5 Quirky Instruments You Should Learn To Play This Year

The only thing better than listening to music is making it yourself. Yes, playing an instrument is so rewarding, and so worth the time it takes to get the hang of it. My only minor issue is that loads of people seem to play the same instruments all the time. Speak to anyone that plays an instrument and they’ll usually tell you they play the guitar, piano, drums, or violin. Now, I’m not saying these instruments aren’t great to learn – they are! But, I’m more saying that you should start opening your eyes to all the other awesome and quirky instruments out there.

Which brings me to the main point of this post; a list of the quirkiest instruments you should learn to play this year. These instruments are a great idea for beginner’s looking for something to play, but they’re also amazing for any seasoned musicians that have mastered some of the more traditional options mentioned earlier.

So, settle down in a nice comfy chair, and enjoy this list:


This is an instrument that guitar players can easily try learning if they want a new challenge. Banjos kind of look like smaller, circular, guitars, and they have a unique sound to them. Many guitarists actually choose to learn the banjo when they want to improve their general guitar technique. This is because a lot of the songs you play on this instrument are fast-paced and require quick finger speed.

One of the best reasons to try this instrument is that it’s relatively small and portable. So, you can pretty much take it anywhere you want, meaning you’ll never be bored ever again! Plus, the sound is just so interesting; it almost soothes your ears.


If you’re like me, then your parents probably bought you a toy harmonica as a child. There’s something fun about them, I used to love playing with my toy one and making loads of noise. That’s one of the main reasons I like this idea – even a harmonica played badly will sound good! But, learn how to master it, and you’ll get a really amazing sound that’s just so beautiful and melodic.

Again, this is an instrument you can take with you everywhere. Literally, you can fit this in a small bag, or maybe even a deep coat pocket. This makes it an easy instrument to fall in love with as you can practice whenever you want, wherever you are. There are few instruments out there that are like the harmonica, but if you have experience with some wind instruments, then you might find it easier to learn than others.


This is one of my all-time favorite musical instruments because of how it looks and sounds. There’s a jovial look to the accordion that I’ve always fallen in love with. When played correctly, it produces a unique sound that you can’t really replicate from any other instrument. There’s so much going on at once, and whenever I hear one, I’m transported to the streets of Paris where this instrument is so commonly heard.

Is it an easy instrument to learn? I don’t know, I’ve never tried. However, it doesn’t look like the easiest thing in the world as you have multiple things to master at once. So, I think this is perfect for any musicians that have run through all the grades in their favored instruments and are now looking for a challenge. I feel like it’s impossible to play the accordion without a smile on your face. Why not try it out if you’re looking for something to really stick your teeth into?


Cajon is a lovely spice that I enjoy on my chicken from time to time, or on my chips if I’m feeling quite adventurous. Oh wait, no, I’m thinking of cajun. A cajon is a very intriguing instrument that you probably didn’t even know existed. Essentially, it looks like a box which you can sit on, and then use your hands to create sounds. I bet you’ve seen buskers using them before, but probably thought they were just playing music on a random wooden box, not using an actual instrument!

Why do I think this is a great instrument to learn? Well, it’s just fun and easy to get playing. You don’t need a great deal of skill, and you can pretty much make music up as you go along. Plus, read any guide on choosing a cajon, and you’ll see there are loads of different varieties out there, made from different woods. You can create different sounds, from ones that are more acoustic sounding, to ones that replicate a drum and bass sound. If you’re looking for an instrument to truly express yourself, this is a great idea.


Right, now we’re really moving into the realm of quirkiness here. If you’ve heard of a kalimba, then I’m very impressed with your musical knowledge. It’s an instrument that hails from Africa and is a mainstay in many folk songs from there. But, you can buy it from most music shops here, and you’re bound to find it online as well. As you can see from the video embedded above, it’s a funny looking little box with metal lines you pluck at with your thumbs.

Speaking of the video, it displays the sound of this instrument quite beautifully. Have you ever heard something so peaceful? I think this will be such a lovely instrument to learn as you can really relax while playing it. Again, it’s one of those instruments that seems to sound amazing no matter how skilled you are. Plus, it doesn’t seem too difficult to learn as there aren’t a crazy amount of notes you can play.

You see, there are loads of fun and quirky instruments for you to try and learn. Regardless of whether you’re a professional musician or a plain newbie, any of these ideas are fantastic. Instead of opting for the obvious instruments, give these lesser known ones some love this year. Trust me, you’ll love all the music you produce!

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