Easiest Instruments to Learn for Adults & Children

Most parents know that some activities are incredibly important for growing kids. They want the best for their child and often make sure they have access to these things. Learning a second language is going to be every child’s key in today’s world. The benefits of sports and of playing instruments are countless as well.

The studies have shown that learning an instrument has a lot of positive effects, not only for your body, but also your mind. They can help relieve stress and even make your brain larger. A study by Harvard University in 2003 found that musicians had more grey matter in their brain.

Teaching kids to play instruments when they’re young is always a good idea, but some kids might not really want to start learning an instrument when they’re four years old. Plus, not every parent has the emotional stamina to put up with the years it will take for the sounds of a dying cat to eventually become music.

So what instrument should you pick?

  • When you buy a musical instrument for your child, make sure it’s something they’re interested in.

  • For example, some instruments are considered easier to learn than others.

Top Easiest Instruments to Learn Review

It’s not too hard to learn a new instrument and it won’t feel like a challenge for you. If this is something you’re thinking about, then now is the time as there are plenty of online tutorials available to help. It’s never too late to start playing instruments. Whether you’ve never picked up a tambourine or want to learn how to play the maracas, picking up a new instrument is easy and there are countless ways of learning.

No matter if you’re a beginner starting out or someone looking to transition, there are some easy instruments that will leave you with no regrets. Check out our list below of the easiest instruments to play:

1. Ukulele

Overall Easiest Instrument to Learn for Everyone

Learning to play the ukelele is very simple because it has just four strings. It looks like a miniature version of the guitar and is much easier. If you are trying to learn to play the guitar but want an easier transition at first, switching between playing the ukelele and guitar can be a relatively simple adjustment. Because both instruments share some common skills and techniques, it can be a time-saving move to make this change in your learning process.

The ukelele you’ve been having so much fun with is perfect for quick learning of songs. You can play up to four strings on it, which makes it a lot easier for you to learn songs then some other instruments like the guitar. For those with small hands, a soprano ukulele is the perfect instrument because it’s short neck and close notes make it easy for newbies to learn the basics.

One of the reasons guitar players prefer ukuleles to guitars is because they require a less intense learning process. The strings on ukulele are softer, which means it won’t cause as much pain in your fingers when practicing playing. One of the other great things about learning to play the ukulele is that it can be a fairly inexpensive option, with plenty of choices under $100. The small size of the ukulele and its portability have been key to the instrument’s success. You can practice anywhere without annoying your neighbors.

2. Harmonica

Easiest Instrument to Play

It might be difficult for a beginner to play the harmonica well, but it’s easy to learn; it’s built-in notes make it hard to produce bad sounds. Plus, all skill levels can play something with a harmonica! This makes it one of the best instruments to own! It’s small, portable, and easy to take with you anywhere. There’s nothing worse than having to drag an oversized instrument case behind you.

Aside from the regularity of practicing, you’ll also become better at playing instruments if they’re easy to use. The basics of the harmonica involve breathing in and breathing out to create different sounds. Your mouth placement and hand positioning play a large role in the notes that you make when playing a harmonica. This is an easy instrument to learn. Learning a few simple songs takes no time at all and will keep you entertained for a long time!

3. Cajon

Easiest Instrument to Learn on Your Own

The Cajon originated in Peru and was very simple to make. It’s made of a hollow box-shape that’s like a drum but it can produce different tones when hit in different places. Cajons can be made by either a solid material such as wood, or with a laminate such as Birch. Modern versions of the Cajon now have either strings or snares attached to the inside that produce different notes when you strike the playing surface.

The Drum Buddy is a great beginner drum set and is perfect for beginners as it’s small, portable and durable. It also comes with a case that makes it easy to store or carry on the go, unlike other bigger drum sets. To create your notes, you’ll need to find different spots on the surface of the Cajon and strike them with various parts of your hand. If you strike from the top, it will produce a higher note while if you hit it lower down, it will produce a bass note.

There are a lot of ways to create your own grooves, rhythms, and melodies. You can even master notes and learn to play popular music! Whether you want to compose your own musical masterpiece or recreate album cover art for a friend or family member’s band, the opportunities are endless!

4. Keyboard/Piano

Easiest Instrument to Learn for a Child

While there are some differences, they are both pretty common options. A keyboard normally has less keys, but an electric piano may exist in between. However, the arrangement of the keys on a keyboard is identical to that of fingers and hands controlling a piano. You can easily transition from the keyboard to the piano or vice versa. The keyboard is usually a better option as they take up less room than an upright piano and are much less expensive.

To learn the piano or keyboard, you’ll need to first master the basics of music theory. The notes of any given song are assigned to specific keys on your piano or keyboard. It’s not hard to figure out how to play it, and you can even learn from listening to other people and watching tutorials online.

Plus, there are thousands of easy songs to learn, many of which can be downloaded for free. Whatever you decide, either way you’ll have a blast learning the guitar. Although the ukulele may be a good option for beginners, there’s a lot of room for growth and learning styles. It takes time to master and is one of many musical instruments out there.

If you’re interested in joining a traditionally popular instrument with limitless potential and loads of benefits, the keyboard or piano are good options. I began playing the piano after checking out a documentary on Ray Manzarek of the band The Doors. Although I’m no expert at all, it was rewarding experience and something I’d recommend to anyone.

5. Acoustic Guitar

Easiest Instrument to Learn for Adults

The acoustic guitar is an instrument that can be used by both children and adults. Children may find it difficult to hold because of its size, but older children and adults would be more suited to the ukulele due to its smaller size. If you’re someone who picks up patterns easily, guitar playing will be easy for you.

You can either learn scales and technical exercises, or jump right into chord progressions. If you want to play songs that you want to learn, this is the resource for you. Learning scales and music theory at first may seem boring, but they can help you master the basics of the guitar faster than if you’re just memorize chord progressions alone.

Different guitars will have different measurements and depending on your fingers and hands, some will be more difficult to play. There are options for learning acoustic guitar on your own too! With so many online resources, it’s a lot easier to learn.

6. Bass Guitar

Best Instrument to Learn for Joining a Band

If you’ve already learned to play the acoustic guitar, adding a bass guitar is a great fit. The only difference between the two is that the bass guitar is tuned an octave lower than the acoustic. Their size is larger and weights differ, so a guitar made with acoustic strings may be harder to play for someone who’s on the smaller or child-sized side.

If you’re looking for a guitar that is easy to learn, look no further than the bass uke! It has only four strings and is much more affordable. If you’re interested in learning how to play the bass, you’d be wise to start with this instrument. The bass guitar can help you learn basically any rhythm or beat and is always in demand!

7. Saxophone

Easiest Jazz Instrument to Learn

A saxophone is an easy beginner instrument if you can handle it. That said, it does take a lot of practice to master and play well but is still great at the end of the day. One thing that makes the guitar easy to play is, in contrast to other instruments like the trumpet, you don’t have to hear the note to produce it.

On a saxophone, you use your fingers to play notes. Also, the embouchure or lipping of a trumpet is much more difficult than that of a saxophone. You should really try to dedicate at least half-an-hour a day to practicing the instrument. Try not to underestimate this, because it’s not a lot of time and most of us can even find enough time for that.

When you do master the saxophone, you’ll be able to play a wide range of songs. Some of the best-loved songs include “YMCA” and “Autumn Leaves.” And when your audience enjoys what you play, they don’t seem to care that the sound is coming from an instrument with a funny-looking mouthpiece!

8. Drums

Best Instrument to Learn to Annoy Your Neighbors

Drums are one of the most commonly known and popular percussion instruments. It’s fun and easy to learn and also gives your neighbors something to do! Some popular songs are easy to play and can be learned in a short amount of time. Drums would be the best choice, but they aren’t for everyone. Some people might already know whether or not they *are* lucky enough to enjoy playing drums!

If you ever found yourself doing both of these things, then your chances are high that you’re rhythmically inclined and it would take no time for you to start playing. There’s no point in being an expert with these kind of tools if you don’t practice by using them. You need to put the work in, otherwise that pursuit will be a waste of your time.

If you enjoy playing drums, there’s still a lot of room to grow and progress as a player. There’s so many ways to learn new skills and explore what music can mean to you, so take the time and space to build your passion.

9. Tin Whistle

Easiest Woodwind Instrument to Learn

TIn whistles are a member of the woodwind family of instruments. You may have heard their haunting melodies in Celtic and Irish folk music. They’re a long, slim instrument with 6 holes that you cover up to change notes. At a glance, you might confuse them with recorders! Learning how to blow the whistle properly and how to finger the instrument can take a little bit of practice, but it doesn’t take long for you to learn.

There’s a wide variety of different things that you can experiment with and change to modify your playing approach after you’ve mastered the basic technique. The whistle is capable of producing a lot of notes and changing octaves, so it may be helpful to learn some tricks like covering the bottom, blowing harder, etc.

10. Flute

The Hardest “Easy” Instrument to Learn

Everyone loves the sound of a flute. It’s a member of the woodwind family that’s fun and easy to learn, making it one of the most popular instruments in any orchestra. The average beginner might not have much knowledge of music, which can make it difficult to understand the basics. To progress past that initial stage, it can take a little more time to understand all of the notes.

Like a lot of the other instruments on the list, after you’ve mastered the basics you have a lot of room to grow as your skills increase. The flute is also not one you will outgrow quickly. The most difficult part of playing a flute might be learning to breathe correctly because the note placement is not overly hard. You’ll find it’s easy to pick up, but you may find yourself out of breath at first. The more you practice, the better your breathing will become and making notes will be easier.

11. The Harp

This instrument is on a list of those that are the easiest to learn and would probably not have been what you would have pictured ourselves learning. Many people probably picture harps as being incredibly complex instruments that take years to master. However, this is rarely the case and we only see them in ballrooms or at celebrity weddings.

The reality is that the harp is actually pretty easy to learn. And people have probably been playing it for thousands of years, long before there was a solid framework for learning how to play instruments. Harps come in different sizes from a small travel harp to a double-sized grand piano!

The harp is much more accessible for beginner and intermediate players who don’t have a lot of experience with music. You simply pluck the string, and that helps you learn easy note melodies on the go. Harps are becoming increasingly popular for people starting a musical education. It’s an instrument with an ethereal sound that is relatively easy to learn and provides great value for the price.

12. DJ Controller

You might not think this instrument would be a good one to learn, but it is actually surprisingly simple and effective. DJ controllers are available across a wide range of markets. There are expensive professional models out there, but there are also DJ controllers made for home use to enhance your experience as a beginner DJ.

Learning to use a DJ controller is the most modern approach to musical education. You can use the ballroom effect, you can play syncopated beats and you have a lot of fun on your hand. Want to learn more about music theory? Kids who are familiar and comfortable with DJ controllers should try to innovate by using different textures, colors, instruments, and sounds. Having a ton of creative outlets can also help develop critical thinking skills and expose them to new concepts.

If you haven’t decided whether to buy a DJ controller yet, it might be best to start out with a computer or iPad. You don’t have to worry about purchasing your own software. There are a lot of free music production software programs that you can access. These apps will help them learn about music production in no time and introduce them into the DJ world.

For example, Mussila App is a fun way for kids to understand music theory in an interactive, game-like environment. They learn while playing and also feel like they are creating their own unique songs and sounds. Mussila is a fun app that can be used with or without parents–because it’s like playing a game. Kids may be able to learn while playing, too.

Parenting can be really challenging, especially when you have kids. But it’s also rewarding at times! It would be nice to have an interest or hobby to allow you to spend time with them, but let’s not forget the important things in life: friends and meeting new people!

For those looking to serve future DJ talents, Mussila DJ is a great way to teach your kids music without hundreds of dollars in equipment. It’s like giving them their own personal, portable DJ studio. If you don’t know where to start or want to get your kid more screen time, check out Mussila. It’s a simple interactive learning tool designed with kids in mind and will definitely help your child learn about music.

13. Castanets

Castanets are inexpensive wooden soundboards used by musicians for dancing and percussion. They’re often associated with Spanish flamenco music, but they’re also used in other European countries like Italy, Portugal, and Switzerland. Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters features “castanets” in its instrumental part. The claps along to the beat.

Castanets are easy to play – they attach right onto your fingers and make a clicking sound when closed and opened. They’re also great for developing eye-hand coordination, increasing sorting skills, and encouraging artistic creativity.

14. Tambourine

The tambourine is often an underestimated instrument, but it’s actually really versatile and simple to use. The instruments vary in construction, but they all have a similar basic shape and have jingles built into them. The tambourine player can make lots of different sounds depending on whether they shake or hit.

A tambourine is one of the best instruments to help teach beginners how to drum. What’s great about this simple instrument is that it can also accompany pretty much anything. This is a child with a tambourine and they can play along to someone on guitar or even explore the sounds that it makes while listening to their favourite song. It is quite versatile as they can also explore other instruments available.

15. Bongos

Most people might think of bongo drums as the kind of instrument that would accompany a beat poet or something that might play in the background of an odd alternative theatre piece. Bongo drums have been around for a long time and are often used in African folkloric dance. They’re usually made out of clay and this method allows for their natural shape to be preserved through the years without needing extra maintenance. The first recorded uses were by Afro-Cubans in the late 19th century.

Bongo drums come in varying weights. They are made of two small open bottomed drums that are connected together. The larger drum is assigned female (hombre) in Spanish, and the smaller male (chica). Each drum has a different sound, but the Hembra has a lower tone while the Macho is higher. If you’re looking for instruments to help teach rhythm and percussion, bongos are a great option! They’re very affordable, and also don’t emit too much noise so they are a good instrument to use at home.


Learning to play music doesn’t have to be a difficult or painful process. If you’re a beginning musician that’s looking for their instrument, I’ve got something for everyone in my list of the easiest to learn. Anyone can learn the basics of any instrument in a relatively short period of time. To truly master any instrument, it takes dedication and practice. However, everyone has to start somewhere! Having fun at the process is key, so figure out what kind of music you enjoy and figure out how you play instruments. This should be a simple and pleasurable process.

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