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The Yamaha PSR E333 is one of the top beginner keyboards on the market. Of course this is in some part due to this being one of the most affordable instruments to feature a velocity sensitive keyboard available in Yamaha ‘s PSR range.


Alongside the velocity sensitive keyboard, the PSR E333 is jam packed with features and sounds with 113 voices, 361 Xglite voices, 13 drum voices and a special effects kit to sink your teeth into. Partner this alongside over 100 different accompaniment styles and you have yourself a keyboard that can cope with just about any style of music you could imagine.


In addition to the huge range of voices, there are load of effects to experiment with too such as 9 reverb settings, 4 chorus types, sustain and a dual/layer function two voices to be overlapped, perfect for quick compositions and harmonies.


A two-track recorder is also built in helping beginners to create, record and playback your performances and brief compositions. The PSR-E333 can also be connected to a computer via the USB socket on its back panel for use with composition software.


The E333 is perfect for use in a wide number of environments, be it a quick practice session at home, a music lesson at school or recording at the studio due to its battery power option, offering portability to a traditionally static instrument.


The E333 is great for those wishing to educate themselves with the keyboard. The Yamaha Education Suite teaches users a range of skills such as rhythm and timing, chord identification, strike accuracy and even offers a method of progress monitoring to easily track your improvement as the week go by. Conveniently the PSR-E333 can be set to the Portable Grand function at the touch of a button, producing a rich, stereo sampled concert grand piano sound, ideal for some pre-exam practice.


The Yamaha PSR E333 combines a touch-sensitive keyboard with the E233’s impeccable technology offering beginners a lower cost alternative without sacrificing on sound quality. Priced up at around £165*, there really is no competition when it come to value for money. Search Instrumania now for the best price on the Yamaha PSR E333, a true candidate for the best beginner keyboard on the market today.


*At the time of writing

The original Fender Stratocaster was designed in 1954, and has since become one of the most well known guitars in the world and has featured on a number of iconic tracks at the hands of some of the most talented guitarists in music history.


Squier, a marque of Fender, have a lower cost version of the iconic guitar available for those looking for the classic style without the price tag, The Squier Stratocaster.


A standard Squier Stratocaster is usually made in Indonesia or China and uses local readily available wood for the body, such as agathis and basswood. It’s fairly durable and doesn’t break easily, though when considering buying a Squier Stratocaster, be sure to go for the affinity series as opposed to the bullet series. Although you will save money, the affinity is the superior quality guitar, and is less liable to break.


It is really beautiful both in looks and feel. Its tone is fair, as you would expect from a Squier. Stratocaster guitars like this are suitable for playing alternative and distorted rock although the single coils do let it down a bit. The pickups are Fender Squier stock pickups, and are some of the cheapest and inexpensive out there and provide no real boost to the tone of the guitar, and generate a fair amount of hum and buzz.


The bridge provides no help with staying in tune, especially when using the tremolo bar. The stock strings are Fender 3235’s, but this shouldn’t be taken into consideration if buying the guitar as these can be changed easily. Yet for the price, the Squier Stratocaster is one of the best starter guitars on the market, though the Floyd-Rose style bridge would give beginners a hard time on adjustments.


The Fender Squier Stratocaster is one of the most affordable guitars on the market, and I am sure Leo Fender would be glad to see so many people enjoying the pleasure of his designs, especially on a limited budget.

The Etude ETR-100 Student Trumpet comes with a .460" bore. The red brass lead pipe is designed for easy tone production and projection. This trumpet also has a first-valve thumb saddle. There is also and an adjustable 3rd valve finger ring for easy intonation adjustment and to improve the player’s comfort.


The Etude ETR-100 Student Trumpet, as you may expect is exceptionally easy to play which makes it perfect for those just starting out in brass.


Even for a cheap trumpet, the Etude ETR-100 offers beginners a lovely musical instrument at unbeatable value, the sound is of great quality despite its low price.


The Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet is best suited for those just starting out as beginners or students of brass, but can also be used as a great travel trumpet, as it’s pretty study for the pricetag.


There are however some drawbacks with the Etude ETR-100 Student Trumpet. Whilst i’m very happy with the level of quality in the instrument itself, I was a little disappointed at the accompanying case as the case is simply not high quality, and would be less than useful should you drop it.


One other drawback that I personally haven’t found but there have been some reports of sticking valves, which can make playing infuriating.


Having said that, for the price the Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet has some great features.  A first-valve thumb saddle, for those notes that can get sharp that make use of the first valve, an adjustable third-valve finger ring and a red brass lead pipe. The Etude ETR-100 Series Student Bb Trumpet also comes with a mouthpiece included and a case (although you may want to buy a replacement).


Find the Etude ETR-100 Series Student Trumpet or other cheap trumpets at Instrumania, the musical instrument comparison website

My young son has been playing acoustic guitar for some time now and I knew it was only a matter of time before he wanted to progress onto electric.  That question came a couple of weeks ago so with his birthday in early December I decided to go with the Sunburst children’s electric guitar.  Very impressed with the build quality which is very robust and perfect for all those times the guitar gets dropped whilst getting to grips with how to hold this type of guitar. 

The body is made from solid wood and is exactly the same in design to an adult’s electric guitar which I thought was great. That’ll make it really easy to move onto a full-size one when he gets older.  He’s 10 now and growing at a rate of knots so I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s asking for a full-size model.  The one thing I wanted to avoid was a toy guitar and the Sunburst is anything but!  It’s a serious bit of kit for a 10 year old and he was so excited unwrapping it that he nearly fainted! 

We have already got an amplifier so I was interested to see how the sound would be when plugged in.

We did look at another cheaper guitar, but the guitar reviews on Amazon were pretty bad so we’re glad we went with the Sunburst in the end.  In terms of size, it’s just right and should be fine for my son for a few years yet.  All in all, delighted with this guitar and looking forward to hearing all the great tunes that start to flow from it as my son learns more at guitar lessons.

One thing I would say is to start with acoustic before getting into electric guitar.  It’s good to get to grips with the basic sounds of the guitar before messing with the mechanics and versatility of an electric guitar.  Thought this was great value for money and all in all we’re really happy with the choice we made. 

Epiphone Dot Limited Edition Review


Basically a cheaper version of the Gibson 335, the Korean made Epiphone Dot Ltd Edition comes with 22 frets and 2 Gibson humbuckers (with Alnico magnets).


The laminated maple body and neck, and rosewood fingerboard, are finished beautifully with gold fittings complete with a 3 way switch with 2 volume and 2 tone controls.


It came with the Epiphone "E" logo on the scratch plate but started to peel off almost immediately. However, here is when the problems with the Epiphone Dot Ltd Edition stopped. I know there was a time when perhaps people would be wary of a Korean built guitar, but this axe is superbly made and very well finished especially at this price point.


For a semi, Epiphone Dot Ltd Edition is actually pretty heavy due to the solid block running through the middle, but it’s still manageable and completely worth the extra weight.


It sounds good and although not quite up to a real Gibson 335, it's really not that far off considering the price difference, making the Epiphone Dot Ltd Edition a perfect Gibson 335 alternative.


The Epiphone Dot Ltd Edition’s humbucker gives a lovely warm sound and really screams when cranked up a bit while still giving a nice thick sound. As they are humbuckers you don't suffer much noise partly due to the solid block that helps reduce the feedback that would be a nightmare had it been.


Someone on a limited budget can't really go wrong with one of these. So if you would like a real Gibson 335 but just don't feel the extra cash will bring enough extra quality to justify the cost. I suggest the Epiphone Dot Ltd Edition as the perfect Gibson 335 alternative. Or, if you’d like to find different cheap guitars that fit your budget, try the Instrumania musical instruments search today.

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