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Instruments

Your Online Music Store

When it comes to your instrument of choice, you need the absolute best you can get for your money. A quality instrument will last you your entire life as long as you take good care of it.

Whether you prefer stringed instruments, woodwinds, electronic instruments, keyboards, or percussion we’ve found what you need… Because no matter what instrument you’re after, we’ve found that the number of possibilities out there was overwhelming & so we made it our goal to narrow it down.

We believe that being a musician shouldn’t mean spending all of your money on the most expensive instruments available just because they’re marketed as the best. In most cases there’s affordable entry level equipment that will sound amazing, and play just fine. By only buying reliable, affordable, & high quality instruments you’ll never have to regret buying a new keyboard or saxophone three months later.

types of musical instruments

It’s our goal at Music Store Central to find only these kinds of instruments, and make them easily accessible to our growing audience. Typically there are at least 50 different instruments per topic, so we spend a lot of time narrowing each review down to the absolute 5 best.

Each of the instruments that appear in our reviews have been hand tested when possible, and meticulously researched online to make sure other users are pleased with their instruments.

We began this journey to find only the best instruments available for a given category a few years back. Users began using our site, and that made us want to make more reviews than ever, to really have an impact on new musicians & pros alike. Our fundamental criteria for each instrument category was that it had to be reasonable priced, extremely reliable, comfortable to play, & high quality.

 


 

With so many instruments available online, it was important to us to hand select the best instruments because there are a lot of knock offs out there that we want to help people avoid. This is especially true for stringed instruments, because you don’t want any fret buzz, or dead zones on the fret board.

However, we’ve played enough cheap electric guitars to know what’s junk and what’s worthwhile.

It’s important to keep in mind what you’re actually going to be doing with your instrument. A lot of new musicians will go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a guitar, only to use it for an hour each weekend. We believe that if you’re just starting out, you’re much better off just purchasing an affordable guitar until you’ve become a more disciplined guitarist.

Learning most instruments simply begins with practicing the fundamentals over and over again. That being said, you don’t need to worry about all the details of the instrument. Much of the instrument’s details like, what type of wood the fretboard is made of, or if the keyboard keys are weighted will come into relevance later.

Because for the first couple of years you’re simply going to be learning the essentials, like string plucking, chord shapes, music theory, timing, and playing to a metronome. Until you’ve mastered all of the instrument’s essentials, having the absolute most expensive rosewood guitar neck won’t matter in the slightest.

Types of Musical Instruments

Alright let’s recap, what is it you’re going to be doing with your instruments really? Are you going to be playing local gigs? Starting a cover band? Touring the world in a private jet? Well, chances are you’re just going to be playing at home to improve your skills for a long while.

While this may sound like a chore at first, just endless practicing, you’ll soon find out that this is really what music is all about. Practicing an instrument is really about self-reflection, intense repetitive practice, and the ability to observe yourself growing as a musician overtime. Everything else that comes with playing music, like performing live & impressing your wife, is just sprinkles on top & probably doesn’t matter to anyone else as much as you’d like it to.

So, eventually after decades of intense practice you might be able to sell out arenas, big deal, because you’ll probably notice that by the time you’re a pro you won’t feel like impressing people with your musical skills any longer.

As your musical journey progresses you’ll likely find that you’re more than happy just playing music at home with your family. Playing music keeps your mind sharp, it keeps you motivated, and it’s always something you can progress in when the rest of the world seems overwhelming.

The 5 Best Mandolins Under $1000

February 6, 2018 | Nicky The modern mandolin most closely resembles the Neapolitan mandarin that was developed in Naples, Italy, in the 18th century. While the instrument lost its popularity in the 19th century, it enjoyed a resurgence in the 20th century thanks to classical and folk musicians. Today, the mandolin plays a strong role in American country, bluegrass, and folk music.
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The 5 Best Polyphonic Synths Under $500

February 5, 2018 | Nicky Synthesizers (commonly shortened to synths) are an incredibly versatile instrument that deserve their spot in the modern producer’s studio. A synth can replicate traditional instrument sounds (percussion, brass, woodwind, piano, organ, etc.), generate natural sounds (rain, wind, waves, etc.), and produce entirely original electronic timbres. Synths can be difficult to master, but in the right hands it can open up the entire spectrum of music and sound.
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The 5 Best Concert Ukuleles Under $200

February 5, 2018 | Nicky The 15-inch scale length and slightly larger body of a concert ukulele delivers a deeper tone and a bit more volume, while maintaining the sweetness and instantly recognizable sound of a traditional ukulele. The concert ukulele tends to produce a warmer, richer, and more resonant sound than the smaller soprano ukuleles. Its large body, long neck, and increased space on the fretboard also makes the concert ukulele a little easier to handle and play, especially for beginners.
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The 5 Best Synths Under $500

January 11, 2018 | Nicky The synthesizer (commonly shortened to synth) is an amazingly versatile instrument that deserves its place in the modern producer’s studio. A synth can imitate traditional instruments (piano, organ, percussion, brass, etc.), it can generate natural sounds (waves, rain, wind, etc.), and it can produce entirely original electronic timbres.
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The 5 Best Guitars For Beginner Child

January 7, 2018 | Nicky So, your child wants to learn how to play the guitar. Maybe it was all their idea, or maybe you dropped a few subtle hints here and there with the picture of your child up on stage some day in your mind. Perhaps playing the guitar was once your passion, and now you want to pass that love of music down to your children.
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The 5 Best Pianos For Beginners

January 4, 2018 | Nicky For much of history, having a piano was a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Now, electric pianos make it significantly easier to beginners to start playing the piano without breaking the bank. Not only are they much more affordable than an acoustic piano, their smaller-size makes them easier to find a place for in smaller spaces, and most options come with a travel case to make them transportable (anyone who’s ever tried to move a full-size piano will definitely appreciate that).
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The 5 Best Guitars For Beginner Adults

January 3, 2018 | Nicky The guitar is an incredibly fun instrument to learn and play. I got my first acoustic guitar when I was 14, and I used to love doing jam sessions with a few of my friends. It was pretty simple to learn a few beginner chords and strum along as my more experienced friends took the lead.
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The 5 Best Concertinas for Beginners

January 3, 2018 | Nicky The concertina is a reed-free instrument, and a close-cousin to the accordion. While both the accordion and the concertina have bellows with buttons on both sides, the concertina’s buttons (when pressed) travel in the same direction as the bellows, and the accordion’s buttons travel perpendicular to the bellows.
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The 5 Best Turntables For Beginners

January 3, 2018 | Nicky Whether you’re looking for a DJ turntable or a just simple option to listen to your vinyl records, you’ll benefit from electronics companies investing more capital into their vinyl products. That means more options on the market, more features, and competitive pricing as the companies vie for your business.
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The 5 Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitars For Beginners

November 27, 2017 | Eric We've all been beginners at some point in time, so if you're a beginner right now, why not start off with the right Yamaha acoustic for you. Let's be real, being a beginner guitarist is hard for so many different reasons, don't let a bad guitar be one.
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The 5 Best Acoustic Guitars Under $500

November 20, 2017 | Eric Finding an affordable acoustic guitar that plays like a professional acoustic guitar is hard work. We've researched & played dozens of acoustic guitars to determine the absolute five best acoustic guitars in your price range.
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The 5 Best Trombones For High School Students

November 7, 2017 | Emma So you want to be a trombonist but you're not sure which trombone you should purchase? We've put together the 5 best trombones for high school students based on quality, affordability, and overall value. You need a solid trombone that's going to stand up to rigorous practicing and performing.
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The 5 Best Electronic Drum Kits For Beginners

October 10, 2017 | Nicky Thanks to their size and a cheaper price they serve as an excellent instrument for the fledgling drummer to acquire. So, where should you start looking? Here are some key things to keep in mind when researching electronic drum sets.
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The 5 Best Acoustic Bass Guitars Under $500

September 27, 2017 | Eric Whether you prefer folk music, classic rock, alt-country or some other style, there is nothing like the simplicity and beauty of an acoustic bass guitar. The acoustic bass guitar just may be the perfect instrument, equally at home in a hard-charging rock band, a folk ensemble or a country rock duo.
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The 5 Best Starter Guitars For Adults

September 27, 2017 | Eric Learning to play the guitar as a young person is one thing, but picking it up as an adult is something else entirely. Adults often have less time to practice their new craft, and less disposable income to buy their first instrument and all the other things they will need.
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The 5 Best Starter Drum Sets For Adults

September 25, 2017 | Nicky Whether your ultimate goal is to play in a professional rock band or just enjoy playing a few tunes with your friends, a great drum set can make you a more well-rounded musician. Playing the drums is a lot of fun, and you do not have to be an expert to get a full rich sound.
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The 5 Best Clarinets For Students

September 25, 2017 | Emma From middle school to high school to college and beyond, the clarinet is one of the most popular instruments for students of all ages. Whether you are the parent of a child who is planning to take up the clarinet or an older student looking for a great way to make music, choosing the right instrument will be key.
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The 5 Best Ocarinas For Beginners

September 19, 2017 | Emma The ocarina is one of the most fascinating, and one of the most ancient, of all musical instruments. The ocarina has a unique sound, one that its players love and that those who hear it will not soon forget.
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The 5 Best Electric Guitars For Small Hands

September 19, 2017 | Eric Aspiring guitar players often find themselves so wrapped up in the excitement of their new hobby that they neglect to notice one thing: their small hands. Guitars are manufactured to suit an average size, and those with small hands find it difficult to manipulate, or even reach, the strings. With a little research, those with smaller hands can find an instrument suitable for their size.
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The 5 Best Cellos For Beginners

September 12, 2017 | Emma Long a staple of the symphony orchestra, the humble cello has been turning up in some strange places lately. From the folk stage and the jazz band to the solo coffee shop and rock band, this classic stringed instrument has been showing off its versatility and gaining new fans along the way.
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The 5 Best Violas For Intermediate Players

September 11, 2017 | Emma Whether they are played by beginners or experienced musicians, the viola has a deep, rich, resonant sound that is instantly recognizable. If you are a dedicated viola player who wants to get even better, having the right instrument by your side can help a great deal.
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The 5 Best Electric Guitars For The Money

September 1, 2017 | Eric All of the electric guitars featured in our best electric guitar's for the money buyer's guide have been extensively played by our electric guitarists on staff here at music store central throughout their years of local gigs and national touring.
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The 5 Best Drum Sets For The Money

August 30, 2017 | Nicky Buying a drum set for the money is easier than ever because there are so many affordable drum kits on the market these days. We've compiled 5 of the best into our drummer's buyer's guide, most of the options on our list are highly affordable.
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The 5 Best Flutes For Beginners

August 28, 2017 | Nicky The flute is one of the most beautiful and lyrical instruments in the world, but it is also one of the most versatile. The band Jethro Tull famously proved that the flute can be a rock and roll instrument, and countless classical musicians have used the flute to create amazing compositions.
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The 5 Best Electronic Drum Sets For The Money

August 24, 2017 | Emma Electronic drum kits are a great solution for drummers or aspiring musicians who are living in apartments or with roommates. It's difficult to find a home where you can play drums consistently, and oftentimes drummers will have to rent a practice space just to hone their skills.
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The 5 Best Turntables For The Money

August 23, 2017 | Nicky Turntables have been a staple of modern music for some time now. And while yes, record scratching goes in and out of style, knowing your way around a turntable is more than just scratching. For the audiophiles who will never record scratch or DJ but just want to listen to their Frank Zappa collection, well we've hand selected turntables that can handle that too.
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The 5 Best Synthesizers For Beginners

August 22, 2017 | Eric Synthesizers have been one of the most defining & world shaking instruments of our digital age. Achieving mainstream success on The Beatles albums, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon, and still the same synthesizers continue to prevail today on albums like Tame Impala's modern classic Lonerism.
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The 5 Best Kalimbas For Beginners

August 16, 2017 | Nicky Whether you're looking for an additional unique instrument to add to your collection, or you need the perfect charming tone for your new track, the kalimba is an all around great instrument for the task. Before we get started, you should know that kalimbas are known by many names including thumb pianos & mbira.
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Top 5 Best Melodicas For The Money

July 17, 2017 | Nicky The melodica goes by many names, including the blow organ, the pianica, the melodyhorn and the key harmonica, but no matter what you call it, the melodic is one of the most harmonic and versatile instruments in the world.
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The 5 Best Chromatic Harmonicas For Blues

July 11, 2017 | Nicky If you want to play the blues, you need the right instrument, and for many dedicated blues players, that instrument is the chromatic harmonica. The chromatic harmonica has long been a favorite with professional blues players, and it is easy to see why.
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The 5 Best Flugelhorns For The Money

July 5, 2017 | Emma The flugelhorn is one of the most fascinating, yet also one of the most underrated, instruments in the world. While not nearly as well known or widely played as the trumpet or trombone, the flugelhorn has a distinct sound, and it is an integral part of many orchestras and bands.
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The 4 Best Alto Saxophones for High School Students

May 22, 2017 | Emma The alto saxophone is one of the most expressive, and one of the most versatile, instruments in any band. Whether the alto sax is part of a large brass band, an integral feature in a rock band or a valuable addition to a high school band, the quality of the instrument makes a big difference.
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