Learning a musical instrument can be fun and rewarding, but perfecting your technique can take years of practice. Although you won’t be able to become a virtuoso overnight, there are several instruments you can pick up in just a few months. Even better, thanks to the internet there are thousands of readily accessible instructional videos to help you sharpen your technique. From familiar instruments like the snare drum and ukulele to less common ones like cajon and claves, here are nine musical instruments you can learn in a summer.
1. SNARE DRUM
If you eventually want to play a drum set, you should start with the snare drum. A favorite of marching bands and orchestras around the world, the snare drum is essential to keeping time. Grab a pair of wooden sticks—thinner, lighter sticks are easier to use than heavier ones—and a metronome to keep time. You’ll want to practice rudiments, which are drumming exercises with fun names like rolls, paradiddles, and flams that strengthen your wrist muscles and boost your coordination. It’s better to start slowly, so you can play with accuracy and control before gradually increasing your speed and power.
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A smaller, more portable version of a xylophone, the glockenspiel consists of metal plates that you strike with a mallet. You can hear the glockenspiel’s vibrant, high-pitched notes in everything from rock to classical music. To achieve the clearest sound, hit the middle of the bar, and get used to using both your right and left hands to strike the glockenspiel. Once you’ve learned to play scales, experiment with playing chords by holding four mallets (two in each hand) as…