Shopping for your very first instrument can be a heady and exhilarating process. You are finally about to purchase your very own musical instrument. However before you go out to make your purchase, you must first determine your budgetary limitation, your needs as a musician and the types of instruments currently available.

Buying an instrument is an important decision and chances are you will be spending a substantial amount of money. Therefore, it is imperative that adequate research be done prior to making your final decision.

Shopping for xylophones can be certainly be an overwhelming task, as there are a wide variety of xylophones from which you can choose. If you haven’t already had an idea as to the type or brand which you prefer, it can also be a very time consuming venture.

Generally xylophones differ in number of keys, length and especially with regards to their tuning functions – as no two xylophones will be exactly the same. Different xylophones will facilitate varying numbers of individuals using it at any given time; there are xylophones which can be played by two people, four people or even as many as six people.

Types of Xylophones


These xylophones have fifteen keys and are usually accompanied by drums and played in groups.


These are rather large sized instruments, and they normally have twenty one keys, and can measure up to twelve feet long. This instrument can accommodate up to six players.


Balafons are typically made of rosewood, and its keys are mounted over gourd resonators which are placed on bamboo frames


This version can be played by a solo performer or by two persons striking on each side. They care also known as kwintangan kayo.


This xylophone is originally from Indonesia, and it is a seventeen to twenty one key instrument. This version has two variations; one which is made from wooden bars and anther which is constructed from metal bars.

Musser Elite 3 Octave Xylophone

Buying Tips 

While the final choice will ultimately depend on your comfort level and preferences, there are a few tips which should be taken into consideration when purchasing a xylophone.

Sustain – It is important that you select an instrument which has a short to moderate sustain. The sustain of all the keys should be uniform and brief notes should be produced by all keys without the presence or echoes or overtones.

Size of Bars – For increased accuracy in playing your instrument, wide bars are always best. Especially if the purchase is for a child or a beginner player then the bars should be at least an inch across for effective usage. Also, in an effort to eliminate breakage especially if the instrument will be used by a child, then rubber mallets and keys deigned from hardwood are recommended.

With the vast assortment of xylophones available on the market, it is extremely easy for one to be frustrated when faced with all options. Your best bet is to ultimately research everything you can about types of xylophones. You can usually find cheap xylophones for sale online. The internet is a wonderful resource for this kind of activity!