Question: What is the easiest musical instrument to learn?
There are opinions all over the place and lots of myths about how difficult or easy it is to learn to play a particular musical instrument. When I was a child I was told by someone that the flute was the hardest to learn. Someone else clearly stated that the violin was by far the most difficult to learn.
As a musician and as a private music education specialist I can offer some solid thoughts that will be helpful.
It helps to be inwardly motivated to play a particular instrument. For example, if you are really excited when you watch and/or listen to someone playing the drums, you should consider learning to play the drums. Don’t worry about being uncoordinated – everyone is uncoordinated until they smooth things out. This only comes through a great deal of repetition (practice).
Look at it this way. Anything you learn that is new to you is easy as long as you have someone to teach you, a course to follow, and you engage in the activity on a very regular basis. When someone wants to become good at an athletic activity, they know that they need to engage in their chosen activity every day or they will never be any good at it.
By the same token, anything that is new to you is hard if you just try a little here and there. Then you are likely to say something like, “I’m no good at this. I don’t know why I bothered to even try.”
Now a little about the differences in musical instruments: Some instruments are just plain easy in my opinion. The harmonica, the recorder (plastic or wood flute) are very easy in that they don’t require a lot of information or how-to’s in order to start playing. This is why one of the first instruments to be introduced to elementary school children is often the recorder. And the harmonica is generally self-taught using a good instruction book. You can also find lots of good video instructions on YouTube.
The five string banjo seems to be gaining popularity once again. The conventional tuning is a G chord. When the strings are played/strummed without pressing anything down on the neck it is called an “Open” chord. This means you can “Bar” your left-hand index finger across any position on the fret board and you will be able to strum a major chord. With just a couple of lessons you can easily learn to play basic chords as well as some basic banjo techniques such as the “Roll.” This makes the banjo an easy instrument to learn!
The guitar can be very difficult for children under seven years of age because at this age most children lack the physical dexterity and finger strength to successfully play the guitar. Children who are at least seven years old can do very well on the guitar – electric OR acoustic.
Experience has taught us that that the following is a reasonable guide to starting ages for various types of one-on-one music lessons:
- Piano/Electronic Keyboard – age 5 and up
- Guitar, acoustic or electric – age 7 and up
- Banjo – age 10 and up
- Drums, Percussion, Steel Drum – age 7 and up
- Brass & Woodwind – age 10 and up
- Stringed Instruments (violin, cello, etc.) – age 5 and up
- Accordion – age 10 and up
- Vocal, Singing Lessons – age 10 and up
What’s the easiest instrument to learn? It’s usually going to be the one that motivates you the most. Almost anyone can learn to play a musical instrument. Find a good teacher and take it one step at a time. You’ll do great! If you don’t have access to a good private music instructor in your area, make use of the tons of resources you can find easily online. Even some free Apps for your phone can be a great help. Enjoy!
For private music lessons in the Fort Myers FL Area: www.MrMusicStore.com