Instrument & Equipment Recommendations

Instrument & Equipment Recommendations - Off the Wall School of Music

Choosing the Right Gear

Here are our suggestions for buying or renting your instrument

Keyboard Recommendations

You don't need anything super fancy to get started, and we recommend starting with a keyboard before investing in a traditional piano.

Recommended Brands

  • Yamaha
  • Casio
  • Roland

Details to Consider

  • You don't need 88 keys, 60+ keys is just fine.
  • If you're spending more than $300, though, you should definitely find an option with all 88 keys.
  • Make sure the keys are weighted -- that way, it will feel more like a real piano.

Buying Locally

  • We love American Music, which is located in Fremont. They have an excellent keyboard selection and their staff is very knowledgeable.

Buying Online

Renting from Off the Wall

We do offer the option to rent a 61-key entry level keyboard for $10/month, or $15/month with a bench. This is great for new piano students up to 8 years old for the first 6 months.
If you're interested in renting from us, please contact us to find out about availability.

Piano Rentals

If you'd like to learn how to play on an upright or grand piano instead of a keyboard, you don't have to purchase a piano outright.

A-1 Pianos offers piano rentals for as little as $25/month -- and they even have a rent-to-own option.

Piano Tuning

On Site Tuner

We recommend Hak Bo Lee - 206-226-4941.

He's generally flexible with his rate depending on the size of the tuning job. Mention that you're a student at Off the Wall and he'll give you a discount!

Tuning it Yourself

Learning how to tune a piano is very useful -- often, only a couple of notes will be out of tune and it's not convenient or cost effective to have a tuner come out to tune the whole piano.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to tune a piano.

Guitar Recommendations

If you'd like to purchase a guitar, you can visit one of the following local shops to get some great advice from their experts:

For younger students, Taylor Guitars' Baby Taylor is a good choice.

Percussion Recommendations

When you're first learning how to play the drums, you don't need anything fancy -- in fact, you can make a set using chairs, buckets and boxes! Check out this guy's homemade drum set:

Details to Consider

  • If noise will be an issue at your practice location, an electric set is your best option
  • If noise isn't an issue, and you think it would inspire you to practice more, select an acoustic set

Buying Locally

  • Trading Musician (Roosevelt) - You can often find great deals on used individual pieces here

Buying Online

  • Craigslist - Check the For Sale > Musical Instruments section often to find great deals on used gear

Brass & Woodwind Rentals

If you're brand new to brass or woodwind instruments, it does take a bit of time and patience to get the hang of them. 

Instead of purchasing a new trumpet or saxophone, we suggest that you rent one first from local Wallingford shop Seattle Sound Repair.

We also have clean mouthpieces for the clarinet, trumpet, alto sax and tenor sax at the school; that way, you can try out your teacher's instrument during your first lesson to determine if it's the right one for you.

Violin Rentals

Our violin teachers recommend the following businesses for renting a violin:

Music Stands

Every musician, regardless of the instrument they play, needs a great music stand to hold their sheet music!

We recommend the Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand.