Are you looking for an instrument with which to enter the world of music? Or maybe you are a parent who is looking to buy a 1st instrument for your child? Which one should it be, you ask? You realise that there are so many types, categories, playing styles, sounds… how will you ever decide?! We’ve collected a few thoughts below which, we hope, will help you make your decision….
The only requirement: Fascination
Okay, many important decisions need to be made with brains. For the first musical instrument, however, your gut feeling is far more important than pure logic. Because the most important criterion is that you, or your child, have to be fascinated by the instrument, or the world surrounding that instrument.
Which one appeals to you (or them) most spontaneously, and which one would you best imagine in your lives for the next few years? Think about it right now… Or ask your child tonight…. THIS is the perfect first instrument to buy.
Don’t be afraid of wrong decisions
Surely you saw the instrument somewhere, maybe you even held it in your hands, close enough to “smell” its inspiration. Your problem is that choosing an instrument will automatically be one against all the others. And you don’t want to regret this choice at some point.
Let’s turn this thought upside down: Let’s say you decided to buy a flute, after a while your child’s taste (or yours) changes and there is more of a leaning towards the electric guitar. So what? Experiences and musical skills on one instrument help (sometimes greatly) on another. Basically, the decision is not an irrevocable one.
Which candidate suits the genre?
Remember, in most cases people want to play their favourite genre of music on an instrument. Not straight away; but at some point absolutely. This fact alone takes you one step further. Ask yourself what you or your child like to listen to and then consider which instrument suit these genres or styles.
If you like rock music, you will be drawn to electric guitar, electric bass or drums, for example. If you love rap, RnB or pop the keyboard or synthesizer may be close to the right choice. If you like classical music, the violin or cello could make it onto your musical podium. Makes sense doesn’t it?
It’s entirely your decision
Under no circumstances should you learn an instrument to prove something to someone else. If your brother wishes that you play the trumpet, but you’re much more into the violin, you shouldn’t let him influence your decision. If you’re told that you absolutely need to learn the accordion, you should shortlist the instrument only if you really like it. If you prefer to play acoustic guitar, then do exactly that. Parents, don’t be sad or upset if your child prefers an instrument that you didn’t suggest for them, they won’t be happy in the long run if they feel forced while learning an instrument.
Helpful for kids: child-sized instruments
No question, music teachers and parents (and you) have to make sure that the instrument suits their age and size. Young kids in particular are often overwhelmed with physically-demanding adult-size instruments. To prevent this from happening there is early musical education, facilitated by child-sized instruments such as 1/4 size guitars, 1/2 size guitars, junior flutes or kids’ accordions.
Also, many manufacturers equip instruments with features that support young beginners such as flutes with U-shaped heads, which are approximately 7 cm shorter allowing fingers to easily reach all the holes and pads. In addition to this, they weigh less (approx. 325g) and are easier to play.
There are no excuses for your kids to stop them from entering the world of music!