Learning to play a musical instrument can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable hobbies. Not only does it allow you to express your creativity, but it has also been shown to reduce stress, improve memory and cognitive abilities, and boost your overall well-being.
Many people are intimidated by the prospect of learning to play a musical instrument, thinking it will be too difficult or require years of practice before they sound decent. However, there are plenty of instruments out there that are relatively easy to learn, even for complete beginners. With regular practice and dedication, you’ll be making music in no time!
In this article, we will look at 7 of the best musical instruments to learn for beginners. Let’s dive in and explore some musical instruments that you can start learning and enjoying today!
The ukulele is one of the easiest musical instruments to learn for beginners. With only four strings and a small size, it is much simpler to form chords and play melodies on the ukulele compared to many other stringed instruments. The compact size also makes it very portable, so you can practice anywhere.
When starting out, focus on learning basic open chords like C, F, G7, and Am. Strumming is an important part of playing the ukulele as well, so practice both up and down strumming patterns. Work on changing smoothly between chords, and try some simple songs using the chords you’ve learned. With regular practice, you’ll be able to play many tunes in a variety of genres.
Some key things to look for when purchasing your first ukulele are solid wood construction, geared tuning machines, and a comfortable neck width. You can find good beginner models between $50-$100. You can also look into an instrument rental program if you can’t afford to buy it now but want to start your musical journey. These programs allow you to rent a musical instrument for an affordable monthly cost. This lets you start taking lessons and practicing without making a large up-front investment.
While mastering the guitar requires a great deal of practice and dedication, learning the basics on an acoustic guitar can be done quite quickly. Acoustic guitars have nylon or steel strings that produce a warm, distinct sound. The instrument rests comfortably on your knee or shoulder and has a versatile range.
When first starting, focus on learning basic open chords like G, Cadd9, D, and Em. Practice transitioning between chords fluidly and work on strumming patterns using downstrokes and upstrokes. Eventually, you can begin playing melodies and solos using one string at a time. Starting with simple songs or riffs will help improve your finger dexterity without overwhelming you.
Try to practice holding the guitar properly and using good posture right from the start – this will make playing much easier. Concentrate on finger and hand position as well as keeping tension out of your shoulders. Stretching your hands and fingers regularly can help avoid pain or injury.
While the piano seems like a complex instrument, the layout of its keys makes it relatively easy to start learning. Playing simple melodies and chord progressions comes quickly, especially compared to other instruments that require more advanced techniques. Reading sheet music on the piano is also very intuitive – you play the notes on the page from left to right.
When first starting lessons, you’ll begin by learning posture, hand position, and basic finger coordination through scales and simple children’s songs. Work on keeping a good rhythm and practicing listening to differentiate between higher and lower pitches. Mastering these fundamentals from the start will make progress much easier.
After learning some beginner songs, you can start playing chords with your left hand while playing the melody with your right. Focus on pieces that sound nice but are relatively easy rather than getting frustrated trying very advanced classical pieces early on. Be patient and keep practicing, and you’ll soon be able to play many of your favorite tunes.
The harmonica is a very accessible instrument for beginners since it is compact and inexpensive, and you play it simply by breathing in and out. It is great for playing melodies, fast tunes, and bluesy riffs across genres like folk, rock, and country. The harmonica does involve some unique techniques, but you can grasp the basics fairly quickly.
Start by learning to play single notes by breathing out while blocking unused holes. Work on articulating clear notes by adjusting your tongue position and control of breath. Try out bends by altering the shape of your mouth to flatten or sharpen the pitch. With practice, you’ll be able to play full tunes using single-note melodies.
Once you have mastered some individual notes and can move between holes smoothly, add in some chord rhythms. Accompany your melody by breathing in and out across multiple holes at the same time. Listen to some simple blues or folk harmonica songs to get inspiration.
You can add your own unique style, vibrato, and tonal effects once you get comfortable playing. Having a musical background, like singing, helps, but it is not required to quickly pick up the basics.
While the violin may seem daunting to learn, children as young as three or four can start taking lessons. With the right guidance, adults can pick up the basics relatively quickly as well. Good posture, bow hold, and introductory techniques will get you playing simple pieces after just a few months.
Early lessons focus on learning the proper positioning of the instrument under the chin and relaxing your shoulders. Your teacher will help you get the right shape and flexibility in your left fingers for fingering notes. You’ll also work on maintaining rhythms and steady bow movements across the strings.
Once the fundamentals are in place, you can start playing simple children’s songs and traditional fiddle tunes. Gradually increase the complexity and speed at your own pace. Recognizable beginner songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Mary Had A Little Lamb” will help keep you motivated as you progress.
The most important things when starting out are regular practice and enjoyment. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small milestones. Consistency is key, even if you can only practice for short periods at first.
Keep your instrument accessible and set aside time to play every day. With dedication and enthusiasm, you’ll be making music in no time on any of these great instruments!