Consider Your Favorite Genres
It may seem obvious, but the first step to choosing a musical instrument is to think about what music you actually like.
While being able to play classical piano may sound flashy and interesting, if you hate classical music, then you won’t enjoy playing it.
Playing a musical instrument should be one of the most fun experiences you can have, and that’s why you need to enjoy the music that you’re playing.
Generally, music fans will have a particular genre that steals their heart. Whether you’re a heavy metal kind of person, or you’re more into folk and country, have a think about what genres excite you the most, and what instruments often feature in those genres.
For example, most, if not all, subgenres of rock music will feature guitars, and bass guitars. These instruments are often considered as the foundation of most mainstream music, so they can be an appealing place to start. However, if classical music is more to your liking, then a violin or piano could be your instrument of choice.
Musical instruments can potentially be a big investment financially, but also in terms of your time as well. You don’t want to waste your time on an instrument that isn’t regularly used in a genre of music that you really love. How will you play your favorite songs? Arguably, one of the most fun aspects of being musically talented is being able to play some of your top songs whenever you want. If the instrument doesn’t fit the genre, however, this will be more difficult.
Can You Picture It?
If you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, then it’s likely that you’ve pictured yourself on stage, your name in bright lights, surrounded in fog from the fog machine, and the crowd hanging on your every note.
When choosing a musical instrument, it’s important to think about whether you can truly see yourself playing the instrument, and whether it will fit in with your lifestyle.
The guitar can be a particularly social instrument if you want it to be, as it is often the centerpiece of a lot of musical events and social scenarios. For example, open mic nights often feature acoustic guitar sets, but guitars are always a great way to attract attention and make friends at parties and camping situations.
However, everyone’s lifestyles and personalities are different. Pianos are an excellent choice if you aren’t looking to further yourself as a social butterfly, and they also look great in the home too if you can fit one inside.
It’s useful to consider whether you can actually picture yourself playing the instrument, and this also ties into how much time you are willing to dedicate to learning this instrument. If you want to be playing on stage sooner rather than later, you’ll need to have time to set aside to master your craft. If you work long hours, or have children, these factors will need to be taken into consideration.
The instrument should fit into your lifestyle, rather than you having to adapt too much, otherwise the fun of learning will start to disappear.
The Learning Curve
The next step to help you choose the best musical instrument for you is to think about what it’s like to actually learn the instrument, and what elements are required for you to be able to play to the best of your ability.
Every instrument’s learning process will feature some differences, but these differences could help in narrowing down your decision as to what musical instrument you should choose.
This is perhaps the most important step to finding the right musical instrument for you.
Each instrument will require a different approach to learn it, but it also depends on your chosen learning style.
For example, you may find that you’ll seriously benefit from having lessons with a music teacher. Many instrumentalists recommend this, as you’ll have greater assistance if you make mistakes or if you’re struggling with a certain technique.
However, music teachers will require money, and so this isn’t always accessible for everyone, unless you have a friend or family member who can help you.
If you are planning on teaching yourself, there will be a host of videos online and books available to help you to follow along and practice at home.
As we’ve mentioned, each instrument will have specific aspects that you’ll need to learn. You may find that learning to read music is a skill that you want to have, as this can make learning a variety of instruments an easier task. If you want to play classical music, this is a necessary step, as is often the case for Jazz musicians too.
Many musicians do, however, learn by ear, so it is useful to consider how you would prefer to handle your learning.
Try Before You Buy
Going to a music store can be a great way for you to get a taste of what instruments you’d most enjoy playing.
If you’re unsure about what instrument to choose, or if you think you like the idea of an instrument but want to feel what it’s like to play in the flesh, then this a great place to start.
Many music stores will have what’s often called a ‘petting zoo,’ which gives you the opportunity to test out a variety of instruments and find what feels like the right fit for you.
Petting Zoos are an effective way of helping you get to grips with different instruments. Playing a certain instrument might sound like a good idea in your head, but actually holding and feeling the instrument might completely change your view on whether it will work for you.
This will also give you an opportunity to speak to trained music professionals in the store, who will be able to assist you if you have any particular questions about the instrument or the learning process behind it. You can also check out different models of the instruments that you’re interested in, and you can weigh up the prices and think about adding certain models to your wishlist.
Space in Your Place
Depending on the instrument you’re interested in, you may need to consider whether your home has the space available to accommodate it.
If you’re tight for space as it is, then this will need to be considered before you invest in a huge drum kit or grand piano!
If you are interested in small brass or woodwind instruments, then this can generally be stored away easily in a small case. Guitars are similar, but due to their unique shape, they can be more cumbersome to store away, so bear this in mind if you need to save space at home.
However, if you are looking at larger instruments, then you can’t really get around the space-saving issue. You can’t practice instruments remotely if you want to really master them, so you’ll need to have them at home. For example, a grand piano is a large investment, and will take up a lot of space in a room, so this will be difficult to learn if you are living in a small home.
There are some ways around this when it comes to pianos, though. You could instead begin by learning the keyboard, which is very similar to the piano, could be a great alternative. While there are significant differences between the piano and the keyboard, a keyboard could temporarily satiate your desire to be the next Mozart, as a smaller, more compact sister of the piano.
Not all hope is lost if you have little room to spare. Remember, you can always go back and learn the instrument when you have room in the future, or, if you’re impatient and determined to get learning as soon as possible, then this could inspire you to have a declutter of your home to save up some precious space.
With such a wide variety of musical instruments to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one will suit you best.
By using these tips, you should be able to find an instrument that works for you, and that you can feel passionate about learning. Musical instruments can offer a lifetime of joy, and playing them is an excellent pastime that can help you to fulfill your dreams of performing, make new friends, or simply to have fun. We hope that you can take this guide and find the best musical instrument for you.
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