Musical Instrument Equipment
While musical instruments are certainly important tools for musicians, there are some accessories that can help you learn and perform an instrument more effectively. Some of this equipment helps protect the musical instruments or the musician. Other items help with pitch and rhythm both before and while playing.What is a metronome?
Part of learning to play musical instruments involves developing rhythm and the ability to keep a steady beat. A metronome helps by ticking at every beat. There are both digital and mechanical versions of these devices that can be adjusted to different speeds and rhythms. This is a necessary tool for both beginners and advanced musicians regardless of the specific instrument.What are the different types of cases for musical instruments?
While some guitar cases are specifically designed to fit the shape of an individual instrument, most guitar players use standard cases. These cases vary in the amount of protection they provide. Some examples are as follows.
- Gig bags are light and portable. These consist simply of a soft bag that is in the general shape of a guitar. Gig bags usually zip closed and have straps to carry the instrument on your back.
- Chipboard cases are basically cardboard cases for musical instruments.
- Hard shell cases can be made out of molded plastic, plywood, polycarbonate, or fiberglass with soft padding on the inside. The fiberglass style can be used to bring musical instruments on an airplane without worry.
Stands are a common feature of any studio, orchestra, or band practice room. These contraptions hold the sheet music for each musician. Some types of stands are described below:
- Folding stands: These are the most basic and are most often used by students. Made out of wiry metal frames, they collapse and fold up to fit in portable sleeves.
- Non-folding stands: These are not as easy to carry around as folding stands but are much sturdier. These stands can usually twist and move up and down. They are made of solid metal and hold their form.
- Digital stands: This type is technologically advanced. It displays the music on a digital screen instead of using paper sheet music.
- Lyre stands: Marching bands commonly use these stands. They attach onto the instrument to hold small sheets of music while the musicians are performing.
- Conducting stands: A conductor's stand has advanced features like extra room, a wider ledge, and storage compartments.
At their loudest, many musical instruments produce sound above recommended healthy noise levels, so some type of ear protection is recommended, especially for people who spend many hours practicing. Being able to properly hear the sound from one's own instrument as well as other musical instruments in the ensemble is also important. Musician's earplugs filter the sound, which makes it quieter without distorting the sound.