If you're thinking of learning to play an instrument in a school group, for fun, or to play in a band, there are several considerations you'll need to think of before deciding on which instrument to buy. If there's one you've set your heart on, that's a good first choice, but you'll still want to consider practical aspects of the purchase such as mobility and budget before finalizing anything. Here are five points to figure out before taking any instruments home.
If you want to make a career of music, play solos in your school group, or even just get first chair easily without much competition, you should consider learning a less-popular instrument. Why? Because these instruments are in higher demand. Your school or community orchestra may have dozens of violins already, but they're likely to be short on violas or double bass players. This state of affairs will continue throughout your playing career. Whether you decide to play professionally or keep your activities at an amateur level, you'll find that it's much easier to successfully audition for an orchestra if there isn't already a glut of your instrument in the group.
The style of music you like to listen to won't necessarily be the style you like to play, but it's a good start. Look at the type of music you like to listen to and think about the instruments it contains. For example, classical music sometimes contains guitars, but they're a totally different type of guitars than the type used in rock bands. Use your musical preferences to guide your decisions.
If you decide to learn the double bass, the largest instrument in the orchestra, you need to be aware that it may be impossible to transport without a large vehicle. If you want to play the harp, you may literally need a moving van to get it from place to place. Cellos, on the other hand, can fit in a normal-sized car, but are very unwieldy and awkward to carry around school with you. Learn the mobility specifics of your desired instrument and make sure you can live with them.
4. Strength required
Different types of instruments require different types and degrees of physical strength and dexterity. For example, the harp and the guitar both require a lot of plucking, so your fingers have to be strong and develop calluses to cope with the strings. The double bass is a huge, heavy instrument that you probably shouldn't move on your own if you have back problems. Be sure you can handle the physical requirements of the instrument you're planning to learn.
Many music stores will allow you to rent a student model of common musical instruments at a reasonable price. Large instruments, however, are much more expensive. The price of a pedal harp is thousands of dollars, and even renting one may cost you over a hundred per month. Be sure to match your budget to an instrument you can afford.
These five factors will help you narrow down your search for the right instrument (from stores like Caldwell Connection) and confirm whether or not the one you're considering is right for you. Remember, any instrument is hard to learn at first, but if you keep on practicing you'll be glad you did.
When I was diagnosed with a serious anxiety disorder, my therapist mentioned that music might be a great way to unwind for the day. She told me to pick some nice, soft, relaxing music and listen to it at night before I went to sleep. I was a little apprehensive to take her up on the advice, but after a few weeks I could tell that it was really working. I was able to calm down at the end of the day instead of letting my thoughts get the better of me. I have come a long way in my treatment, which is why I wanted to share my struggles with other people. Read here to learn how music might be able to help you.