The Sims 4 Walkthrough: Music and Instruments Guide

Strum, strum, strum. Music has long played an important role in the lives of sims everywhere, and it continues to dominate the affairs of creative folks in The Sims 4. Instruments make a return in the latest game, and, as ever, they can be used for stress relief - or to make a profit, depending on how much effort your sims are willing to put into learning how they work.

Aspirations and Traits

The obvious Aspiration associated with music of any kind in The Sims 4 is Creative - Musical Genius. This will give your sim the Muser Trait, which improves skill development when the sim is feeling Inspired. Inspired is the mood you want when you’re learning how to play an instrument. Other Traits you’ll want to check out include:

  • Creative. Your sims want to be Inspired to make the most of their music lessons. Creative will do the trick.
  • Music Lover. You’ll get lots of Moodlets that will take advantage of your sim’s musical inclinations.
  • Outgoing. Unlike other skill-oriented professions, musicians suffer from being Loners, as they need to get out and make a lot of friends. At the very least they need to be comfortable around strangers to earn tips. Outgoing is ideal.

A sim playing a piano in The Sims 4. Note that pianos, guitars, and violins all have their own skills.
A sim playing a piano in The Sims 4. Note that pianos, guitars, and violins all have their own skills.

Choose your Poison

Music is not, in and of itself, a skill in The Sims 4. Instead, music is divided into three separate skills, each pertaining to a different instrument. Though you can ultimately teach your sim how to play all three instruments, it’s wiser to stick with one until you’ve learned it to mastery, then move on to the next. You only really need to learn how to play one to make the most of your sim’s musical potential.

Guitar

  • Level 1 - Practice
  • Level 2 - Strum for Fun when Playful, Research the Guitar on a computer, Appreciate the Blues on a stereo, Enthuse About Guitar Solos to other sims
  • Level 3 - Blues Songs, Pluck Some Inspiration
  • Level 4 - Jam on the Guitar, Rock Songs
  • Level 5 - Country Songs
  • Level 6 - Serenade other sims, Ballads
  • Level 7 - Latin Songs, Lull Sims to Sleep, Promise to Dedicate Song to other sims
  • Level 8 - Write, Scrap, and Name Songs, Classical Songs
  • Level 9 - Jazz Songs, License Songs
  • Level 10 - Avant-Garde Songs, Mentor other sims

Violin

  • Level 1 - Practice
  • Level 2 - Research the Violin on a computer, Discuss Violinists with other sims, Appreciate Classical Music on a stereo
  • Level 3 - Traditional Songs
  • Level 4 - Play Concerto, Rock Songs
  • Level 5 - Country Songs
  • Level 6 - Romantic Songs, Serenade other sims
  • Level 7 - Eastern Music, Bring Sims to Tears, Promise to Dedicate Song to other sims
  • Level 8 - Write, Scrap, and Name Songs, Swing Songs
  • Level 9 - Advanced Classical Songs, License Songs
  • Level 10 - Avante-Garde Songs, Mentor other sims

Piano

  • Level 1 - Practice
  • Level 2 - Rhapsodize about Piano Sonatas to other sims, Research the Piano, Appreciate Classical Music on a stereo
  • Level 3 - Traditional Songs, Plunk for Inspiration
  • Level 4 - Play Concerto, Blues Songs
  • Level 5 - Romantic Songs, Listen and Learn to other, more skilled pianists
  • Level 6 - Serenade other sims, Post-Bop Songs
  • Level 7 - Latin Songs, Promise to Dedicate Song to other sims
  • Level 8 - Write, Scrap, and Name Songs, Ragtime Songs, Jazz Up the Place
  • Level 9 - Classical Songs, License Songs
  • Level 10 - Avante-Garde, Mentor other sims

A sim playing guitar for tips in The Sims 4.
A sim playing guitar for tips in The Sims 4.

Cashing In

Learning how to play is only half the fun. Your sims can also make money while playing an instrument. Put an instrument in your sim’s inventory and head out to a public place, such as a park or a bar. (Outside your house can work, too, but you’ll probably draw fewer people.) Assuming your sim is in a good spot, near chairs or somewhere you’d normally prepare food, they’ll probably earn tips for playing music. The number and quality of the tips improves based on your sim’s skills with their instrument. Understandably, sims can’t earn tips with a piano in this fashion unless you find one in the public space. Your sims also won’t earn tips from anyone in your active household.

Ultimately more lucrative than busking is writing songs. Pick up an instrument once your sim is at level eight proficiency or higher and they’ll have the option to Write songs. Once a song is finished you can submit it to a publisher for a cut of royalties, via the mailbox. There’s a cool down time on submissions, so your sim won’t bring in massive amounts of money for a while. You may want to get them jobs as Entertainers / Musicians to supplement their cash flow in the meantime.

Mastery

Once your sim reaches the height of any of these three skills they can begin to Mentor other sims in the use of the associated instrument, which is quite handy for creating a household of talented musicians. Additionally, you’ll want to push your sim’s Musical Genius Aspiration to mastery, as it will give your sim the Piper trait. Pipers can change the emotions of others through their song selections, which can be very helpful for quickly manipulating the emotions of other members of the household.

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