If you were to run a Google search for the “best instruments for beginners”, you’ll not only get an overwhelming amount of search results, but you will also get a varied definition on what the “best” instrument is. For some people, the “best” is determined by the cost of the instrument, the time required to learn it, and how easy the instrument is to pack into hand luggage when travelling internationally. For those looking to take up an instrument, something that heavily determines the decision on whether to purchase one is how much it will cost.
There aren’t many people that are willing to fork out huge amounts of money just to hear some sweet-sounding music playing through the house. So whether it’s just something to pass the time, or the first step in a new career path, here at WeJam we want to help you make the best decision when it comes to selecting that first instrument.
We have compiled a list of the best instruments for beginners that you can buy under £100. We have set the limit at £100 because this is a reasonable amount for starter instruments, and if you do turn your back on this music endeavour, then at least it’s only an £100 mistake – instead of a several £100 mistake.
Lute Family – Ukulele
Not only is the Ukulele a portable, funny little instrument, but it is significantly cheaper when compared to prices of most guitars. The jovial sounds produced by a Ukulele are enough to draw a crowd at any afternoon summer party, or even just to entertain yourself while you are relaxing. If you’re looking to build your way up to playing the guitar but feel a bit intimidated by the prospect, the best instrument for beginners to the Lute family is the Ukulele. It’s typically easier to master than the guitar because it only has four strings, which should make it easier to learn chords.
After a lengthy deep dive of Ukulele sellers, we found a great website that offers a Ukulele beginners kit at a reasonable £29.99. The people at DJM Music have put together an awesome kit that is packed with a spare string set, trendy felt pick, Ukulele strap, bag, the Ukulele (of course) and a Tiger T-47 Chromatic Tuner to get your instrument turned up more precisely than you could ever imagine.
Lute Family – Bass
With this next entry, we want to put people’s mind at ease when it comes to the ultimate decision on whether to go for the bass or a guitar. This purchase could be the decision of a lifetime, and it doesn’t matter if you already have a collection of instruments but looking to add another one, or you’re on the market for your first instrument.
Whatever your situation may be, we believe that if you start with the best instrument for beginners, and you take the time to learn the craft, you can become an amazing player with enough focus and dedicated time. So let’s look at a few comparisons between the guitar and the bass, because they’re more similar than you may think. The same musical theory, chords and scales are used on both the bass and on guitar, which makes it incredibly useful if you’re already an expert on the guitar or if you’re picking one up for the first time. Be confident in your choice because the same knowledge can be applied to both instruments.
Don’t be deterred by being in the back behind the singer and lead guitarist because if you try to imagine removing the bass from any song and imagine how it would affect it, it’s incredible how critical the bass is to the song and to the band. This Electric Bass by BaxMusic is available now at an incredible steal; you can be riffing like the greats, jamming like the best and be on your way to be recognized as an iconic bass player that is adored by fans!
Quintephone Family – Theremin
For the horror fans out there reading this, the next instrument on our list will make you feel like you’re the composer for an upcoming horror movie. The Theremin is originally from Russia, and when played masterfully, it can create eerie tones that will send a chill down the spine of anyone that hears it. It is categorized as an electronic instrument, creating sound caused by the disruption between its two electromagnetic poles. The instrument was patented by its inventor in the late 1920s, which makes buying an original Theremin quite expensive, but you can secure yourself a tadpole looking instrument from Amazon called an Otamatone which operates similarly. While this may not be your first choice or the best instrument for beginners, it is a truly remarkable creation that creates the craziest tunes with precise finger movements. Take a look at the inventor, Leon Theremin, showing off his own invention.
Electone Family – Keyboard
As we circle back around to more traditional instruments, no “best instruments for beginners” list would be complete without the inclusion of the keyboard. Not only is its size convenient for houses or apartments and cheaper than a full-size piano, but it can do cool things like turning every key into a drum kit!
But seriously, the versatility of a good electronic keyboard is unmatched. Keyboard innovation is so incredible at the moment that there are even keyboards you can roll out like a beach towel and play.
For the most part, electronic keyboards are a good starting point and will always appear in a list around the best instruments for beginners. It is ideal for beginners because with a keyboard you typically get around 50-60 keys, so they’re easier to build learning blocks with due to the smaller number of keys. So how do we find a happy medium between the budget of electronic keyboards, but still receive the full range of keys that a piano has? Well, someone has already done the leg work for us and found a solution.
This Carry-On Folding Digital Piano is one of the best instruments for beginners and experts because it perfectly appeals to piano and keyboard players. It offers an impressive 88 keys to deliver that same authentic piano performance, it’s portable enough to tuck into a backpack which is great for gigs or busking, and it just makes it under the £100 price range at a reasonable £89.
Percussion Family – Bongo
Originating from Cuba in around 1900, the Bongos were created by Latin American bands that used them to create interesting beats while they were dancing. If you’ve never picked up a Bongo before, believe us when we say they’re very easy to master. Anyone can pick them up, learn a basic rhythm and within a few weeks they will be able to move onto more complex rhythms. In fact, anyone that can tap their foot to a song they’re listening to is already halfway to mastering the Bongos.
We’ve found a great Bongo kit from online instrument store BonPrix, and because of their simplicity and size, a good set of Bongos shouldn’t be setting you back more than £30. Taking up the Bongo is an admiral adventure because you’d be surprised at how memorable you’ll be if you rocked up to a performance or even a party with some Bongos tucked under your arm. You’ll always be remembered as the one that turned up to the party and danced to every song with the Bongos!
Brass Family – Trumpet
There are a great many components to the Brass family, and you’d be hard-pressed to not find a great Brass band or a solo Brass player. The reason the Trumpet makes it onto our list for the best instrument for beginners is because you want an instrument that will allow you to focus on your musical developments, and not something that is going to break down on you just as you’re finding your groove. The Brass family are built to last, and with the right amount of care and attention, the trumpet will look after you! Coming in at £99.99 from Gear4Music, this Trumpet tops our list as the most expensive “best instrument for beginners” but that’s not without providing great value for money in the form of: a case, mouthpiece, and the nickel-plated trumpet. (Prices subject to change)
If you’ve got anything out of this list of the best instruments for beginners, it should be the knowledge that you don’t have to blow all your savings just to afford a good instrument. There are plenty of options out there, and the internet is your best friend to help you evaluate your options and help get you off to a good start in your music career as a solo or group act. If you want to simulate what it would be like being in a legendary group act in a fun, immersive experience, here at WeJam we can help you achieve those dreams. At our live jam sessions, each participant takes control of an interactive tablet that we’ve optimized to simulate the best instruments for beginners, so you can play along to your favourite songs. Take a look at our jam sessions and book your spot today!