How to Use a Record Player

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • A record player
  • A vinyl record
Use a Record Player

How to Use a Record Player. While vinyl records may be obsolete music technology, many people still have them lying around the house. A resurgence in favor of the nostalgia of records has been ever more prevalent; in fact, modern systems may include a CD player, tape deck, record player, AM/FM tuner and an MP3 player jack. Even with modern technologies, you may want to learn how to use a record player.

Open the lid of the record player. (Keep the lid closed when not in use to protect the record player from dust.) Place the record you wish to play on the turntable. Some records have a small hole in the middle; some have a larger hole. Most record players can accommodate both sizes.

Turn on the record player. Choose the correct speed depending on the size record wish to play. Generally, 12" vinyl records play at 33 RPM (revolutions per minute) and smaller sized records play at 45 RPM. (A few players have a 78-RPM speed.) The record starts spinning around at the desired speed.

Pick up the record player arm. This arm has a sharp needle point (stylus) at its end. Place the needle on the track you wish to play. You can tell where a new track begins because you can see pronounced grooves on the record at these points. The longer the songs on a record, the further apart the deep grooves.

Enjoy your music. When finished listening to the record, you may either manually lift the stylus off the record (gently) or depending on the model of record player, allow the record player to reach the end of the record by itself. Some automatic models automatically return the record arm to the starting position upon reaching the end of the record. Other models with less features let the record needle keep on playing past the end of the record, resulting in a horrible scratching noise.

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