There are many benefits to learning an instrument, whether you’re an adult learner or a child just starting out. It contributes to better memory and discipline, has physical benefits – and is great fun, of course. But different people suit different instruments, for a number of reasons. Which instrument is best for you? We’ve broken down some of the most popular beginner instruments and who might suit them. Have a read and let us know what you think!
Perfect for: the future rockstar or the social hobbyist.
Arguably the most popular starter instrument among kids and adults alike, for a number of reasons. Guitar is accessible, fun and rewarding – there’s nothing quite like nailing Seven Nation Army or Smoke On the Water for the first time. It’s also great for coordination and memory – mapping out the fretboard is a great mental exercise that’ll always keep you on your toes.
Guitar is also a great social instrument. Guitars are vital elements of bands and ensembles, and sound just as good in groups of 3 or 4 as they do by themselves. For this reason, guitar would suit kids who prefer spending their free time with their friends – and the same goes for adults!
Acoustic or Electric Guitar?
People learn on either/or, and while there’s plenty to consider, there’s no right or wrong answer. Most people start off on acoustic guitar, because they’re generally a little more affordable and they familiarise you with the physical aspects of playing before you explore your sound.
Learning on an acoustic guitar helps build up your finger strength and gets you accustomed to chord shapes and basic melodies. If you want to build strength and familiarity more gradually, go for a nylon-string acoustic. These are softer strings that are easier to get to grips with, making them ideal for beginners.
Once players get to grips with acoustic, they move onto electric guitar to advance to the next level. Electric guitars feel easier to play, but are generally more complicated because of the controls and other considerations (plugging into an amp, for example). If you or your little one is determined to play rock music, there’s no harm in learning on electric guitar, as long as you bear these extras in mind! Check out a couple of popular beginners’ brands here: EastCoast, Alvarez, Valencia and Sire.