Musical Instruments

35If you’ve never played an instrument seriously before, you’re missing out on a relaxing and mind enhancing activity. Guitar and piano are probably the most popular instruments, but there are dozens of different instruments to choose from. You can rent instruments from music stores to try them out, a great idea if you can’t decide. But whatever your choice, pursue it with enthusiasm and you’ll find music to be a very rewarding pastime. Play for your own enjoyment, or make it a goal to form your own band!

Guitar

Guitar is a popular instrument because it is portable and used in so many popular songs today. You can pick up a starter guitar for a little over a hundred dollars. Then the question becomes:

Electric or Not? Electric is Loud. You can’t play “Kum-baya” with Electric. Electrics do Bon Jovi, U-2 and Coldplay. You can pick up a starter electric guitar kit for around $300. The kit will include the guitar and an amplifier, and hopefully some strings and a tuner as well.

If you like a softer sound or a more portable option, get an Acoustic or Classical guitar. Sometimes any non-electric guitar is called “acoustic,” but when you go into the store to buy one, make sure you know the difference. A classical guitar has nylon strings and has a softer sound. The acoustic guitar has steel strings and is often used for many modern pop and jazz. The steel will hurt your fingers until calluses form, but don’t use that as an excuse not to get an acoustic guitar. The best thing to do is to go to a guitar store and play both before deciding which you like. Don’t worry about not knowing any chords – just sit down and pluck a few strings.

You can either learn basic guitar in a class format, or through a book and/or video. After you learn some basics, though, you will benefit from lessons where a teacher or a more advanced player can impart some of their practical wisdom.

Piano

You can start with an inexpensive keyboard around a hundred dollars. It will have a few rhythms and tones to help your simple playing sound like a full band. As you get better, you’ll enjoy a more expensive keyboard with more sound options, or a regular piano, which looks great in your living room.

Most piano players choose to learn to read music, something which can be learned through video or instructional books at first. Once you learn basic notes, you can learn some simple chords for your left hand and start to sound great! If you want to progress quickly, take private or small group lessons.

Sheet Music

Musicnotes.com has an impressive catalog of over 40,000 digital sheet music titles that has been built on the strength of content agreements with Warner Bros. Publications, BMG, Universal Music Publishing, Famous Music, Peer Music, EMI Christian, Bug Music and others. They also carry a complete catalog of over 260,000 mail-order items in their online catalog. The Musicnotes multi-genre catalog includes everything from Josh Groban and Coldplay to George Gershwin and Beethoven.