There you are, in the middle of a shredding guitar solo, and you blow your amp. Not the kind of “show-stopper” you were probably hoping for. Now your options are to (a) go acoustic (b) join a barbershop quartet or (c) replace your equipment.
Unless you’re a musician with a trust fund, you’re probably working with a limited budget. So, knowing where to find cheap gear is crucial. Here are some tips:
• Ask your friends. You probably know some musicians, so start there. Take advantage of social networking sites to get the word out. Bands breakup or sell extra equipment all the time, so keep asking.
• Read the classifieds. Not every musician is tech-savvy and down with the interwebs. Some (read: older) musicians may opt to advertise their gear in the daily or weekly newspaper. Sit down and start reading.
• Stalk Craigslist. The mother of all message boards, Craigslist will likely have the most listings for gear. Keep an eye on what’s out there, and post your own listing telling people exactly what you’re looking for. You can typically negotiate price with Craigslist sellers, which makes it an economical option.
• Do some comparative shopping at Musician’s Friend. This Web site usually has some of the best deals on equipment, so if you want to get a general idea of price range this is a good place to do research. If you’re looking for something brand new, and not second-hand, Musician’s Friend is a great option.
• Bid on eBay. Are you looking for vintage Marshall amps? An old school wire recorder? If your equipment needs are less mainstream, eBay is a great source. You’ll pay more for shipping, but since antique Wurlitzer organs don’t grow on trees, you may have to suck it up.