How to Choose Your Musical Instrument

How to Choose Your Musical Instrument

Learn vocabulary connected with music and also find a perfect instrument for yourself!


Voiced by Chad Albright

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I quit music school as a child not because of the tedium of practicing scales and sight-reading. No, it was because I didn't have a say in choosing a musical instrument to learn.

Nowadays it is quite simple for adults like me to re-enter the world of music education. But picking an instrument still remains a daunting affair for many. I think there are four factors to consider here.

First, playing the ukulele won't turn you into Zooey Deschanel or Ryan Gosling. So put this tiny Hawaiian guitar down right now.

Second, think of what kind of music you like and see yourself playing. Classical, rock, jazz, country, bluegrass, rhythm and blues (R&B), reggae, and even bubblegum pop - you're more likely to stick with the instrument, if you're able to practice your favorite tunes on it.

Third, consider how much you are willing to invest. Mastering the Cajun-style diatonic accordion, requires a teacher, at least 3 hours of practice daily, and a good instrument which is quite pricey. On the other hand, a fiddle is an inexpensive, relatively easy to learn and doesn't require a tutor: there's an app for that now. Plus, once you master the fingering and bowing skills, you will be able to play a banjo, a cello, a rhythm guitar, or a double bass.

And last but not least, know your limitations. Physical limitations, that is. You should have figured out by now that you're no future Yehudi Menuhin or Miles Davis. Can't hoist something heavy? Forget about the harp. Poor lung capacity? Think twice about the saxophone. And even if you're in top shape, take that ukulele. Just trust me on this one.