Thomas Jefferson spoke six languages. While it’s not realistic for most of us to reach that level of self-improved attainment, there are other ways to better ourselves. One of the best and most enjoyable ways to do so is to learn to play a musical instrument.
The best way to learn a music instrument is to understand that people like Miles Davis, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and Bach once touched a musical instrument for the first time, and it did NOT sound the way you heard them play it. The culture behind learning a music instrument starts with patience, continues through practice, and may take a lifetime to master. If you have made the decision to learn how to play a music instrument, then you are on the road to officially becoming a musician.
The main question that many of us struggle with is which instrument should we learn? Read on to learn what may be the best instrument for you, how you can get better at it, and how to eventually become a skilled musician.
Learn to Play the Drums
Although the drums aren’t necessarily the easiest instrument to learn, they are a great choice for a first instrument. Learning how to play the drums allows you to use all four of your limbs separately, which can pay off later-on as you learn different instruments. The quickest way to learn how to play the drums is to take music lessons, which allows the instructor to watch for your small mistakes and modify them as you play; more importantly, having a music teacher forces you to be more discipline with your learning.
Before bothering everybody in your household and your neighborhood, it is recommended for beginners to learn on an electric drum set, only because you can put headphones on and practice for hours at a time without receiving too many complaints. One of the most popular electronic drum sets on the market is the Roland TD-11K-S, which gives you great features from a built-in metronome for proper learning, to training features that allow you to play along with popular songs and even get feedback and coaching tips from the Roland’s system. There are other extremely reputable electronic drum sets on the market, so choose what suits you best.
If you decide you want to hit the drums a little harder, start with a standard five-piece acoustic drum set, which doesn’t necessary mean you are a beginner; drummers like John Bonham of Led Zeppelin played a five-piece set his whole legendary career. The key to effectively learning the drums is to not rush the learning process, dedicate time every single day to playing, and to play to a metronome, which is something most drummers fail to do. If you do these things daily, you will be doing your drum solos in no time.
Guitar Basics for Aspiring Shredders
It is no secret guitarists are the coolest ones in the band. Whether you want to play in your room and create some music, pull out your acoustic guitar around the campfire and impress your friends, or plug your electric guitar in and jam on stage, a guitar is always a hit. The most basic types of guitars are: Bass guitars, Electric Guitars, and of course the iconic Acoustic Guitar.
The bass guitar is considered one of the simplest to learn, yet extremely hard to master, because even though you have wider frets for your fingers, you need to hold the bass for the whole band or other with which musicians you’re playing. The bass guitar is the least popular amongst guitars, because it produces low, dull sounds, which, unless you are Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers or the legendary Bootsy, playing the bass without other instruments won’t be as fun.
The electric and the acoustic guitars go hand in hand, considering when you learn one, you will automatically know how to play the other. It is recommended for beginners to start on an acoustic guitar for a few reasons: you get to build calluses on your fingertips from pressing the strings harder to produce clean notes, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on other accessories and guitar parts, like an amp or cables, and because you can easily take it anywhere you go, which means more practice time.
Electric guitars are incredible as well, as they allow you to wrap your hands around them easier, since you don’t have to press too hard on the strings like the acoustic guitar. There are numerous brands of great electronic guitars on the market, but the Fender Telecaster has received some of the best reviews from beginner and advanced musicians.
The best way to learn how to play guitar is to play the guitar and play it every chance you get. Be sure to explore the internet, as it holds extremely valuable information and videos that are designed for beginners, as well as intermediate and even expert level musicians. Music teachers recommend beginner guitar players learn the basic chords first, as it allows you to break the awkwardness of your fingers, and also teaches you to transition smoothly around the guitar.
Be sure to have a guitar tuner handy, unless you want to practice off-tune, which will never sound like real music. It is simple, if you learn the guitar, you will immediately become a cooler human being.
Keyboard / Piano
There is no doubt the piano is the foundation of music. Learning how to play the keyboard can be a great way to get a full understanding of music, which will allow you to transition quickly to other instruments. The keyboard is an electronic version of the piano, only with many more features, as well as much more mobility.
The keyboard is both the easiest and the hardest to learn, because you can learn to follow specific songs with one finger, and as you get better, you will start using chords, and eventually, you will be able to play chords with both hands.
Although the Piano is one of the most visually and audibly pleasing instruments, owning one can set you back thousands and thousands of dollars, not to mention the square footage, as it is simply huge in size. The keyboard is a great way to master the piano, and even though it is recommended you learn how to read piano music sheets, there is nothing wrong with learning how to play first; in fact, legends like Eddie Van Halen only knew how to play the piano by watching and listening; he was never able to read music.
To understand the piano, first learn the different key placements, which are the notes, then learn how to go from playing a note to playing the chord of that specific note, and finally, practice consistently until you can play along to songs – eventually you can even create your very own songs.
Regardless of the instrument you choose, it is important to just pick an instrument and start playing it. Learning how to play music is like knowing another language that not everyone can speak. Whenever you are sad, bored, happy, or excited, picking up a music instrument and making it do as you say is a feeling that is simply one of a kind. The most important tip to learning a music instrument is to anticipate the discouragement, and know that consistency will make you a great musician sooner or later – so start jamming out.