Why Self Teach
To be able to play a musical instrument is a talent which anybody can have and which brings great benefits and perks to an individual or group of people. Playing an instrument can be a pleasure to enjoy alone in your own company, to present to people in a performance or concert or just played in the background to set a mood and it also opens up great oppertunities such as the chance to join or start a band or become part of an orchestra. However it can be very difficult to both choose what instrument you desire to take up and also to find a way of learning that does not involve heavy tuition prices or take up the time that regular music lessons do.
Without doubt the easiest instrument to teach yourself is the ever popular guitar. This is one of the simplest instruments to find cheaply whether you choose to acquire an acoustic, classical or electric model and once you have the equipment you don't need any prior musical knowledge whatsoever. All you need is some patience, time and a good video tutorial or instructional book.
There are hundreds of instructional guitar playing videos on the video sharing website Youtube.com which can be accessed completely for free and provides beginners an ideal starting point to learn basic chords and well known tunes. One of the most popular online guitar teachers is the Youtube user JustinSandercoe who also has his own instructional website "justinguitar.com". Thanks to the internet the guitar has become without doubt the easiest instrument to teach yourself.
An instrument that has become increasingly popular over the last year or so, largely thanks to the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (worth an internet search), is the Ukulele. The beauty of this instrument is its simplicity and its very cheap price! with only four strings and usually only 12 frets the ukulele has little to baffle the non-musician and almost anybody can strum or pluck a ukulele string. The ukulele is a beautiful sounding instrument with many popular songs such as 5 Years Time by Noah and the Whale being iconic ukulele pieces that can be learnt by heart in seconds.
Just like learning the guitar, the internet is invaluable for allowing people to teach themselves to play the ukulele. Websites such as ukulelehunt.com provide a huge range of pieces you can choose to learn as well as providing simple diagrams that allow learners to know exactly where to place their fingers on the ukulele neck in order to make the relevant chord.
3. Tin Whistle
An instrument that bears similar looks to a recorder, the tin whistle also requires little musical knowledge before anybody can start to play it. Being very cheap and accessible the tin whistle sounds fantastic and with internet tutorials and a wide variety of instructional books available both on online retailers and music stores such as Dawsons music the tin whistle is incredibly self explanitory. What makes the tin whistle a good bet for non-musicians to teach themselves is the diagrams that can be used if you cannot read musical notation.
One of the most common misconceptions about learning to play the piano is that it is very difficult. This is completely wrong and the only thing measured in difficulty is the pieces you choose to play. Unlike the afore mentioned instruments learning to play the piano does require some musical knowledge as you will be required to read music notation, therefore it will take more time and more percerverance to learn the piano than perhaps it would to learn the guitar. This is one of the reasons that many people choose to learn the keyboard before turning to the more demanding piano as the keyboard requires only the right hand to play the tune of a piece while the left hand simply plays chords rather than dancing all over the keys as you might have seen is required with pianos!
Just like the guitar there are hundreds if not thousands of tutorial videos on how to play the keyboard or piano on Youtube as well as independent tuition websites. Once you know which keys on a piano correspond to which notes there is no stopping you learning to play these iconic instruments.
paul waldron on June 22, 2014:
I am teaching my self the guitar i have always wanted to play but never had time now at 67 years old I am making time. I have an electric guitar frist act M E 219 I learned myself to tune with a clip on tuner I also can A and D cords fairly well but I am having a lot fun. I think if someone can do a whole lot of playing I can do a little. it is 12;35 am I am still playing at it . thanks for lesoning to an old man . paul
MundaneMondays on July 29, 2012:
I taught myself to play the guitar so i agree with this totally ...