MyLuthier co-founders Ariel Lang and Pedro Silva share some tips on how to start the search for your perfect instrument
Before you begin
If you’re in college and you’re playing on a borrowed instrument, start looking for something before the end of your studies. This ensures you won’t be left without an instrument when your studies finish. This isn’t only applicable to students. If you have a deadline of any kind, make sure you start looking for something with plenty of time to spare.
Try to start by having a clear idea of what you are looking for. Make a list of things you like and dislike about your current instrument, or if you’ve played on one you loved, think about what struck you most when trying it. Power, range of colours, sound body and ease of playing are some of the criteria you could have in mind. The more you know, the more comfortable you will be when choosing what’s right for you.
Lastly, define a budget! This will narrow down your search in a good way. If required, don’t hesitate to look for alternative funding sources to help in your purchase. It’s very important to be realistic about your goals. Many people expect to instantly fall in love with an instrument but this is not the case for everyone.
It’s too easy to try instruments that are way out of your budget and while that’s fun, it might disappoint you when you return to instruments within your price range. At MyLuthier, we understand that this can be a difficult process and our services include help and guidance when choosing an instrument.
During your search
At this point, you will probably have tried a few instruments and if you haven’t already, we encourage you to consider instruments made by modern makers. They are typically within the price range of young musicians and are especially appropriate for people who are buying for the purpose of playing the instrument. Of course, many contemporary instruments are great investments as well! There are many advantages to buying instruments by a living maker such as the possibility of being able to collaborate with them. It is in the maker’s interest to have their instrument sounding at its best.
When it comes to actually trying the instrument, we suggest you always take your own as a point of comparison. It makes it much easier to assess the qualities of the one you’re trying. Don’t hesitate to be honest with the seller/dealer. From our experience, it’s actually helpful to know what you think in order to recommend something that is better suited to you.
Once you’ve found something you like, we encourage you to play it to as many people as possible. This can be friends, family, colleagues and teachers. They’ll always be honest in what they think of it. Don’t hesitate to use it in performances and see how it benefits you in that context. Buying an instrument is a very personal decision and it’s ultimately your choice. If you’re ready to commit, ask yourself if it will help you develop as an artist. The most important thing to remember is that your instrument is an integral part your artistic voice.
Making a Decision
Because this is such a big decision, many musicians can be paralysed when it comes to making a purchase. The fear of waiting for something better can prevent you from being fully satisfied. Musicians also worry about overpaying and whether they’ll quickly outgrow the instrument they buy. By knowing what you’re looking for, playing for people, defining your budget and having specific goals, you should be able to make a decision with confidence.
MyLuthier is an online platform designed to make it easier for musicians to find amazing instruments within a reasonable budget.
Our unique website is the first of its kind and we combine it with a showroom in central London dedicated to promoting the best of today’s violin making.
You can find all of our instruments online as well as information about the luthiers who made them. If you’re interested in seeing them for yourself, please visit our website to book an appointment with us!
We know first-hand how challenging the search for your first instrument can be. Some of you may have just started looking for something and others might have already tried lots of instruments. It doesn’t really matter where you are in the process, this information will be relevant to anyone looking for an instrument. While we believe there aren’t any particular rules to follow, here are some tips to help you during your search.
How MyLuthier can help
MyLuthier was founded by two friends while studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London with the aim of making it easier for musicians to find amazing instruments at a price they can afford. Being musicians, we play on every instrument we have for sale and only feature those that we would happy playing on.
We’re very proud of the partnerships we have made with great makers across Europe and we get our instruments directly from them. No matter what you’re looking for, whether you’re just curious to see what’s out there or are actively looking for an instrument, MyLuthier was specifically created for musicians, so we understand where you’re coming from.
If you are in need of advice or would like to try any of our instruments, please visit us at myluthier.co and book an appointment at our London showroom. We’ll be happy to talk to you face to face!
- List your likes and dislikes of your current instrument
- Identify what you’re looking for
- Define your budget
- Try contemporary instruments
- Always play your current instrument when trying something to have a point of comparison
- Play for your friends, family, colleagues and teachers - their opinion is invaluable
- Ask yourself if this instrument will help you develop as an artist
- Don’t be afraid to make a decision if you found something you love