7 Tips for Choosing the Right Musical Instrument ...

Do you need to know how to choose musical instruments that suit you? I bet a lot of you dream about learning a new instrument, and while it's absolutely essential for you to follow your dreams, you still have to think about what instrument is right for you. Various factors come into play when you're making this decision. If you're thinking about joining the school band or starting your own group, figure out how to choose music instruments that work for you first.

1. Pick Your Poison

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If you're interested in how to choose musical instruments, you probably already have one or more possibilities in mind. Maybe you want to be a drummer, maybe you want to play the trumpet, or maybe you're eager to learn the violin. If you're undecided, then think about what music you like, what sounds, and what tones. Do you like the high, dulcet tones of a French horn or the exciting beat of a timpani? You might simply like a certain register, like bass, in which case you can consider the bass guitar, a cello, or even a baritone.

2. Try It on for Size

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Now, this is where some of you might get a little disappointed. Just because you really want to play a certain instrument doesn't mean you can, at least not easily. Story time: when I was 11 and allowed to choose an instrument to play in the band, I desperately wanted to play the trumpet. However, even back then I had very full lips – although actually, the band director called them β€œthick.” Thanks, Mr. James. Anyway, at that age, with no musical discipline to speak of, I could not handle the trumpet's smaller mouthpiece, so I moved onto the trombone – and fell in love. These days I can play the trumpet, so don't worry: even if you have to compromise at first, once you learn certain techniques, you may be able to move onto your first choice.

3. Make Sure It Fits

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This tip is different and applies mainly to those of you who may end up carrying or holding your instruments, whether it's on stage or on a marching field. You have to make sure you can handle your instrument. For instance, if you choose to play the tuba, you have have a lot of upper body strength and great posture. For piano or bass guitar, ideally you should have long fingers – and long arms for the latter. Even if your instrument of choice doesn't seem like a good fit...

4. Practice Makes Perfect

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...you might be able to make it work for you by practicing. Before you ever pick up an instrument, you need to make sure you have plenty of time to practice anyway. When you first start out, several hours a day is ideal; after you know all of your scales and techniques, at least one hour a day is best. Seriously, you'll be amazed at how quickly you can forget scales, positions, or the proper fingering techniques.

5. Consider Your Motivations

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So, here's the thing. If you want to learn the guitar so you can be hot and sexy and pick up guys (or girls), you might not want to waste your money or your time. If, however, you want to play music and be a rockstar and simply hope that you'll look hot and sexy enough to pick up guys or girls, you're good to go! Since playing an instrument takes a lot of dedication, you have to make sure you're learning for the right reasons. This comes from a girl who purchased a gorgeous bass guitar because she thought bass players were hot, but she didn't actually learn the instrument until several years after the fact.

6. Scout for Teachers

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While there are lots of DVDs and video tutorials online that can help you learn your new instrument, nothing beats the one on one help you receive from an instructor. Check out music teachers in your area. Even if you can't find someone who teaches your specific instrument, you'll be able to find recommendations. If all else fails, talk to the music instructors at the local schools.

7. Remember Your Budget

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Finally, you have to think about how much money you can safely spend. Brand new guitars, violins, or clarinets are expensive, so remember that you might not be able to afford something new right off the bat. Don't be afraid to learn on a gently used instrument. Later, you can either resell it or make it your backup once you're ready to move onto a new model that's just for you.

Now, I definitely don't want to discourage anyone. If you have short fingers but want to play bass, try it because you might be able to make it work for you. After all, hard work perseveres. However, if you're undecided or you're interested in playing something that might ultimately hurt you (hi, trombone lips), then hopefully these tips will help you pick out the right instrument. Have you ever wanted to play an instrument you couldn't master?

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