How to Play Vinyl Records

Updated April 17, 2017

If you are familiar with how to use a record player, playing your vinyl records will be simple. With the invention of digital music, some audio devices have become things of the past. Although certain technologies have come and gone, vinyl records have managed to hold their relevance. If you would like to enjoy the distinct sound quality of vinyl records, you must first know how to play them.

Remove the record from its protective sleeve and place it on to the turntable. It is important to handle the record very carefully. Vinyl records are prone to scratches, dust and oil. Hold it by the rim to prevent damage. This will help to preserve the record's sound quality.

Turn on your record player and choose the speed at which you would like the record to play. Both the power button and speed switch are mounted to the side of the turntable. Turning the switch from the "off" position to the speed you prefer, will set the turntable in motion.

Position the tone arm above the record. The tip of the tone arm is referred to as the head. The head has a small handle connected to it. Gently lift the handle and position the head over the record. The tone arm is responsible for holding the needle against the record. The tone arm is fragile and should be handled carefully.

Press the queuing control to lower the needle. The vinyl record has many distinctive grooves etched into it. The grooves separate each track. Position the tone arm above the groove of the track you wish to play. Press the queuing control. It is positioned near the tone arm. When the needle touches the record, music should start. Be gentle in the treatment of the needle. It can easily become worn over time.

Stop the record and return the tone arm to its original position. Press the stop button. This will stop the spin of the turntable. Gently lift the tone arm and place it back into its resting position. Press the queuing control to return the needle to its original position. Carefully remove the record from the turn table and place it back into its sleeve. When not in use, store your records in a cool, dry place.

Things You'll Need

  • Record player
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About the Author

Based in Memphis, Tenn., Elizabeth Martin started her writing career in 2009. She has served as a marketing specialist and created print advertisements for her company's clientele. Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Memphis.