Best Instrument To Learn At 50

Man at age 50 play guitar.

When you are 50 years of age, learning a musical instrument may not be an appealing option, given the limitations brought about by the onset of old age. Yet, it is not too late to learn a new musical instrument at this age. You only need to make a marginal change in your schedule and include the practice sessions in your daily schedule to learn a new musical instrument. 

Of course, you may argue that your hands and reflexes are no longer as agile and quick as before. Yet, I assure you that learning a new musical instrument isn’t impossible at this age, for I did it myself. Moreover, learning how to play a new musical instrument at this age brings many benefits. So, I will not hold back in enjoining you to explore this option in your life as you turn 50.

The Most Recommended Musical Instrument to Learn at 50

There are around 1,500 to 2,000 musical instruments in the world. Given these myriads of options at hand, you may get confused as to which one to learn. Below is a short list of the best musical instruments to learn at 50:

1) Guitar

The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments you can learn. It is also one of the best for those who are 50 years of age. Of course, it is not easy to learn the guitar, for you will need to be adept with your fingers in gripping the strings of the guitar to sound the chords you would like to create. 

At the onset, your fingertips will become callous while fingering those chords. But as you gain mastery of the chords, you can play some of your favorite songs. Some popular songs only have 3 to 5 chords. So, once you’ve learned around five chords, you can already play a song. 

The hardest part of guitar learning is the fingering of the chords. Sometimes you need to overwork your fingers to sound some chords. Moving around the guitar’s fretboard can be very challenging. Thus, it will be useful to strengthen your fingers at the start so that you can play effectively. 

You’ll also need to learn how to strum and pluck the guitar, which are essential skills that you need to master when guitar playing. 

When it comes to guitar options, you will have enough choices at hand. You do not need to buy the most expensive guitar in the market today. Even with a simple acoustic guitar, you can already learn how to play some tunes. 

Once you’ve zeroed in on the right guitar, you should make time for your practice sessions. Without practice, of course, you will never learn the rudiments of guitar playing. 

There are many learning materials for guitar playing out there. So, you will indeed never run out of materials to learn and play to hone your guitar skills.

2) Ukulele

If you want a less tasking guitar-like instrument, then you should consider learning the ukulele. The ukulele belongs to the lute family of musical instruments. It features four nylon strings. The ukulele’s volume and tone differ in construction and size. Moreover, ukuleles have four dimensions: baritone, tenor, concert, and soprano.

If you’re a hobbyist who simply wants to while away your time playing a musical instrument, then dabbling in the ukulele is a great way to have fun. The good thing is that buying a ukulele will not break your bank. You can have a ukulele at the low price of $50, and it will even sound decent. 

Ukulele is mostly made of laminate woods and plywood, though you will find some variants with some plastic materials. Some expensive ukuleles are made of mahogany and other hardwoods likewise, although the traditionally preferred type of wood for ukes is the koa, an acacia that grows widely in Hawaii.

You won’t need strong fingers to play the ukulele’s chords because the nylon strings are not hard on your hands. Moreover, playing it will not cause calluses on your fingertips. So, if you got sensitive fingers, the ukulele might be best for you.

3) Electric Bass Guitar

Another instrument you can dabble your hands with is the electric bass guitar. The electric bass provides the bass line to a song, and as a guitar family member, it got the lowest pitch. It also has only four strings, which saves you from handling more strings. Moreover, it comes with marked frets, helping you figure out where you will position your fingers.

The strings of the bass guitar, of course, are thicker than those of the electric guitar. As such, you will need to strengthen your fingers to press the bass guitar’s thick strings. The plucking of the strings comes at a slower pace, so you can easily manage the plucking process. 

At 50, I bet you can still learn the rudiments of bass playing, given that playing the bass guitar doesn’t require you to have excellent note reading skills. You can also improvise as you play this instrument.

4) Harmonica

The harmonica is undoubtedly one of the best musical instruments to learn at 50. It is handy and will require you to have a strong pair of lungs to blow air into it. Each hole of the harmonica comes with a chamber that contains one reed. This reed features a flat and elongated spring made of stainless steel, brass, or bronze. This spring is secured on its one end to a slot that functions as an airway. 

The free end vibrates as one blows air onto the holes, and it alternately unblocks and blocks the airway to create sound. Harmonica offers many benefits to its users. First, it helps you strengthen your lungs and diaphragm and improve your breathing. It can also strengthen your facial muscles and increase your stamina. 

Moreover, it is a very handy and portable instrument. Plus, it is not that expensive. So, at 50, you may still try learning the harmonica.

5) Piano

The piano is a classical instrument that everybody would love to learn. It may look challenging to learn, but it is actually one of the easy instruments to learn at 50 as long as you have time to practice. The basics of the piano are easy to learn. 

The keys are straightforward, and all you must do is memorize chords and learn how to transition from one chord to another. Moreover, the good thing about learning the piano is that you got lots of materials at hand to learn the piano basics. 

If you got a piano at home, you could start learning it. Nevertheless, if you don’t have a piano, you can always avail of an affordable keyboard for a start. Of course, keyboards are handy and portable than the acoustic pianos, so it gives you many advantages when it comes to portability. 

As long as you can move your fingers freely and until you are not yet beset with bone arthritis, you can still learn how to wiggle your fingers across the keyboards and play your favorite songs.

Learning the piano is manageable at 50, and you can always get the hang of it and play some melodies after several practice sessions.

6) Saxophone

One easy wind instrument to play is the saxophone, and if you want something from the wind family of instruments, you can try it. You can begin with the alto saxophone since it is affordable and popular. The fingering of the alto sax is also not that challenging. 

It will be helpful to start with the C major. You don’t need to worry about materials related to alto saxophone, for the internet is awash with many materials, like eBooks and videos. You can also avail of the CD demos. 

You can record yourself as you play and then critique yourself to assess if you are progressing. The trick is you need to practice regularly to get the hang of playing the sax.

Benefits of Learning New Musical Instruments at 50

They say life begins at forty, and the moment you enter the age of fifty, you are already ten years of age. Kidding aside, at 50, you will think that you have already known everything you need to learn in life. 

Yet, the age of fifty is a good time to learn new stuff, given the fact that if you are almost retired from your job at this age, you will have ample time to dedicate to whatever you want to learn. Thus, learning a new instrument can be one of the things you can do at this time. 

Learning to play an instrument at 50 has its concomitant benefits. It can help you stimulate your brain and improve your reflexes. Moreover, it can relax your mind and relieve you from stress. It can also improve your social life by letting you finding people who also like to play the instruments you have chosen. 

In a way, you can build new friendships as you jam with other people who also play your chosen instrument. So, if you’re looking for a new hobby, I guess learning to play a new musical instrument should be on your wish list.  


Many people think that the age of 50 is no longer the most opportune time to start learning a musical instrument. After all, the human body becomes less agile, and the reflexes are no longer than well-coordinated at this age. Moreover, the mind is no longer as keen as before. Plus, the onset of many diseases associated with old age is very apparent at this age. 

Like me, I have begun experiencing joint pains at 50. Yet, I managed to learn how to play the harmonica and the flute at this age. So, I can say that as long as you got the will to learn and your mind is not clouded by limiting beliefs, you can always try to learn a new instrument even at 50.

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