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What Instrument Should I Learn?

Do you love music and you have finally decided that it’s time to learn to play an instrument? First of all, congratulations! This is the best decision you could make, and don’t let anything stop you from doing it.



Playing an instrument is highly rewarding, and it is something that anybody can do at any age. However, there will be times when your motivation will be challenged, and frustration will make you question if you made the right decision. But anytime you see a small improvement, your determination and enthusiasm will probably skyrocket again.

But, you might still be at that stage where you’re wondering: “What Instrument Should I Learn?”

So, let us help you find the answer…

Playing an instrument is like a love story

Playing an instrument

Some people don’t even need to ask themselves what they should play. Since they were kids, they always had a strong attraction to a particular instrument. And as soon as they decide that it’s time to learn to play something, they already know exactly what they want.

Then there’s the rest of us…

For some, it’s a bit more complicated. They might like different music genres, and they cannot decide between two or three options. Or they might be worried that because of their age or some physical limitation (small or big hands, for example), a specific instrument is not suitable for them.

I always like to think of the relationship between a musician and his instrument as a love story. Many times it is love at first sight, and in that case, you don’t have any rational explanation. Other times, when you meet someone, you don’t feel any interest at first. But as you get to know that person better, your feelings change, and love starts to grow.

Time after time…

Choosing an instrument is exactly the same. If you are in the first category, this article will be useless because you already know what you want, and nobody will change your mind.

But if you’re still in doubt, I’m here to help you by explaining the key points to consider before you start your musical journey.

Attraction is important

Attraction is important

Every love story needs at least a bit of attraction to last. Any musician will eventually develop a physical relationship with their instrument that would be impossible without appeal and interest.

Are you thinking about playing the guitar?

Look at it closely, touch the fingerboard, pick it up, and hold it. How does it feel? Does it look beautiful to you? Do you like the feeling of picking a string?

This might sound a bit weird, but it will give you the motivation to practice even on those lazy days.

If not the guitar…

Do the same with the other instruments that you’re considering. Can you imagine that piano in your room? What does it look like? Does it encourage you to sit down and play even if you don’t know anything about it?

What music do you like?

What music do you like

Your musical taste is probably the single most crucial factor that can help you decide what instrument to play.

If you spend the majority of your time listening to Bob Dylan, your choice will be either the acoustic guitar or the harmonica, while the piano is a better alternative if Ray Charles is your idol.

However, sometimes the answer is not that obvious.

What if classic rock is your favorite music genre?

In this case, pay attention to what you’re doing while listening to your favorite bands. If all you’re waiting for is that moment when Joe Perry starts one of his unforgettable solos, then you know what you should play.

Or maybe you can’t stop keeping the tempo by shaking your head or tapping your foot. Then, you might want to consider drums or the bass guitar.

What kind of person are you?

Another critical factor in choosing an instrument is what kind of person you are. If you always like to be in the spotlight, then an electric guitar, a violin, or a piano could be an excellent choice for you.

On the other hand, if you prefer to stay in the background, consider the cello or the bass. I’m not by any means saying that these instruments are less important, but they’re just less noticeable by the average audience and better for those who would rather avoid the limelight.

Most importantly…

It’s crucial to examine what your goals are as a musician. If you’re just looking for an instrument to play on your camping trips, an acoustic guitar or a ukulele are obviously better choices than drums or piano.

Don’t let money influence your decision

money influence your decision

Buying an instrument might be expensive, but this shouldn’t stop you from choosing the right one regardless of its cost. If you desperately want to play piano, but you can’t afford it, search the used market, or ultimately you can start by learning on a keyboard.

Got a fantasy?

The same goes for that expensive Gibson Les Paul that you’re dreaming of. Rather buy a cheaper alternative, and save money while you’re learning how to play. You can always upgrade it later when you’re ready.

As an example, have a look at this Epiphone Les Paul Special or the Glarry 88 keys digital piano.

You’ll see you can always start to play an instrument without emptying your bank account!

Looking for more great suggestions for Beginner Musicians

You’re probably much closer to a decision by now. In that case, we can help with selecting the Best Ukulele for Beginners, the Best Digital Pianos Beginners, the Best Electric Guitar for Beginners, the Best Student Trumpets, the Best Student Violins, the Best Beginner Bass Guitar, and the Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners you can buy in 2023.

You may also be interested in How to Hold and Use a Guitar Pick or these 10 Easy Songs to Learn on Bass?

And if you’re no closer to a decision at all?

In that case, how about browsing the Easiest Musical Instruments for Adults to Learn or exploring the Different Types of Drums? Or maybe you want to aim high and find out How Can I Learn to Play the Violin on My Own and what are the Best Music Theory Apps currently on the market.

OK, time to wrap it up…

What Instrument Should I Learn? – Final Thoughts

Now you have all the tools you should need to choose what your instrument will be. Consider every possible aspect before you make a decision. What’s your favorite music? Where do you see yourself as a musician five years from now? Do you find that particular instrument appealing because there’s a deep attraction? Or is it really about what others think is cool?

Moreover, when you ask yourself: “What Instrument Should I Learn?” don’t let anybody else influence your decision. Nobody knows better than you what the best choice for you is.

Sometimes, you just need more time to figure it out. And that’s OK!

Whatever you choose, enjoy your learning!

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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