How to Choose a Musical Instrument to Play

Congratulations! Learning to play music can be very rewarding. But with such a large selection, choosing an instrument can be confusing and stressful.

First, consider your music interests. Are there any instruments you are particularly interested in or fond of the sound? If these instruments are available to you, try experimenting with these first.

People often choose instruments that are found in their favorite type of music. Those fond of jazz or blues might be more interested in guitar, bass, or saxophone, while those that listen to rock might prefer electric guitar or drums.

For people that are fans of a wide variety of music, you might want to consider piano or guitar. These instruments are two of the most popular, and should be easy to find lessons for, and learning these instruments first can make it easier to learn other instruments.

Have you considered electric instruments? Electricity is not just for guitars anymore. There are all sorts of electric string instruments, such as electric violins, cellos, and don’t forget the keyboard!

After learning one instrument, you can often easily pick up another similar instrument. For example, guitar players can easily learn bass guitar, ukulele, or mandolin. Some even move on to learn violin.

Another thing to consider is your own strengths and weaknesses. Great with rhythm? Drums might be a good option. Short winded, or hindered by asthma or allergies? Wind and brass instruments such as the clarinet, trumpet, and tuba, are not the best choice for you.

Convenience and accessibility is another important matter. Smaller, lighter instruments such as a guitar, clarinet, or violin can be taken with you. Larger, heavier instruments are often more cumbersome to travel with, such as a cello, drum set, or piano.

If you will be learning to play by tutoring or lessons, ask around to see what instrument lessons are available in your area. Someone else motivating you makes learning a new instrument much easier than learning on your own.

If you are still not sure about what sort of instrument you want to play, try visiting a music store. Most workers at these stores know a lot about instruments, and can help you make a decision. They will often let you experiment with instruments on display to help confirm your choice.

Be sure to ask whether the store has a renting or lesson program. Many stores offer lessons, and some even rent out instruments. This will allow you to try out an instrument for a few weeks (or even months) without buying an expensive instrument.

Take your time in your decision, and most of all, have fun experimenting!


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