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Caring for Brass and Woodwind Instruments
Daily to Yearly Best Practices

  • Is there a difference between "rental" and "rent-to-own" with Sleister Music?
    We use these terms interchangeably. All of our "rentals" or "rent to own" plans are on a month-to-month basis and can be returned at any time but do also apply some of the rental payment toward eventual ownership of the instrument should you wish to continue renting. "Rent-to-own" is just a little wordy so it gets shortened to "rental", but they are the same thing.
  • What is included in the rental?
    Band instrument rentals include the instrument along with the supplies typically needed for a new band student in school band. This includes a folding music stand, lesson book, care kit with cleaning supplies, reeds, slide lubricant/valve oil/cork grease, reeds. All instruments rented from Sleister Music come with the repair and maintenance plan as well, which costs an extra $6/month and covers any accidental damage, routine repairs, and annual cleaning/maintenance.
  • How many months will I have to rent before I own the instrument?
    For most student band instrument* rent-to-own contracts, the default length is 30 or 36 (depending on the type of instrument) months if not specified otherwise. Each month, your rental payment pays for the temporary use of the instrument for that month and also pays off 1/30th or 1/36th of the purchase price of that particular instrument. Should you switch instruments during the rent to own period this equity will transfer over to your next instrument too! *All student student clarinet, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone, euphonium, and French horn rental contracts' rent-to-own length is 36 months. Trombone, trumpet, flute, and percussion rentals for student horns are 30 month long rent-to-own terms. We also have 36-month rent-to-own plans for intermediate and professional instruments- same story here just with each month paying 1/36th of the purchase price instead.
  • What kind of condition of used instruments are these?
    Sleister Music rents brand-new, like-new, and used condition instruments. We generally say that like-new instruments have over 99% of the original finish and that used instruments have 85-99% of the original finish intact. So, with used instruments, you may expect some cosmetic wear. However, all of our instruments regardless of condition have been run through our repair shop to ensure they are in excellent playing condition.
  • Do you offer insurance or a maintenance plan?
    Yes! For $6 per month, you can subscribe to our repair and maintenance plan, which covers routine maintenance and accidental damage that may happen to your rental instrument. This covers 100% of any repair expense, so long as the damage is not deliberate. The details of everything that is and is not covered by the R&M plan are available for your reading pleasure in our Rental Agreement at During the rental contract, it is required to have repair and maintenance coverage. This ensures that a rented instrument from Sleister Music will be maintained in great playing order.
  • What if my student changes instruments or wants to upgrade his/her instrument?
    Sleister Music’s rent-to-own program understands that sometimes a student will start out playing one instrument but later change his/her mind and play another instrument. You are able to do this with our rental program, and we will apply 100% of the equity built up toward the new instrument. When you switch rental instruments, you will only have to purchase new accessories since the accessories we give with the rental are free-of-charge only for a new rental contract. For example, if you switch from a rent-to-own plan on a new trombone to a new clarinet, your monthly rental rate and day would be unchanged, but you would be responsible for purchasing the reeds, cork grease, silk swab, and lesson book that you will need for the clarinet. Another advantage of Sleister Music’s rent-to-own program is that you can apply 100% of the equity built toward an intermediate or professional model instrument! You can see a current list of our intermediate and professional instruments here.
  • Are there any early return fees?
    No! Our rent-to-own plan is a month-to-month contract, so you are only committed to the first month's payment. Once you return the instrument, no further payments are owed so long as the prior monthly payments were made on time. The rent-to-own plan is designed to give the flexibility to try band with a quality instrument without committing to any length of time.
  • How do I return a rented instrument?
    To return a rental instrument from Sleister Music, you will simply bring back the instrument to 2201 W 1st St. in Ankeny. You can do this any time we are open and do not need an appointment. Once the instrument is returned, this will end the rent-to-own contract and recurring payment associated with it. If you have a music stand that was provided with the instrument, it can be returned, but other "consumable" accessories (i.e. reeds or a written-in lesson book) we do not need back.
  • What should I look for in a used instrument?
    The moving parts (trombone slide or trumpet pistons) need to move. Not only do they need to move, they need to move quickly with little to no resistance. Also, there should be no major dents. Any dent that restricts air flow through the horn will cause the tone quality to suffer and makes it harder to blow through the instrument. The most common place to find a “death ding” is a crushed slide crook.
  • Do you offer a maintenance plan?
    Sleister Brass has our own repair shop. We offer cleaning services and repair work for any instruments purchased from us.
  • Is buying a used instrument a good idea?
    There are plenty of quality instruments in circulation. We do sell quality used instruments at Sleister Music, but if you have one from somewhere else, we are happy to take a look at it and give our assessment of its condition. If it needs adjustment or repair, we have a shop to help you with that! In general, we recommend that you stay with quality brands if you are unfamiliar with band instruments since they play and hold up better in many peoples' experience.
  • I’m not sure that my child will like band and stick with it and don’t want to be out a lot of money in case band isn’t for my child. What do I do?
    Sleister Brass’ mission is to offer quality instruments at fair prices. If you purchase an instrument for us and no longer need it 6 months later, we will buy it back from you at the purchase price minus a monthly rate ($25). If your child really likes band, you own an instrument at a reasonable price. If not, you end up spending less money than renting.
  • My school band director gave us a list of approved brands/models- are your instruments on the list?
    In short- yes. We carry used and new, quality instruments from reputable manufacturers- this list includes Yamaha, Bach, Holton, Getzen, Blessing, BAC, Buffet, Selmer, Gemeinhardt, Jupiter, etc.
  • How does the rental payment work?
    To rent an instrument, you store payment information (credit card or bank account) with our processor, and the billing will run each month on the same day. For example, if you set up an account on the 5th of the month, future months will also bill on the 5th.
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