How to Play Your Custom Vinyl Record in 4 Steps

How to Play Your Custom Vinyl Record in 4 Steps

If you are a die-hard vinyl lover, it’s a no-brainer that you have to own a record player. Vinyl records have made a comeback, and for good reason! They deliver an amazing sound quality that digital media simply cannot match. If you’re new to record players, however, you may need a few pointers on how to play a vinyl record. If that's the case, this piece is for you. Read on to learn how to play a vinyl record in a few easy steps. Use this insight and you’ll feel totally prepared to play your custom vinyl records on any turntable, easy!

  • Take the Cover Off the Record
  • This might sound like common sense, but it’s worth mentioning if you are a true beginner to playing vinyl. If you're playing a new record, the cover will be attached to the disc by a thin strip of paper called a "reel." Pull this reel off and set it aside. You can do this by simply removing it from its sleeve or using a butter knife or other sharp object to carefully remove any glue that may be holding it in place.

    Then put the record on a flat surface. Don't put it on the edge of the table, and please don't put it on a slanted surface. And don't even think about putting another record on top of yours!

  • Dust Off Your Vinyl Player
  • Before you can play a vinyl record, it is important to dust off your turntable. This will ensure that the needle accurately tracks the record's grooves and doesn't get stuck in them.

    The best way to clean a turntable is by using a dry microfiber cloth or lint-free rag with no chemicals or fragrances added. Avoid using chemical cleaners like a window cleaner and vinegar-these products will damage your vinyl player.

  • Scan Your Vinyl for Any Scratches Or Imperfections
  • Scratches or imperfections on the record will cause damage to your needle and potentially ruin your sound quality. Take the following precautions to ensure that your records are free of these problems:

    • Check for any imperfections by holding them up to the light. If there are any blemishes visible on the surface of either side of a disc, clean them off with a damp cloth before playing it again (or buy another copy).
    • If both sides look clear after inspecting them closely under bright light conditions without any noticeable scratches or smudges present anywhere on either side of the disc(s), move on to listening! 
  • Play Your Record at An Adequate Volume
  • So now that you've got your record and turntable, it's time to enjoy your record. First up: find a good spot for the turntable. Ensure there is enough room to place it without being bumped or moved around too much (if possible). The ideal location would be on top of something sturdy like a sizable table so it has stability when playing records.

    There are many ways to play your record. Some people place it on a turntable and let it spin or use a record player with built-in speakers. Either way, there are some simple rules that you should follow when playing vinyl records so that they last longer and sound better. For information on what to expect from your vinyl listening experience, check out our FAQs. 

    The most important rule, whether you’re listening to a custom vinyl record or a collectible, is to not play your record at too high or too low of a volume level; this will cause damage to both your speakers as well as the grooves in your records' surface. A good rule of thumb is to keep the volume at about 60% maximum capacity-if this is too little for you, then increase it slightly. However, if it's already loud enough, don't push things further!

     Ready to listen to some records? Freestyle Vinyl wants to help. Create your own custom records with high-quality technology in an easy-to-use format. Learn more about making your own vinyl when you contact us today.