Guitar, vinyl record and microphone

A Guide To Collecting Vinyl Records

Many people are intrigued by the return of the vinyl record and are asking what all the fuss is about.  And if you're like most people that grew up in the 2000s, your vinyl experience starts and ends with the dusty collection of 1970s hits that your parents keep in storage. But that is rapidly changing, as vinyl is now once again the largest physical media seller in the world, with millennials and Gen Zs as the biggest markets.

Vinyl records are cool, fun, and can provide you the best music-listening experience of your life. If you're keen on building the best vinyl records collection you can, look no further. The following tips will help you get ready for the real world of music.

Get a Turntable

Without a speaker of some kind, you can't listen to music, right? The same holds true for vinyl. It's time for you to get a turntable before you start collecting records. No matter your budget, there is an option… from $50 to $5,000! And these are no longer antiques, as companies have responded to the demands of audiophiles and amateurs alike in developing high-end, reasonably priced equipment.

Head to your local record store to test a few models out in person! We are always fans of Audio Technica here at Freestyle Vinyl.

Go Record Shopping

Look, it makes perfect sense to search for "vinyl for sale" on Google and begin your internet research. But the appeal of vinyl lies in the material itself, including its feel, the cover art, the scent. You need to touch it and experience it in order to appreciate it, and that includes the purchase process!

If you want the whole experience, locate a record shop in your area and explore the aisles. Set a budget for yourself and explore the various ways you can maximize your listening experience (dollar bin finds abound if you’re ok with some imperfections, but also maybe you really need a pristine $30 copy of your favorite album… both are great!)

Make a List of Your Favorite Songs and Albums

This is an exciting part of the journey. Consider your top ten albums, whichever genre they may be, and jot down the music that touches your heart and soul. Next, try to locate those records! Whether online or in a record shop, go digging for your favorites!  

If you want to go even further, you can consolidate some of your all-time favorite tracks, and build your very own album on a custom vinyl record! Create your very own, personal listening experience… one aspect of music on vinyl that your parents weren’t able to create back in vinyl’s heyday.

You can even customize your own record jacket to go with it, to really complete the vinyl experience. How special is that?

Keep New Vinyl Records Clean

These items frequently accumulate a fair amount of dust and dirt, which may alter their performance and how they play. Hence, your vinyl records need to have their grooves cleaned sometimes. Some microfiber cleaning cloths and vinyl cleaners are reasonably priced. Normally, all that is required is to softly run a cloth down the grooves after you've sprayed on some cleaner.

Set Up Your Record Storage

Often, you'll find a piece of furniture that is perfect to keep all your gorgeous records underneath it, and is designed specifically for the turntable. Create a space in your house for your turntable and records if that's the case. Lastly, never stack your records or lay them on top of one another as this could misalign and damage the discs.

There is no right or wrong approach to begin a record collection. We simply encourage you to enjoy the process while searching for your favorite records online or in your neighborhood record shop!