If you’re completely new to music, you’re probably asking “What instrument should I learn?” Learning how to play an instrument is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself, whether you’re 15 or 50, so great job getting started!
There are so many instruments to choose from that starting from scratch can feel overwhelming. In this article, we’ll share a little bit about five of the most popular instruments to help you decide.
First, take this fun and helpful quiz that pairs you up with an instrument that matches your personality, preferences, and goals!
What Instrument Should I Learn?
The Smart Choice: Piano
Arguably the most versatile instrument on the planet, the piano is an excellent option for creating inspiring music.
One major advantage of this instrument is the way its keys are laid out. The keyboard is a near perfect mirror of the steps needed to understand music theory, and this is why we’ve dubbed piano “the smart choice.”
The piano is a great instrument for adults and children. Students of any age or background can learn how to produce tones on the piano within just a few minutes. However it can take years to master more advanced piano skills.
The Popular Choice: Guitar
Electric, acoustic, and classical guitar – there are so many options! Each instrument is unique and better suits the needs of different students.
No matter how old you are, the guitar is an absolute blast to play. Students typically learn to master chords and scales after a month or two, but it can take years to master the instrument’s more virtuosic capabilities like fingerpicking, arpeggios, and soloing.
The electric guitar is the best choice for younger students because its strings are easier to play than the acoustic or classical guitar’s. Keep in mind though that you’ll need an amplifier to go with it.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Most Unique Instruments to Learn
The Challenging Choice: Violin
The violin is capable of producing some of the world’s most achingly gorgeous music, but it’s an instrument that can take many years to master.
The violin is similar to the guitar except that there are no frets, and this makes it especially challenging to learn. But even with its challenges, the right violin teacher can help students of any age navigate this incredible instrument over time.
If you’re interested in picking up the violin, give yourself six months to a year to master some of its basic concepts. The violin requires patience and persistence; you won’t sound like Joshua Bell or Antonio Vivaldi right away!
The Simple Choice: Ukulele
The ukulele is the friendliest instrument to learn on the planet, but that’s not the only reason you should consider playing it. Ukuleles are inexpensive, portable, and cheery-sounding instruments that are perfect for creative songwriters.
Amanda Palmer and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole are a few well known uke musicians, but thousands of artists around the world play this fun instrument. The only real downside of the ukulele is that it’s extremely limited as far as sound and dynamics go.
If you’re looking for an awesome starter instrument for kids, the uke is best choice available, hands down. Kids can learn how to play simple chords on the ukulele within a week or two.
The Fun Choice: Drums
If you’re looking for an instrument that lets you be loud and expressive, then the drums are perfect for you. Drums come in all shapes and sizes, but most sets have a snare, bass drum, hi-hat, and toms.
Do Buddy Rich, Ringo Starr, and Keith Moon inspire you? Listening to some of music’s famous drummers before deciding which instrument you should learn is a good idea.
It can take a few months of practice on the drums to be able to produce solid and discernible beats. The drums aren’t too difficult to learn, but you’ll definitely want to work with an experienced drum teacher to ensure that you’re learning correct technique.
We hope this article and quiz helped you answer the daunting question “What instrument should I learn?” If you need more help choosing the right instrument for you, try sampling a few beginner-level lessons in several different instruments before committing to just one.
Check out TakeLessons Live where you can take FREE classes in each of these instruments for 30 days!
Guest Post Author: Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and educator. He records and performs music under the name, Straight White Teeth.