Choosing the right instrument is not easy, and some musical instruments are significantly more difficult to learn than others. A harmonica may be best if you’re a complete novice, while guitars, bongos and ukuleles may require a more physically demanding approach.
By taking into account the uniqueness and the specific pros and cons of each instrument, however, you can decide on the ones that would be particularly easy and enjoyable for you. So let’s begin by taking into account the qualities that you should look for in a musical instrument for beginners.
How to Choose an Instrument That Is Right for You to Learn
Choosing an instrument is not easy unless you already know what’s out there. Whether or not the instrument is fun should never be your only criteria on why you should start learning it. Case in point: the piano is a fun and melodious instrument, but it can take more than a decade to master, especially if you’re an adult.
Ease of use, maintenance, cost over time and your own specific ability with various types of instruments versus others are some of the main criteria you should be looking at.
Experimenting and Finding the Fun Factor
The first thing to do when you’re looking for a new instrument to learn is to try out different types of instruments, and see how well they feel and sound. Keyboard-based instruments may be easy and comfortable, since all you have to do is press a few keys, and music comes out as if by magic. If that resonates with you, consider an organ, accordion or synthesizer.
String instruments can also be considered a good place to start, and are generally easier to learn than a piano. A ukulele, banjo, guitar or mandolin can all be great for beginners.
Finally, if you are more into classical music, you can try a viola, violin or cello. These are somewhat more refined, and they aren’t considered as “cool” if you want to be a rock star, for example. The good news is there are many great tutorials out there to help you out.
What Are Your Possibilities?
How much money can you spend? Would you be able to fit an organ or a grand piano in your apartment? Do you prefer a kind of instrument that you can carry with you on trains and planes for easy travel?
All these questions will give you a hint at the kind of instrument that would be best for your own specific needs and abilities. Also, consider the maintenance costs and the difficulty levels associated with tasks such as tuning or repairing the instrument when needed.
Types of Instruments and Resources
Some types of instruments can be easier to learn simply because there are a plethora of online lessons and resources such as sheet music available. If you want to spend money on a guitar or an electronic keyboard, you’re sure to find a lot of support for learning how to play.
However, it’s also a good idea to consider the simplicity of an instrument. A ukulele or a harmonica will be easier to manage simply because the learning curve is much more manageable. Also, in today’s information age you can still get plenty of learning resources even for lesser known musical instruments.
Should You Get Tuition or Self Teach?
So you just picked out your favorite instrument, and you’re trying to find out whether to learn on your own or get an online lesson or course. Most experts will tell you to choose the latter simply because:
- Tuition is much faster.
- You get help from a professional, so the learning curve will be easier as well.
- Online lessons can make studying fun and flexible.
- Tuition will help you avoid all the common misconceptions and pitfalls.
- It’ll give you much more confidence in the long run.
That being said, tuition has its own disadvantages: it can keep you dependent on your teacher, and you can’t learn whenever you want. Also, music lessons might be costly and difficult to obtain, depending on the type of instrument you choose.
On the other hand, the benefits of self-teaching might be better for some:
- You can set up your own unique schedule and curriculum.
- You can use whatever resources and approaches you want.
- There are fewer monetary constrictions.
- Video instructions are available for free on online video sites.
- You will be a lot more independent and free to improvise.
Of course, you might stumble a lot before learning the basics and figuring out all the misconceptions and contradictions between learning styles with just an instruction manual and some sheet music at your disposal.
Some of the Best Instruments You Could Choose
Depending on your preference regarding types of instruments and the learning curves they present, you can choose among a wide variety of great musical instruments. However, the following four are often considered to be easiest and most fun to learn.
Bongos are probably the simplest percussion instruments out there. Originating in Cuba around the mid-1800s, they are known for their soft tone, high pitch and remarkable simplicity. You can learn to play the bongos without much special training, and you’ll find the experience will be incredibly rewarding, especially if you like Latin music.
The ukulele is a string instrument similar to a guitar. Today it’s considered to be a fun, fashionable and sophisticated instrument that also has the advantage of being extremely easy to learn. Unlike a common guitar, the ukulele only has four strings, and the complexity of its chords is far more manageable. The nylon strings are easier on the fingers, and there’s almost instant gratification in picking up new songs.
Xylophones are great for kids and adults alike. They rely on simple motor skills, and you don’t need as much coordination to master them, as you would in the case of a guitar or piano. Xylophones can be fun to learn together with your children, and the sound they make is quite relaxing.
The harmonica is a small, portable instrument that anyone can figure out without much difficulty. The technique is very straightforward, and most simple songs take minutes to learn. Also, did you know playing the harmonica may be good for your health? The instrument can increase lung power and capacity, while reducing stress, optimizing heart rate and eliminating HBP.