Trombone Rental vs. Purchase: Which is Right for You?

In the world of musical instruments, the question about whether it’s better to purchase an instrument or rent one comes up often. When it comes to the trombone, as with other instruments, the answer generally depends upon your specific circumstances. If you’re a parent with a child that’s expressed a desire to learn to play the trombone, for example, it’s generally a good idea to rent. If your child has been learning and practicing consistently with the instrument for a while, you may be at the point where purchasing a brand new instrument makes more sense. In order to determine which option is right for you, we’ve decided to put together this helpful guide.

When Does Buying Make Sense?

As was previously mentioned, buying a brand new trombone makes the most sense if you or your child has been learning, practicing, and playing the trombone for a while. With children especially, it can take some time before you really know if there’s a genuine interest and commitment to learning a new instrument. If you feel like your child has gotten to this point, it may be time to go ahead and make the purchase. A new trombone an exciting milestone for a young, aspiring trombone player. A new trombone can be seen as a reward for all of your child’s hard work and dedication. Parents also find that purchasing their child a new instrument provides a great opportunity to teach them an important lesson about responsibility. It’s important to note that, before you buy a new trombone, you should consult with your child’s music teacher. You may think that your child is ready for the instrument, but your child’s music teacher can potentially have insights you may not have. They have a better understanding of your child’s skill level, commitment, and talent. Additionally, music teachers may have helpful recommendations for which instrument to buy and places where you can purchase one.

If your child is new to the trombone, or has only expressed interest but hasn’t actually gotten any hands-on experience, then you probably shouldn’t buy them a brand new one. Some parents believe that buying their child an instrument will be an opportunity to teach them about commitment and responsibility, but this isn’t always a good idea. If your child finds that they don’t really have the interest or talent necessary to learn to play the trombone, they can become discouraged or even disinterested in learning to play a musical instrument. Instead, if your child is just starting out, you should look into options for renting a trombone for them to try out and learn on.

When Does Renting Make Sense?

Renting a trombone makes the most sense when your child is just starting to learn to play. Because children often lose interest in learning to play a new instrument, or have to try different instruments before settling on the one they can really commit to, renting saves you from spending an unnecessary amount of money. After all, new instruments can be really expensive.

Keep in mind that, while renting an instrument is almost always a good idea at first, the costs accumulate quickly over time. If you aren’t taking advantage of a rent-to-own program, the cost of renting a trombone can end up being more expensive than purchasing a new instrument outright, if you rent over a long period of time. Be sure to pay attention to the cost of renting a trombone and determine when it makes financial sense to purchase one rather than continue to rent. When the time comes, if your child has maintained their interest in playing the trombone, then you can feel secure in making the purchase. If you are taking advantage of a rent-to-own program, then this may not be necessary.

What Are Rent-To-Own Programs?

Because renting a trombone and purchasing a trombone each have their share of pros and cons, many music stores offer rent-to-own programs. Rent-to-own programs take the money you pay towards your rental instrument and count that as credit. Once you have enough of that credit, you can choose to keep the trombone your child has been learning on, or apply that credit to a brand new instrument. This option is really helpful for parents because it allows them to mitigate the costs of both renting and purchasing.

Even if you select a new instrument rather than the one your child has been learning on and you end up paying the difference, you’re still likely going to save a lot more than you would if you’d rented for a while and then made a separate purchase of a new trombone. Before you decide to rent or buy, see if your local music store offers rent-to-own programs. Again, your child’s music teacher can be a helpful resource for finding places that have rent-to-own programs.

Is the Sound Quality of Rentals Different?

Some parents choose to buy a new trombone instead of rent one because they believe that rental instruments are lower quality. As a parent, you want your child to learn on the best trombone available. Children that are new to playing the trombone aren’t going to sound the best at first, and so it can be difficult to determine if it’s due to a lack of experience or a substandard instrument. It’s true that most rental trombones have had previous owners, and this can sometimes mean that the trombone won’t sound as good as it would if it were new. Again, your child’s music teacher can be helpful in determining whether or not the instrument is in poor condition. Thankfully, most music stores generally allow you to repair or replace rental trombones if they are damaged or substandard.


Whether you’re renting an instrument or you’re ready to make a purchase, you’ll find only the highest quality musical instruments and accessories at Music & Arts.

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