Learning to play an instrument the right way can be one of the most satisfying and exciting ways to spend your free time. With the right dedication and training, you can learn to play any style of sound, any kind of instrument, and start speaking the language of music. But where do you start? How do you know which instrument you want to play? Try our quiz or read below some advice on selecting the right instrument for you.
- You should experiment with many instruments before committing to one. Deciding to start learning to play an instrument can be as simple as picking one up at a store or a friend's house and making a few notes. You might not be making music yet, but try to get your hands on an instrument and get a feel for it in your hands before committing to buy one or signing up for lessons. Most instrument stores are excited to share their instruments with you and let you give them a shot. They might even be able to show you a few things. You could even ask about renting an instrument before committing to buy it.
- Try out the classic piano. One of the most common instruments to start out on, used in many different styles and regions, is the piano. From children to adults, the piano is an extraordinarily popular instrument to play and learn. Because you can actually see the notes in front of you, the piano is also a good instrument to build your knowledge of how music works, and your music-reading. Once you've learned the piano, you can also specialize in: the organ, keyboard, accordion or a synthesizer
- Think about rocking out on guitar. Other than the piano, the most popular instrument from Hank to Hendrix is the guitar. Technically a classical stringed instrument, the popular electric guitar put the instrument into pop culture like no other instrument. It's fun for rock and roll, jazz, and almost any kind of music. Guitar also provides a good foundation for different kinds of folk or rock instruments such as the bass guitar, mandolin or the ukulele
- Consider orchestral stringed instruments. If you want to play in an orchestra, a string quartet, or have a particular interest in classical music, a stringed instrument might be right for you. These instruments are also commonly used for folk music and other acoustic sounds. You might consider learning to play the violin, viola, cello or even the double bass
- Try your hand at the brass family. Called brass instruments but not always made of brass, but they still work the same by vibrating your lips inside a metal mouthpiece. They're used in concert bands, jazz, marching bands, and many other types of music. Whether you want to learn the trumpet, trombone, or a tuba
- Check out the woodwinds. Like brass instruments, woodwinds are played with the power of the breath. While brass instruments use mouthpieces to blow through and vibrate your lips, however, woodwinds use reeds that vibrate themselves when you blow over them. They're made of many different combinations of metals, woods, and reeds, and no orchestra or jazz combo is complete without them. Learning to play woodwind instruments could include flute, saxophone, clarinet or oboe
- Bang on some percussion. Not wanting to join an orchestra and want to form the next Beatles or Foo Fighters. In rock bands and jazz combos, the drummer typically plays the drum kit, made of several drums organized at once to play simultaneously with sticks and pedals. But if you were wanting to join an orchestra, percussionists perform a quite large variety of instruments that are played by striking them with hands, mallets, or sticks. Why not learn to play the glockenspiel or bongos or the triangle!
- Consider other varieties of an instrument. There are literally thousands of instruments you could take up and Love2Teach teachers who offer lessons. Explore the world of music and listen for things you like and you might enjoy playing. Some difficult-to-categorize instruments including the bagpipes, Sitar, or the steel drums