best band instruments for beginners

If you’re looking to break into music, but you’re uncertain what band instrument is best for you, you’re in luck! There are a number of instruments that are great for beginners. Ultimately, you’ll be the one to decide which instrument is best for you, but if you’ll be so kind, allow me to suggest the top 10 best band instruments for beginners in the band instruments list below.

Best Band Instruments For Beginners

Violin

1. VIOLIN

Suitable for any potential performer over the age of 6, the violin can be played effortlessly after only a little practice. You’ll be able to find violins in a range of sizes to best match the arms of even the littlest learners, with sizes ranging from 1/16th normal size, all the way up to a regular, full sized adult version. Violins are very popular, and always in demand, so if you decide to make a career out of it, it shouldn’t be hard to find an orchestra or other musical group to join. When looking for your first violin, stick to acoustic, the electric versions, though somewhat rare, are much better suited to experienced musicians.

Cello

2. CELLO

Part of the same family as the violin, the cello is another musical instrument that most people are able to learn easily. Basically, it looks like a giant violin, but the sound it produces is quite deeper. You even sort of play it like a giant violin, only holding it upright and between your legs. The cello isn’t one of the most obvious choices to go with as a beginner, but it’s a great one nonetheless. And just like its little violin cousin, the cello comes in a variety of sizes to fit it’s growing performer. Sizes range from ¼ to full.

Double Bass

3. DOUBLE BASS

Another member of the string family, the double bass makes the cello look small, and the violin look downright tiny. This instrument is also played in a similar way to either the violin or the cello, by rubbing the bow across its strings. That said, you can also play this instrument by plucking or “slapping” the strings, a technique common to genres like jazz. The double bass can be played either standing or sitting, and is a great option for musicians 11 years old and up. Also coming in a range of sizes, the double bass can be found in full, ¾, ½, and even smaller sizes. Another less obvious or popular option, but the double bass is essential to most ensembles, especially jazz!

Flute

4. FLUTE

Our first non-stringed instrument, the flute is thought of as a gentle, delicate instrument. The flute is ideal for beginners thanks to its small, easily transportable size, and simple technique. It’s fun and exciting to play! And not only that, but the flute also happens to be one of the world’s best selling instruments, and one of the most affordable in the whole orchestra!

Clarinet

5. CLARINET

Another woodwind, like the flute, the clarinet is a popular first instrument choice, and perfect for people 10 years and older. Also popular like the flute, the clarinet is incredibly diverse, found in jazz bands, classical orchestras, chamber groups, and solo performances. The clarinet is easy to pick up, can produce some really good music, and also acts as a foundation for other instruments. Many clarinet players go on to learn other woodwind instruments, like the saxophone, without any difficulty transitioning.

Saxophone

6. SAXOPHONE

And speaking of saxophones! Another great instrument for beginners, the sax comes in a variety of sizes and types, including the soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, and baritone sax. The alto sax is usually the best place for beginners to start. A great option for musicians 12 and up, the saxophone is in high demand, a necessary part of most orchestras, from school level through the pros.

Trumpet

7. TRUMPET

The trumpet is part of the brass family, and is another great place to start as a beginner. Best for anyone older than 10, trumpets are orchestral instruments, and are also an important part of any jazz band. This instrument is easy to learn, easy to transport, a blast to play, and easy on the pocketbook. One thing to keep in mind though, when looking to buy a trumpet stay away from anything with a painted finish; it’ll just chip off.

Guitar

band instruments list

8. GUITAR

One of the most popular instruments of all time also happens to be great for beginners! Suitable for musicians over the age of 6, guitars come in a range of sizes and styles to fit any student’s needs. Folk music is the easiest place to start for most beginners, and remember to opt for an acoustic guitar if you’re just starting out. You can learn on either acoustic or electric, but acoustic guitars tend to have a smaller cost without all those cords and amplifiers to buy.

Piano

9. PIANO

The piano can take a lot of time and effort to master, but once you do it’s a wonderful thing to behold. The piano is simply one of the most versatile instruments ever created, and is also one of the most beautiful to listen to. Great for new musicians 6 years and older, traditional pianos are usually the best choice for beginners, but many of today’s electronic pianos often sound and feel like the real thing themselves. They can even have a smaller price tag too.

Harp

10. HARP

This one might be a little surprising at first, but the harp is actually amazingly simple to learn. Like many of the instruments on this list, harps come in a range of sizes, with the smallest perfect for students 8 years old and up, larger ones for 12 years and older, and full size for fully grown musicians. The one drawback to learning to play a harp is that not many people do it, so finding an instructor might be a little difficult. Nevertheless, if you can find someone to teach you, or have the will to teach yourself, the harp is a beautiful sounding instrument that is well worth the effort.

Types of Musical Instruments

Musical instruments can be categorized depending on the way they generate sound. All musical instruments fall under one of the following – string, wind, percussion and keyboard, though there may be further divisions and sub-divisions.

Here are a few examples:

  • String instruments include guitars, violins, ukuleles and cellos.
  • Wind instruments include pipes, sax, clarinet, flute and such other types.
  • Drums, bongos, cymbals and bells are percussion instruments.
  • Keyboard instruments include pianos, harpsichords, organs and accordions.

While these are the more commonly played musical instruments, over thousand musical instruments are available across the world, including folk instruments.

Read: Which Music Instruments are easier to learn?

General Things to Consider Before Buying a Instrument

Here are some of the things that you should take into consideration before choosing a suitable instrument:

  • The age of the student: The child needs to have developed motor skills to be able to play
  • The character/personality of the student
  • Your interests, the kind of music you want to play
  • The cost, the amount of money you’re willing to spend
  • The practicalities involved (such as size, portability, maintenance of the instrument)

Research Prices & Competing Stores

Do spend some time looking for instruments and their prices online; you can find some great deals online. Also, do check competing online stores. For instance, Amazon and Walmart are great for finding beginner instruments and toys for kids. Merchants like Amazon, zZounds, Musiciansfriends have wide range of instruments for pros. You will find great deals on guitars on sites like Guitar Center.

If you’re looking for an expensive instrument, do check it out at your local store as well. While you may not be able to get lower prices, you will be sure about the model that you have selected.

When buying online, see what accessories are included, and also factor in shipping costs.

Beginner Instruments for Students

The good thing about buying a new musical instrument is that you now have access to several products that are available for cheap. These are designed for beginners and offer great features, are functional, but don’t cost much.

Although a student or beginner instrument is a cheaper version of what professionals play, these ‘cheaper’ instruments are not sub-standard products.

In fact, a good student instrument comes with several features that assist students to progress faster and also to enjoy music making.

These are easier to play, offer less resistance (string instruments), is easier to blow (wind instruments), for the inexperienced player. For example, a lower action on a guitar makes playing easier for the young or inexperienced hands.

Most of these musical instruments are also available as a packages – comes bundled with useful accessories and Music books/DVDs so that you get everything to get started.

Get Creative With Home Made Musical Instruments

Musical instruments can also be made at home using items of daily use (mostly percussion); this works great for kids.

You can make almost anything, from shakers and jingle bracelets to drums and tambourines. Its easier to make percussion instruments at home.

It turns out cheaper and you won’t feel bad if the kids break the toy instrument.

Homemade musical instruments help your child to be creative and can keep them busy. Kids will also have a great time, playing in their own band at home.

Are You Already a Player?

If you are already a player then you should avoid picking up the cheapest musical instrument.

Its best to go out and play all the instruments you can, and pick the one that appeals to your ears, suits your requirements and your budget (you should be open to increasing your budget a bit, in case you get hold of some really good musical instrument).

You should also go through the used gear/blemished gear section on top online merchants. You can find some really good instruments with minor bruises (but in perfectly working conditions) for good discounts.

Also Read: Buy used/blemished gear for cheap.

You can Buy, Rent or Borrow?

While everybody would love to buy a new musical instrument, in some cases its just not the practical thing to do.

You can always choose to buy a second-hand instrument.

Some music services (organizations contracted by the Local Authority to provide music tuition in state schools and at music centers) and schools offer instruments on loan to beginner students.

Then there are some (including some retailers) who operate rental systems. For a modest fee, they provide you a musical instrument for a trial period so that you get sufficient time to make up your mind.

The great thing about these options is that it allows you to get a feel of what is involved in learning, and how to take care of and maintain the instrument, before actually buying one.

In case you’re considering purchasing a second-hand instrument, make sure you check it for suitability, before it is used.

You Don’t Have to Buy the Most Expensive Instrument

Musical instruments can be expensive, especially if you are seeking the best option available on the market. In general, these can cost anything from $100 to over $10000. For example, a good Yamaha or Roland keyboard can cost almost $2000.

That is why used musical instruments are often a good choice, especially if you are learning to play a new instrument.

You definitely don’t have to buy the most expensive instrument out there. Choose something that fits your purpose. Feel free to consult a music teacher or a music shop.

Its important that the instrument is appropriate for your child, no matter how you intend to obtain it.

Most young string players, for example, begin learning on smaller sized instruments as they feel uncomfortable playing full-sized instruments (too large for them).

For beginners it is advisable to invest in musical instruments in the lower price range. However, you also should keep in mind that learning on a sub-standard instrument can be demotivating and usually prevents progress.

Don’t Go Too Cheap

If you’re buying an instrument for a child, you can pick a cheap one but for a serious beginner you want something better. A $50 cheap guitar is unlikely to last long and may not sound inspiring. And if it breaks down, you will have to buy another one (basically you will end up spending more money than you would spend buying a quality, new guitar).

A quality instrument costs more but it saves money in the long run and it will make you practice more.

Use the Power of Social Media

Have a huge social media presence? Do you (or your friend) manage social media accounts for some school, college or charitable institution? If yes, you can post that you’re looking for a music instrument and ask for help.

You never know; one of your followers might want to sell an instrument. In some cases, they might even give it for free (you will have to collect it though).

Having a huge online presence can help you find help in the online community.

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