Sports & Hobby

Learning A Musical Instrument For The First Time

Whether you are a child or a grown adult, learning a musical instrument for the first time may seem like a taunting chore. However, musical instruments provide more than just enjoyment and music. Playing music actually helps you learn other subjects quicker than without a musical background, from learning a new language to mastering a math class. To start out, you should choose an instrument that emits a pleasing sound to your ears, and learn as much about it as possible. From lessons to recitals, every musically-inclined person can master an instrument if they dedicate time to it.

Sri Lankan Influences

If you are looking through the classifieds for an interesting instrument to select, you’ll see that this country and region has an eclectic collection of influences. Europeans that colonized the area years ago brought their musical culture, including guitars. Trade with Africa, and nearby India, makes their influences apparent through folk music and other traditional sounds. Even the spread of rock music has made its mark on the younger culture. However, even with modern sounds permeating the region, Sri Lanka still maintains its roots through traditional drumming and singing.


One of the simplest instruments to start with is the drums. From a small hand drum to an entire rock drum set, all you truly need is rhythm. Begin by striking the drum with a consistent beat. If you have a metronome, turn it to a medium rhythm to get used to the percussion timing. Drumming has deep roots in Sri Lanka, incorporating dances with the beat.

If you have a family gathering, bring out your drums to start a fun, rhythmic dance. It gives you practice, while showing everyone the excitement instilled within musical instruments. For a different sound, try using drumsticks to enhance the beat. They will save your hands from fatigue while you maintain a beat for an entire song or dance.


Although it may appear complicated, pianos are one of the best instruments to start on. Each key indicates a musical note. Because they are all laid out in front of you, it is possible to see all the musical note combinations, from B flat to C sharp.

Learning to play piano goes hand-in-hand with understanding sheet music. Similar to learning a different language, music notes tell a story. You place your fingers on each key, matching a note. As you practice, you learn where all the notes are on the piano, along with easily reading the sheet music. With this knowledge in mind, you can play any song with written sheet music available.


The guitar is a gateway instrument, leading you to play other similar instruments. For example, you learn to play the acoustic guitar. After mastering it, you can apply that knowledge to a bass guitar, electric guitar or even a ukelele. Each string indicates a note, based on your fingering on the neck and major strings.

You can even start a band with your guitar knowledge. Teaching your friends how to play the guitar only solidifies the information in your mind, along with creating a diverse band with different instruments. Parties will never be the same in your neighborhood.

Rent Or Borrow

Once you’ve decided on an instrument, you need to have one handy everyday. Although you may be tempted to purchase a shiny new instrument, it is a better idea to either rent or borrow one. As you play it, you may discover the instrument is not for you. By renting or borrowing, you can easily turn the instrument in for another type.

Most music stores that sell instruments also rent them. Talking to your local store owner is the best way to secure a quality instrument with a reasonable monthly fee. Alternatively, borrow an instrument from a friend or family member. Take care of the instrument, whether your rent or borrow it, however. Instruments tend to be expensive, if you need to replace one.

Take Lessons

If you enjoy tinkering with a particular instrument, consider taking lessons to truly play it well. When a music teacher, or experienced friend, teaches you about holding and playing the instrument correctly, you develop muscle memory. Over time, your body will hold the guitar pick at the right angle or you’ll strike the right chord on a piano, for example.

Lessons do not need to be expensive. As a trade-off, offer to perform chores around the teacher’s home, if you cannot pay them a significant amount. Lessons at a music academy, however, need to be paid promptly. Alternatively, look around your neighborhood for an experienced musician that offers lessons. Passionate musicians typically want to spread their knowledge to keep the music industry thriving with new talent.

Practice Everyday

You can’t just take lessons and avoid your instrument for the rest of the week. Practice is the only way to get better with any instrument. Try to practice for an hour each day to truly master the instrument. If you have a teacher, they typically give you scales to practice. Although they may not be exciting, scales encourage muscle memory and help you remember notes by memory. You may not need sheet music for certain songs, for instance, if you know the notes by just playing them on the instrument. When you return to your teacher at the end of the week, they’ll be excited to see your progress.

Be Passionate

Visit a music store to find sheet music that you enjoy. If you like a song that you are playing, you are more likely to practice until it is perfect. Some sheet music comes as a compilation book, complete with a compact disc. This CD typically has instrumental music to accompany your instrument. When you feel ready, play the CD along with your instrument. You’ll find that the sounds blend together, making the song come alive with another depth. In essence, you are playing with a symphony orchestra when you play the CD.

Schedule A Performance

To help you concentrate on certain songs, schedule a performance. Recitals are perfect opportunities to showcase your talent. By giving yourself a deadline, you practice more and more to make the songs perfect. At the recital, your playing may encourage others to start learning their own instrument, enriching the neighborhood’s culture and learning potential.

Experiment With Sounds

One of the benefits of mastering an instrument is creating your own sound. Once you have a good grasp of the instrument’s use, experiment with different sounds. Try harmonizing different chords together or play a simple song with a friend backing you up on drums. You may come up with a new sound that no one has ever considered. New genres of music are explored and discovered each day, making it possible for you to be part of a cultural revolution.

Learning a musical instrument is a commitment that can last a lifetime. If you play an instrument as an adult, you can teach your children the skills for their benefit. Talk to any local music teachers to find out what instrument best suits you. There are many instruments that you can potentially select that offer a beautiful tone, including percussion, strings and brass models. Try an instrument today to enhance your life.

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