How to Choose a Musical Instrument to Play


Have you always wanted to pick up an instrument but didn’t know which one to choose? With a hundred options at your disposal, the selection process can be rather daunting, understandably so.

Whether you’re looking at strings, woodwinds, brass, keyboards, or percussions, the key is to explore different options and find the one you’re truly passionate about.

On top of that, there are several aspects to factor in like your personal preference, size, budget, and more. This guide will highlight some important considerations to help you choose the most fitting musical instrument and guarantee optimal progress and enjoyment.

Consider Your Music Preferences

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first step in selecting an instrument is to assess your own musical tastes and preferences. We’re all attracted to different genres, whether that’s classical, jazz, rock, country, electronic, or else. Knowing what you’re into musically will help steer your choice towards a particular class of instruments while ensuring you’re able to progress without feeling limited. As such, listen to various genres and determine which one(s) you respond to the most and would like to replicate.

Pay Attention to Size

How compact or bulky the instrument plays a key role in the selection process. Musical instruments come in a variety of sizes, weights, and shapes, so you can have your pick of the litter, so to speak. If you’re looking for a fun, compact instrument to play, checking out some dedicated ukulele guides will get you acquainted with everything you need to get started. On the other hand, larger instruments like a piano or a bass can be quite cumbersome and difficult to move around despite how majestic they sound.

Mind Your Space and Surroundings

In a similar vein, think of how much space you currently have at home and whether that will suffice to accommodate your chosen instrument. For instance, a piano will require more floor space than a flute, a violin, or a guitar. Moreover, if you live in an apartment, you may not want to invest in a bagpipe, saxophone, piccolo, or similarly loud (some will say “annoying”) instruments, at the risk of causing a ruckus and coming under your neighbors’ fires!

Establish a Budget

Unless you’ve got unlimited funds, budget is another major consideration when it comes to purchasing an instrument. Evidently, getting a harmonica isn’t the same as buying a full drum set. As such, it’s important to conduct research on the price ranges of different instruments you’re interested in. For reference, a high-quality ukulele can be acquired for as low as $150, an acoustic guitar around $300-400, and an upright piano will set you back no less than $3,000.

Consider Your Frequency of Practice

While any instrument requires consistent practice, think to yourself how much time per week you’ll be able to dedicate to your instrument of choice. This depends on your progress goals, work schedule, and other responsibilities.

After all, it’d be a shame to invest hundreds of dollars in a guitar or a violin and let it sit idle in a corner. So, consider choosing an instrument that will enable you to get better fast if you don’t have several hours to allocate to practicing.

Instructor Vs. Self-teaching

It’s always wise to ask yourself whether you’ll be taking classes or teaching yourself how to play an instrument. Nowadays, anyone can learn virtually anything thanks to the reach and convenience of the internet, yet some instruments do require more supervision than others. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations, reach out to your local music center, or conduct research to elaborate a solid and viable self-teaching plan.

Career Options

Last but not least, you’ll have to consider your musical advancement possibilities, even if your instrument of choice is just a hobby. Have you always wanted to found a band or join an orchestra? Maybe perform in front of an audience, or even teach others? In time, you can very well turn your hobby into a money-making career, so make sure to start with an instrument that bears the most potential for the future.


Ultimately, it’s fair to say that choosing an instrument to practice and play is no easy feat.  While you might have always wanted a grand piano or a majestic harp, it’s always best to choose something that fits your needs and lifestyle and enables you to progress at a steady pace. Hopefully, these tips will help you select the perfect instrument. At the end of the day, even if you weren’t lucky to have taken music classes as a child, it’s never too late to get started!


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