Do I need a practice marimba?

If you have a student in percussion then there is a good chance you’ll need a practice marimba in your home at some point.  Becoming a good marimba player can be challenging and requires more practice time than class allows.   So, you have several options to obtain a student practice marimba for your home.

What size practice marimba do I need?

If your student is in 6th grade to 8th grade, we generally recommend a 3-octave marimba.  This is a good size for a beginner marimba student.  If your student is 9th grade or later, they are likely starting to work on more complex, 4 mallet pieces which require a larger, 4.3 octave marimba.  By that age, most student spend mote time practicing at school but some still need a marimba at home.

Do I rent, purchase or lease-to-own a marimba?

Every situation is unique but we recommend renting a marimba for a low monthly price as many kids drop out of band after a year or two. Few families really need to own a marimba long term and they can be somewhat challenging to sell used.   So if you can find a low-cost rental option in your area, this is the best route.

Some families choose the rent-to-own model but you’ll end up spending quite a bit more to own a marimba than you would be just purchasing or and even renting monthly in some cases.  Most rent-to-own options are $50-$60/mo and you’ll spend nearly $2k to own it when its all said and one.

If you prefer to own a marimba, we suggest you look into buying a used one in your area.  You can generally find a 3-octave marimba on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for around $800 and $2,500 for a 4.3-octave marimba.  If you purchase it at a good price then you generally sell it for the same price.

Where can I rent a marimba?

If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area then you can rent a 3-octave or a 4.3 octave marimba from us now.  We are launching our Houston service in 2024 and have some recommended dealers in Austin and San Antonio.  If you are outside the Texas area then we’d recommend in the Minneapolis area or Brian Harris in Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, Tucson and Chicago area.

Which model of practice marimba should I rent or purchase?

For 3-octave practice marimbas we prefer Marimba Warehouse MPM’s and Demorrow M1’s for our 3-octave practice marimbas.  The Adams AMPD30, Musser 3PM, and Ross R409 are also good 3-octave practice marimbas.  If you’d prefer a 3.3-octave then you might also look into the Fugate 3.3 practice marimba.  Personally, we’d avoid any of the other brands out there as we’ve seen a lot of poor quality marimbas.

As for 4.3-octave marimbas, we use the Fugate 4.3 Practice marimba but some other great options are the Demorrow PM2 Adams MSPV43 and the 4-Octave Musser M32.

Where do I find more information on practice marimbas?

Glad you asked!  We recently launched a new site at for more information on Practice Marimbas.