To learn a musical instrument can be a string to your bow. A violin, viola, or cello, all feature in the string section of an orchestra. A guitar, although considered a percussion instrument, also has strings. As does a banjo or ukulele. They are all played by pressing the fingers down on certain strings at their neck and then bowing, plucking, or strumming on the notes below to play the note or chord. With a harp, the strings are only ever plucked.
So, this article will look at which musical instruments, that have a string attached to them, are the easiest to learn to play on for a beginner.
The ukulele is considered the easiest stringed instrument to learn on. This is partly due to its size for children to handle and the simplicity of it only having four strings, whereas a guitar has six. It is also light to hold, whereas electric guitars are heavy, even when supported by a strap. Also, its strings are all nylon and so gentler on the fingertips and so do not create the pain to the finger a guitar would initially. A plectrum can be used, however.
The advantage of the smaller size of ukuleles is that the stretch between strings is less than on a guitar, reducing wrist tension and creating an easier reach for younger learners. It is the stretching that is likely to put many new learners off playing an instrument such as a guitar if it is what they are first introduced to.
We want to feel comfortable playing because there is enough to consider when learning a new musical instrument. The rewards are to look forward to, though, as you can soon be playing your favorite music, pleasing your family, and impressing your friends. Why not then, when you have sufficiently mastered the instrument, busk in public for extra income or pocket money, and to become more confident around crowds?
A famous banjo-ukulele player of the past was George Formby, who older relatives might remember. He combined the instrument to great effect while singing sometimes quite controversial lyrics.
Bowed instruments are generally considered difficult to learn because they are sensitive and complex instruments. However, compared to a guitar, a violin is easier to learn because the strings on a guitar are thicker, rougher, and harder for beginners to press down on.
The lead violin is the lead instrument of an orchestra and the one that the other instruments tune to and follow. It is quite a prestigious position to hold to be the lead violinist in an orchestra. The violin is not just used to play classical music, though. When termed a fiddle, it is used to play folk music, country music, and bluegrass. If you visit Ireland, you will hear it played inside many pubs as you enjoy a drink.
The violin has been made popular in more recent years by the likes of Nigel Kennedy and Nicola Benedetti. Nigel for his rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Nicola for winning the Young Musician of The Year competition on BBC television in May 2004, at the age of 16. Since then, Nicola has filled concert halls playing classical music.
Despite the difficulties mentioned, the guitar is still considered an instrument that you can teach yourself on. You have the choice between strumming chords or playing actual notes. It can be just a case of knowing just three chords to play the backing track to many tunes. In this instance, it can be accompanied by you singing your favorite tunes from the hit parade, or pop charts, as it is known today.
The guitar heroes from the past such as Jimi Hedrix, Hank Marvin of The Shadows, and Bryan May from Queen, are now joined by the lead guitarist from Coldplay, Jonny Buckland, and Mark Sheehan of the script, to name a few.
To sum up… There are three musical instruments to get you started. If you have space and want to form a beat as well as rhythm, why not consider the drums? Every rock and pop group needs a drummer.