Take up a musical instrument on DoneDeal

Buying second-hand is a great idea if you’re taking up a musical instrument as an adult. We’ve put together a list of things you need to consider before taking up or buying an instrument Do you ever watch X Factor or American Idol and wonder why you didn’t foster your musical talents in your youth? Or do you even just wish you were the guitarist at the party, throwing out Oasis classics after Kings of Leon anthems with seemingly effortless ease? It may be more difficult to try and achieve those dreams as an adult, but it’s not impossible either. If you decide to take up an instrument as an adult, perhaps as a new year’s resolution, you need to think about a few things. First off, let’s not be too negative, but it may not be a success, so buying a brand new instrument is probably not the best plan. DoneDeal adverts include a range of second-hand instruments from piano to saxophone to the good old-fashioned fiddle. Going solo or being social? Before you choose you instrument, it’s important to ask are you learning an instrument for sociability as well as developing a new skill? Remember playing the piano is a solitary hobby, a stringed instrument, for example, will lend itself to group practice. Regina O’Leary is the Artistic Director of the music programme at St Canices Co-ed Primary School in Kilkenny which gives adult classes to parents at the school. “Adults love learning as a group, but they can lack confidence playing on their own. That’s why group situations work, I believe a group lesson is the best way to learn as an adult, because you have social interaction as well.” Regina also points out that finding a good teacher is vital. “You need to find someone who will have the patience to go the journey with you. Music is absolutely brilliant for keeping the mind active. But people need to be organised – find a teacher, get a group together, buy a second-hand instrument.” Prepare for practice Of course, whether you choose to take up the drums in an attempt to be the next Phil Collins, or you want to play the tin whistle like Andrea Corr, the most important word is PRACTICE. To achieve a degree of competency at any instrument, it takes hours of practice a week. So before you splash out, make sure you can commit the time to your new hobby. What to check before buying Guitar: make sure you know what strings you want – nylon strings are more suited to classical or folk guitar playing, steel strings are for rock. Piano: No matter where you are buying it, make sure to check that it’s tuned. Also check that the pedals are in good condition and that all the keys are present. Drums: Look out for cracks on the drums. The cracks can be painted on the outside, but they’re harder to hide on the inside. Even the tiniest imperfection can cause a lot of damage after a while Violin: Check that the bridge is fitted correctly. If the bridge is too low there will be a buzz when playing, and if it’s too high, it’s difficult to get the fingers down properly. You also need to check that the violin is not missing a sound post. With any instrument, you should check the sound before you buy it. #MusicampEducation