Cheapest Instruments: Budget-Friendly Music Maker Picks

We have researched 13 instruments for you.

Embarking on a musical journey doesn't have to be a symphony of spending. For the aspiring artists who are looking to strike a chord without breaking the bank, finding affordable instruments is key. This hunt for value can be particularly challenging for budget-conscious musicians, who must often navigate a landscape filled with both hidden gems and potential pitfalls.

Thankfully, the market is tuned to the needs of those on a tight budget, boasting a variety of options that don't skimp on quality. From string ensembles to percussive beats, we've explored the depths of cost-effective musicality. In this guide, we'll be showcasing a selection that hits all the right notes for those looking to minimize expenses without sacrificing their passion for music.
To simplify the price comparison, we determine the prices for the individual articles on Amazon, Ebay and other shops and link the offers via partner links where applicable. This means that we receive a commission if you buy something that we recommend - the price does not change for you.

What to Look for in Cheapest Instruments

Important criteria

  • Functionality
  • Durability
  • Warranty
  • Availability of spare parts
  • Ease of use
  • User reviews

1.) Material and Build Quality

When buying the cheapest instruments, it's essential to examine the materials and build quality. Cheaper instruments may be made of lower quality materials that could affect sound quality and durability. Look for indications of solid craftsmanship, even in less expensive options, as a poorly constructed instrument can lead to frequent repairs or replacement. Check for any visible defects, such as misaligned parts or glue spots, which could hint at quality control issues.

2.) Sound and Playability

The sound quality and playability of an instrument are fundamental. Test out the instrument, if possible, to ensure it produces a clear and consistent sound. Be wary of instruments that are difficult to play or require excessive force, as they can lead to poor technique development or discomfort. While cheaper instruments may not offer the same tonal richness as more expensive ones, they should still be playable and enjoyable for beginners.

3.) Brand Reputation and Reviews

Consider the reputation of the brand and look for customer reviews. Well-known brands often have a minimum standard of quality that they adhere to, even for their budget models. Reviews from other buyers can provide valuable insights into any recurring issues or the lifespan of the instrument. Be skeptical of brands that have consistently poor reviews or a lack of information available, as this could indicate unreliable products.

4.) After-Sale Support

Check the after-sale support options, such as warranties and customer service. A good warranty can protect you against manufacturing defects and other problems that weren't apparent at the time of purchase. Effective customer service is crucial for resolving any issues and answering questions post-purchase. An instrument with no warranty or supplier support is a riskier investment, even if it is the cheaper option.

The Cheapest Instruments of our Choice

Our Pick
Stylophone The Original Pocket Electronic Synthesizer
Stylophone The Original Pocket Electronic Synthesizer
Model: DU05151 Type/Color: Silver Size: H6, W12, D22 cm
  • Miniature stylus operated synthesizer
  • Recreation of the 1967 classic
  • 3 Octaves
  • Optional vibrato effect
  • Tuning knob for pitch-bend effects
  • Built-in speaker with volume control
  • Optional headphone jack
  • Line Out (3.5mm)
$ 34.95 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
2
LHYCS Musical Instruments Set
LHYCS Musical Instruments Set
Model: WJ001
  • Natural Wood Instrument Kit with various instruments
  • Safe Material with non-toxic wood and round-edge design
  • Easy Storage with high-quality bag for playthings
  • Preschool Education Set for learning musical concepts
  • Musical Instrument Set for Family to enhance relationships
$ 32.99 *
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on Amazon
3
lotmusic Ocarina,12 Tones Alto C Ceramic
lotmusic Ocarina,12 Tones Alto C Ceramic
Type/Color: Brown
  • Perfectly tuned with soft bass and high-pitched sound
  • Smooth finger holes for good tactile experience
  • Comes with neck-strap, music booklet, and protective box
  • Easy to learn, suitable for music beginners
  • Unique gift idea for any festival or occasion
$ 14.99 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
4
First Note USA Set of 3 Kids Musical Instruments Toy Clarinet
First Note USA Set of 3 Kids Musical Instruments Toy Clarinet
Type/Color: Metallic Silver
  • Includes clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet
  • Approximately 16.5 inches long
  • Color coded keys for easy learning
  • Simple color coded and numbered for quick learning
  • Great for ages 3+
  • Comes in a beautiful color box
$ 44.99 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
Price Pick
Yeshone 2 Pieces Colorful Fish Shaped
Yeshone 2 Pieces Colorful Fish Shaped
Type/Color: Multicolor
  • Package includes 2 sets of guiro instruments
  • Made of quality wood material with exquisite workmanship
  • Sturdy and solid, not easy to break or deform
  • Percussion guiro measures approx. 8.3 x 2.4 inches
  • Wood stick is about 6.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Suitable for daily use at home, school, stores, etc.
  • Simple operation with clear and beautiful sound
  • Ideal for inspiring child's sense of rhythm
  • Can be used for Christmas, New Year, birthdays, etc.
  • Adds a quaint touch to your party
$ 9.99 *
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on Amazon
6
Waltsun Kalimba Thumb Piano 17 Keys
Waltsun Kalimba Thumb Piano 17 Keys
Type/Color: Brown
  • Handcrafted with high-quality mahogany and 17 premium ore steel bars for better resonance, sound, and touch.
  • Curved hand-rest offers ergonomic comfort.
  • Embossed keys with letters and notes for easy playing.
  • Produces mesmerizing and unique sound.
  • Enjoy enchanting and tranquil sounds effortlessly.
  • Easy to learn, even for beginners.
  • Plenty of instructional videos and tutorials available.
  • Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel.
  • Ultimate portable musical instrument for anytime, anywhere.
  • Ideal gift for music lovers and nature enthusiasts.
$ 16.99 *
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on Amazon
7
EASTROCK 13 Pcs Musical Instruments Set
EASTROCK 13 Pcs Musical Instruments Set
Type/Color: Red Size: Red
  • Avoid Scratches: Made of high-quality materials to prevent scratches.
  • Improve Motor Skills: Percussion instruments promote hand-eye coordination.
  • Multiple instruments: Includes 7 different types to enhance relationships.
  • Suitable for various occasions: Parties, performances, indoor, outdoor, festivals.
  • Good Gift: Low investment or gift for music lovers.
$ 20.99 *
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on Amazon
8
Amylove Set of 2 Music Instruments
Amylove Set of 2 Music Instruments
Type/Color: Gold
  • Musical instruments set with trumpet and saxophone toys
  • Trumpet and saxophone toys have 8 colored keys
  • Suitable for little ones under adult supervision
  • Proper size and lightweight for comfortable holding and gripping
  • Short and easy to operate mouthpieces
  • Made of safe and durable plastic material
  • Smooth surface for comfort during play
  • Color-coded keys and notes for easy playing
  • No prior musical experience required
  • Develops hearing, rhythm, melody, and hand-eye coordination
$ 25.99 *
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on Amazon
9
RATREE 888 Classic Handmade Percussion Instruments Wooden
RATREE 888 Classic Handmade Percussion Instruments Wooden
Type/Color: Brown Color
  • Lovely wooden frog ideal home decoration
  • Adds charm to garden, living room, cafe, office
  • Produces realistic croaking sounds when rubbed
  • Creates original animal sound
  • Protected with oil plated inside the wood
  • May have some smell; air out for 1-2 weeks
$ 7.98 *
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on Amazon
10
Chumia Kids Musical Instruments Set Wooden
Chumia Kids Musical Instruments Set Wooden
  • Wooden Musical Instruments Set of 13 Pcs
  • Includes various percussion instruments for diverse sounds
  • Parent Child Relationship Enhancement through musical playtime
  • Children develop confidence and social skills through music
  • Educational instruments for rhythm perception and creativity
  • Safe and Reliable toddler-friendly design with smooth surfaces
  • Wonderful Gift Choice for birthdays and holidays
$ 44.99 *
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on Amazon
11
summina Smart Hand Piano Electronic Organ
summina Smart Hand Piano Electronic Organ
Model: 1 Type/Color: Blue
  • Small size and light weight for portability.
  • Wireless use with 500mAh rechargeable lithium battery.
  • Built-in 13 instruments for versatile playing options.
  • Includes scale, rhythm, and repertoire exercises.
  • Interactive challenge mode for competitive play.
$ 16.99 *
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on Amazon
12
Kcelarec Acoustic Violin
Kcelarec Acoustic Violin
Model: 1 Type/Color: Natural Size: 1/4
  • Acoustic violin is a beautiful instrument.
  • Stay tuned and creates great sounds.
  • Designed for beginners or experienced players.
  • Includes full-size violin, bow, rosin, and quality case.
  • Made of basswood and blacked wood materials.
  • Safe, non-toxic, and as beautiful as other stringed instruments.
  • Half-size hand-carved solid wood violin.
  • Ideal instrument for any student.
  • Includes violin, case, bow, and rosin.
  • Comes with a soft case for protection.
  • Bridge not set up to avoid shipping damage.
  • Please rosin the bow before playing.
$ 28.67 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
13
MQEBEOUYS Kalimba Thumb Piano 17 Keys
MQEBEOUYS Kalimba Thumb Piano 17 Keys
Model: MK-17K Size: 18.5X13.2X3.3cm
  • Materials: Handcrafted with solid mahogany and ore steel
  • 17 keys made of selected ore steel with good wear resistance
  • Notes engraved on keys for easy playing
  • Natural air-dried wood provides ethereal timbre
  • Strong resonance with crisper, louder, longer sound
  • One set includes tune hammer, instruction book, stickers, cloth bag, polishing cloth, finger covers
  • Easy to learn, suitable for beginners in music
  • Use for playing, recording, home, outdoors, school, picnics, camping, relaxation
  • 17-key Thumb Piano makes a delightful gift
$ 16.99 *
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on Amazon
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on Ebay
* All prices incl. VAT, plus shipping if applicable. Prices, delivery times and costs may change in the meantime. The selection of products was made independently of the manufacturer and without any claim to completeness. All links to products are external partner links through which we may receive compensation. All information without guarantee.

Affordable Musical Instruments: Your Guide to Great Deals

Budget-Conscious Beginners
Starting your musical journey should not break the bank. Discover a selection of instruments that offer a balance of quality and affordability, ensuring a smooth start for novices. Seek out the best deals to set the stage for your future as a musician.
Cost-Savvy Students
Students need reliable instruments that support their growth without stretching their budget. Find options that blend playability with cost-efficiency, tailor-made for the learning phase. Save on costs without compromising on your musical education.
Value-Seeking Hobbyists
For the hobbyists looking to indulge without excess expense, there's a wealth of instruments to explore. Unearth hidden gems that provide enjoyment and functionality. Maximize your leisure without a hefty price tag.
Thrifty Bands & Groups
Bands and music groups can find the instruments they need to create harmony together, without overspending. Browse a collection that combines economy with performance, allowing your group to shine. Keep your music live and your expenses low.

Questions You Might Ask

When buying an instrument for a beginner, consider the size of the instrument (it should be appropriate for the player's age and physical size), the ease of playability, the quality of the instrument (it should be durable and capable of staying in tune), the cost (look for a good balance between quality and affordability), and the type of music the beginner is interested in playing.
Not necessarily. While higher-priced instruments often offer superior quality in terms of materials and craftsmanship, there are many budget-friendly options that offer good sound quality and playability. It's important to research and try different instruments within your budget to find the best value for your money.
Both options have their merits. New instruments will often come with a warranty and are guaranteed to be in pristine condition, while used instruments can be more affordable and, if well-maintained, can offer similar quality. Always inspect used instruments carefully for any damage or wear before making a purchase.
The best way to test an instrument is to play it, or if you are inexperienced, have a knowledgeable person play it for you. Check for comfort in holding and playing, quality of sound, ease of playing, and ensure all components are functioning correctly. Also, play it in various dynamics and registers to assess its full range of capabilities.
Brand reputation can be an indicator of quality and reliability, as well-established brands often have consistent manufacturing standards. However, sometimes lesser-known brands offer excellent quality at a more affordable price. It's important to test the instrument yourself and read reviews or seek recommendations rather than relying solely on brand name.

Currently Active Poll

How to Choose Affordable Musical Instruments

Beginning your musical journey can be an exhilarating adventure, but it's often accompanied by the daunting task of finding the right instrument without breaking the bank. Not to worry - this guide is designed to help you navigate the waters of affordable musical instruments, ensuring you find the perfect blend of quality and budget-friendliness. Let's begin the quest for those hidden gems that promise to make your musical dreams a reality.

Define Your Musical Goals

Before diving into the sea of instruments, it's crucial to understand your musical aspirations. Are you looking to become a casual player or do you have ambitions of a professional pursuit? Answering this helps tailor your search to instruments that are not only affordable but also align with your ambitions.
Consider also the genre of music you're inclined towards; some genres may require specific types of instruments. It's also worth contemplating the learning curve. Some instruments are more beginner-friendly, and starting with them might make the journey more enjoyable and less frustrating.
Lastly, keep in mind your physical comfort. Instrument size and the physical effort needed can be key factors, especially for young or beginner musicians. An instrument that is too cumbersome or challenging to play may quickly sap your motivation and enthusiasm.

Explore Second-Hand Options

The pre-loved market is a treasure trove for affordable musical instruments. Look to reputable sources like local music shops, online marketplaces, and community boards for used instruments. Be vigilant about the condition of the instrument and, if possible, try it or have someone with experience assess it before making the purchase.
Educate yourself about the typical wear and tear of the instrument you're interested in. Some issues, like a piano needing tuning, or a guitar requiring new strings, can be easily fixed, whereas others might indicate significant underlying problems.
Remember, the history of an instrument can add character and depth to its sound, but it can also bring hidden flaws. Don't be shy to ask sellers questions about the instrument's history, how it's been stored, and its maintenance record. This clear communication can help you avoid costly mistakes.

New Instruments for a Tight Budget

If you're set on buying new, there's good news—many manufacturers produce budget-friendly models specifically for beginners. While these may not have the high-end features of professional models, they often offer excellent value and playability.
To avoid false economy, steer clear of 'too-good-to-be-true' deals, especially from obscure brands. Instead, focus on established brands that have a track record of producing reliable entry-level instruments. Investing a little more upfront can sometimes mean better durability and longevity, saving you money in the long run.
Consider buying an instrument package, which can include essential accessories at a bundled, lower price. For example, a beginner's guitar kit may come with a tuner, a strap, and a carrying case, which are all necessities. Just ensure the quality of the bundled accessories meets your needs.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Sales

Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, clearance events, and promotions at local and online music stores. Signing up for newsletters and following music stores on social media can alert you to upcoming deals and exclusive discounts.
Another tip is to consider purchasing during off-peak seasons. For example, prices may drop after the holiday rush or during the back-to-school period when stores are eager to clear inventory.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of negotiation, especially in local music shops. If you're informed and polite, you might be able to secure a better deal, or at the very least, throw in some extra accessories or services such as a free setup or a lesson.

The Smart Rental Option

For those not ready to commit to a purchase, renting an instrument is a cost-effective alternative. It allows you to test the waters without the full investment and is especially beneficial for growing children who may outgrow their instruments.
When considering a rental, look for shops that apply a portion of your rental fees toward the future purchase of the instrument. This can be a great way to invest in a quality instrument over time.
Always review the rental contract for maintenance and repair obligations. You'll want to ensure you're not on the hook for existing damage or normal wear and tear. The best rental agreements offer comprehensive care packages that keep your instrument in top playing condition.

Hands-on Reviews and Recommendations from Discussion-Boards

In this section, we provide a curated selection of resources for those interested in the most affordable musical instruments. Our compilation includes a variety of formats to cater to different preferences for information gathering and includes detailed test reports, insightful forum discussions, dynamic Reddit threads, and informative videos. We have organized these resources into four distinct categories to facilitate easy navigation and ensure you can find the best content relevant to your search for the most cost-effective instruments.
The Anker Soundcore 3 is the best cheap Bluetooth speaker we've tested. For a wallet-friendly price, this speaker offers a great sound suitable for listening to all your favorite music and podc...
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The best budget headphones we've tested are the Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless. They're the previous generation of the Anker Soundcore Life Q35 Wireless.
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The Audiophiliac takes real joy in finding overachieving audio. Here’s the best of the best stuff!
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The JLab Audio GO Air POP True Wireless are the best cheap earbuds we've tested. These wallet-friendly buds have a versatile performance that can please lots of different listeners, with some e...
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By cheap I'm saying $50 bucks or less. For me it's the Spitfire Abe Laborial drums. I really love this set of drums.
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Definitely go for the ukulele. Cheaper than guitar and easily portable. With the help of some books and the internet, you'll be playing complete...
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I'd say flute or clarinet are quite possibly among the cheapest instruments. Brass instruments , double reeded instruments , and string ...
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You could get a cheap but serviceable version of a lot of instruments for under $100. Mandolin is fun as hell. Guitar, if you're looking for the ...
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You can find cheap bass guitars, guitars , and ukeleles on Craigslist. There's a bunch of dulcimers on my city's Craigslist too for some reason.
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testing the cheapest instruments on amazon! - YouTube
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i test and review the cheapest instruments that you can find on amazon. **these are just my opinions and prices may change from the time...

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