Do you want to learn to play a musical instrument? Or maybe your child is in the school band and needs one? Renting an instrument can prove to be a much wiser choice than buying, especially when you are first starting out on a new adventure. Whether you are out to pick and grin, toot your own horn, draw a bow across the strings or tickle the ivories, there’s a place around here that has a rental unit for you. Here are some of the best that Sacramento has to offer.
Kline Music
2200 Sutterville Road
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 452-8742
www.klinemusic.com

The good people at Kline Music have been serving the needs of beginners, school bands and serious performers for a long time. They opened their doors in 1963. Kline’s has a full range of instuments for anyone in need. No need to lock youself into the first one you think you’d like. They have a program that allows you to take lessons from them if you want or to do it on your own. Your rental fees can also be applied 100% to the purchase of your instrument.

Tim’s Music
2812 Marconi Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 925-9160
www.timsbis.com

Tim’s opened 30 years ago, and they have a full rental service available. Their line-up includes new and used musical rentals. Recently, they added violins to the mix. Lessons are also available from some of the best teachers in the area. Tim’s offers all the gear and lessons to start, or perfect, your time on the musical page.

Foggy Mountain Music
104 W. Main St.
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(530) 273-6676
www.foggymtnmusic.com

Take a trip to Grass Valley, and you’ll find your need for all things music-related covered at Foggy Mountain Music. Since 1975, they’ve been offering quality rentals and lessons to the musically inclined. School bands love this place. Piccolos, violins and violas and cellos, saxes of all sizes, percussion and brass round out the choices. Naturally, renting one will mean you probably need lessons too, which are offered by professionals. This family-run store springs from a long musical heritage, and they have a reputation for wonderful customer service.

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Watermellon Music
207 E St.
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 758-4010
www.watermelonmusic.com

Watermellon Music bills itself as a “fiercely independent music store.” They are located in the heart of the university town of Davis. Taking pride in the individual service they offer to eveyone who walks through the doors is what they are known for. Rentals are always on tap, along with the experts to help you pick out what you need and then teach you to play that beauty. They also support music and the arts in local public schools with their annual Gumball Grant.

The Nicholson Music Company
636  E. Bidwell St.
Folsom, CA 95630
(916) 983-0763
www.nicholsonmusic.com

Longevity counts in the music business. Nicholson has been making music since 1985. The list of rental instruments is long, starting with guitars and running through the score of wind, percussion and strings. It’s likely you’ll find your choice of music-maker right here. Nicholson’s also offers a program that will apply your rental fees to the purchase of your piece. Lessons? Of course, they offer them for every level of musician.

Related: Best Places For Guitar Lessons In Sacramento

Charles Ferris is a freelance writer who has lived in the Sierra, halfway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, for the last 41 years. In 2010 he retired from teaching after 36 years . He and his wife hike, kayak, cross country ski, snow shoe, ride mountain bikes and road bikes, year round. His work can be found at Examiner.com.