If I Learn One Instrument is it Easy to Learn Another?

If the music bug has bitten you, you are very likely going to dream about playing all sorts of instruments. Picking the first instrument is never easy and your thirst for playing might not be quenched by a single instrument.


So, what if you have mastered the piano and are now eyeing the guitar? Does knowing how to play one instrument mean it’s easy to learn to play another?

The Benefits of Knowing One Instrument

First, it must be said that learning to play one instrument is an achievement on its own and you are going to enjoy many benefits in your life! While knowing the secrets to playing the banjo won’t automatically mean you can master the flute, you’ll benefit from knowing one instrument.

The biggest upside to knowing how one instrument works when learning another is your ability to understand music. Music theory is nearly the same no matter which instrument you play and understanding concepts such as notes will naturally help you skip all the ‘basics’ second time around.

Even if you haven’t focused too much on theory, you’ll have a basic understanding of concepts and your ability to listen music has already developed.

Furthermore, you’ve most likely developed a learning method that works for you. You’ve done all the hard work in finding tutors, watching online videos and talking on forums that makes doing it the second time a lot smoother.

The Different Instruments

Now, the ease of learning a new instrument depends a lot on the type of instruments you want to learn to play. If you are playing relatively similar instruments from the same family of instruments, then you’ll find the learning process a lot easier.

For instance, if you are already good at playing the guitar, then learning to play the bass won’t be anything too difficult. There are naturally minor tweaks and differences you need to learn, but overall the experience is quite similar.

On the other hand, if you are looking to swap your guitar to the saxophone, the difference is much bigger. String instruments are quite different to woodwind instruments, for example, in terms of playing style as well as the chord structure.

Again, knowing the theory will help, but the benefits aren’t quite as big as with similar types of instruments.

Focus on One Instrument at a Time

Overall, you should definitely focus your efforts to mastering one instrument at a time. Having to learn two different types of instruments can be very demanding and could harm your overall ability to play.

Before you start learning an instrument, spend enough time picking the instrumentthat best suits you and your ambition. You don’t want to rush your decision to ensure you won’t feel frustrated and bored two weeks into learning to play.

Once you have learned to play the instrument properly, give a go to another instrument if you like! While you won’t be able to skip all the hard work when learning a second instrument, you have proved yourself you can learn to play, so conquering the new instrument won’t seem as daunting.

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