The 10 Most Popular Types of Musical Instruments

Although there are countless musical instruments used around the world, the 10 listed below are considered the most popular ones by far!

Let’s dive right in!

1. Guitar

The guitar is one of the most played instruments in the world, thanks to its versatility, flexibility, and portability. Moreover, the fact that it can be performed as a solo instrument is both rewarding and fascinating.

Guitars are used as primary instruments in several music genres, including rock, pop, jazz, metal, punk, and many more. Guitars are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and types to suit a range of different styles.

Here are some of the most common types of guitars:


Classical guitars get their distinct soft sound due to their nylon strings instead of the steel ones. It is also worth mentioning that most classical guitarists pluck their strings with their fingernails.

In addition, a classical guitar meets the needs of first-time users who are looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-carry option.


Acoustic guitars may be an ideal choice for anyone who prefers tones that are vibrant and rich. They come with steel strings and can be a bit on the pricier side.


Of course, we all know what electric guitars are, and they are used in many different music genres and styles, including rock, pop, country, jazz, and many in between! They have thinner strings, pickups, and are often used in combination with guitar pedals to provide extra effects.

2. Piano

Pianos are one of the most widespread instruments around the world. They are often regarded as the mother of all musical instruments because they offer an exceptional range of both scales and frequencies.

The piano produces both higher-sounding notes (treble clef) and lower-sounding notes (bass clef), whereas other common instruments usually focus on only one of these.

Pianos and keyboards are an exceptional learning tool for understanding music theory because of their straightforward and clear note layout.

3. Violin

Although they might seem a bit old school in our digital world, violins are still incredibly popular instruments. We also wouldn’t mind saying that because of their ability to produce melodious sounds that adapt to almost every genre, violins definitely are our personal favorite.

Violins come in different shapes, models, and sizes, so if you are thinking of getting one for yourself, we recommend doing your homework first!

4. Drum Kit

The drums are still incredibly popular. The rise of the drum machine and drum programming are still not making them dwindle in popularity! An acoustic drum set for live performance is still king!

Like many other musical instruments, drums are also not limited to a single type, and some of their most common types include acoustic and electronic drums.

Acoustic drum kits come with drums and cymbals that are played simultaneously. Electronic drums are more modern, but many people feel like they don’t give the same experience as acoustic drums.

5. Bass Guitar

While bass guitars might not be a lead instrument, they hold significant importance in music composition for a wide variety of music genres.

The bass guitar can incorporate a lot of different elements, from adding texture to producing a rhythm, and without it, some of the most iconic songs would sound dull.

To simplify, bass guitars produce a resonant and somber sound that gets people up off their seats and dancing!

There are several different types of bass guitars available, including electric and acoustic bass guitars.

6. Flute

If there is one instrument that is easy to transport and maintain, then it has to be the flute.

This might be new to many, but apart from being one of the oldest musical instruments, the flute is also one of the most diverse ones. It is not just used in the orchestra but also in jazz, folk, and many other genres.

As for our tastes, the flute echoes with the lightest and poetic tone among all the musical instruments. The kind we would like to listen to it on a rainy, romantic day on the porch.

7. Recorder

Most people assume that recorders and flutes are the same things, but they are not.

A recorder produces a smoother and more velvety sound, similar to the manner of a whistle. Additionally, it’s a solo instrument, which means you do not have to rely on other instrument specialists when you’re ready to perform.

It is most commonly used in elementary schools to introduce children to the world of music. However, if you are an adult getting into the world of musical instruments, then recorders are a good place to start.

Lastly, we would like to mention that recorders come in 5 different types, including tenor, alto, soprano, bass, and sopranino.

8. Saxophone

With its very close relationship to brass instruments and woodwind instruments, the 8th instrument on our list of most popular musical instruments is the saxophone.

The saxophone is very well known in jazz, rock, and pop music. The saxophone is a very diverse instrument and has an amazing timbre when played well.

9. Cello

We have listed several string instruments above, but if we were to select the most diverse of all, it has to be the cello. Moreover, if you, too, like us, are huge fans of the Game of Thrones series, you must know that the cello is used as the main instrument in the opening theme of GOT!

Compared to other instruments, the cello can produce a range of sounds. Additionally, the cello is an excellent solo instrument that has allowed musicians to create amazing musical pieces.

10. Trumpet

Trumpets are certainly one of the loudest instruments! In addition to the orchestra, you can use them with jazz and pop, and they will provide great support to all other instruments played with them.

Trumpets come in all shapes, sizes, and types. Some examples are the bass trumpet, Bb trumpet, cornet, and the list goes on.


Now that we have reached the end of this fun guide, we hope reading about all the instruments satisfied your curiosity about the most popular musical instruments out there.

If you are planning on learning any of the musical instruments we mentioned above, we have a little advice for you—be patient and consistent!

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