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Frequently Asked Questions


Can I purchase lessons as a gift for someone?
 Yes. It usually works best if you purchase a gift card if the gift is for an adult.

How old do you need to be to take lessons?
Every person and instrument is different. In general 5-7 for piano lessons and 10-12 for most other instruments.

Am I too old to take Lessons?
No. We have many students who are concerned about this at first.

How many months do most people take lessons?
Many customers get too busy to continue with a regular lesson time, but they often return later. Your expectations have a lot to do with this answer. Hopefully you will begin to acquire proficiency on your instrument within a few months. Our instructors all have advanced students that have been with us for years.

USED and Vintage Instruments

Do you purchase used instruments and equipment?
Yes. Value is affected by age, condition, and current inventory. We will ask you how much you would like to sell your item for. Please keep in mind that you are selling to a dealer who will refurbish and warranty the functionality of your item.

I found an old instrument in an attic or other storage area. Does it have any kind of value?
Most old attic instruments don’t have any cash value. However, in some cases they can be refurbished and played again. We are happy to inspect your instrument and provide a free estimate of the cost to refurbish it.

Do you deal in vintage instruments?


How long should reeds last?
Reeds are delicate and it is possible to chip, split or break a reed the first time you use it. An undamaged reed can last for weeks. Rotating between a few is the best way to prolong the life of your reeds. Store them in a holder that lets them dry flat. Leaving the same reed on your mouthpiece for long periods can be gross and it shortens the playable lifespan of the reed.

I need reeds for my clarinet or saxophone. Which ones should I buy?
Most brands of reeds come in varying thickness indicated by a number. This number will be on the package and stamped on the flat side of the reed. #2 reeds are usually the thinnest or softest available in a store and are the easiest to play. #2.5 reeds are thicker and make a better sound. #3 reeds are recommended by most teachers unless you are a beginner. Each type of instrument uses a different size and shape of reed. Example: “My sixth grade saxophone student needs five #2 reeds, please.”

My child has been selected to play oboe/bassoon in sixth grade band this year. What kind of reeds do you recommend and how long should they last?
A beginner oboe or bassoon player usually will require a medium soft reed to start and gradually move up to a medium strength reed midway through the first year. Most of these reeds are fairly expensive when compared to clarinet and saxophone reeds. They can last a few weeks to a few months depending on the care taken with them. It is a good idea to purchase a special case to carry them in to provide extra protection against breakage.

Guitar Service

How long should strings last?
Guitar strings start to lose sound quality and tunability after 4 to 6 weeks. Bowed instrument strings start to lose sound quality and tunability after 6 to 12 months.

What is a Deluxe Restring and how do I know if my guitar needs one?
At musiciansupply, a Deluxe Restring is a service that covers every aspect of cleaning up a guitar, including cleaning gunk off the fretboard, polishing the frets, correcting minor problems like loose hardware, cleaning and polishing all finished surfaces, conditioning the fretboard, restringing and play testing.

My acoustic guitar only has one strap button so how do I use a strap?
There are three ways. 1) Attach the strap with a shoelace tied around the headstock underneath the strings right against the nut. 2) Use a Planet Waves quick release tether at the same location. 3) Have a second strap button installed on the heel of the guitar neck. We handle this install very frequently. The fee is only $8.00 for a standard strap button installation.

I am pretty sure I just need a neck (truss rod) adjustment. Do you have a price for that?
No. A setup must cover all the possible adjustments on your guitar as they effect each other.

What is a Set-Up, and how do I know if my guitar needs one?
At musiciansupply, a set-up is a guitar service that covers adjusting every aspect of a guitar that affects the string height and intonation. Including the nut, neck, bridge, saddle, bridge saddles, tremolo spring tension, gauge of strings used and tuning requested. Every guitar is different and every set-up is different. We often ask questions about your playing style and issues you have with your guitar. Most commonly buzzing occurs because the strings are too close to the frets or you have difficulty playing because the strings are too far from the frets.


What is the difference between guitar picks?
Guitar picks come in different shapes, thicknesses, materials, and grip textures. A beginner is usually more comfortable with a thin, flexible pick for strumming.

I need the thingy that holds the guitar strings down?
You need a Capo [KAY-po]. There are many types ranging from about $16.00 to $30.00 that work well. Some are even available in colors. A capo is needed to play along with the original version of a song if the guitar player was using a capo. The most common reason to capo at a certain fret is to change the range for a vocalist while still using basic guitar chords for accompaniment. Beginners often find it easier to press the strings down with a capo on the guitar.


Do you rent sound systems or PA equipment?
Yes. Please see more info on our rental rates and policies.

Do you just rent instruments, instead of Rent-to-Own?
Yes. While our of our long term rentals are always Rent-To-Own, you may cancel the rental for free at any time.
We can also provide a short term rental instrument.

The school music teacher is not happy with the quality of the instrument I purchased from an ebay seller or other low cost outlet. He is just a beginner, does it really make a difference?:
It is extremely important that a beginner's instrument works correctly. The teacher, parents, and local music store all want the student to succeed. An experienced player will have a preference between different styles or brands of high quality instruments. Students don’t need to be choosy, but they do need the chance to participate in class. An instrument that can not be tuned, has valves that are not fit properly, etc will keep a student from participating in class. It hurts all the students in the group when the teacher has to stop and troubleshoot a malfunctioning instrument.

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