If you’re keen on music, love listening to it and have always dreamed of learning to play an instrument, the best time to start learning is right now. Perhaps you love the sound of many different genres and instruments and can’t figure out which instrument is for you. Let’s explore how you go about deciding which instrument to get started on first.
What kind of music do you listen to most regularly? If it’s classical music perhaps piano/keyboard lessons would serve you better for the meanwhile than guitar, however you could also look at classical guitar lessons if that’s your interest.
What instrument is most practical for your current lifestyle? You’ll have to consider the price and size of the instrument. (Having a grand piano in a tiny apartment can be tricky to say the least!) Perhaps a keyboard with a headphone jack would suit you better, as you’d be able to practice late at night when the kids are sleeping or even better, when your kid is practicing and you’re trying to sleep.
Is there a specific music teacher you’d like to learn from? If you already have a music teacher in mind I’d suggest you go for the instrument they currently teach, as you want to learn from them and they can show you the basic music ideas. You can always move on to another instrument later on as the more instruments you learn the better. I prove my point in (Some advantages of being a multi-instrumentalist.)
Do you have a musical family member or friend? If you already have a family full of guitar players, perhaps choosing to learn the keyboard will give you the option to add diversity to the music you make together, as well as the knowledge you can share. This could also help you in the music industry down the line. In my industry experience I’ve always found there’s a shortage of good keyboard and synth players. However, having a family member or friend that already plays the instrument you’d like to learn can also be used to your advantage, as you’d have someone to learn from or even play songs with.
Do you already admire an instrumentalist? If you already have a favourite musician and are dying to learn their songs as soon as possible, then that’s already a motivation to learn the instrument they play. In fact, I often ask my students on their first lesson what music they listen to and even who their favourite player is.
Is there a band that you’d love to join? Maybe your school friends have a band or are looking to start one and need musicians to join. I’d suggest starting the instrument they need straight away and suggesting to them they use you. Or perhaps there’s a local pub or church band that needs players. That’s actually what motivated me to play., I had friends at school who wanted to start a punk rock band and I was so keen that I started playing guitar just to join in the fun. I wasn’t any good at first but I was in the band!.
Do you need to take an instrument for school? This one is tricky because your motivation shouldn’t be for grades or to meet a certain academic requirement, at least it wasn’t for me. However, if you must choose, try to go over these points to help you figure out what instrument you’d like the most.
Just choose one and start. Lastly, start by starting. Just choose one you think you like and you’ll quickly figure out how much work it requires or whether you like it or not. As I’ve said, the awesome thing about music is the more instruments you play, the more you can play, so start with one and think about starting another when you think you have a grasp on the first one. Ask your teacher to be honest and suggest what instrument to play next.
I hope that answers some of your questions about which instrument to choose. If you love listening to music, playing an instrument is truly a joy.