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Band Parent's Guide: Renting vs Buying Your Child's First Instrument

Renting vs Buying

Your student signed up for band! Now what?

Middle school brings new opportunities and new choices, and joining the band is a great new adventure!

Like sports, dance, art, or any worthwhile activity, the right equipment and supplies will help your student be successful right from the start.

All band students need an instrument and the appropriate supplies to be successful from day one.

Instrument Options

Purchasing a band instrument is a significant investment and your student is worth it. Success in band class requires student commitment which may take time to develop and recognize.

Band students develop self discipline and responsibility, but joining the band is like joining a new team and it may not be for everyone.Band instruments are expensive and no one wants to be stuck with an unused instrument deteriorating in the closet, garage or attic.

Most parents wonder if it is a better deal to rent or purchase your first band instrument.

The answer depends on a few basic questions.

  1. What do you think of your student joining the school band?
    Students whose parents have a positive attitude toward band are more likely to succeed.
  2. What instrument is your student is going to play?
    The school usually provides the larger, more expensive instruments.
    Smaller instruments like flutes, clarinets, alto saxophone, trumpet and trombone are provided by the parents.
  3. What can you afford?
    You will get the best price on a new or used instrument if you can pay cash up front, but you need to know what you are buying. Purchasing from a reputable dealer is a good idea if you are not an expert.
    Rental plans provide a low monthly payment and include a maintenance plan to cover any repair needs.

School Instruments

Your school band program may provide larger instruments like bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, french horn, baritone and tuba. Check with your band director for any associated fees to use school owned instruments.

If your student is assigned a school instrument, you need to purchase a mouthpiece and necessary supplies.

Rent or Purchase

If your student is playing a flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, or beginning percussion, you need to acquire an instrument of your own and the necessary supplies.

Alamo Music Centers offers a simple band rental program. We also offer a discount band instrument purchase program.

Rent Buy
  • New and used instruments approved by band directors
  • Return at any time
  • Simple monthly rental plan includes instrument maintenance
  • Easy and secure online rental process

Apply up to 12 months of rental payments to instrument purchase

40% discount for outright instrument purchase

90 day buy back guarantee*

*90 Day Buy Back Guarantee

If you return your instrument in playing condition within 90 days, we will refund your full purchase price, less the applicable rental price for the time you used the instrument.

Example: If regular rent = $30.00/month, and Discount purchase price = $500.00

Return after 1 month ; refund = $470.00

Return after 2 months; refund = $440.00

Return after 3 months; refund = $410.00

Unused Instruments

If you know someone who has an old band instrument in the closet, garage, or attic please bring it in for a free evaluation and repair estimate.

Well-made instruments can last a long time, and our expert repair service may be able to bring your old horn back to life. 


Find the Band Instrument Rental application HERE

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