Musical Instruments

Musical Instruments demonstrates how guitars and other common band equipment can complement one another to create melodies, harmonies and rhythms.

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The lyre is a small U-shaped harp that has appeared all over the world, from the ancient Greco-Roman culture, to India, Africa and beyond. Do people still play this ancient stringed instrument?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The droning didgeridoo, or didge, is an ancient wind instrument created by the aboriginal people of northern Australia, but still widely played today.

By Jeremy Glass

If you think only rock stars can be famous, think again. Many of their guitars have achieved legendary status in their own right. Take our quiz to learn more.

By Alia Hoyt


Guitar gods like Les Paul are known for playing the same instrument throughout their career. Here we feature 10 famous guitars and the musicians who loved them.

By Oisin Curran

A musicologist uncovers a surprising link between the musical cultures of ancient Europe and India.

By Christopher Hassiotis

At a glance, the banjo seems like a pretty simple instrument. In actuality, a complex combination of acoustics, physics and musicianship work in tandem to produce that signature twang.

By Debra Ronca

It's unlikely that most rock stars are thinking about physics during a performance, but all musicians have learned to manipulate sound waves to create their art.

By Nathan Chandler


Playing music isn't expensive when you make your own PVC pipe instrument. Learn about how to make a PVC pipe instrument in this article.

By Contributors

Chordal fills help make ordinary guitar chords sound unique and fascinating. Learn how to play chordal fills in this section.

By Ben Bowlin

Learning guitar licks can help you on your way to becoming the rock star you've always dreamed about. Learn about playing guitar licks.

By Ben Bowlin

Learning these 4 guitar licks will have you well on your way to becoming a rock star. Learn about playing 4 guitar licks.

By Rachel Frank


Chord transitions are explained in this article from HowStuffWorks. Learn about chord transitions.

By Ben Bowlin

12-bar blues is taught on the guitar in this collection of videos. Find out how to play the 12-bar blues.

By Chris Obenschain

Basic chords are presented to help you learn how to play the guitar. Learn about playing the guitar with this basic guitar chords.

By Rachel Frank

MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) allows musicians to combine their musical instruments with computer technology. Learn more about how MIDI works in this article.

By Dave Roos


Ready to kick out the jams? To make your songs resonate like you know they can, you’ll need the right equipment. Instruments and amps are just the beginning -- public venues require special audio equipment to make sure things sound the way they should. Read this before you rock.

By Marshall Brain

There aren't too many inventions that have had as much cultural impact as the electric guitar. Its distinctive sound winds its way through most popular music from the past 50 years -- the electric guitar IS rock and roll.

By Marshall Brain

If you pluck a string on an electric guitar that is not plugged in, you'll notice that you can barely hear the sound. Why is that?

The acoustic guitar is one of the most successful instruments of all time, and also one of the simplest to learn and play. And its ingenious, straight-forward design allows for a huge variety of sounds. Learn more about acoustic guitars.

By Marshall Brain