How to Choose the Right Instrument for a Beginner


Learning to play a musical instrument like a piano, bass, guitar or drums can be a steep learning curve for some people. Focus, practice, understanding, intuition – all of these characteristics go into easing the learning curve. But before you can start to play, it’s equally critical to know

how to choose the right instrument, especially for beginner music students like the ones we see at Scottsdale Music Academy.

Many beginner musicians often do not even recognize their musical talent. They may pick up a melody well, or hear percussion differently than others. It sometime takes a parent, a relative, a teacher or a friend to point out the

talent, and the encouragement to “take up the (instrument of choice).” When that happens, the beginner student can start on their musical journey.

Here are some helpful tips for choosing the right musical instrument – this advice can play a big part in the development of a proper musical education.


  • Choose an instrument for the music you want to learn to play: This may be a no-brainer, but if you like classical-based melodies heard on a piano, it makes sense to buy a beginner keyboard, not an electric guitar. If you like acoustic folk-based music, consider an acoustic guitar. It will be much easier to learn an instrument that already sounds pleasing to your ear.


  • Stick with the first instrument: If your gut is telling you that playing guitar would be the right first instrument, then go with that decision and stick with it for at least a couple of months. Sticking with a particular instrument gives the student confidence to move forward and overcome any early learning struggles of practice.


  • Choose a quality instrument: Sure, the Targets and Walmarts of the world will sell beginner packets to students. Will they work? Well, yes, to a small degree. But cheaply made guitars and basses will have poor action (the spread between the fretboard and the strings), and they are often made from lesser materials, like cheap tuning pegs on a guitar, which can break easily. Try shopping online at Musician’s Friend and ZZounds for quality instruments at deep discounts.


  • Choose an instrument that can fit into your space: If you are living in a small apartment, it may not be practical to purchase a full drum kit. Unless you have a practice space for your drums, you may want to consider another instrument.

Once the student gets an instrument, and then starts to learn to play with our instructors, that’s when the magic happens! Here’s one of our students talking about learning his instrument at his own pace with the help of our instructor.

At Scottsdale Music Academy, our musician students learn to play instruments better with proper instruction on piano lessons, bass lessons, voice lessons and guitar lessons. Click here to get your FREE first lesson!

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