Choosing a musical instrument

Have you ever thought about taking up a musical instrument? Here's the perfect guide for you.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the text and do the other exercises.


Choosing a musical instrument

Many people would like to learn how to play a musical instrument, but they are put off by one big problem: what to play? Here are a few questions to help you decide.

What kind of music do you like?

Many instruments are versatile, but some are more suited to certain types of music. Although there is some classical repertoire for the saxophone, for example, people associate it more with jazz, and it is not a permanent feature of many orchestras. Some instruments may lend themselves better than others to the music you like, so consider this before you start.

Do you want to play with other people?

Think about your long-term future as a musician. If you want to play with other people, what sort of instrument would be most practical? The initial attraction of playing a dazzling solo instrument like trumpet, violin, flute or lead guitar might fade when you realise how many other people are competing with you to get the main part with the same instrument! If you want to play rock music, there will always be a demand for bass players or drummers, and if you fancy being part of an orchestra, the bassoon is a great bet to make sure you are always needed.

Where are you going to practise?

Many people live in flats and practising the drums, for example, will drive your neighbours crazy. Think about where and when you are going to practise, as well as the patience of the people you live with or near. Electric versions of instruments like the piano, drums, guitar and even violin give you the option of playing into the night using headphones, while your housemates sleep in peace. Alternatively, you may need to consider going to a school or a community centre to practise.

How much money can you spend?

This is quite a big factor. A lot of instruments can be purchased in different price ranges, for example, guitars. But this doesn’t alter the fact that many, such as the piano, are always pretty expensive. If you can’t afford your chosen instrument, will you be able to borrow someone else’s or hire one?

Are there any physical limitations?

If you’re small and don’t like lifting heavy objects, you won’t want to carry around a double bass. Apart from that, use your common sense, and don’t let your perceived physical shortcomings put you off. Who says small skinny people can’t play the tuba? It’s true that some wind instruments require a lot of lung power but with the right coaching, everyone can develop the right technique.

Still not sure?

Talk to people you know who already play instruments. They might even let you try theirs. It’s also a good idea to find an experienced music teacher, preferably one who plays a few different instruments, who can give you some advice and push you in the right direction.


If you find an instrument you love and that suits your needs, you’ll find the time spent choosing was well worth it. Good luck with making your choice!


Which instrument would you like to learn?

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Submitted by RAJKUMAR K on Sat, 04/13/2024 - 09:58

Choosing a musical instrument

Submitted by RAHUL RAHUL on Sat, 04/13/2024 - 09:58

play guitar and cajon drum, but piano is my best because piano is the king of the instrument ( im not lying, is true). I also play guitar when i go out, and cajon too

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Submitted by Allofusaredeadfan on Wed, 01/03/2024 - 20:17

I now play piano but maybe learn again !!!

Submitted by Slade on Thu, 08/10/2023 - 06:35

I would like to learn ukelele. I think it is a good bet for me when I consider my physical shortcomings. Boy with uke is one of the best dazzling ukelele players in the world.

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Submitted by Allofusaredeadfan on Wed, 01/03/2024 - 20:14

I learn ukulele and i can say : is very dificuls i think i can't play this tool

In reply to by Slade

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Submitted by Benjamin2009 on Tue, 06/06/2023 - 09:42

I play guitar and cajon drum, but piano is my best because piano is the king of the instrument ( im not lying, is true). I also play guitar when i go out, and cajon too. And why piano is the king of the instrument? Because the piano can play any the frequency, just only 1 piano, but all the instrument, such as violin just can play high frequency, cello play mid low frequency. And it could play lots people (maybe 3) just only 1 piano. So thats why piano is the king of instrument.

Submitted by pomelo on Fri, 04/07/2023 - 14:45

I want to learn piano and guitar

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Submitted by Benjamin2009 on Tue, 06/06/2023 - 09:44

You can practice by app simply piano or simply guitar. These app will "hear" you play and they show the sheet to play.

In reply to by pomelo

Submitted by Amanda_Nay Chi on Wed, 11/16/2022 - 05:52

Most schools offer students to choose one or two of the following which are sports, music, arts, dancing, or other small activities. I go with sports at first as I love going out and it includes exercising and stamina. But when I grow older and the COVID pandemic hit us, most of us couldn't go outside and do sports (especially, swimming, football, basketball, badminton etc) At this point, most of us developed reading habits, studying online and other stuff that comes in handy. Me, most of my friends who are already experts at playing musical instruments hang out with each other and play the instruments. I kinda felt left out as I don't know how to play any of them. But they still encourage me to play some. At first, I thought of a piano but it's not convenient for my flat and I want something which I can carry around easily. Then I thought of the violin. I took a special liking to it because it has a lovely melody sound if played right of course.

Submitted by 10AN615 on Tue, 06/07/2022 - 17:03

I want to play any musical instrument but the guitar I want the most

Submitted by 01Aras on Tue, 06/07/2022 - 11:02

I would love to play the piano because it piques my interest

Submitted by aycauzz1 on Mon, 06/06/2022 - 16:56

I want to play the guitar. But I started to take an interest in the piano.

Submitted by heiwonnie on Wed, 04/13/2022 - 21:00

piano, I will come to you one day. It might take a few years more from now on but I can totally wait and I will patiently wait for that long-waited one day.

Submitted by Putin_ProGamer on Wed, 01/19/2022 - 11:52

I would like to learn how to play on guitar, piano or drums

Submitted by dhadzikadunic on Thu, 12/09/2021 - 21:46

I would like to play the guitar. It is a great instrument.

Submitted by Vuquan on Wed, 08/11/2021 - 03:31

I like this lesson
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Submitted by Benjamin2009 on Tue, 06/06/2023 - 09:48

So you have too play nylon string first because if you play metal string it will be hurt

In reply to by Vuquan

Submitted by merve on Tue, 04/06/2021 - 12:58

I have been playing the violin for 3 years. The first 2 years were very difficult for me. To improve myself I made practice every single day. But the third year was amazing. Because I was playing the hard tracks. İf you want to start an instrument my big advice is to practice every single day. Don't forget " Practice makes perfect."

Submitted by Jenny201 on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 10:14

n all types of instruments, I would like to learn piano. The reason why the piano is my option has to tell my childhood. When I was a kid, I saw many people playing this instrument. At that moment, I thought they were so professional and talented who could know how to play on a lot of piano keys. According to their inspiration, I painted the piano keys on the paper and then imitated them to play. That was so childish and funny. However, I couldn't fully understand by simulating without any instructions and a real piano. Until now, I still want to learn it because it makes my childhood memory be meaningful. Playing the piano makes me feel great and sophisticated. No matter who you are, you will still look cool! Because the beauty of music will radiate from within you. Music brings us all so much happiness – it really is very central to our lives. It is important to be given the chance to make music because it can give us an emotional and creative outlet.

Submitted by tertiaryword on Mon, 09/07/2020 - 20:11

I would like to play the electric guitar since I like how it sounds

Submitted by Vuquan on Mon, 08/24/2020 - 08:46

The instrument i like to learn is piano.

Submitted by touyen on Thu, 06/25/2020 - 03:55

My hoobies are playing musical instruments. I played the organ when i was kid. At that time my only passion was playing them. But for some personal reasons, i stopped playing them when i was 15 years old and focused on my studies. After entering the university evironment, i joined a music club held at the university where i was studying. In there, i learned and tried my best with different instruments like guitar, piano, flute, and so on. I sure that this reading has helped me in choosing an instrument that suits myself.

Submitted by editor_rachael on Thu, 06/25/2020 - 09:45

Hi touyen,


Thanks for your comments on LearnEnglish Teens. This website is specially for teenagers aged 13-17 years old but it sounds like you are older than that. You are welcome to keep on using LearnEnglish Teens but if you are over 17, please do NOT post any more comments as we must keep this strictly for teenagers to interact with each other. 


Best wishes,


LearnEnglish Teens team

In reply to by touyen

Submitted by Kimthoa172 on Fri, 06/19/2020 - 06:59

Woww, this article has all of necessary things for us who want to choose a musical instrument. It is useful for me because I really want to learn how to play a guitar. I wish I could play a guitar as soon as possible. And then, I could sing and play it by myself!!!!
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Submitted by Giovannichoi on Mon, 04/06/2020 - 13:05

I would like to play a guitar if I have to, but I want to sing for my future. The reason why I want to learn how to play guitar is I like some intence musics. When I was young, I wanted to be a rockstar, playing electric guitars and swing the long, long hairs which is dyed into red back and forth. I was 9 years old then. And I like base guitars, instead of electric gitars. I want to make a song myself and sing it with base guitar. But however, my future dream is become a famous musical star and travel all around the world on business.

Submitted by Elife on Tue, 02/11/2020 - 23:21

I'd like to learn to play guitar, and so I think I could sing and play the songs I like, it'd be great!
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Submitted by Benjamin2009 on Tue, 06/06/2023 - 09:51

you should have too play nylon string frist because it won't let you hurt. Metal one is very hurt

In reply to by Elife

Submitted by 1Eg on Wed, 10/16/2019 - 07:30

Hello, we're a music class from Poland. We've noticed there is a mistake in a preparation task. The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700, in which the strings are struck by hammers. It's not a percussion instrument. Change it please in your task. Cheers, 1Eg
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Submitted by Jonathan - Coo… on Thu, 10/17/2019 - 12:40

Hi 1Eg. Thanks a lot for your comment. We've done some checking and some sources agree that a piano is a string instrument, but we've seen others too that consider it percussion. It seems that there isn't universal agreement. So, we've decided to remove 'piano' from the preparation task to avoid any confusion. Thanks again for letting us know, and we hope the task is clearer now. :)

If you write more comments on LearnEnglish Teens, please could you create separate accounts for each user? In our House Rules we ask users not to share accounts. Thanks a lot and I hope you all enjoy using the site! :) 

Best wishes,

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

In reply to by 1Eg

Submitted by Scorpio on Wed, 10/02/2019 - 03:17

Maybe, love singing make me love learning some musical instruments. And first one I chose that is piano. When I had started to learn piano, i only wanted myself can play some favorite songs. But day by day, I really loved playing piano so much more and i wished play it professionally. With my resolve, I practiced it everyday in my free time, I spent 2 hours and could be much more to improve my ability. When I could have played piano is quite good, I continued to learn guitar and violin. I always dream that one-day in future, I will become a official student of Conservatory of Ho Chi Minh City.

Submitted by Adriana_I on Tue, 08/27/2019 - 13:43

Well, I would like to learn and guitar, because I think it is a great instrument, so is well to learn new things. It would be interesting to learn how to play instruments and that becomes a hobby for me :)

Submitted by ihavenolife on Tue, 02/19/2019 - 12:55

wow this is so cooooollll
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Submitted by Youjiro on Thu, 02/07/2019 - 08:05

I had play drum in our band for two year. We played live house one time of month.It was small concert hall.We enjoyed at that time.

Submitted by BlueSnake on Mon, 06/18/2018 - 09:46

I play the guitar and I also play keyboard, I might want to start learning the drums aswell, maybe some other instruments like the bass guitar as well. Like I wanna play in a band, and if one of the band members can’t come then I can play for them. And obviously at concerts when I am standing right in front of the stage and the band asks who can play a certain instrument then I can say that I can play it and then I have chance to come on stage with them xD.
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