Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19

Thread: Good beginner instruments

  1. #11
    Regular Joe stigmatica's Avatar
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2,915
    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    So far I'm liking the harmonica, the recorder... I still like the idea of a uke because it's so tactile, moreso than a keyboard. It's pretty easy to learn, right? Maybe I'll pick up a couple of chords myself.
    The thing with the harmonica is it's very cheap and can fit into a pocket wherever you go. It also makes a lot of "fun" sounds easily and takes readily to a little "english". The worst thing about it is friends wanting to "try" it and spreading germs everywhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    my crime is that i disrupted the echo chamber

  2. #12
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    3,796
    What price range would yall aim for in this area for each of these instruments?

  3. #13
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Ceti Alpha V
    Posts
    14,069
    For a harmonica, I think a low end Hohner would do. You can get one for under $10 and it will sound fine. I wouldn't go much above $20 for a starter.

    For a uke, anything under $50 I'd consider a total toy, but I don't think I'd go above $75, given the age of the recipient and uncertainty of interest. However, you may find you need/want to spend another $20 to change out the tuning pegs for something nice like a decent set of Grover's or something. Cheap stringed instruments, in my experience, are awful because the pegs won't hold tune long enough to practice. The worst won't even hold tune long enough to tune.

    I wish I could offer similar advice on a guitar, but most of what I think of with regards to buying a guitar applies to teens and adults. I don't know how to get an inspiring guitar into the hands of a small child save browsing craigslist in hopes of finding treasure. My entry point in buying a guitar is about $500, because that seems to be the point where I can find a guitar I'll enjoy playing--after having done a ton of research on features and build quality, and build location.

    Rather than trying to navigate the waters for a guitar, maybe explore building a guitar? From found objects--not luthier grade materials. Bluesman on a budget needing something to busk with grade materials.
    People think they understand their own mortality, even when that understanding has just changed.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  4. #14
    Pull the strings! Architect's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    555
    I play the clarinet and piano professionally and can play the sax, guitar and violin imperfectly. All instruments are hard in different ways, I think more important for the instrument you're looking for is enjoyability. I'd recommend guitar or ukulele. If you like the ukulele idea I'd recommend getting a Kala baritone uke. It's lacking the lower two strings of the guitar but otherwise has the same strings so is easier to step up to guitar later if you like. You can get one for about $140. The baritone uke is the same size as a small guitar, and sounds like one. The other uke's (other than a bass) are more toys. Nice thing about this instrument is it's comfortable, social and easier to get started. Plus it's a polyphonic instrument.

    If you're seriously minded then start with a keyboard instrument.

  5. #15
    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Maņana
    Posts
    8,697
    Regardless of difficulty, I'd go with the more socially rewarding instrument, which is the guitar. You can play it casually just about anywhere and it brings people together.

    Not so much with a harmonica, which many people find unpleasant to listen to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hephaestus View Post
    Heh. We've been here years now.

  6. #16
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    mosquito-infested hell
    Posts
    3,796
    Good points, everyone. I might start small for Christmas this year and then get a slightly more substantial instrument next year, and so on.

    I broached the subject with the kiddo himself, and he tells me that he doesn't want any instruments and he hates music, just like the grandma in Coco....*eyeroll*

  7. #17
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Ceti Alpha V
    Posts
    14,069
    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Regardless of difficulty, I'd go with the more socially rewarding instrument, which is the guitar. You can play it casually just about anywhere and it brings people together.
    Suuure. If that's the motivation for playing, might as well include a ball of hemp or jute twine, a shark's tooth, a baggie of puka shells, and a copy of Blink 182's greatest hits. It's a complete douchebag kit, because so equipped he'll frost his tips on his own--with someone else's money.
    People think they understand their own mortality, even when that understanding has just changed.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Type
    intp
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1,641
    Do you play much music around the house? How does a kid start becoming interested in music? I reasonably strongly suspect that it's more about being around people who strongly value it.

    Just anecdotally, I found it odd that a previous ex-girlfriend's family never played music at all in their house. It was seen as "disruptive" to have "extraneous noise". And none of them were musical in anything beyond the superficial. Personally, my dad used to wake us up to blasting 70s prog-rock masterpieces / my mum always played piano. Trying to say that, I think if I'd grown up in that family, I would have hated music too. I suspect that the environment a kid grows up in is very critical in determining if they take an interest in it. You could surround the kid with instruments, but if no one around him is all that interested in that sort of thing, then it could be unlikely that he takes much interest. Maybe you do already, but, maybe you could increase your general interest in musical stuff, throw on some compact discs occasionally, etc. As architect said, I think making it fun and intriguing is the more critical thing.

    I suspect the difficulty of the instrument doesn't matter that much. It's probably more about what interests the kid. e.g. I didn't like taking piano lessons that much. I didn't really relate to the typical beginner songs you learn. I probably needed some context or something. I always really wanted an electric guitar. I got a nylon string one, that was a bit lame. Finally I bought myself one when I was about 17. So suggestions like harmonica, recorder, whatever, could be really hit/miss.

    I would say piano and guitar are the most musically enriching / valuable to learn (as a sort of "base instrument" pov). If it were me, I'd get him a cheap-ish keyboard. A cheap kid-size electric guitar, maybe (depending on his inclination).

    At this age it also may be impossible that he really has much context on his own. So maybe it's better you just put him in some piano lessons, while making sure that he at least doesn't he hate it, and can simply progress with it semi-passively until he develops some technique/understanding to then allow him to take a more active/independent interest.

  9. #19
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
    Type
    INTP
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,767
    I'd vote for piano or guitar, so a cheapish keyboard or a cheapish guitar. There probably is a certain level of base investment required in terms of time/ability, just having it on the shelf isn't going to awaken the passions as it were.

    The problem with woodwind/brass/strings, apart from the cost, is the general acceptance that the person is going to sound pretty damn horrible on them for a fair period of time. Sure, you can get something like the recorder which is cheap and doesn't require quite as much little muscular control that limits the difference between absolute beginner and a bit of practice, but lets just say that there's an even higher skill-ceiling before recorders start to even vaguely sound acceptable...if ever.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •