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

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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!

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Discussion

Which instrument would you like to learn?

Comments

touyen's picture
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touyen 25 June, 2020 - 04:55

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.

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editor_rachael 25 June, 2020 - 10:45

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,

 

Rachael
LearnEnglish Teens team

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Kimthoa172's picture
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Kimthoa172 19 June, 2020 - 07:59

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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Giovannichoi's picture
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Giovannichoi 6 April, 2020 - 14:05

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.

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1Eg's picture
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1Eg 16 October, 2019 - 08:30

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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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 17 October, 2019 - 13:40

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)

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Scorpio's picture
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Scorpio 2 October, 2019 - 04:17

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.

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Adriana_I's picture
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Adriana_I 27 August, 2019 - 14:43

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 :)

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Youjiro's picture
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Youjiro 7 February, 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.

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BlueSnake's picture
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BlueSnake 18 June, 2018 - 10:46

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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Dasharik159's picture
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Dasharik159 26 August, 2017 - 13:21

I like three instruments: violin, piano and guitar, but I choose guitar. Some time later I understood that it is too hard for me, because I have never worked with music instruments, so I bought ukulele!!! It is a small guitar with for strings and ,of course, It is much easier to learn play it at home in your own, using videos from youtube.
I advice this instrument, I have choosen ukulele soprano, it is the smallest model of ukulele.
It sound perfectly and don`t loudly, so you can play at home and don't worry about neigbours.

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Ken's picture
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Ken 27 August, 2017 - 12:55

Sounds good! Hula〜hula!
I'd like to choose a lute. But sadly enough, peaple say that it is better suited for a person who is sensitive and has nimble fingers.
( ・᷄ꃪ・᷅)˞ᵋᵌ

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QueenPinkBluebel's picture
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QueenPinkBluebel 19 July, 2017 - 20:38

I would really like to play the guitare or the piano because I love the melodies that both of the instruments make.

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rosyclouds's picture
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rosyclouds 18 March, 2017 - 09:05

I would like to learn how to play the accordion! I always imagine giving a performance in front of my classmates. And in many movies, the accordion music adds lustre to the plot. To achieve my dream, I'd first practise playing the piano more!

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Rami34's picture
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Rami34 19 May, 2016 - 01:33

Sometimes I play piano but I'm not a master playing piano and I would like to know how to play it well because almost every song I hear can be played on piano.

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PingoLaEmpanada's picture
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PingoLaEmpanada 18 May, 2016 - 01:52

I love play the musical instruments
i cant play guitar, Bass, Drums, Hand pan Drum
A but my favorite instrument is the guitar or the drum
i love the rock, but i like all genere musical

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Ken's picture
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Ken 2 March, 2016 - 05:56

My younger bro plys drums.
He was a member of a chior.
I play the piano.
‎♪
‎*॰ْ✧ً⋆。˚٩(´͈౪`͈٩)⋆。˚*ْ✧ं॰*

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