The great thing about the ukulele is that you can learn to play a basic three-chord sequence, which is enough to accompany most songs, in a single afternoon. It is one of the most approachable musical instruments for beginners. Of course, if you want to play like ukulele great Jake Shimabukuro, it will take a bit longer.
From the toniest concert halls to the most raucous cabarets, the piano has been the centerpiece of many a performance. Classical musicians have tickled the ivories for hundreds of years, while pop superstars like Liberace, Elton John and Billy Joel have thrilled audiences around the world. But where does the piano come from, and what is its significance to the musical world? Stay tuned for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this classical instrument.
The idea behind the accordion – a ‘free reed’, that is, a reed that isn’t placed in the mouth of the player as is the case with an oboe or clarinet – goes back to the Chinese sheng, which uses bamboo pipes inserted into a gourd. Similar reeds had been used in the regal, a Renaissance keyboard instrument, and in the harmonica or mouth organ, so the idea certainly wasn’t a new one. But it was probably the advent of industrial production methods which made the accordion a relatively inexpensive and popular instrument.
Playing the trumpet is a lot of fun, whether you want to play professionally or just enjoy some jam time with your friends. But before you go out and buy your first trumpet, it helps to know a little bit about the instrument. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the trumpet, from how much you can expect to spend to how long it could take to become proficient.
The guitar is one of the most interesting, and certainly one of the most versatile, instruments in the world. You can find the guitar in formal concert settings, backing up classical musicians with its distinctive sound, or in raucous rock bands, giving bar patrons a fun night out. You can even find the guitar in high school ensembles, as young people gain their musical chops and learn about playing an instrument.
While you should always buy a guitar that fits your personal, unique style, it definitely helps to know what styles and models work well for others—especially famous guitarists who manage to do extraordinary things with ordinary instruments. If you love the music that any of these guys produce, it’s a safe bet to copy their guitar choice for yourself.
Most musicians get the urge to start recording their music after only a few weeks of picking up the instrument. Whether you want to make recordings so you can listen to yourself and improve, or you want to share your music with others, it’s easier than you think to start recording. How you record your guitar will largely depend on two factors—what type of sound do you want to record (isolated instrument vs. what you hear from your amp), and what your budget is.