Have you ever had some sort of goal that you wanted to achieve but ended up procrastinating forever and ever? Now ten years passed and you look back at your life and think to yourself: well… maybe in the next ten years I will do it? I am definitely a serial procrastinator, especially when it comes to something that is not mandatory. That is why my goal of going to the gym has been a dream for about 5 years now… That being said, there might be a reason apart from laziness why you are not taking on some task.
For instance, if you have always wanted to learn to play an instrument but never ended up doing anything about it maybe the reason is that you think it will take too much time or effort. Maybe it might cost too much and you do not want to be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a hobby. Even though learning a new skill might be hard there are some ways to make it easier for yourself.
If you do not have a particular instrument in mind starting with an easier instrument can be a great idea. That being said, if you do not dedicate a little bit of time to even the easiest instrument nothing is going to end up happening. That is why I have compiled a short list of instruments such as ukuleles and bongos that are easier to master. Also, an added bonus of most “easy to play” instruments is that they are not that expensive either.
Probably everyone, unless you live under a rock, has heard Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Kamakawiwoʻole can (kind of) be credited for the resurgence of the popularity of the ukulele. Well, that and also thousands of hipster kids obsessing over cute songs played on ukuleles. While there are four main varieties of ukuleles: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone, the soprano is the most popular one.
All four of them are different in size and due to the size difference, there is also a slight difference in the sound and comfort of the instrument. Most ukuleles come at a very low cost, compared to guitars. So that is one of the biggest bonuses. There are so many tutorials on youtube that show how to play ukuleles that you will not be lacking in resources. Also, unlike the 6 string guitars, ukuleles only have 4 strings making them that much easier. You can basically start practicing on your ukulele on Monday and by Friday already play some simple tunes.
A harmonica is another great option if you are looking for an instrument that will not be too hard to play. If you love jazz, blues, and folk (and of course other genres), harmonica will be great to play some of your favorite tunes. It also helps that most harmonicas are really cheap and extremely compact. You can take harmonica everywhere which makes it even easier to play it. Are you waiting in your car for your kid to finish his guitar practice? Whip out your harmonica and start practicing. Are you in the line at your grocery store? Well… I don’t know if you should practice harmonica while a total stranger is standing 1 ft away from you but you get the gist.
A xylophone is one of the easiest percussion instruments to master. And although you might think it would fit your 5-year-old kid’s interests more, it can be used to play some great tunes. For instance, Pink Floyd uses the xylophone is their “Time”. Apart from that, you can do a lot of cool covers of songs. It is extremely easy to play on a xylophone and it will provide a nice basic skill so that you can move on to more complicated
Have you always wanted to be in a band, or drive around different cities as your fans collapse from excitement when you walk past them? I am pretty sure anyone at one point or another wanted to be a rockstar (ADMIT IT!). Unfortunately, most of us do not end up to be famous musicians because of various reasons. One of the reasons is that you have no idea how to play any of the instruments that a band might need. In comes the tambourine! This instrument is fairly easy to master and surprisingly enough is used in a lot of bands. One of my favorite songs by the legendary band, The Cure, in fact, has a tambourine part in it:
I used to have a roommate that one magical day decided to buy bongos and nothing has been the same since. She used to play it day and night, twenty-four-seven. And although that was kind of annoying I get her. Bongos are really cool instruments that do not require that much experience. Bongos are Afro-Cuban percussion instruments that became extremely popular in the 1920s. They usually come at quite a low cost, about $50 and do not require a lot of experience (I mean as a hobby, of course, there are a lot of professional musicians who are amazing at it).
Whether you are looking for an easy-to-master instrument for yourself or for your kid, these are some of the few great options available out there. People say it is harder for adults to learn new skills which I don’t even know is true. But in any case ukulele, banjo, harmonica and many more are great instruments on their own, without the extra bonus of being easy to play. AND they can serve as your first steps into the world of music and afterwards you can learn playing on a more “complicated” instrument.