What Is the Easiest Instrument to Learn? [10 Easy Musical Instruments]

When choosing an instrument to learn, it’s important not to choose one that is too difficult. An instrument that is too challenging might make you discouraged. Instead, consider playing one of the easier instruments to learn. What is the easiest instrument to learn?

The 10 easiest instruments to learn are as follows:

  1. Maracas
  2. Tambourine
  3. Bongos
  4. Ukelele
  5. Recorder
  6. Harmonica
  7. Guitar
  8. Banjo
  9. Drums
  10. Bass Guitar

These instruments are listed in the order of difficulty level with the maracas being the easiest instrument to learn. However, all 10 of these instruments are relatively easy compared to many other instruments.

It is not difficult to learn to play a musical instrument that you haven’t played before. As long as you have a realistic approach and don’t get easily discouraged by obstacles along the way, you will learn it.

Read on to learn more about the easiest musical instruments and tips for learning them quickly.

One of the best instruments you can learn is the ukelele. The ukelele is easy to learn, portable, and versatile. For a great-sounding, excellent value ukelele, take a look at the Luna High Tide Koa Concert Acoustic/Electric Ukulele:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The bongos are one of the easiest percussion instruments to learn. For a high-quality and long-lasting pair of bongos, Take a look at the Meinl Percussion Bongos with Rubberwood Stave Shells.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

What Is the Easiest Instrument to Learn?

The easiest instruments to learn are simple percussion instruments such as maracas, tambourines, and bongos. As long as you have a basic rhythm, it is quite easy to learn these instruments. After these instruments, the ukelele and recorder are easy to learn.

In my opinion, the musical instruments that are the easiest to learn according to their degree of difficulty are the following:

  1. Maracas
  2. Tambourine
  3. Bongos
  4. Ukelele
  5. Recorder
  6. Harmonica
  7. Guitar
  8. Banjo
  9. Drums
  10. Bass Guitar

Based on their level of difficulty, the easiest musical instruments to learn are the percussion instruments, then the simple stringed instruments, and then the wind instruments.

The beginning isthe most challenging, but if you are really serious about it, you will soon learn how to play these instruments reasonably well. Let’s discuss these musical instruments one by one:

1. Maracas

Maracas are relatively small percussion instruments similar to baby rattles; only they are three to four times bigger. You hold one on each hand and rattle them along with the beat of the music.

There is no need to learn how to read music to play this instrument since it can be played without musical notes. All you have to learn is the hand and body movements that will produce different maracas sounds.

The most important thing about playing maracas is the beat. You must be able to keep up with the beat of the music being played. There are different rhythms in music that require specific beats.

Maracas are usually used to augment Latin music’s color and beat, such as cha-cha, mambo, and the like.

easiest instrument to learn

2. Tambourine

Almost anybody can learn to play the tambourine. There is no music sheet to read, no music notes to follow if you strictly play this instrument. And yet it is the subject of many pop songs. You must have seen Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler playing it while singing in their rock concerts.

It is a shallow circular instrument shaped like a small drum, with stretched dried skin covering the top, an open bottom, and various bells attached on its sides. You hold it in one hand and strike it with your other hand while shaking it, all in time with the music beat.

You don’t really need to learn how to play the tambourine. But you have to keep in time with the beat. This instrument can bring color to the overall theme of the music where it is used.

So what is the easiest musical instrument to learn? One of the easiest instruments to learn is maracas. Another fairly easy instrument to learn is the tambourine. Percussion instruments such as these only require a basic rhythm to be applied to play.

3. Bongos

Playing bongos should be something that just comes out naturally. You probably have been using the palm of your hands in keeping up with the beat of the music you’re listening to. That’s the most basic idea of how you play percussion instruments such as the bongos.

Again, the most important thing in playing bongos is your ability to sustain the beat, normal or syncopated. You also need to learn how hard or how soft to tap the bongos to produce a certain sound required in the music.

Aside from this, there is very little need for music theory in playing bongos. The ability to produce unique and exciting sounds is the most important thing. In the same league with bongos are congas. Bongos are the cute little versions of the congas.

They are typically squeezed between the legs to play. Congas are taller and are supported by stands while being played.

4. Ukelele

Ukelele is arguably the easiest string instrument to learn. It is small, with only four strings to worry about. With a few simple chords, you can strum and play it in just a short time. This is also one of the cheapest among all the musical instruments on our list.

With only four frets which are also smaller, you don’t need to have big strong hands to carry and play a ukelele. With fewer frets on the neck, there will be fewer chords that you need to memorize.

You also don’t need any music theory to play the ukulele. Thus, this is why it is included in the list of easiest instrument to learn on your own.

Just as long as you can hold a tune, and then keep the rhythm of the beat, you will be able to play this instrument. If you are religious in learning how to play it, it will only take a matter of one or two weeks to be able to play a tune or two with a ukulele.

5. Recorder

Most people are confused when the recorder is mentioned. They usually think that it is a device that records audio or video. A recorder is a wind musical instrument. You play it by blowing air into its pipe and produce notes by selectively closing and opening the holes on its body.

It is a simple form of the flute. But the sound that it produces is very lyrical and haunting. You can easily learn how to play this instrument because there are only a few holes you need to worry about. Blowing air into the pipe is also easy and does not require any technical skill.

what is the easiest instrument to learn

The recorder has a very long history, reaching as far back as the 16th century. It is considered a beginner instrument in music schools and colleges. While it may be simple in construction, it produces some pretty amazing sounds. A lot of music was also written for it.

So what is the easiest wind instrument to learn? The easiest wind instrument is the recorder. You can quickly learn how to play this instrument because there are only a few holes you need to worry about. Blowing air into the recorder is also easy as it doesn’t require much force or special skill.

6. Harmonica

Next on our list of the easiest instrument to learn on your own is the harmonica. The harmonica is such a simple musical instrument that one can learn to play it by just playing around with it. Aside from the recorder, it is also the ideal instrument to introduce beginners to musical instruments.

A typical harmonica can easily fit in your pocket. So you can carry it along and learn the techniques of playing it wherever you go. Just be sure you are not disturbing the peace of anyone.

Playing the harmonica is as simple as blowing air in it. You can produce different notes by moving the harmonica left or right as you blow air into it. If you want to create unique sounds, you need to blow air into it or suck air from it while adjusting your lips and tongue.

You will easily learn how to produce great harmonica sounds if you continue to play around with it in your spare time.

7. Bass Guitar

Next on our list of the easiest instrument to learn to play is the bass guitar. Learning to play an electric bass guitar is also relatively easy. Typically, a bass guitar has only four strings. Modern ones have at most five strings. But these strings are much bigger than ordinary acoustic or electric guitars. By being bigger means the bass strings are ‘fatter.’

That doesn’t mean that you have to have larger hands to play it. You can also play it even if you have standard size hands. It is easier to play since it only has four or at most five strings. Playing bass in a group of musicians is relatively easy if you know how to harmonize.

In every cord, you only have to worry about the middle notes. Every bass chord is composed of just four notes. The two outer strings of the bass guitar are the same, being octaves of each other.

The two middle notes are easy to memorize because they are always in harmony with the two outer strings. They always come in patterns, except if you are doing a bass solo.

That means the formation of your fretting fingers will always be the same. This is primarily why learning the base part of any music is very easy, which is also why learning to play bass guitar is also easy.

Unlike typical guitars with 6 strings, bass guitars are plucked, not strummed. So you would need to learn how to pluck the strings. Depending on the person, the electric bass guitar could be the easiest string instrument to learn.

What is the easiest musical instrument to learn? In general, the easiest instruments to learn are percussion instruments. String instruments are also quite easy, including the guitar.

8. Guitar

After you have learned to play the ukulele, your natural progression will be to learn to play the 6-string guitar. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn the guitar without first learning the ukulele. It just makes it much easier to play the guitar if you know how to play the ukulele.

Generally, a guitar requires a low learning curve. While there are more strings and a longer neck, you still only need to memorize a few chords at the start.

All the notes and chords available on the whole stretch of the neck are just repetitions or octaves. In other words, they require the same fretting form and style.

If your goal is to play the guitar reasonably well, you will achieve it in a few months. You can learn to play the guitar without reading notes. Just hone your ears so that you can distinguish the color of the tones to reproduce it with your guitar.

It will be an advantage if you have a natural ability to tune in to music correctly. This inherent ability will give you an advantage if you want to play the guitar fingerstyle.

Strumming is the easiest way to play the guitar. But plucking and playing it with different finger styles will show your skill, artistry, and creativity.

9. Banjo

Banjo can be easier to learn than the guitar but it depends on where you are coming from. While this instrument only has four to five strings, it is much harder to learn than a ukulele. Banjos have longer necks than ukuleles, almost as long as guitars, but they are thinner.

With only four or five chords to worry about, it is also relatively easy to learn to play the banjo. But since it is mostly played plucking and not strumming, it is more difficult to learn than a guitar at the start.

what is the easiest musical instrument to learn

Just like guitars, you can play banjos without learning how to read music. But if you want to produce good sounds from your banjo, you have to spend a lot of time practicing the fingering techniques and plucking styles of this music genre.

10. Drums

Drums can be the easiest instrument to learn for a child or the easiest instrument to learn for adults. Drums can also be the perfect instrument for beginners.

Just anyone can bang on the drums and produce sounds. But are they organized sound or just a cacophony?

For this reason, a lot of people think that it is straightforward to play drums. Yes, it is easy to bang on a drum. But to produce good quality drum sounds that will amaze the musically minded is another thing.

If you are really inspired by the sounds produced by a professional band drummer, you can also do it. But the drums are boisterous, and your neighbors won’t like it.

So start with an electronic drum kit. This is the easiest way you can learn this instrument without disturbing those around you.

As you progress, you may want to get a full drum set with a snare, bass, tom-toms, and sets of cymbals. 

There are free online lessons that you can use to introduce you to the basics of drum beating. Or better yet, enroll in a music school and take drum lessons. In this way, you can bang away at the drums without hurting anybody’s eardrums.

So what is the easiest band instrument to learn? If you want to join a rock band or jazz band, drums are one of the easiest instruments to learn. If you take lessons, you will quickly increase the time it takes to learn drums.

Conclusion: What Is the Easiest Musical Instrument to Learn?

The easiest musical instruments to learn are as follows:

  1. Maracas
  2. Tambourine
  3. Bongos
  4. Ukelele
  5. Recorder
  6. Harmonica
  7. Guitar
  8. Banjo
  9. Drums
  10. Bass Guitar

I have listed these instruments based on their degree of difficulty by which you will be able to play them reasonably well.

Now that you’ve seen the list of the instruments you can learn easily, it’s now time for you to select which instrument you’d like to play!