Learning the harp - how to take the first steps
Want to be a pro on your instrument quickly? But preferably without having to practice? As nice as this wish may sound, music is very difficult without practicing at all. Instruments are complex, need repetition and skill development to sound really good. There are, of course, some instruments which are easier to practice than others. What are they? And what do you have to pay attention to? That's exactly what we'll show you in this blog post:
Playing an instrument is a special, time-consuming hobby. Therefore, it is usually also very difficult to simply skip the practice phase for new instruments. In most cases, it takes a lot of familiarization and practice to be able to play instruments quickly and confidently. Your journey to playing just one note correctly could take weeks or even months. And at that point you’re not even able to play a complete song. Reaching perfection completely without practicing is therefore virtually impossible with most instruments.
How long and intensively you need to practice your instrument is of course always a question of your own wishes and goals. If you only want to play certain, simple pieces, learning the sequence of notes or chords by heart in advance is usually sufficient. However, if you want to master the instrument in its full complexity, you will need much more time to practice. This is the case with the piano, for example. The first notes are easy to hit, because the individual keys automatically sound right. Until the complete song, however, it takes longer and the complexity increases, for example, in terms of playing with both hands. So you can learn the piano to a certain extent without much practice - but you will only play it properly with practice!
Of course, there are still significant differences between instruments. However, it is important to look at the desired skills, always distinguishing between simple playing and mastering at a higher level. We will summarize later in this article how the instruments differ depending on the amount of practice required. However, with many instruments, in addition to the difficulty of playing, the tone production is also added, which increases the practice times. This is the case, for example, with the flute or plucking the guitar.
No matter how professional or not you want to play your instrument, some beginning training is always recommended to master the musical basics. In music lessons, for example, you'll learn more about sheet music and how to read and play it. Without sheet music you will hardly succeed in playing several titles on your desired instrument without practicing and improving seriously. With the right beat and the right notes, there's not much standing in the way of your progress.
However, it doesn't always have to be the music school for the first practice. In the meantime, you can also learn autodidactically on the computer, in order to be able to deepen your instrument by listening to it and playing it again. Regardless of your choice of new instrument, however, you cannot reach a high level without practicing. Therefore, make sure you practice as efficiently as possible.
As mentioned above, there are differences depending on the type of instrument, which will result in different intensity of practice. For example, with some instruments you will be able to play your first songs faster than with others. Still other instruments are better suited as accompanists anyway, allowing you to look for a band and like-minded people early on. The following instruments are super suitable for beginners - and partly also for those who are lazy about practicing:
For the first entry into the world of instruments, the harmonica is a popular choice. Its sounds can be used in many genres, even though the harmonica is usually considered only a secondary instrument. Depending on the type of instrument, you can expect numerous keys that allow for complementary playing. Thus, even without intensive practice around your harmonica, you will quickly reach a certain standard. But until you really master the instrument above average, many years of intensive practice are required.
If you do not want to practice with your instrument for a long time until the first success, we can recommend the recorder. Only the first steps around the technique can be a bit more difficult and require a bit more practice. However, as soon as you get the hang of the hand position and technique, easy pieces will quickly await you. The recorder as a woodwind instrument is also not a big investment in terms of price and can also be transported to any place without problems. So there's certainly not too much standing in the way of your first successes.
Should rhythm be in your blood, then the drums are just the right instrument for you. In most cases, no notes, but rather the necessary intuition to be able to arrange yourself optimally with the appropriate sounds and connections. Many templates can be downloaded via tablet or PC to approach the drums autodidactically. Only the price of the drumset can be quite difficult for many beginners to afford, as it is quite high. If you want to play drums professionally, the instrument is one of the most complex and requires a lot of practice and fitness.
If you want to create a good mood with your instrument, a guitar is usually the best choice. Quite as easy as often assumed, the first steps are usually not. Similar to the recorder, it depends on the right technique to produce clean tones. An electric guitar can also be worthwhile for beginners without much practice to cover different genres. However, always keep an eye on the price and use the right accessories from the beginning. This will maintain the necessary professionalism. Again, it doesn't take much practice to play a little campfire music, but if you want to perform on stage with your guitar, practice, practice and practice again!
If the piano has always been fascinating to you, you should take a look at a keyboard. Even without knowing sheet music, you'll probably master simple melodies and rhythms in no time and also benefit from a cheaper price. Also, the transportability of the keyboard turns out to be much better compared to a big piano, which allows you to play at any place. How much you want to practice your instrument doesn't have to be that important until the first melodies.
Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without a brass instrument. While the duration of practice counts for other instruments, the trumpet first rather requires a high lung capacity. If you meet this requirement, you will usually be able to learn the instrument quite quickly. Depending on the type of your trumpet, the air resistance will also differ, which can be taken into account when choosing your instrument in advance. This way, you'll quickly find the right trumpet to get you started.
Even if some instruments don't seem that difficult at first glance, the road to perfection is usually many years away. A good example is especially the string instruments such as the violin or the double bass, where the right technique for practicing is crucial. Even after producing the first notes, it will take a long time before you can play entire pieces freely. It's a similar story on the piano. If you think that it's simply a matter of pressing keys, you're sadly mistaken. With the piano, it is primarily the combination of tempo and strength that distinguishes good playing.
The question should therefore not be how you can play instruments completely without practicing. If you don't have much time to practice, you can make your practice phases much better and more efficient with a few simple tricks. The same applies to band rehearsals, for which we have already written a separate article. The following tips should therefore be followed when practicing your first instruments in order to use your time efficiently and to learn successfully:
Once you get the hang of practicing your instrument effectively, you will see progress even with less time investment. If you enjoy your instrument while practicing, there's nothing to stop you from practicing intensively. After all, no master has ever fallen from the sky in music without real practice.
If you don't have much time to practice your instrument, you probably won't achieve the real top results as quickly or ever. However, as shown in this article, there can be some differences depending on the type of instrument. Sometimes the first straight notes are easily produced, sometimes they sound crooked and slanted at first. Sometimes it takes hours of rehearsal to get the first song, sometimes self-taught trial and error is enough. Take a look at the tips for learning the piano for beginners here or read more about piano apps. You can also find out how to learn the recorder as a beginner's instrument here. Our personals for musicians here at mukken will also help you. Exchange ideas and learn from the experiences of others.
Originally published on March 15, 2023, updated on March 15, 2023
Main topic: Belting - a singing technique with two medal sides