What is the easiest instrument to learn?  Here are some 'listed' easy instruments that can help you in your decision; clarinet, trombone, double bass, lap harp (less than 22 strings), flute,...

What is the easiest instrument to learn? 

Here are some 'listed' easy instruments that can help you in your decision; clarinet, trombone, double bass, lap harp (less than 22 strings), flute, viola, saxophone, bass clarinet.


Percussion instruments are not included.

37 Answers | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

Posted on

I have tried to learn the piano, the guitar, and the clarinet, and I have found all of them not only difficult but frustrating--but that's probably because I'm not cut out to be a musician. Some people love guitars and can be happy sitting and strumming chords for hours at a time. I found the fingering especially difficult because there are so many strings and you have to press them tightly. It's true that you can learn a few chords and then hum or sing to them--but this isn't really "learning" an instrument. I only tried playing a recorder once in my entire life, and I found that I could play songs with ease. It is indeed a simple and limited instrument, but it makes a good starter, and it really is a respectable musical instrument. But I have given up on myself entirely as far as learning any musical instrument is concerned. I don't have that peculiar patience that most musicians seem to possess. 

billdelaney's profile pic

Posted on

I think the easiest instrument to learn is the recorder. You can be playing songs like "Greensleeves" in five minutes. It is a genuine musical instrument with a long tradition. It has two or three octaves. From a recorder you could graduate to a clarinet or flute. Some recorders are made of cherry wood and are beautiful. Some are very inexpensive compared to other instruments.

industrialtechguy's profile pic

Posted on

I think that guitar is much more difficult than wind instruments or the piano in many respects to learn.  Certainly if you consider playing a few chords on a guitar versus a song on a clarinet as being proficient or satisfactory then of course it might be easier. 

Earlier in my childhood I studied piano, clarinet, saxophone and since they did not require as much finger dexterity as a guitar, IMHO, they were easier to learn.  However, mastering any instrument requires a lot of time dedicated to doing so and learning about the subtle nuances of each instrument and how to control them.  I started on stringed instruments playing Bass Guitar and since it is single notes it is much easier of course to learn than 6 string guitar- so I would recommend it to anyone wanting a simple instrument to start out with.

jmj616's profile pic

Posted on

Without being evasive, the easiest instrument to learn is the one that fits your physically the best. Any instrument you blow requires an embouchure that you must be able to form well. Any stringed instrument requires a physical posture that you must be able to hold well. As elementary as it sounds, some of us have physical aspects that make it easier or harder to do certain things. And always bear in mind that Artie Shaw taught himself to play clarinet in his garage in three months time; he then went on to rival (and sound like a combination of) Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller ("Who is that playng?" "It's Benny Goodman." "No, it's Glenn Miller." "[in unison] It's Artie Shaw!")

Hi, kpl.

I beg to differ regarding Artie Shaw.  He sounds like no-one but himself, and compared to him, everyone else sounds like they're playing a tin whistle, not a clarinet.

I love Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller, and I'm gaga about the lesser-known Pee Wee Russel, but Artie Shaw was and is THE ONE AND ONLY!

Best Wishes from an old friend!

 

kplhardison's profile pic

Posted on

Without being evasive, the easiest instrument to learn is the one that fits your physically the best. Any instrument you blow requires an embouchure that you must be able to form well. Any stringed instrument requires a physical posture that you must be able to hold well. As elementary as it sounds, some of us have physical aspects that make it easier or harder to do certain things. And always bear in mind that Artie Shaw taught himself to play clarinet in his garage in three months time; he then went on to rival (and sound like a combination of) Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller ("Who is that playng?" "It's Benny Goodman." "No, it's Glenn Miller." "[in unison] It's Artie Shaw!")

lmetcalf's profile pic

Posted on

I would suggest that the piano is one of the easiest instruments to learn how to play because each note is a distinct key on the key board. The learner can watch his fingers on the keys fairly easily. Piano only requires finger use, there is no mouth positioning to learn as well. The music for piano only gets more complicated as more complex chords are learned and higher or lower scales are used (going out from the scales that center on Middle C).

wannam's profile pic

Posted on

If we are discussing any instruments, I would suggest that instruments like the triangle or the tambourine are very easy to learn.  Of course, these are generally considered percussion instruments so they may not count.  I would agree that the guitar is relatively easy to learn.  Speaking from experience, the guitar and the piano are easier to learn than the flute, clarinet, or trumpet.  The woodwind and brass instruments require one to learn not only fingering but embouchure as well.  Piano and guitar really only require one to learn fingering.  That's not to say that there isn't more technique than finger placement, but there is certainly less technique for these instruments in the beginning.  The good thing about playing guitar is that one doesn't necessarily have to learn to read music in order to play.  Guitar music is frequently printed in chords rather than notes (or at least with the chords listed above the notes). 

stolperia's profile pic

Posted on

I've not tried to play any of them, but I would think a flute or clarinet might be easier than a guitar. In order to play a guitar well, your fingers need to be positioned correctly on the strings or the sounds are going to be out of tune. When playing a flute or clarinet, it appears to me that you push the key to close the hole or leave it open - no adjusting of positions needed! Maybe that would make my penny whistle easy to learn, if I would just practice!!

rrteacher's profile pic

Posted on

I too would say the guitar, but the lap harp, which is one of the instruments listed, is also pretty easy when learning the basics. In fact, it's used in many introductory music classes, even in elementary schools for that reason. I can't say it's the most melodious instrument to my ears, but it's pretty easy to learn to play at a very rudimentary level, and I am no musician by a long shot (regrettably.)

literaturenerd's profile pic

Posted on

I learned a few of the basic chords on the guitar in under an hour. For me, I would have to say learning the guitar would be the easiest (based upon personal knowledge--since I have never played any of the other instruments listed). I would assume that any instrument would be easy to learn if looking at the basics (and not mastery).

e-martin's profile pic

Posted on

I'd also say the guitar is easiest to learn to play. As readerofbooks points out, a person can learn the basics on guitar and have fun while learning to play the clarinet or the other instruments listed above seems to require more detailed and in-depth knowledge to make even simple, satisfying music. 

The harmonica is easy too, but I don't know if that counts.

readerofbooks's profile pic

Posted on

I would say that the guitar is one of the easiest instrument to learn, because you can learn a few chords and play a song in a rather short period of time. To be sure, it is very hard to master, as are other instruments. But if you want to learn to play something in a very short period of time, I would say that the guitar is one of the easiest. 

pohnpei397's profile pic

Posted on

I think that this depends a lot on what you mean by "learn."  It is certainly very easy to learn how to play the flute in some basic way, but it is not easy to learn to really excel at it.  I imagine the same goes for many other instruments.  But I'll go with flute simply because it is an instrument I learned to play after a fashion and I have no great musical talent.

luiji's profile pic

Posted on

Recorder is very easy to play. We learnt recorder at school and had a half hour lesson every week, and within a year we could play anything we wanted. It is such a limited instrument.

Piano isn't such an easy instrument to play. People say its easy, but its only when you sit down on the piano stool and play that it gets hard. Instead of playing just one note at a time, you're playing three or four on each hand. I had lessons for about 5 or 6 years but it still took me about half a year to learn a song. Fair dinkum.

Clarinet and flute aren't easy instruments either. I think people underestimate the skills taken to learn an instrument.

nmarieg's profile pic

Posted on

In elementary school, I played the flute, guitar, and piano. I would agree that it is learning acquired by experience not by information. If you truly have a desire to excel in playing a specific instrument, the fuel to power your learning is the amount of effort you put in. It is easier to get frustrated and give up on anything that challenges you. If you are willing to experience some failures in the process and stick it out until the end, you may just arive at the expertise you are endeavoring to aquire.

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