Maybe it's those hipster vibes that still linger in our bones from 2014 when mustaches were placed on everything and we all got into craft beer. Or maybe it's from all the nostalgia being thrown at us from the shows we binge watch - ya know, like how all the new shows take place in the modern day but everyone is driving a 1946 Ford Mustang and wearing vintage denim jackets. Trippy. Or maybe it's just because no matter how amazing the world of technology gets, there's something about those classic pieces that nothing can beat.
In other words, I think we can all agree that we would really like to start a vinyl record collection (or, for those not new to the game - continue investing in a vinyl record collection!).
It seems easy enough to start a vinyl record collection, right? I mean you just buy a record player and Amazon Prime some of your fav records. Simple enough?
Probably. But because we all love to give our opinions and read trivial blog posts - I decided why not write a guide on vinyl record collecting 101. Like anything, starting a true collection takes research and time. While I'm not exactly an expert, my dad is (he has 8,000+ records and counting) and between what he's told me and what I've discovered from personal experience, I think my advice is decent enough. This is the internet after all - people will believe anything.
1. Invest In A Good Turntable:
Ok, this is an obvious first step. I think many of us sometimes skimp on the tech details in order to find a good deal. We also sometimes tend to over splurge on items we don't know much about (usually in order to come off super trendy and boujee, let's be real). So before you buy an overpriced record player that's trending on Instagram for its gold finishes or a super cheap record player from Goodwill - I admire your determination to stick with the vintage theme, here's what you really need to know about purchasing the perfect turntable.
While definitely a bit overhyped, I think we can all agree that they look #aesthetic and that the sound quality is, for the most part, decent enough. If you're looking for starting a collection and aren't exactly sure how much time or money you'll be investing into it then I recommend the Crosley Radio Cruiser Deluxe Turntable. It looks sleek, it's easy to transport to and from, and you can even hook up your Bluetooth for when you are in more of a Spotify mood or have yet to build up a large collection of records. Priced around $70-80, it's a good deal for both a vinyl player and a speaker.
2. Get Some Background Information:
Not to speak for everyone here but I'm one of those people who doesn't really research ANYTHING beforehand. So when I start a new hobby (or really do anything for that matter) I'm super uneducated and usually find out the hard way the things I should have known from the getgo. Spend an hour or two watching Youtube videos over the history of vinyl. Learn the differences between EP & LP. Just a simple Wikipedia search over the history of records is enough to get some background information on this new adventure you're starting. Knowing the basic terminology will help you when it comes to finding new records and getting more into the music scene.
3. It's A Lifestyle:
Some people will spend hours looking through records at their local record store. Many record stores have a community where they host events and local musicians, with people all sharing their love for music. It's really so amazing how music can bring people together. No matter how trivial it may seem to you or what type of music you're into, consider going to an event hosted by a local record store to see what the fuss is all about.
As much as it pains many of us to admit to, this is a dying industry. Supporting your local record store(s) is really important - especially with the ease of being able to order records online. Say what you want about brick and mortar but there really is something special about certain industries and being able to go into an actual building and experience something deeper than clicking a button. Most record stores let you listen to your record first before purchasing it. It's a way to spend a Saturday, a great place to wander on a date, and something you can do completely alone. Join the community and I think you'll really appreciate this new collection you're starting.
4. Buy what YOU want:
Don't try to impress anyone but yourself when it comes to starting your record collection. My collection goes from Britney Spears to Elvis Presley to Hank Williams. Unless you plan to sell this collection down the road, don't spend your time or money buying records to build up a collection of music that you're not super passionate about. It's different when you're making tons of Spotify playlists to just throw anything and everything on there. When it comes to collecting records, research what you want. Maybe you only want to buy LPs. Maybe you prefer to stick with one genre. Whatever it is, you do you boo.