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Best Instruments to Get Started With


Learning an instrument as a child can be an adventure for some. For others, it was yet another hoop that had to be jumped through. Adults may look back on their youth and wonder why they never kept going with the training. Is it too late for them to learn an instrument? That answer: No.

Music making is a spectator sport. Years spent watching musical performances familiarize us with the art form. The best artists encourage us by making it look easier than it is. We love the idea of mimicking our favorite performers. After all, there are air guitar competitions.

    So, with that in mind, here are a few musical “appetizers” to whet your musical pallet.

Trash Cymbals

    Trash cymbals get their name because when hit with the shoulder of a drumstick they produce very bright, crisp, and explosive sounds. Their use as effects cymbals gives the user the freedom to experiment.

    It is known that these cymbals originated in China where they evolved naturally from the gong. Folk festivals held in Foshan-a city in the Guangdong region of China- use a special variation of these called “flying cymbals.”


Image Credit: Flickr. Courtesy of Xavier Badosa

    The harmonica, also known as “mouth organ,” is a free reed instrument that is tied to our history of folk, rock, country, and jazz music. Some of the greatest harmonica players include Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen.

    Harmonicas come in a legion of shapes and styles. They are also very cheap and readily available, even as toys.

    Recent studies have found that playing the harmonica can have positive effects on your health. People diagnosed with COPD have found that the harmonica playing improves their breathing function.


Image Credit Flickr: Credit of Anax44

    Steelpans, or steel drums, are common party time percussion instruments. The steelpan and its music were invented by freed slaves from French plantations in Trinidad as form of celebration. It would eventually gain popularity in the US, where it is now synonymous with sunny beaches and tropical getaways.

    A beginner’s steelpan can be brought from any music store for as low as $199.99. Steelpan players can use the instrument in its traditional drum with sticks or turn it over to be struck by hand.


    Just like the steelpan, the ukulele has a warm island vibe to it. The ukulele is a small four stringed guitar introduced to Hawaiians by the Portuguese. While the sound is light, it comes in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

    Amateur post their work and progress on social media platforms like YouTube.


    Through technology we have an instrument that combines the piano, organ, and even violin into the keyboard. Electronic keyboards have been a staple of musical performances since the eighties.

    The two biggest names in keyboard manufacturing are Casio and Yamaha. Some of their models are portable and designed specifically for beginners.

   Learning with the keyboard is no different than learning with the piano. All you need is to find some tutorials, sheet music, and you should be on your way.