What’s Your Gateway Instrument to Music?
It is common to feel lost while trying to decide which instrument to choose to delve into the world of music with. Here are some of the common choices for beginners, along with the pros and cons to help you make the decision.
The guitar is probably the most popular choice. It's one of the most versatile instruments available, fit for both a solo performance or as an accompaniment to vocal singing. While it may not be the best option to learn music theory with, it does have a multitude of playstyles and is very mobile.
Many take to keyboards as its layout is really nice to figure out melodies and harmonies. The wonderful seven-octave range makes playing both the bass and treble sections possible at the same time. Best of all, electronic keys come with dozens of different instruments' sample sounds to choose from. However, it is not exactly travel friendly, and requires either an electric outlet or batteries to be set up, unlike the guitar.
Drums are the rhythm drivers for a wide range of genres, and the prospect of being the one leading the grooves is nothing short of attractive. Unfortunately, one of the downsides one may experience is missing out on the melodic side of music, but a full set of drums bring with them great opportunities to explore various sides of music. If this is your choice, be prepared for emptied wallets and half a room worth of space gone.
Casual players often go for the ukulele. Its bright tone works nice as an accompanying instrument for certain genres of music like folk or pop, but at the cost of an empty bass range. The chord shapes are quite simple and the nylon strings are easy on the finger, so the instrument is also perfect for younger music enthusiasts.
Flutes, while a monophonic instrument, have more presence in comparison. The rich timbre of the instrument draws in aspiring soloists. Flutes require one to learn extensive breathing techniques and control in addition to fingering, so the learning curve is a bit steep. But its exceptional ability to add emotion to melodies, makes the pain of learning it worth it.
The harmonium is preferred by classical music learners. While it's good as a lead instrument, the tone of the harmonium often does not go well with a lot of popular music genres, leading to its declining popularity. It remains one of the best instruments to supplement vocal exercises due to its lasting sustain though.
There's a running joke that people pick up a bass guitar when they aren't good enough to play the good old six strings, which unfortunately has some amount of truth to it. The rest, however, just feel that the standard guitar sounds weak and needs something thicker, with more of a bite to it.
Sabih Safwat has tried half a dozen instruments and failed to get good at any of them. Remind him to get some practice done at firstname.lastname@example.org