If you are anything like me and not musically inclined, learning to play guitar or piano is out of the question. But everyone loves music and appreciates the heart and soul that goes into making your own. So I went on a quest to find something even I could play at least halfway decently and what I came up with was music to my ears. And though real musicians might cringe at my hearty attempts, both me and my dogs are having a ball.
So here are 10 instruments that, yes, even you can learn how to play. If the result is still a little questionable, no worry, you will have fun anyway.
1) The Kazoo - The kazoo is so cool and potentially annoying so it serves more than one purpose. It is an American instrument in the shape of a tube . One end is flattened, the other end has a small opening. A kazoo is usually made out of metal but some are plastic. When you play the kazoo, you speak or sing through it causing a vibration in the membrane (there's a small hole in the kazoo where the membrane lives) which causes a nasally humming sound. Manipulate the hole (where the membrane lives) and you can make music. How cool is that?
2) The Spoons - It is what it is, two spoons. But lovers of old time folk music know the beat you can create with these utensils catergorizes them as an instrument. It's a great way to surprise and impress people, clicking your spoons in the other hand and down your leg like a pro. And most of all, it's fun. It takes some practice and the following link shows you how.
3) The Bongos - People consider bongo drumming a special art. In the city where I live, Friday nights downtown offers a drum circle where anyone who cares to can get down and dirty with other bongo players. It's pretty neat. Bongo drums are two single-headed drums joined in the middle. They are usually held between the knees when played. They are portable and inexpensive to buy and a great way to express yourself. We often see this instrument used in Latin type music though coming up with your own variations is required.
4) The Harmonica- This instrument is my personal favorite and I completely enjoy pretending I can play it. Also called a harp and french organ, this instrument has been around the blues world forever. Considered one of the simplest of musical instruments to play, it is a favorite with budding musicians and children. It was invented in Germany in 1829. There are countless websites providing free harmonica lessons so get one for your pocket and play me the blues.
5) The Maracas - The word "percussion" means "the hitting of one body against the other". Considered an instrument in the percussion family, maracas are played by being scraped, shaken or struck. This does not mean you should use them as a weapon. They are meant to add rhythm to a band and are popular in Salsa music. Maracas were originally made of gourds which were filled with dry seeds. Playing the maracas makes you want to dance so it is required that you do. Oohlala.
6) The Tambourine - The tambourine is another one of my personal favorites. It is a small handheld drum framed in wood. Small discs called jingles are attached to the frame so when the drum is struck, they produce a sound. Mozart used the tambourine in his music in 1782 so we know that this is a classy instrument. It is often associated with joy, dancing, and basically played in times of happiness.
7) The Finger Cymbals - You don't really have to be a belly dancer to play these. You can pretend you are a belly dancer. Finger cymbals are also called "zills". They are small metal discs worn on your hands. Typically four are worn, one on each thumb and one on each middle finger. Belly dancers who played them well made more money. They are meant to add drama to the dance.
8) Bamboo Flute - This is a simple flute that many folks make themselves. The music you can make from these can be very beautiful even if you make up your own songs. There's a lot of heart that goes into playing the flute. It conjures up images of Native Americans communicating with nature.
9) The Cymbals - Thought to be of Asian origin, the cymbals have been used in religious ceremonies since ancient times. Much larger then the above finger cymbals, they are easier to play. You simply clash them together. Even though it is a percussion instrument, playing them by yourself would be unusual. As part of a band, they are pretty cool and can be struck with a drumstick.
10) The Triangle - The triangle is quite a beautiful sounding instrument. Though it is simply steel bent into a triangle with an opening at the top, when when struck with a steel beater it creates a delicate pitch. It is a rhythm instrument often used in folk music. Composer Frank Liszt included a triangle solo in 1849 in his first piano concerto. It is worth finding and listening to.
Tank Arduei on March 04, 2014:
don't forget the VibraSlap. As long as you remember where to hold it (the end of the bar), just hit the ball against your palm
suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on December 05, 2011:
Fiddleman - Great to see you - I agree that anyone can contribute to a jam session even if only stomping their foot.
suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on December 05, 2011:
RV - The spoons sounds like fun. Thanks for reading.
Fiddleman on December 05, 2011:
Very interesting and most anyone who can keep time can learn to contribute to a jam session.
RVDaniels from Athens, GA on December 05, 2011:
I love music! Thanks for sharing this with me, neighbor! I've been trying to learn mandolin without a lot of success. Maybe I'll just use spoons or a washtub bass instead!
suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on June 17, 2011:
Thank you all - glad you enjoyed.
Lea - Dogs love it when you're happy and music makes us happy. Thanks for reading.
Lea Smith on June 17, 2011:
Love this hub, and the picture that you painted of enjoying music with your dogs made me smile. Thank you Susiecat!
funmontrealgirl from Montreal on March 23, 2011:
never knew most of these instruments but I want to try some of those.
chspublish from Ireland on January 14, 2011:
This is a great idea for those who may feel intimidated by others' prowess in the musical field. It will certainly build confidence and perhaps encourage the player to join in a band and then graduate to the more 'difficult' instrument learning. Well done.
Lee Thacker on October 27, 2009:
I like the way your brain thinks, makes me feel alive listening to what your thinking, very cool...Keep it up ...PS Now I Know Why I bookmarked your page ;-) ...Hope you are doing well,
KevCC on August 27, 2009:
Don't forget the washboard, interesting hub.
suziecat7 (author) from Asheville, NC on July 20, 2009:
midnight - the spoons are really cool in the right hands. Thanks for stopping by.
Haydee Anderson from Hermosa Beach on July 20, 2009:
cool hub. I tried most of the instrument you mention during grade school when I used to join in a rhythm band but what I am fascinated on how you can use the spoon as a musical instrument.
cashmere from India on July 05, 2009:
I've tried the maracas, bongos, tamborine, cymbals and triangle...all in school. After which I never looked at them again!
Iðunn on July 04, 2009:
this lends to the imagination. the cymbals remind me of the sonny and cher show when I was young and many of the other instruments sound somewhat exotic. nice hub.
Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on July 02, 2009:
As children we would play a hair comb. You simply wrap shiny tissue paper around it and blow through. Sounds a bit .like a Kazoo.