Instruments of the Summer 2018
The Summer is probably the most musical season (with Christmas making Winter a close second.) Nothing inspires musicality like nice weather, eating food outdoors, festivals and a few cold drinks. From beating a tambourine to playing in a full ensemble, anyone can enjoy getting a bit musical in the sun.


A massively popular instrument for a bit of summer fun, the Ukulele is a simple, affordable instrument. Anyone can blast out a few recognisable tunes on one without spending hours practicing. Perfect for being sat round a barbecue or in your tent at a festival. Many Ukuleles come with bags too, so carrying them around is never a chore! For a great cost-effective option, the 3rd Avenue Ukulele provides all the charm of a ukulele for a low cost. This is available in two colours, Black or Purple. If you’re looking to branch out a bit and go for something a bit more expensive, there is the Brunswick Soprano Ukulele. This ukulele comes in Blue, Natural, Pink or Red and are built to last and sound great.


Percussion is always great for making some noise. A lot of the time you can get away with using a tambourine or shaker with no musical knowledge. You can even use them with minimal sense of rhythm! Maracas, Shakers and Tambourines are ideal as they are small, easy to use and still sound great. There are other pieces of percussion, such as an Afuche or Guiro that can sound great thrown in the mix. If you’re looking to get a bit more involved, then a Djembe, such as the A-Star Painted Djembe is perfect. Djembes can create various tones while providing a platform for some interesting rhythms.


The Primary School classic! A recorder can be easily carried around, in many cases coming with a carry case, and easy to play. While they might sound a bit shrill when used by a beginner, they are great simple ways to play melodies. With this, the are affordable and incredibly easy to transport. The standard style of Recorder you might have seen at school is a design that can’t really be beaten. This design is also available in multiple colours. Though, the Nuvo Descant Recorder+ intends to update the design of the recorder. It aims to minimise the number of squeaks and mellows out the tone of the instrument. The Nuvo Recorder+ is ideal for beginners who might be struggling with notes. They are also incredibly attractive as they come in a range of interesting colours.


The melodica is a fairly underrated instrument. It creates a tone that invokes the jovial attitude that befits summer perfectly. Featuring a 32 note keyboard, which is laid out exactly like a piano keyboard, you can learn chords and melodies much more easily than if you were to choose an instrument with its own fingering conventions. Melodicas generally come with a carrying case, as well as two mouthpieces. One of these is connected to a tube so you can play with the melodica itself laid down. The other is much shorter, this allows you to hold the instrument more like a standard Woodwind or Brass instrument.


While the Mandolin is trickier to play than something like a Ukulele, it is still possible to learn some great tunes with minimal learning. The small size makes it ideal for travel and the doubled strings create a great tone that has swept the Folk/Rock hybrid that seems to be incredibly popular around festivals and summer events. Something nice and affordable like the Rocket Traditional Bluegrass Mandolin would be perfect for picking up to play a few tunes over the Summer, especially as it comes with a gigbag. Where the more expensive Barnes and Mullins Abbott Flat Back Mandolin would be a bit more suited for someone looking to take the instrument a bit further.

Plastic Brass

Any Brass player looking to play outdoors over the summer, or looking for a lightweight alternative to their instrument would be wise to consider the selection of plastic instruments available. Whether it’s a pTrumpet, pCornet or pBone, they are great for outdoor gigs, jam sessions or just playing while with some friends. These instruments are mostly identical to their brass counterparts. Though they are made using plastic and designed to be as close to the feel of a regular brass instrument as possible. As well as the lighter weight, being made of plastic ensures that it won’t dent. This also means you won't be devastated too much if a pint of cider gets spilled onto it! These "pInstruments" are available in a large range of colours. The pBone also comes in a “mini” size which is great for smaller arms or those who are looking to reduce luggage size.

Steel Pans

Nothing conjures up images of the sun and the beach like the sound of a steel pan. Jumbie Jam offer simple steel pans which are tuned to the key of G. Each note is clearly labelled for ease of playing. The Jumbie Jam steel pans come in two variations, a table top model or a floor standing model. The Jumbie Jam Steel Pans are simpler to play than a regular steel pan, as well as being more affordable. This makes these steel pans are a fun option for anyone to create music, with musical knowledge or not.


While being a very divisive character, the stereotype of someone sitting outside with an acoustic guitar is a staple of summer’s scenery. Belting out some tunes on the guitar can be done with a couple hours of practice, or after years of dedication. A nice affordable option that comes with all the accessories you need, is the Rocket XF202 Acoustic Guitar. With the accessories, you get a gigbag, which is ideal for travelling with. This guitar is perfect for learning or for taking on holiday with you to keep your more precious guitars safe at home! Yamaha offer a great travel guitar, the APXT2. This is a ¾ size guitar with a body which is reduced in size. This allows it to be stored on public transport, with luggage or carried easily. Perfect for the player who is looking to take their instrument on their travels with them, be it abroad on a summer holiday or to a few festivals!