Playing a musical instrument can be a wonderful thing. It’s fun, stimulates creativity, and relieves stress. Once you’ve picked up an instrument, you can join a band or orchestra and become part of a musical community. But how do you choose what instrument you should play? Here are some tips that can help you figure out the best one for you to study.

Decide What Style of Music You Want To Play

Different types of music generally have a specific array of instruments they use. The typical pop/rock setup is guitar, bass, drums, and maybe a keyboard or piano. Country music is similar but can also have banjos, fiddles, harmonicas, mandolins, or accordions. Jazz and blues are also like the pop/rock setup but include horn instruments such as saxophones, trombones, and trumpets. If you want to play classical music in an orchestral setting, you can choose just about any instrument, but brass, strings, percussion, woodwinds, keyboards, and harps are the most popular. If you are interested in jazz, free jazz lessons can supplement your exploration of different instruments by providing guidance on how to adapt their techniques to fit the improvisational nature of jazz music, helping you unlock your creativity and expressiveness regardless of which instrument you ultimately choose to pursue.

Pick The Type of Your Chosen Instrument

Many instruments come in different types, and some have very different sounds. For instance, guitars can be acoustic or electric, and there are subsets of each like the classical, steel-string, and steel guitars. Acoustic instruments have a more natural sound and tend to be played in arrangements involving a smaller number of musicians than their electric counterparts, sometimes even as a solo act. Bigger or more dynamic groups often require electric instruments for them to be heard over the louder percussion sounds.

Consider The Size of The Instrument

Because of the varying sizes and degrees of difficulty in taking care of different instruments, this could be a factor in choosing which one you want to play. Guitars, string, brass, and woodwind instruments are generally easily carried by a single person, but many drum sets require either multiple people or trips to pack and unpack. 

Larger instruments such as pianos tend to need a group or machinery to get from place to place and require more space for setup and storage. However, as new digital piano options come closer to replicating the sound of acoustic pianos, this is a viable alternative if you want to be a pianist. You can get the rich, natural tones of a grand or upright piano without the difficulty of taking it around with you by yourself.

Understand The Time and Costs of Maintenance

Some instruments will demand more time and upkeep costs to keep them in working order. Guitars and string instruments are relatively cheaper and easier to maintain. They just need to be tuned, and cleaned, and to have their strings replaced periodically. 

Proper piano care is a bit more difficult. They have to be tuned between 2 and 4 times per year, based on humidity changes, and you may need to hire a professional to do this. You also have to control the temperature and other environmental effects of the location where you keep it to make sure the wood and glue don’t become warped, making it unusable.

Think About What Your Group Needs

If you’re looking to join a band or orchestra, consider what instruments they need to help fill out their roster. If there’s a four-piece rock band in need of a drummer, you could give that a try. If an orchestra has plenty of alto saxophone players but not enough tenors, go for the latter, so you have a better shot at getting a spot in the pit. Once a musician has picked up their instrument and learned the fundamentals of playing it, they can often transition to similar alternatives, like a guitarist switching over to play bass. Many people who join a musical group want to be front and center, but the support instruments are important in delivering quality performance.

Playing musical instruments. Photo by Caleb Oquendo via pexels

Test It Out For Yourself

One of the best ways to figure out what instrument to play is to try it for yourself. Many retailers will allow you to play the floor models they have on display, so you can get a sense of how they sound and feel. Some will allow you to rent instruments so you can spend a bit more time playing around with them at home, giving you a better idea of whether or not it’s a good fit. Look up online tutorials or take a few lessons with the instrument. Even if you aren’t very good at first, if you enjoy playing it, you’ve probably found the right one for you.

Music is deeply ingrained in the fabric of society. Songs have carried stories and history from one generation to the next. When you start playing an instrument, you become a part of that tradition. There are so many available that you’re bound to find the right one if you keep these tips in mind. Now get out there and start playing!