You’ve read the reviews of electric cellos, you’ve put the money aside, but now you wonder: should you really buy a cello or is renting one just the same? We’ve looked at the pros and cons of both and we will present them to you over here, so you will be able to make the decision that is best for you.
In case you’ve developed an interest in learning how to play the cello, or your kid seems like they could have potential as a cello player, then, naturally, you will start asking yourself if it’s worth it for you to buy the instrument or if it’s more affordable to rent it. You can weigh down all the benefits and minuses of both decisions but it’s still hard to tell which one is better.
Pretty often, as a parent, you may lean toward renting a cello (or other instruments your child is playing) because there is always a big chance that once they have the cello at home, the kids will suddenly lose all interest in it, despite all the enthusiasm that they’ve shown before when it came to the instrument.
On the other hand, especially if you are buying for yourself or a really responsible child, you may have a different drive to learning how to play the cello, as this rather expensive purchase acts as a motivating factor – it’s painful to know you’ve spent so much money on something that is never used again, so it could get you more committed to learning it.
One very important thing that all parents are thinking about when it comes to buying a cello for their kid is if they are going to keep playing it or eventually grow out of it sooner or later. After all, cellos aren’t extremely cheap and they’re not really on the list of things you simply must have as you grow up.
Clearly, if the child is still small and only needs a ¼ or ½ size cello, then you shouldn’t really invest money in buying one as they’ll soon outgrow it physically and won’t be able to play it properly. If you or your child are interested in learning how to play the cello, you ought to weigh every advantage and disadvantage of buying versus renting.
This will help you avoid financial commitments that maybe are an effort for you, and while there are cases in which renting is the go-to option, especially if you are just starting to learn how to play this instrument, there are also reasons for which buying one would be better. Check out this guide so you can decide.
When should you buy it?
If you already have some experience with playing the cello (from several months to several years) and your commitment to it hasn’t stopped and you still play it as you are meant to, then buying one is a pretty safe investment. If you take care of it properly, then you’ll discover a cello can be a good financial investment as it lasts easily over many years.
If you are a parent, then the purchase of an instrument can be a lesson in responsibility for your child. Then again, it’s not recommended that you use this as the first lesson in responsibility, so investing in a cello for your child should be done only if they’ve shown they care for it even as time has passed and by now they would have been bored of it.
If time has passed and the child is still showing interest in the instrument, not to mention, a desire to grow as a player, meaning their interest is not likely to go down anytime soon, then, yes, that could be a good moment to actually make the investment since it looks like it will be one for the years to come.
Just to be completely sure, you could have a conversation with the music teacher for your child. The teacher will know how much they grew as a player, if they have skills for it, if they really show potential and interest in and out of class. This will surely help you decide if the time for buying a cello has come.
When should you rent it?
You have several moments when renting a cello is an obvious choice, at least, for now. If you or your children haven’t played this instrument before, then it’s clearly wise to postpone buying one until you actually try it and see how it goes. There’s no point in forcing yourself to learn it, just because you bought it.
Forcefully learning an instrument is not good at all, for any of the parties involved. The child is going to suffer and be frustrated that they have to do it when they don’t want to, the teacher is going to waste their energy for nothing, and you will be spending money on something that doesn’t go anywhere. Not everyone is a cello prodigy.
Another moment in which renting comes out as the top option is if the child is in need of an undersized instrument. Obviously, it’s way less expensive to rent a different size of a cello than it is to buy a new one, even if you sell the old one to get some extra money for the new one.
One way people are trying to solve this is by acquiring an instrument that’s very large for the size of the child, having the idea that they will grow into it. A cello is not a winter jacket. Any specialist will let you know this is a mistake that, in the end, can push your child further away from wanting to learn more about this instrument.
This happens because learning how to play an instrument that is not the right size for you is simply difficult. This can lead not only to losing the interest, but also to causing physical damage, so, avoid trying to take this route as it will simply be detrimental to everybody involved.
You can rely on a rent-to-own program. There are some retailers that come with this type of a program that has the role of mitigating the high cost a new instrument has, while also letting students earn credit toward getting their very own instrument. In case you don’t know much about these programs, let’s talk a bit about them.
What is a rent-to-own program?
A rent-to-own program is a deal you can get from an instrument retailer that lets students rent an instrument to their liking and then earn credit every month with a payment. When the student reaches the moment in which they’ve earned enough credit, they have the option of owning the instrument they’ve used so far.
They also have the option of applying the credit toward purchasing a completely different instrument. Such a plan usually comes with insurance for the instrument, which means that if maintenance is needed while still in the learning period, the problem is going to be solved much easier.
Naturally, this is very important, as accidents can happen at any time, and it’s better to avoid doing lots of paperwork and spending extra money just because of some little accident. Just like with any other type of insurance, it’s simply better if you just have one than if you don’t.
But the real benefit of this program is that it completely solves the problem of having to upgrade the cello as the kid grows up since you can just change the instrument when it gets too small for your child. If you come across such a program, don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
Will it sound different?
The reason why many people prefer to buy a new instrument, and not rent one, is the preconceived notion that the rental is not going to have the sound quality that you naturally desire. While this is an important concern to have, you really shouldn’t worry too much about the whole thing, especially if you are new to the cello as you won’t notice any difference.
In probably all cases, a rental is covered by insurance, which means you can swap it out if necessary. While a rental may not always be in the greatest shape (especially cellos can be affected because they are sensitive to humidity and temperature), the damage is not necessarily going to be reflected in the sound quality.
If you have reached the level in which you can identify problems with the sound quality, by the way, it means you could invest in a cello, as that is something that experts can tell easily, while the general public is not going to notice any real difference.