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10 Musical Instruments Anyone Can Play
If you are anything like me and not musically inclined, learning to play guitar or piano is out of the question. But everyone loves music and appreciates the heart and soul that goes into making your own. So I went on a quest to find something even I could play at least halfway decently and what I came up with was music to my ears. And though real musicians might cringe at my hearty attempts, both me and my dogs are having a ball.
So here are 10 instruments that, yes, even you can learn how to play. If the result is still a little questionable, no worry, you will have fun anyway.
1) The Kazoo - The kazoo is so cool and potentially annoying so it serves more than one purpose. It is an American instrument in the shape of a tube . One end is flattened, the other end has a small opening. A kazoo is usually made out of metal but some are plastic. When you play the kazoo, you speak or sing through it causing a vibration in the membrane (there's a small hole in the kazoo where the membrane lives) which causes a nasally humming sound. Manipulate the hole (where the membrane lives) and you can make music. How cool is that?
2) The Spoons - It is what it is, two spoons. But lovers of old time folk music know the beat you can create with these utensils catergorizes them as an instrument. It's a great way to surprise and impress people, clicking your spoons in the other hand and down your leg like a pro. And most of all, it's fun. It takes some practice and the following link shows you how.
3) The Bongos - People consider bongo drumming a special art. In the city where I live, Friday nights downtown offers a drum circle where anyone who cares to can get down and dirty with other bongo players. It's pretty neat. Bongo drums are two single-headed drums joined in the middle. They are usually held between the knees when played. They are portable and inexpensive to buy and a great way to express yourself. We often see this instrument used in Latin type music though coming up with your own variations is required.
4) The Harmonica- This instrument is my personal favorite and I completely enjoy pretending I can play it. Also called a harp and french organ, this instrument has been around the blues world forever. Considered one of the simplest of musical instruments to play, it is a favorite with budding musicians and children. It was invented in Germany in 1829. There are countless websites providing free harmonica lessons so get one for your pocket and play me the blues.
5) The Maracas - The word "percussion" means "the hitting of one body against the other". Considered an instrument in the percussion family, maracas are played by being scraped, shaken or struck. This does not mean you should use them as a weapon. They are meant to add rhythm to a band and are popular in Salsa music. Maracas were originally made of gourds which were filled with dry seeds. Playing the maracas makes you want to dance so it is required that you do. Oohlala.
6) The Tambourine - The tambourine is another one of my personal favorites. It is a small handheld drum framed in wood. Small discs called jingles are attached to the frame so when the drum is struck, they produce a sound. Mozart used the tambourine in his music in 1782 so we know that this is a classy instrument. It is often associated with joy, dancing, and basically played in times of happiness.
7) The Finger Cymbals - You don't really have to be a belly dancer to play these. You can pretend you are a belly dancer. Finger cymbals are also called "zills". They are small metal discs worn on your hands. Typically four are worn, one on each thumb and one on each middle finger. Belly dancers who played them well made more money. They are meant to add drama to the dance.
8) Bamboo Flute - This is a simple flute that many folks make themselves. The music you can make from these can be very beautiful even if you make up your own songs. There's a lot of heart that goes into playing the flute. It conjures up images of Native Americans communicating with nature.
9) The Cymbals - Thought to be of Asian origin, the cymbals have been used in religious ceremonies since ancient times. Much larger then the above finger cymbals, they are easier to play. You simply clash them together. Even though it is a percussion instrument, playing them by yourself would be unusual. As part of a band, they are pretty cool and can be struck with a drumstick.
10) The Triangle - The triangle is quite a beautiful sounding instrument. Though it is simply steel bent into a triangle with an opening at the top, when when struck with a steel beater it creates a delicate pitch. It is a rhythm instrument often used in folk music. Composer Frank Liszt included a triangle solo in 1849 in his first piano concerto. It is worth finding and listening to.