The five major types of musical instruments are percussion, woodwinds, brass, strings and various keyboard instruments, some of which are electronic. In addition, the human voice is considered a separate musical instrument. Most of the instrument types besides the electronic ones revert to before the known historical era, and are mentioned in ancient sources such as Egyptian inscriptions and in the Bible.
I have called this article “What about musical instruments – what to play and how to play” and I will look at some popular instruments and what is required to play an instrument. And this time, it’s actually about more than just piano and keyboards.
I’ll break down the content into 5 sections:
- Most popular musical instruments to play
- Some easy musical instruments to learn how to play
- The advantage of being able to play by musical notes
- Choosing the right musical instrument
Most Popular Musical Instruments To Play
Everyone loves music but has different ways to enjoy it. Some just listen to songs and tunes while others play an instrument. Some as a hobby and some as a career choice. Playing an instrument lets you get a step closer to the music and thereby also get a stronger relationship with music.
There are hundreds of different types of instruments you can learn to play, but being able to play your favorite instrument brings extra joy. Some use it as a pastime, others do this out of passion for music, and for some, there is some anti-stress or meditation. Millions of people around the world play musical instruments as a way of expressing themselves, others playing for entertainment and fun while some do it to make money. But with so many musical instruments, which are the most popular and easiest to play?
Musical trends and new styles will always affect the popularity of musical instruments, as will the year and nationality. An example of trends affecting is the ukulele, which has become very popular worldwide over recent years, not just among children but all ages. For this reason, there are many lists and overviews, but all in all, the instruments listed below appear to be the most popular:
– Electric Guitar
– Bass guitar
– Acoustic guitar
Some Easy Musical Instruments To Learn How To Play
For most people, learning how to play an instrument will be demanding and challenging, especially in the beginning. It can also be difficult to choose which instrument suits you best before you actually try one. Naturally, some are more difficult to learn than others, but fortunately, some are pretty much easier to play. In my experience, the instruments below are the easiest to learn both for children and adults.
The ukulele has been voted the world’s easiest instrument to learn how to play, according to the Guinness Book of Records. With just four strings, the ukulele’s chords are easy to learn and you only need to use one finger to play your first chord. Body and neck size also makes the ukulele a perfect instrument for learning. Most people who try, even children in the kindergarten can play simple chords on the ukulele without too much practice making it one of the easiest musical instruments to learn how to play.
Key instruments such as piano, electric organ and keyboards are played by many for home and hobby purposes. The accordion, in fact, the world’s best-selling musical instrument is also considered a keyboard instrument. Another is melodica which, like the accordion and pipe organ, needs air to sound. Both accordion and melodica are considered easy to play, and are widely used in school context, especially in Asia. Overall, key instruments are fairly straightforward as most learn to play for their own entertainment. Of course, to become a really talented musician, you have to practice a lot for many years.
Guitar is another great instrument that is relatively easy to learn and which many people play. Once you have learned a few chords, you can play several simple songs, then build on. Get yourself a guitar playing book or find instructional videos online and learn a lot on the guitar on your own – without a teacher or course.
Drums are one of the world’s oldest musical instruments, and are often regarded as the actual glue in the music. The drums are used in many types of music – everything from pop and rock to rap music and classical music. A typical drum kit consists of several parts, such as:
– Bass drum
– Snare drum
– Tom-tom drums
– Drum chair
I dare not claim that drums are the easiest instrument to learn how to play, but I think it’s among the easiest and probably one of the most fun to play. You can learn in several ways. Maybe you have a buddy who can teach you how to keep the drumsticks while playing and some standard rhythms and beats. You can probably learn a lot by watching tutorial videos on YouTube or similar sites on the web. On the other hand, the best way to learn is without doubt to attend a course and a good drum teacher, then you will learn the most basic from the start.
The Advantage Of Being Able To Play By Musical Notes
Being able to read and play musical notes is a skill many musicians never care to learn, especially in pop and rock music. Perhaps the reason why so few artists and musicians in the industry do not read notes is the focus on rhythm, chords and lyrics and that the musicians therefore do not need to read notes to play?
The advantage of being able to read notes depends largely on the style of music you play. In classical music, notes are essential for playing a composition correctly while in jazz music where the musicians improvise a lot, the notes are not the most important. One can really say that when a composer wants the listener to hear exactly what is written, the musician has to be able to play by notes.
Actually, I think it is a great advantage to both play by notes and be able to play freely as it will make you more competent and versatile. I therefore recommend anyone who wants to learn to play a musical instrument to also learn how to read musical notes. And learn it while learning to play, it will be much harder afterwards.
Read more about musical notes in one of my previous articles: https://keyboardplay.com/how-to-read-music-notes-improve-your-musical-skills
Choosing The Right Musical Instrument
When deciding to learn how to play a musical instrument, you may want to think through a few things first.
- Musical instruments are very different in terms of sound, size, how to play and so on. There is also a significant price difference according to what you choose, and should you buy a new or used instrument?
- Do you want to play alone or with others? Maybe you want to start a band or join an orchestra. There are many possibilities and your instrument will decide which ones. If you choose to play the piano you can hardly join a marching band, then playing the tuba would be better.
- How do I learn how to play the instrument? Is there a music teacher I can learn from or courses to attend? Do I have to try to learn on my own from videos or online? These are important issues that need to be considered before choosing the instrument.
- How much space do I have at home for the instrument? A grand piano takes up a lot, a trumpet takes much less. Can I practice at home without disturbing the neighbors? A drum kit creates a lot of powerful sound, a digital piano can be played with headphones without disturbing anyone.
- A desire to play the instrument with the sound you like best or played by your favorite musician or artist may also be factors affecting which instrument you end up playing. Anyway, visit a well-stocked music store and ask to try out some guitars, pianos or keyboards. And if there is a brass band or similar nearby, they will certainly help you choose the right instrument and provide the necessary training.
Ultimately, how about musical instruments and what to play and how to play is much influenced by various factors such as personality and interests, availability of playable instruments, training offers, and coincidences. Nevertheless, I hope some considerations in my post may benefit and create engagement for playing a musical instrument. I would be very happy if my reflections on the subject could help you find the right musical instrument to learn how to play. If you have any questions about the content of the post, please post them below and I’ll be more than happy to help.