulele or guitar, try these guys where Becky got her Oxolele from http://www.spatchcockandwurzill.com/
Our “oh-so-trendy-he-could-have-been-born-in-Shoreditch” drum tutor Harry Pope, belongs to a group of pro drummers that are selling second hand drum kits. Please contact Becky for more information and she will put you in touch with him.
SAXOPHONES – UK Sax Hire
If you’re looking for a saxophone, check out tutor Steph Legg’s recommendation, UK Sax Hire. The business is run by a saxophonist called Richard who is passionate about inspiring people to learn and enjoy the saxophone. You can rent a saxophone, cornet, flute, clarinet or oboe from UK Sax Hire and should you choose to buy the instrument, all of the rent money you have payed goes towards the total price for the instrument. You can also choose to put the money towards a different instrument if you wish to change, so you can’t go wrong!
For our Manchester clients, we luckily have two big music shops in the centre of the city. Forsyths is particularly good for pianos (either grand, upright or electric) and has a large amount of sheet music for all instruments. You can go and have a play on the pianos to discover which one you like! We’d recommend Dawsons for guitars and drums but they do have a small selection of wind and brass instruments (as do Forsyths) that you can try in their practice booths. Remember to take time when choosing your instrument, you can always go back another day after asking advice from any of our tutors.
CLARINET AND SAXOPHONE REEDS – Reeds Direct
This is a fantastic place to order cheaper boxes of clarinet and saxophone reeds – you can also buy in bulk for an even better price. They stock all brands of reeds, the best being Vandoren and Rico. There are also accessories such as neck straps, thumb rest covers and mouthpiece protectors to fit all the different sizes of clarinets and saxophones.
ACCESSORIES AND MUSIC – Musicroom
For music stands, sheet music, tuners, metronomes and classic metronomes, new strings, and everything else a musician could ask for, have a browse on the Musicroom website. If you are looking for it, they will have it. They have a wide variety of great quality products, many designed to be fun and child friendly.