What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (2023)

What’s the easiest musical instrument to learn for adults? Let’s talk about that with specific examples.

What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (1)

There could be many reasons you didn’t learn any instrument as a child. Maybe you couldn’t afford it, or you didn’t have any interest at the time.

However, it’s never too late to learn! Learning an instrument as an adult is fun, rewarding, and more comfortable than you think.

Playing an instrument comes with several health benefits, too!

So, What’s The Easiest Instrument to Learn?

By now, you should be eager to pick up and learn. We’ve shown you why you should learn how you should learn, and now we’re about to help you decide what you should learn.

Our next list will cover which instruments are the easiest to learn for adult beginners. Enjoy!


What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (2)

They aren’t miniature guitars! Ukuleles have their unique sound and a vast, loyal following across the globe. They were once heard almost exclusively in Hawaiian music and have now broken out into the mainstream.

The four nylon strings make the Ukulele less complicated to play than the guitar, and they’re made from nylon, which is kinder to your fingers. Being smaller, everything is closer together, making chords far more comfortable to play.


What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (3)

Guitars are fantastic instruments because you can learn the basics fairly quickly, yet they offer a lifetime of opportunity to improve your skills.

Bass guitars are generally considered the easiest to learn, as they have fewer strings, and you can play great-sounding bass riffs, which are incredibly simple and easy to learn.

(Video) What is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn?

Once you’ve learned the basic techniques involved with playing the guitar, you’ll be able to strum chords along to your favorite songs. With time and practice, you’ll be able to tackle the more advanced techniques.

Melodica / Pianica

What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (4)

A reed instrument and a piano had a child. They called it the melodica (or pianica).

It’s simple to play – blow into the mouthpiece and play the keys like you would on a piano or keyboard. Unlike a piano, though, you don’t need to learn to play with both hands.

These quirky instruments have been used in mainstream music since the 60s.


What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (5)

The harmonica is deceptively easy to learn. It’s inexpensive and widely used across various genres such as jazz, folk, rock, and pop, making it a great choice if you’d like to learn to play music styles.

You can learn how to play harmonica – on a fundamental level – in around two weeks. Even basic harmonica sounds groovy as hell.


What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (6)

A popular instrument in Latin and African music, the bongos, is entertaining and easy to play! After learning the basic techniques, there is no right or wrong way to play the bongo.

You can experiment with different rhythm patterns and slap away to your heart’s content. As long as you play with a rhythm, it’s impossible to make the bongos sound bad.

(Video) Top 5 Instruments that You Can Learn at Home

Xylophone / Glockenspiel

What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (7)

This instrument is nostalgic for most of us, having had, or at least played, a xylophone when we were kids. With a dreamy, angelic sound, the xylophone is easy to play and serves as an essential part of the orchestral rhythm section.

After you’ve mastered the xylophone, the African marimba or the balafon is all more advanced variations for you to play.


What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (8)

This reliable percussive instrument may not sound like the most impressive instrument on its own, but the tambourine shines as part of a rhythm section.

Very straightforward to play. You need to be able to shake and slap in rhythm. If you’re eager to play in a band, instruments like the tambourine serve as a great starter instrument.


What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn for Adult Beginners? (9)

The triangle is the quintessential “I don’t play any instruments” instrument. I’m relatively confident that you can play the triangle already, giving you an idea of how easy it is to learn.

All you need is timing. While it’s true that you won’t have as much fun jamming with a triangle as you would with a guitar, they are popular elements in classical music and a great way into an orchestra or band.

What Are the Benefits of Playing Musical Instruments?

Aside from a sense of profound self-achievement and the ability to blow your friends and family away with your new talent, countless medical studies have proven that learning a musical instrument can have some positive effects both physically and mentally.

(Video) Easiest Instruments for Beginners (you won't need a teacher!)

Improved Language Learning

As learning to read sheet music is similar to learning another language, the techniques and processes used will make any future language learning more comfortable and faster. You’ll be able to pick up Russian in no time! 🙂

Increased Memory Capacity

Learning to play songs has an even stronger positive effect on our ability not only to memorize new thingsbut recall them when needed.

Learning those melodies, chords, and playing techniques will dramatically improve your memory capacity in the long run.

Physical Benefits

Learning to play the drums can be a highly physical experience, improving your endurance, fitness, and overall strength. Similarly, learning to play the guitar requires strength and flexibility in your fingers.

Don’t believe me? Go and shake the hand of an experienced guitar player. Please don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Sharper, More Accurate Hearing

As you learn a musical instrument, you’ll be required to critically listen to your performance and pay close attention to the song you are trying to play.

Listening intently to music will improve your brain’s ability to process audio. You’ll find your hearing becomes more accurate and sharper as you play more.


Many people fail even to start learning a musical instrument, even if they want to. Even more, stop part-way through and never finish learning.

By successfully learning a new instrument, you’ll have far more confidence in your ability to challenge yourself, take up new hobbies, and succeed at everything you do.

How to Start Learning a New Musical Instrument

Once upon a time, you had to pay somebody to teach you. Now, we have a wide variety of ways to learn a new instrument. From the old school approach to self-teaching, here are the different ways to learn.

One on One Lessons

The most expensive, yet the most beneficial. Learning from a qualified teacher, one-on-one tutoring is perhaps the most effective way to learn a new instrument.

You’ll have someone there to teach you the correct techniques, so you learn an instrument the right way, without picking up any bad habits.

Group Lessons

Group lessons still provide you with the knowledge and expertise of an experienced musician, just in a less intimate environment.

You will spend far less time with the teacher and progress at a slower pace. The good thing is that group lessons are significantly cheaper and are a budget-friendly way to learn an instrument as an adult.

(Video) My 5 Favorite Instruments for Beginners

YouTube Tutorials

Incredibly cheap, usually even free. There are YouTube tutorials for just about anything these days. Music tutorials are there in the thousands to be used as a free resource to learn a new instrument.

There are some qualified teachers with professional-looking YouTube channels. They’ll provide you with all the knowledge you need, but you won’t get real-time feedback if you’re doing something wrong.

Online Courses

You can purchase online courses created by professional teachers and experienced musicians to take you from basic theory to advanced techniques.

The advantage here is that you can work at your own pace, although not having the financial commitment or obligation of attending lessons requires more self-motivation.

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  • Best Beginner Mandolin (Reviews-2022)

  • What is the Best Melodica? (Reviews - 2022)


What is an easy instrument for an older person to learn? ›

The Piano

One of the simplest musical instruments that seniors can easily learn is the classical piano. An instrument that requires practice as well as hand-eye co-ordination is the ideal choice for individuals above the age of 50.

What is the top 10 easiest instrument to learn? ›

Top 10 Easiest Instruments for Beginners!
  • Triangle.
  • Xylophone.
  • Harmonica.
  • Bongo Drum.
  • Ukulele.
  • Violin.
  • Flute.
  • Clarinet.
Apr 13, 2022

What is the easiest string instrument to learn for adults? ›

Ukuleles are cheap and fun to play. They are one of the easiest stringed (and fretted) instrument to learn. The size makes them an easy start for both children and adults alike. They only have four strings, and they are closer together than on a guitar.

What is the easiest and cheapest instrument to learn? ›

8 cheap & easy instruments to learn for beginners
  • Acoustic guitar. Not only are acoustic guitars much easier to master than electric guitars, but they're also the cheaper option to buy as far as guitars go. ...
  • Ukulele. ...
  • Keyboard. ...
  • Recorder. ...
  • Harmonica. ...
  • Electronic drums. ...
  • Auxiliary percussion. ...
  • Your voice.
Aug 4, 2022

Which instrument is best for brain? ›

Several studies point towards piano playing making the brain run much more efficiently overall.

What is the easiest instrument to learn without reading music? ›

The easiest instruments to learn are ukulele, harmonica, bongos, piano, and glockenspiel. Learning these instruments as an adult will be straightforward and accessible, and we've included step-by-step tips for each below.

What is a quiet instrument to learn? ›


Musicians consider the Clarinet as one of the quietest musical instruments in a wind band.

What is the #1 hardest instrument to play? ›

1. Violin. The violin is a wooden stringed instrument that's part of a larger family of similar instruments. It's the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in its family and normally has four strings, although some violins can have five.

Is 60 too old to learn a musical instrument? ›

Older adults still have the ability to learn, so don't feel you need to give up on this. Older adults actually benefit from taking on more hobbies and extracurriculars to keep the brain active and stimulated, so picking up a new instrument is a perfect way to do just that.

Is it harder to learn an instrument at an older age? ›

Totally false. While it is possible (and easier) for your cognitive functions to forge new paths during childhood, that doesn't mean that you can't learn to play music as an adult. In fact, because of your life experiences, you're able to bring all of that information to the process.

What instrument takes the shortest to learn? ›

Piano or Keyboard

The piano is arguably the easiest musical instrument for kids to learn and there's a ton of easy songs to learn. It's a great way to introduce children to music, mostly thanks to the simple, logical layout of the keys.

Is 40 too late to learn an instrument? ›

No, forty is not even close to being too old to learn how to play an instrument. In fact, many adults start playing instruments much later, at retirement age for instance.

What age is too late to start an instrument? ›

Of course, if you are older than 9, you can still learn to play an instrument. Teenagers and adults who attend music lessons experience many of the same benefits as younger children. It's never too late to learn.

Am I too old to learn an instrument? ›

The simple answer to this question is NO, you are never too old to learn music or to play an instrument. Assuming you can still use your hands to hold a fork and knife or catch a ball, there are two main things you need to learn to play an instrument.

What is the calmest instrument? ›

If you're looking to calm your nerves, harp music might do the trick. A University of Arizona study explored the healing powers of music and showed that patients are most eased by the harp.

What is the least hardest instrument to play? ›

1. Ukulele – Easiest Instrument to Learn and Play. Loved for their tropical sound, ukuleles are really easy to learn which is why they have become extremely popular in recent years. Well over a million ukuleles are sold every year.

What is harder piano or guitar? ›

Overall, the guitar is easier to learn than the piano. If you consider the layout, learning songs, the ability to self-teach and a few other things, it is an easier instrument. However, it's the easiest on average for everyone. This means for people of all ages.

Can you teach yourself to play an instrument? ›

Yes, you can be self-taught and choose to learn to play an instrument at home through online content. However, although the internet is rich in information, learning from a teacher makes all the difference, especially in art and music.

What is the most rewarding instrument to learn? ›

While the violin has the steepest learning curve, it is also one of the most rewarding instruments, as it is capable of producing an extremely wide range of sounds.

Which musical instrument is good for mental health? ›

A new study suggests that learning a musical instrument like the piano may help people deal with mental health difficulties like depression and anxiety.

Which is harder flute or clarinet? ›

It is easier to start to play flute. Why? The flute is less demanding physically, lighter than clarinet, has less complicated fingerings, and it doesn't have to rely on a reed to produce sound.

Can you learn an instrument if you can't read music? ›

The good news is this: You do not need to be able to read music to learn any musical instrument. Whether you're considering trumpet, piano, guitar, drums, or something else entirely - reading music is not an absolute necessity.

What is the least popular instrument to play? ›

The most popular instruments they sell are the saxophone, flute and clarinet, with the least popular being the tuba, French horn and the bassoon. We caught up with them to find out more about these endangered instruments.

What is a good solo instrument? ›

The piano reigns supreme as the ultimate solo instrument. It has 88 keys as well as the ability to play complete orchestrations. It's pretty obvious that the piano is the king of solo repertoire – it's not even close!

What is the most forgotten instrument? ›

Fading Echoes: Forgotten Musical Instruments
  1. Hurdy Gurdy. This six-stringed instrument was at the height of its popularity in Europe during the Renaissance times. ...
  2. Kartal. This instrument is literally two wooden block that are struck to make noise. ...
  3. Kinnera. ...
  4. Lyre. ...
  5. Panpipes.

What instruments sound good alone? ›

Which Musical Instrument is the Best for Solos?
  • The guitar. If we're talking about solos in this day and age, we have to start with the guitar solo. ...
  • The drums. Although drums are pure percussion and don't feature recognizable pitches, the drum solo can always be an impressive event. ...
  • The piano. ...
  • Bass or bass guitar.
Nov 26, 2020

Which is harder violin or flute? ›

Although flute is a better and easier option than a violin to learn, you must follow your passion. You can choose any instrument to play but your interest is something that will make the journey easier.

Which is harder violin or guitar? ›

“Is the violin harder to learn than the guitar?” The short answer is: Yes, the violin is harder to learn than the guitar. There are several reasons for that. First of all, the violin does not have a fretboard, which means you will have to find every tone by ear.

Which is harder piano or violin? ›

An instrument's level of difficulty to learn is a significant consideration when choosing a musical instrument. The violin is harder to learn than the piano as the player must learn to play in tune with a pleasant sound. With the keyboard, pitch, and fundamental aspects of sound quality, are built-in.

Why is it harder for adults to learn an instrument? ›

Children are growing new brain cells all the time, so when they're learning music, some of those brain cells are devoted to playing their instrument. Adults, on the other hand, have to work with the brain cells they already have and create new connections, or synapses, between them.

What is the easiest orchestra instrument to learn? ›

Perhaps one of the easiest orchestral instruments to learn is the timpani. The timpani usually comes in a set of 2, 3 or 4 drums.

How long does it take to learn a new instrument? ›

Although there is no precise agreed-upon time frame, music teachers often state that mastering an instrument requires 1 – 3 hours per day of study, practice, and rehearsal over 10 – 15 years. Musical mastery varies based on the specific instrument played and the commitment made to mastering it.

What instrument is the most versatile? ›

The piano is possibly the most versatile of all instruments because it is played in almost every genre and can be accompanied or played solo. It will take patience and determination to play well, but once you master it, you may have a good chance at pursuing a career!

What is the easiest woodwind instrument to play? ›

Three easy and popular woodwind instruments for beginners are flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone because of their size, weight, and complexity. Learning any of these requires a degree of concentration best suited to students at least 10 years old, when they can learn to read music without difficulty.

Should I learn piano or guitar? ›

If it's just for a fun hobby, think about the kind of music you enjoy most. If it's Bob Marley, you probably want to learn guitar; if it's Alicia Keys, you probably want to learn piano. It's not always that simple, but if the music you love is driven more by either instrument, that's an excellent place to start.

Is 65 too old to learn guitar? ›

You are never too old to learn guitar. You can start learning guitar at any age. While younger people tend to learn faster, you are still capable of learning guitar as a beginner whether you are 30, 40, 60, or even 70.

Can a 70 year old learn to play the piano? ›

Learning to play the piano as an adult can be intimidating. Many people limit themselves because they think they are too old or that it's too late to start something new. The good news is, it's never too late to start.

Is 70 too old to learn violin? ›

Anyone can learn to play the violin, at any age. Mastering a new skill, regardless of what it is, always involves desire, discipline and determination; and learning violin is no different. Your age does have a factor in how quickly you'll be able to adapt to the instrument.

What instrument takes the most skill to play? ›

Being a concert pianist I would have to definitely say, without a doubt, the instrument which has the highest skill ceiling is the instrument that most children everywhere around the world has already played at least once.

Is it hard to learn violin at an older age? ›

The violin can be a challenging instrument to learn, especially as an adult, so it's important that you find a teacher who has experience teaching adult learners.

Which musicians started late? ›

Here are 22 musicians who all found success after 30:
  • Debbie Harry – 31. Debbie Harry worked as a secretary and dancer before her breakthrough. ...
  • Bill Withers – 32. ...
  • Sheryl Crow – 32. ...
  • Rachel Platten – 34. ...
  • Matt Nathanson – 35. ...
  • John Ondrasik – 35. ...
  • 2 Chainz – 36. ...
  • Amanda Palmer – 36.
May 7, 2021

Which is easier guitar or piano? ›

For a beginner, it is easier to learn and memorize the notes on a piano because they repeat in the same pattern across all the keys. To make things even easier, most piano teachers will start off with teaching only the white keys for adults (a total of 7), or all black keys for kids (a total of 5).

What is the hardest instrument to learn ever? ›

The oboe just might be the hardest instrument to play because it can take significant time — even years — for a player to produce a musical sound. Most people learning an instrument will become frustrated or demotivated if it just doesn't sound good, so many oboe beginners give up.

Which is harder piano or guitar? ›

Overall, the guitar is easier to learn than the piano. If you consider the layout, learning songs, the ability to self-teach and a few other things, it is an easier instrument. However, it's the easiest on average for everyone. This means for people of all ages.

How many years does it take to learn guitar? ›

On average, it takes about 300 hours of practice to learn the basic chords and feel comfortable playing the guitar. If you practice for two hours a day – every day – it will take five months to master the basics. If you practice for an hour every day, it will take you ten months.

How quickly can you learn guitar? ›

For someone who practices around 30 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week, with medium intensity, it'll take roughly 1-2 months to play beginner guitar songs, and approximately 3-6 months to confidently play intermediate and slightly more advanced songs with technical elements.

Can you self teach guitar? ›

So, yes, you can successfully learn guitar by yourself. However, it will go faster for you and save you some trouble if you use good resources. And some things about learning guitar will go smoother with a skilled teacher. But it is entirely achievable to learn guitar on your own!

What is the easiest orchestra instrument to play? ›

Perhaps one of the easiest orchestral instruments to learn is the timpani. The timpani usually comes in a set of 2, 3 or 4 drums. What is this? Each of those drums is tuned through the use of a foot pedal.

How long does it take to learn an instrument? ›

Although there is no precise agreed-upon time frame, music teachers often state that mastering an instrument requires 1 – 3 hours per day of study, practice, and rehearsal over 10 – 15 years. Musical mastery varies based on the specific instrument played and the commitment made to mastering it.


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