malletjazz.com FAQ pages
Where can I find a good - and inexpensive - vibraphone?
This question comes up all over the Internet these days. Unfortunately, its tough to find an affordable student-level mallet instrument, either online or at your local music store. (Actually, its tough to find ANY mallet instrument at your local music store, but thats another discussion altogether.) Many mallet instruments show up at online auction sites, but its always a roll of the dice when one buys a musical instrument online - is it in tune? are there cracks in the bars? does the frame rattle? Be very leery of buying an instrument without having played it beforehand. The best thing to do is to just keep your eyes open - look for classified ads in your local newspaper or online, ask around at your local music store (sometimes theyll get something in as a consignment sale). Also, if you live near a college or university with a music program, ask the percussion teachers there if any of their students are selling instruments. College is a time when many students get serious about their choice of instrument, and will often seek to upgrade from the student level instrument they have been using up to that point. (Still other students may decide that they dont want to pursue a career in music after all, and then similarly decide to sell off their instruments.) Sometimes a good instrument can be found this way. Other times, someone looking to sell an instrument will notify the local colleges percussion department - I found my marimba and vibraphone in this way, and got both for fairly reasonable prices.