A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use a Record Player

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Whether you’ve just bought a record player or you plan to buy one in the future, you should definitely understand how to use this type of device, which is designed to play “old-school” vinyl records.

While record players come in many different styles, from many different eras, most of them are rather simple to use, so the learning curve will be really short, even if you’ve purchased a unit with every high-tech “bell and whistle”.

To assist you in understanding how these machines function, we’ve created a practical, step-by-step guide on how to use a record player…

Make Sure It’s Powered Up

Your record player will need to be plugged into a power source, so the first step to using a record player should always be to plug it in or (or to check and see if it’s already plugged in). In addition, if your unit comes with an on/off switch, you should turn the switch to the “on” position.

Some record players are equipped with covers which help to protect their delicate electronic components from dust and damage. If your design has this cover, you may need to lift it up before you move the on/off switch into the “on” position. It really depends on the model in question.

Some record players have on-off switches which are accessible without lifting the cover first. You will be able to learn a lot about your record player from its instruction manual. However, some people buy used record players which don’t come with instruction manuals.

If that is your situation, don’t worry. It’s really very simple to get the hang of things, whether you have a manual or not…

Put the Disc on the Platter

Next, carefully remove a selected record from its sleeve and then place it on the platter of your record player. Do this gently as records can be scratched! Make sure that the record lies flat on the platter and that the metal tip in the middle of the platter is sticking through the round hole in the spindle.

If you’re going to play a 45, rather than a full-sized record, you’ll need to place a plastic insert/adapter in the spindle of your record before you place it on the platter. This will modify it so that if fits properly.

Play the Record

Most modern record players have automatic “play” buttons which prompt tone arms to lower onto records. Older record players may require the manual positioning and lowering of tone arms.

Now that you understand the basics, you’ll be ready to use your record player properly. The process is simple and it’s definitely easy for even the most inexperienced person to master. The main thing is to understand your particular record player. Since buttons and parts will be easy to identify, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting familiar with the elements of your record player and then learning how to use each element.

Hopefully, our quick guide will make the process of learning how to use your record player go faster…