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9 Easy-to-Learn Instruments Perfect For Beginners

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Learning to play a musical instrument can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Not only does it provide a creative outlet, but it has also been shown to reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and boost happiness.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder many people desire to pick up an instrument. However, the vast array of options coupled with the dedication required to master an instrument can seem daunting to beginners.

The good news is there are a number of instruments widely regarded as ideal for novices thanks to their ease of play, forgiving nature, and quick learning curve. Among these, the piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and drums rank among the most popular choices. However, easy-to-learn instruments like the ukulele, harmonica, xylophone, and others are rising in popularity, especially among new musicians.

For those seeking a fun and relatively frustration-free entry point into the wonderful world of playing music, here are 9 easy-to-learn instruments perfect for beginners.

1.    Triangle

As one of the most basic percussion instruments, the triangle is extremely beginner-friendly. Holding and striking the small metal rod requires very little coordination or technique. Beginners can focus on listening and creating simple rhythms.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Learning to properly hold the triangle vertically
  • Using a wrist-flicking motion to make the rod strike the edges
  • Practicing basic beats and rhythms

With its straightforward playing method and bright ringing tone, the triangle allows complete novices to easily create music.

2.    Saxophone

Inspired by some of the best songs with saxophone, many are drawn to the captivating allure of this woodwind instrument. The saxophone is versatile and, with some dedication, can be an excellent choice for beginners. While mastering the embouchure and playing technique does take practice, the saxophone’s forgiving nature is perfect for novices.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Learning proper mouth, tongue, and hand positioning
  • Beginning with the alto saxophone as it requires less air support
  • Practicing long tones, scales, and simple melodies

With regular practice sessions and by setting incremental goals, even first-time players can grasp the fundamentals relatively quickly.

3.    Ukulele

The ukulele is one of the most approachable instruments for novice musicians. Its compact size makes it highly portable and easy to hold. It only has four nylon strings, which are gentler on the fingers than steel strings. The small number of strings also makes it simpler to form chords. The ukulele’s bright, cheerful sound lends itself well to many musical genres. From Hawaiian and reggae to pop and rock, there’s a tremendous variety of songs that can be played on the ukulele.

For beginners, a soprano or concert ukulele is recommended over the larger tenor and baritone models.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Practicing chord changes slowly and gradually increasing speed
  • Making use of chord charts
  • Taking advantage of the wealth of online tutorials

With consistent practice, beginners can learn to strum basic chords and play simple melodies in a relatively short period of time.

4.    Harmonica

A staple in blues and rock music, the harmonica is another instrument that is quite easy for beginners to pick up. It is highly portable, inexpensive, and requires no special maintenance. While mastering the harmonica takes time and practice like any instrument, it’s possible for beginners to grasp the basics relatively quickly.

The most common 10-hole diatonic harmonica only requires single notes and bends, so beginners can focus on technique without worrying about complex chords.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Learning proper embouchure by shaping the mouth correctly around the holes
  • Beginning with easy songs in the key of C
  • Practicing breathing techniques

Online video tutorials can provide visual guidance on proper hand positioning and using the tongue to articulate notes and rhythms.

5.    Xylophone

The xylophone offers an especially accessible entry point into instrumental music for younger beginners. Its laid-out, keyed bars make it easy for novice players to quickly pick out melodies and play full songs. The xylophone’s bright, resonant sound provides instant auditory feedback to reinforce learning. Since no breath control is required, beginners can focus solely on striking the bars with mallets.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Learning proper mallet grip and technique
  • Practicing scales and simple songs
  • Corresponding to the colored bars of the specific notes

Beginners can also break down songs note-by-note and build up gradually to playing full pieces.

6.    Glockenspiel

Similar to the xylophone, the glockenspiel’s keyed metal bars make it simple for beginners to play melodies. The glockenspiel creates a bright, bell-like sound when struck with mallets. Having no breath control requirements, beginners can simply focus on striking the correct bars to produce tunes.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Practicing scales and simple songs
  • Learning proper mallet technique
  • Taking advantage of the color-coded bars

The glockenspiel offers an accessible starting point for kids to learn the foundations of instrumental technique and reading music notation.

7.    Bongos

The small size of bongos makes them highly portable and easy to position. The basic technique involves striking the drumheads with the hands to create rhythms.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Learning proper hand positioning and posture
  • Starting slowly with basic beats
  • Practicing rhythmic patterns and fills

Compared to a full drum kit, the bongos require less coordination since only the hands are used. The two small drums can be played separately to create interlocking rhythms or together to provide a foundational beat.

8.    Slide Whistle

Like the kazoo, the slide whistle offers an easy entry into playing melodies for beginners. It only requires using the mouth to blow air and sliding a piston up and down to change pitches. Creating swooping and glissando sound effects comes naturally.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Practicing adjusting embouchure to maintain consistent airflow
  • Listening carefully to match pitches accurately
  • Sliding slowly between notes to hit the right intervals.

With a single sliding motion controlling the pitch, even novice musicians can start playing tunes on the slide whistle right away.

9.    Ocarina

This ancient flute-like instrument has a sweet, delicate sound that is perfect for beginners. The ocarina is made from ceramic or plastic and played like a recorder with an embouchure hole and finger holes.

Useful tips to follow when starting out include:

  • Starting slowly with basic finger patterns and simple songs
  • Paying close attention to producing clear notes
  • Taking advantage of the ocarina’s full octave range

Its affordable price, gentle sound, and straightforward design make the ocarina an accessible wind instrument for novices.


The path to learning a musical instrument can seem daunting for absolute beginners. However, the aforementioned easy-to-learn instruments are a great place to start. While practice and dedication are required, beginners can grasp the basics and start playing enjoyable music right away. This builds confidence to continue advancing skills over time.

For those seeking a fun and relatively easy entry point into the immensely rewarding world of playing instruments, these user-friendly options hit all the right notes!

Also, Read – 5 Simple Musical Instruments to Learn in College

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