Learning Instruments: Bare Minimum DIY Style

Music is an amazing thing, and the medium’s experience is further enhanced by learning the instruments used to create them. While most have reservations about learning instruments for reasons like age, inability to secure proper music training or the daunting task of absorbing music theory, there are ways you can do so in the easiest way possible.

I’ve been a musician since I was 13 years old. However, I started getting serious about learning instruments at the age of 18. As a defiant kid who just wanted to play Punk and Rock music, I didn’t want to learn all the nuances; I wanted to play right away. That said, I learned later on how important proper training and theory are, but if you just want to play immediately, I will teach you how I did it DIY style.

In this piece, we will discuss the “bare minimum” you can do regarding learning instruments like the guitar, bass, and drums that will allow you to play hundreds of songs right away. Let’s get right into it with all that out of the way.


The guitar is one of the most easily accessible instruments you can get your hands on. It’s available at school, at your local church, or maybe you had a family member who bought one, and wanted to learn it but eventually gave up so it’s in your home. When I started playing the guitar I focused on one thing; learning power chords.

Power chords are used in so many forms of music, but specifically in Rock and Punk genres. However, it’s an easy shortcut if you can’t really play like conventional C or F chords, as you retain the same shape in different positions for every chord.

Punk rock legends The Ramones made a living and became iconic music figures by predominantly using power chords. So, if these punk rock icons used power chords to become unforgettable, you sure can use them to play your favorite song.


For most, learning the drums can be honestly frightening. Why? The reason is that it requires your limbs to function as a unit while doing different things. However, once you get that part down and get everything working, I suggest you learn what most call “The Money Beat.”

The money beat is used in a lot of songs like Michael Jackson hit Billie Jean and most AC/DC songs. Of course, you’re still going to have to put a little effort into learning the beat, but once you do you’re golden.


If you can learn the guitar, then you can learn the bass. I don’t want to oversimplify bass playing because a lot of fantastic musicians took the time and effort to master the craft of learning these amazing instruments. That said, if you do want me to oversimplify it, it’s like playing power chords without the extra two or three fingers.

The most important part of bass DIY learning is learning your root notes. Once you learn the root notes you then have to familiarize yourself with the fretboard so you can move more seamlessly up and down it. I recommend starting with songs from bands like Blink-182 and Green Day to build your skills up.

Covering those bands’ songs will give you the foundation you need to start playing bass right away, and their repertoire is diverse enough that if you want to get even better at bass they have more difficult pieces.

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