6 Simple Musical Instruments You Can Play

Music has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. Through the years, I’ve played a variety of instruments and written hundreds of songs. I’d even go as far to say that songwriting has been my therapist. Music is a wonderful thing. Today, I’ll introduce 6 simple musical instruments that you can easily learn to play.

I know what many of you are thinking: “But I’m too old to learn an instrument.” Phooey! Although I played trumpet as a kid, I’ve learned all the instruments that I currently play as an adult.

It’s Never Too Late To Start A Musical Journey

I’ll be quick to admit that I’m no master of any instrument, but I can play many well. Here’s a list of the instruments that I currently play in order of skill:

  • Guitar
  • Drums 
  • Percussion
  • Voice
  • Harmonica
  • Piano
  • Ukulele
  • Mandolin
  • Banjo
  • Concertina

Although I don’t play all of these instruments in their traditional styles, I am proficient at all of them, except the concertina. I don’t make this list to show off, but to set a premise for this post. I’ve learned all of these instruments as an adult. If I can do it, so can you. I’m basing the following list off of my own experience.

Musical Instruments That Anybody Can Learn

  1. Drums: I started playing drums at the age of 20. I started by simply buying a pair of drum sticks. You can use sticks or your hands on almost any surface to create rhythms. There are all sorts of simple hand drums you can play, too. Bongos, congas, box drums, tambourines, and shakers are all simple, inexpensive, and easy to learn.  
  2. Harmonica: This is a minimalist instrument. It fits into your pocket. It’s also easy to learn. A diatonic harmonica is fun for beginners. It’s easy to pick out simple familiar melodies like Oh Suzana and Amazing Grace.
  3. Piano: Although I’m a better guitarist than pianist, piano is easier to learn. First, piano does not require the same kind of finger strength as a guitar. Second, piano is laid out in a way that makes learning simple music theory a breeze.
  4. Ukulele: There’s been a surge of cool in regard to ukulele. In the past ten years, ukuleles have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. First, they’re one of the easiest stringed instruments to play. Second, they have a very peaceful and relaxing vibe.
  5. Banjo: A banjo is physically easier to play than a guitar. It’s also tuned to an open chord. That means there are more chords that are simple to play. 
  6. Voice: If you don’t think any of these instruments suit you, why not sing? Singing is good for you. Singing exercises your lungs and your cardio-vascular system. Why not start singing today?

You Don’t Have To Be A Pro, Just Relax

One reason many people give up on learning a musical instrument is that they feel like they do not make enough progress. They envision themselves playing or singing like their favorite musicians. Get over it! That’s not the point. The point is to practice daily discipline and tap into your creativity.

If you practice every day, I promise you that you’ll improve. It takes time, but one day you’ll discover that you can play things you never thought possible. Stick with it and you’ll find that playing music is a great form of relaxation.

How does playing one of these 6 simple musical instruments fit into the minimalist philosophy? Simple. Other than a traditional piano or a full drum kit, these are all small instruments. You can also learn to play simple and repetitive patterns: minimalist music.

I hope you’ll consider learning one of these 6 simple musical instruments. I know I’ve found countless hours of joy, relaxation, and camaraderie playing music.

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James Ewen
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