Buying musical instruments online

Everybody knows it’s risky to buy online. If you are buying cloth, you might find that the shirt is too small. Checking, learning and preparing the purchase will help to avoid such mistakes.

Nobody likes to see in his credit card unknown charges or an extra, unknown payment. That’s why shopping online should be done with a sense of caution.

3 useful tips:

  • Make sure the site is SSL secured. It is easy to detect it with the green “v” and the “lock” symbol in the address bar of your browser.
  • Read reviews about the shop. Make sure there’s an easy way to contact the shop in case of any problems.
  • Read the return policy. What if you don’t like your item? Is it easy to return? in Ethnic Musical, we offer 30-days easy returns. Sweet, ah?
SSL is important for a safe purchase of oud online
Always check for the SSL certificate

How disappointed will you be if the instrument arrives broken?

Every oud buyer out there has this nightmare. The box finally arrives, and after the long anticipated wait, you open the box. Your smile turns into a horror look as you see your instrument cracked and broken.

Packing fragile instruments, isn’t an easy and straightforward thing. It has to be done with extreme care, and with a custom approach to each instrument.

When buying an Oud online, make sure the shop knows it’s stuff when it comes to packing. Here, at Ethnic Musical we use German packing materials with 2-layered carton. Making sure all packages arrive safe.

Safe packaging is very important
Packing an Oud is not an easy task. Let somebody who knows the job to pack it properly.

There are so many options out there, how do I choose?

A good buyer is a smart buyer. So do your research carefully when it comes to choosing your oud. Learning about the different factors that make ouds differ from each other will help you make up your mind.


Ouds can be found at a pretty wide range of prices. Starting at 300$ up to 10,000$. When you decide to invest in an oud that is on the expensive range, ask your self:

  • Why do I pay the extra money? Is it the materials? The brand’s or maker’s name? Often non famous makers will produce better ouds than the “famous” names.
  • What does the price includes? Does it includes free shipping? The cost of shipping from Turkey to the USA can be get to 150$ or more.
  • Are any picks of accessories included? At Ethnic Musical we ship each of our oud with Free picks and case!
oud bowls from different type of woods
The recommended tone woods for Oud are: Wenge, maple, walnut, purple heart, padouk, mahogany & cocobolo


Materials can certainly drive up the price of an oud. Quality materials will often make the different, from beginner quality to the professional and expensive ones. However, some materials might make your oud more beautiful but not necessary more professional.

The most important of all, it’s the oud’s wood. The recommended tone woods for an Oud’s bowl are: Maple, wenge, walnut, mahogany, purple heart & cocobolo.

Each of this tone woods gives differs significantly. Wenge has it’s rather ‘cold’ sound, due to it’s high density. Walnut on the contrary has a very classic pleasing warm sound.

The neck is often made of walnut. Professional instruments will have an addition layer of ebony on the fretboard, making them stronger and easier to play on the high octaves.

One of every oud player’s difficulties is tuning the oud. That’s why we recommend to make sure that the oud you are planning to buy has Ebony pegs. Ebony is a very dense material, making it fit in the peg box without sleeping too often.

Some makers choose to decorate the neck with mother of pearl or other materials. We highly recommend to avoid such ouds, as they tend to buzz and rattle.


Professional Kamil Gul Turkish Oud made of Purpleheart wood
Real ebony fretboard is important factor for choosing a professional oud


Every maker has it’s own standards when it comes to the finish of the instrument. Some can be easily spotted and some would require an actual physical check of it.

When looking at ouds on different stores, try to spot the these important things:

  • Are there any dents on the Oud’s surface?
  • Does the bridge looks centered?
  • Take a close on the nut and the strings spacing. Does the strings look equally spaced?
  • Inspect the bowl for any suspicions small cracks that can evolve later

Purchasing An Oud – The Safe Way

If you are reading this article, you are probably located few hundred of kilometers from any Oud shop any where around you. That’s a real shame, because the best possible way to shop for Oud is by touching, hearing it and feeling it.

Having said that, here at Ethnic Musical every oud goes through a strict inspection before advertising it. We know how difficult it is to shop for a musical instrument, especially oud, online. The Ouds you’ll see in our catalog are exclusively made by highly skilled makers.

Here are some of our recent ouds. Could your instrument be one of them?

Arabic Ouds Turkish Ouds Syrian Ouds

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