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Musical Instruments

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Musical Instruments information

Playing a musical instrument is one of the most popular hobbies on our fair planet. It doesn't matter where you are in the world, music will always be an essential part of the culture, and as such, musical instruments can literally be found everywhere, as well as the passion for playing them.

Musical Instruments at Bax Music

Here at Bax Music, we have an insanely wide array of musical instruments: from woodwind and brass instruments to pianos, from violins to kazoos, and from guitars to drum kits. And since we're constantly stacking our shelves with new instruments in different colours, finishes, shapes and sizes, our range only grows every day.

Playing an Instrument: Then & Now

You'll often hear it said that society is becoming more and more individualistic, and that doesn't mean that we're getting less fun, it just means that, because of a shift in attitude combined with available technology, we're able to do more things on our own. In the past, being a musician almost always meant playing as part of an ensemble, but in these busy times when it's harder to match schedules, many musicians simply play at home on their own, whether writing entire songs full of different instruments, creating original online content, or simply playing along to recordings to have the feel of playing with other musicians. Of course, ensembles and orchestras still exist, but these days, plenty of gear is available that supports solo musicians that want to do everything themselves.

Child-Friendly Instruments

Obviously, children are generally quite a bit smaller and less strong than fully-grown adults, so it only makes sense that there are musical instruments available that have been designed for much younger students. Many children can start playing standard acoustic or digital pianos at around seven-years-old, rather than a smaller keyboard with mini-keys. You can easily get guitars for children, like a 1/4 or 3/4 sized model, which are smaller than standard making them easier for smaller hands to get to grips with.

The trumpet and other similar instruments can be a little more tricky since the instrument has to be held and can weigh around a kilogram, so it makes more sense for children to start playing the trumpet at around nine-years-old. Otherwise, a recorder or tin whistle can be a good alternative for younger musicians. They're also fairly cheap, lightweight, and not so difficult to play. By learning about how music works and how to read music with an instrument like a recorder, children are also better prepared to step up to a larger instrument later on.

To see all of the child-friendly instruments we have available, go straight to our Musical Instruments for Children section.

Frequently Asked Questions About Musical Instruments

What kind of instruments are there?

The amount of different musical instruments is virtually endless. To start, we have string instruments, like acoustic and electric guitars which are the most popular in this category, since they're accessible and everyone's favourite band probably includes one. There are other string instruments like ukuleles, banjos, and mandolins as well as traditional string instruments like violins, cellos, and pianos. There are also wind instruments which can either be woodwind or brass instruments like a trombone. As well as orchestral wind instruments, there are lesser-known instruments like the ocarina, melodica, pan-pipes, and the trusty harmonica. And, this list would be incomplete without percussion! There are acoustic drum kits and electric drum kits as well a host of rhythmic and melodic percussive instruments. The range of keyboard instruments is also broad. As well as pianos, it includes digital pianos, synthesizers, keyboards, MIDI keyboards, keytars and more.

What musical instrument do I need?

This is definitely the best, but also the most confronting question. A quick answer is: if you know you want a specific sound, then you probably already have your answer. An orchestra, for example, is made up by a myriad of personalities as well as instruments, so if you know you're someone who likes to be in the spotlight, then there's a chance you'll get on best with an instrument that plays a more prominent role, like the trumpet or the drums. If you're a touch more timid, then perhaps an instrument that blends into the total sound of an ensemble would work better for you, like the cello or violin. It's no coincidence that terms like introvert and extrovert are also used to describe musical instruments. An experienced conductor even uses this to inform the way they communicate with their musicians because after all, they're only human!

What are the most popular musical instruments?

The most popular instruments are the ones you always see played in bands or by pop artists. So the guitar, drums, bass, and keyboard as well as the piano and synthesizer are the go-to for most budding musicians, simply because they want to play the same instrument as their hero.

How many kinds of musical instruments are there?

Thousands upon thousands. First, you have the different instrument families, like string instruments, wind instruments, percussion, and so on. Then, within each family, you'll find a diverse array of different instruments. The trumpet is an obvious example of a wind instrument, but in the same family as the trumpet, you'll find trumpets with different tunings, like the piccolo trumpet, and the bass trumpet. The same is true of string instruments, which includes a long list of cousins and second-cousins, from the guitar, the electric guitar, the acoustic guitar and classical guitar, to the bass guitar, the banjo, mandolin, ukulele... and the list goes on.

What kind of wind instruments are there?

The two big wind instrument families are woodwind and brass. Woodwind instruments often have a some form of pipe with a single hole that's blown into to produce sound, like a flute or the pan pipes, but woodwind instruments can also have mouthpieces with a small wooden reed that vibrates as you blow, like the clarinet, oboe, bassoon and saxophone. Here, it doesn't matter that the saxophone is made from metal, since it produces sound with the help of a wooden reed - hence woodwind. Brass instruments like the trumpet, tuba, or trombone each have a different, bowl-shaped mouthpiece. Instead of vibrating a reed, sound is produced when the musician vibrates their lips as they blow through the mouthpiece.

Why learn to play a smaller instrument?

Besides the fact that they often play an important role, smaller musical instruments are much easier to travel with. Instruments like the ukulele, harmonica, smaller percussive instruments, the pan-pipes, and travel guitars are popular because they're also easy to carry. You can also get instruments with a lower tonality, like the bass ukulele. Many of these instruments are so small they could slot in your backpack or even your back pocket and literally be taken anywhere.

Is buying a musical instrument online a good idea?

Most of the time: definitely! The range of different musical instruments available via online stores like Bax Music is enormous, so you're far more likely to find exactly the instrument and model you're looking for - whether your focus is on the sound or the price. But you might be wondering if you'll be able to make the right decision when picking out your instrument online. To help, we make sure that detailed descriptions, specifications, reviews, and even videos are included on each product page so you can get the clearest picture of what you're buying. You're also welcome to contact our helpdesk for advice from one of our specialists. We also understand that when you buy a new instrument, you'll need a little time to try it out and check that it's the right one for you. So, if it doesn't work out, you can always just return it to us within our generous trial period.

Can you hire musical instruments?

At Bax Music you can also hire musical instruments and accessories, whether it's a digital piano, a violin, cello, saxophone, guitar, full drum kit, or a bass guitar, you can hire it for as little as £1 a day! And, if you happen to fall in love with the instrument you hire, we even offer hire-purchase options following the minimum hire period, so you can buy it at a slightly discounted price. For more information about hiring gear and to see our terms and conditions, see our Instrument Hire page.

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