5 New Instruments You Should Experiment With

Bands commonly consist of a vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist, drummer, and maybe even a keyboardist. But there are so many other instruments you can explore and use to create a full orchestral sound.

They add such a graceful and dreamy sound to music. Artists such as OneRepublic and Yellowcard used these instruments for a symphonic effect. They can even be used for solos, in place of lead guitar. After all, there’s more to the string family than just guitar and ukulele.

Although seemingly cliché and reminiscent of holiday jingles, it can add some brightness to your percussion. The Beatles used the tambourine in many of their songs. You can play it in your bare hands or mount it on your drum kit. It contributes a splash effect to the snare sound.

It can be used to rock the solos in jazz and folk music. Maybe you’ve heard it before, on some nights by the campfire. Stevie Wonder and many other musicians used this instrument for blues-y wails– like Led Zeppelin in “When the Levee Breaks.”

It opens possibilities for creating and blending all kinds of sounds and effects. It was originally designed for music-editing, but now it’s a standalone instrument. Depeche Mode, MGMT, and Passion Pit all use synthesizers to create space for vocals, transitions between instruments, and other effects.

Jazz and special occasion fanfare popularized the trumpet. Now, it’s used in a lot of songs for a lively, celebratory sound. You can incorporate it in happy, upbeat songs, like Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound,” Michael Buble’s “It’s a Beautiful Day,” and, of course, Jason Derulo’s “Trumpets.”

So, learn or re-learn some of these. Make your high school music teacher proud!

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Michelle Nguyen is a writer whose passions include music, sports, health, and wellness. She loves playing drums and bass guitar, as well as swimming. If she indirectly helps you write the next “Stairway to Heaven,” she will be very happy.

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