Do you catch yourself playing the air-guitar to Stairway To Heaven? I’m assuming that you do and while you’re at it, you’ve also turned into a drummer. All of this in 6 seconds. Does performing Led Zeppelin’s hit song, pretending like it’s yours, makes you feel über cool?
I’m not saying that you’re not cool if you don’t know how to play an instrument but wouldn’t it be cool if you did?
You’re probably a teeny bit concerned about how you’re going to learn this new skill?
How long is it going to take?
How did Donald Trump ever become the President?
Do you see my point? Nothing is impossible! To make this easier for you, I’ll list out a bunch of instruments; that you could learn as a beginner. If you happen to like any of these, pick it up and start learning!
I’m kidding. Not. Okay, I get it. It can never be a party trick but it’s not as simple as you think. First off, we need to establish that you can become an expert in playing the triangle.
It’s not as simple ding-dong-smash and done. The triangle produces a complex rhythm which can help you with identifying- how to keep up with rhythm and pace.
If you hit the triangle earlier or later than expected, it can make the song sound terrible. You can always begin with the triangle to understand how easy rhythm comes to you.
This is the first instrument that I learnt. I could play around 13 songs on the ukulele (after watching 4 YouTube videos) in a day. Now, that’s a party trick!
Ukuleles can be great gifts as well. Even if the person you’re gifting it to doesn’t know how to play it. Trust me, he/she can learn Let It Be by The Beatles; in the first hour of holding the Ukulele.
Plus, the instrument sounds so… cute.
If you know how to play the guitar, you’re rad. That’s it. Don’t argue with this. Whether it’s an electric guitar or an acoustic, it’s always exciting to learn to play the guitar.
Okay, I’m not going to lie, the guitar took me longer than the ukulele. It does require more practice –but,
Imagine that you have learnt to play the electric guitar, for 2 months or so, and now you can play Stairway To Heaven with your guitar plugged into a guitar amp!
You don’t have to sit and sing along to the karaoke version of your favourite song if you can just play it on your acoustic guitar. Cool right?
There’s so much available on the internet on how to play the guitar. Just get on it without putting too much thought into it. That’s the only way you can get rid of the idea; of whether it’s too late or will I get it?
No, this doesn’t make you a child. Xylophones are equally important instruments. They can be super therapeutic. You don’t just hit against the metal bars with a mallet. There are scales on the xylophone, like any other instrument. Hitting different scales can produce relaxing sounds. This percussion instrument can be mastered!
You should definitely look into the sound of gongs if you’re looking for similar; relaxing sounds that you don’t quite have to play.
You would be lying to yourself if you say that you don’t want to catch your drumsticks mid-air and spin them around. I know, that’s not the point.
Drums are extremely fun to learn.
It may take you some time to understand timing, rhythm and pace. Once you’ve got a hang of that, you’re seriously good to go (just like the triangle). Most adults dealing with anxiety or aggressive behaviour can learn to channel that energy into playing the drums. Don’t be afraid to rip apart the membrane. It’s much better than ripping apart heads during a fight. Channel your energy the right way!
It’s all sleight of hand; or more like fingers. The flute is a wind instrument and so you don’t have to do anything. Just hold it out.
My unfunny alarm just beeped. Sorry.
The flute can help you in many ways. It is important to notice this kind of dexterity. It helps with dynamics, controlled-breathing techniques, and even articulation.
Plus, it’s very easy to learn. If you have bad nightmares about learning the flute back in school, don’t stress about it anymore. There are some good quality flutes available on the internet and in markets. You don’t really need to attend classes religiously. There are some amazing flute classes online that you could learn from.
If you’re learning the flute as your first instrument, you’re off to a great start. The flute helps with recognizing high pitches and low pitches. With time (and practice of course), you will start to develop an ear for rhythm and pitch; with the flute.
Ah! The blues harp. Harmonicas are tiny little harps. You can fit it in the front pocket of your jeans. Now, it’s a wind instrument. We know what we must do with our wind instruments. It’s essentially pushing wind down the instrument while moving it back-and-forth. It is a combination of blowing and drawing, as the professionals call it. There is so much technique involved.
If you’re looking to learn how to play the harmonica, you’re probably a fan of listening to blues, classical music, country, rock and jazz!
Lee Oskar is by far the best beginner instrument to learn on. If you look into the various kinds of harmonicas, you’ll realise that there’s not only techniques but types of harmonicas as well. This is a super fun instrument to learn and it’s easy.
Talk about sleight of hand. Sometimes, a pianist almost looks like they are running their fingers through a film reel. Just endless frames of black and white. You have to agree that the piano is one of the classiest instruments out there. You sit upright on your chair; behind a grand piano and you’re Mozart.
Okay, not really. At best, we’ve gotten to Happy Birthday (still can’t get the last two lines right on the piano).
The piano does require dexterity. It uses both parts of your brain and… it can get challenging. The best way to go about it is, to begin with, a keyboard. They sound and feel very different from each other but it’s a good start. Music improves cognitive abilities. That has been proved over and over again. All you need to do is practice! If you want to do this right; become a professional, then it’s best if you start writing and reading notes. Now, you may or may not need professional training, in the sense, you can learn it at home. Crazy enough, you can learn it on your iPad or tablets.
Get out your dancing shoes! The bongos can’t be played otherwise. This instrument originated in Cuba and Cubans love to dance. You just let the music sync with your moves. Don’t we all wish that we could dance and music would just flow out of us? I have some bad news.
The bongos require technique and precision. A good percussionist has learned to master the art of control. How hard you hit the bongo, how fast. Do you hit it with your knuckles or with the tips of your fingers? Sounds daunting but it’s not very hard to figure out. You have to learn the method of beating the bongos. If you catch yourself tapping the ends of tables, laptops sometimes even human heads, then I think you need to try out the bongos. No seriously, your brain and your hand want to feel the music. Try it out!
This instrument screams party trick! No song would not sound good on the trumpet. It’s a majestic and classy instrument. If you put in enough time to master the basics, then there is no stopping you. You need to start with the beginner’s apparatus. Now, you could take professional help or even learn it off the web.
Instruments like the trumpet, flute, triangle are orchestral instruments. If you’re looking for interaction with other fellow musicians or even music-lovers, the trumpet is the instrument for this. It trumps overall instruments that are played in an ensemble. See what I did there?
We all loved Louis Armstrong and his music. If you’re not too keen on the Led Zeppelin idea, this could be your kind of music?
Folks, these are some instruments that I recommend.
Beginners/ Adults who really want to play an instrument but doubt their ability to, fear no more! These are by far the easiest instruments that I know to play. Some I even learnt by myself.
Trust me, it’s the amount of time and effort; that you’re ready to put in.
I think it’s important to realise that humans and music have a very powerful connection. The effect it has on your wellbeing, your mood; it’s incredible.
You can give it a shot. Do you have anything to lose?
(Except the fact that– you’re no longer a human who can’t play an instrument).
Go ahead and start learning!
Ronald Ross is a self-taught guitarist and drummer. He also plays the ukulele. Ronald believes that music is very inherent and innate to humans. All we have to do is tap that side. He currently teaches at www.udemy.com as an online guitar instructor. Ronald can play Stairway To Heaven.