Band Rentals

Beginning instrument prices are at the bottom of the page.

Why rent an instrument? Doesn’t it save me money to just buy one?

Girl with OboeThe answer to that question depends on several factors. Are you (or your child) a beginner? Then a rental provides you with flexibility you may appreciate in the future. Often new players are not certain what instrument is best for them, or whether they are really going to enjoy playing. Renting allows the musician to change his/her mind and switch to a different instrument, or return it. In other words, you get to try it before you buy it. 

Likewise, for families on a budget, rental payments are easier to afford than several hundred to several thousand dollars needed to purchase. Our rentals are rent-to-own, with eighty percent of the rental fee (not including maintenance fee) going towards your purchase. You can upgrade or change instruments at any time and maintain your purchase credit.

However, if you decide that buying an instrument is the best choice for you, ALL our rentals are for sale at competitive prices. We do not recommend purchasing a low cost instrument from a box store. See our section below on why we rent mostly used instruments.

Why should we rent from Bellingham Wind Works? Why not rent somewhere else?

There are a lot of options for acquiring a rental musical instrument out there, some cheaper than others. Bellingham Wind Works is the only music store in Bellingham with a highly qualified, full-time repair staff on site to serve you. All of our instruments are serviced here on site, and include maintenance for the life of your contract. That means that any time anything happens to your instrument, whether or not it is your fault, we will fix it at no cost. We feature fully serviced, name-brand rentals in rent-to-own, month-to-month contracts.  Every person on our staff is an accomplished musician, and at least two are also music educators. We regularly participate in the local music community. We return our profits to our community in the form of donations, sponsoring local youth jazz bands and orchestras, offering internships, and supporting our local symphony. We are members of Sustainable Connections, and their Buy Local campaign. We partner with other local small businesses whenever possible, and are working towards reducing waste and our environmental footprint. We are part of your community, and we want to make it the best place it can be.

Why do you rent mostly used instruments? Aren’t new ones better?

New instruments of a reputable manufacturer are, for the most part, great. Wind Works carries the Jupiter and Conn-Selmer lines of instruments. However, in an effort to pull in as many customers as possible, many name-brand instruments are now being produced in China and sold at box stores at lower prices. While lower prices seem exciting at first look, they will cost you more in repairs or replacements in the long run. We have seen a steady decline in the quality of materials and workmanship on these horns. Many of the manufacturers’ instruments that have just shown up on the market are often little better than instrument-shaped objects. Many of them do not even play right out of the box! An instrument that does not play is a huge source of frustration to a student and very often a contributing reason for quitting band. These lower cost instruments are like disposable lighters—use them for a few months (if they even work) and then discard and replace them. We often tell customers to expect to have to replace these lower cost instruments after the first year. That adds up in the long run.

The instruments we have chosen for our rental fleets are reputable brands, based upon recommendations by local teachers. We pride ourselves on knowing most of the local teachers preferences, and if we don’t know, we will find out. We have established, solid relationships with the local band and orchestra teachers in Whatcom and Skagit County. Each of our previously loved instruments are hand-picked by Ed, restored to its very best playing condition, and fully cleaned and serviced between renters.

Oboe bassoon and trumpet for rent

At Bellingham Wind Works, we acquire only cosmetically acceptable, name-brand horns with proven track records. All instruments are thoroughly cleaned and serviced in-house at our shop, including:

  • Ultrasonic cleaning
  • Pads, felts, corks, and springs replaced as needed
  • Dent removal and soldering as needed
  • Thorough play-tested by Ed, Kat, Isaiah or David.

Student players are often hard on instruments (not due to anything other than inexperience). That beautiful, brand-new horn, that you just paid big money for, has to go live six hours a day at a public school, in the care of a student. Wouldn’t you rather give that student a used horn to learn on, and upgrade as their enthusiasm grows?

And remember, new instruments are just like new cars—as soon as it is paid for, it becomes a used item. The minute the purchase is made, twenty to fifty per cent of the value disappears due to depreciation.

What instruments do you have for rent?

We specialize in hard-to-find rental instruments as well as those that are common in beginning band. For our complete rental list see our Rental Price List.  Here are some popular beginning band instruments and the prices we rent them for.

Instrument Rental price (per mo.) Total with tax
Flute $25 $27.18
Clarinet $25 $27.18
Alto Sax $35 $38.05
Tenor Sax $45 $48.92
Trumpet $25 $27.18
Trombone $25 $27.18
Baritone $45 $48.92

See all rentals at our Rentals Price List

 To ask us a question or reserve a rental instrument now, call us at 360.733.5840.