Music is one of the main sources of entertainment for thousands of years. Also, many tribes are using various instruments during ceremonies even today. Most of us are familiar with the popular instruments like piano, guitar, saxophone, and others. However, during the evolution of music, there were hundreds of instruments invented that many of us never heard of before, since they are very rare today.
Every region and country in the world have some specific type of an instrument that was used, or is still popular, but is not known in the global community. Some of these instruments are capable of producing amazing and unique sounds that are nothing similar to most popular instruments. Here are the most unique musical instruments that you can easily learn to play.
1. RAV Vast
One of the most unusual recent inventions is RAV Vast, which represents a metal drum device capable of producing sounds like a combination of drums and a pan. The creator of this musical instrument is Andrey Remyannikov, a Russian engineer, and his creation can produce unique, atmospheric, and relaxing sounds similar to hand pans. There are 22 different versions of this instrument, 18 Vast scales, and 4 Pan scales. If you are interested to learn more about these amazing drums, visit ravvast.com.
2. Contrabass Balalaika
While it is very popular in Russia, most people from other countries are not familiar with this musical instrument. It was invented in the 17th century, and the sounds it creates have a unique quality that is unusual for a string instrument. Balalaika comes in various shapes and sizes, and it looks like a small guitar with a triangular shape. If you already know how to play the guitar and other string instruments, you won’t have any problems with Balalaika as well. The most unique about contrabass balalaika is its enormous size.
3. Jaw Harp
Jaw Harp or a GewGew is a tiny instrument made of metal or wood, and it can create special sounds, and we could often hear similar sounds in old movies because jaw harp is great for making sound effects. Also, you can easily learn to play it. You will have to place the jaw harp in your mouth and tap the metal piece to create sounds. You can create various notes by moving your mouth and tongue.
4. Picasso Guitar
The creator of this extraordinary instrument is Pat Metheny, who was a big fan of the famous artist Pablo Picasso, which is the main reason why he named his invention by him. This abstract guitar has 42 strings, two holes, and 4 necks, and it looks more like a gallery object than an actual instrument. However, it can produce unique sounds, and you can learn to play it just like an ordinary guitar.
One of the most bizarre instruments in this list is Zeusaphone, which is using Tesla coils to create some amazing sounds. You will have to connect this instrument with a PC or a synth. The sounds it creates are similar to electric guitar or sounds that could be only made by synthesizers or some DAW. Besides making heavy metal sounds, it also creates an amazing visual atmosphere.
Another unusual instrument is Sharpsichord. While it might seem too complicated to learn how to play it, the method is similar to the violin, contrabass, and other string instruments. However, it requires two persons during play. This instrument is using solar power for a cylinder, that is creating sounds through more than 11,000 holes inside of it.
Lur is an ancient instrument dating back to more than 3000 years BC. The origins of Lur are from northern Europe, mostly Scandinavia. It is similar to other horn instruments, but without holes to create various notes. Instead of holes, you are modulating sound with your mouth and lungs. Also, it comes in various shapes and sizes, and usually, it is made of wood.
If you are interested in creating special effects and unique sounds without modern technology, the Yaybahar is perfect for you. This musical instrument represents a combination of strings and drums, and make sounds similar to electronic sounds that we can make with some DAW or a synthesizer. The creator of Yaybahar is Gorkem Sen.
Another name of this medieval instrument is a keyed fiddle, and that is one of the rare old instruments that are still often used today. Nyckelharpa is a Swedish national instrument with 37 keys and 16 strings. While you are playing it like a violin, you can use keys to modulate the sound. The most popular use of this instrument is in the folk music of Scandinavia.
If you ever had a chance to visit Italy, you could hear a lot of street performances with a Mandolin. This amazing instrument is similar to a guitar, but you could play it in a higher pitch and a lot faster. The most popular version of Mandolin has 8 strings, and it is easy to learn how to play it. This instrument can be heard in songs from different genres, such as folk, country, and bluegrass.
11. Hornucopian Dronepipe
If you are looking for bizarre instruments that are capable to produce atmospheric sounds and special effects, check out the Hornucopian Dronepipe. This instrument is similar to a didgeridoo. Also, you can easily perform on Hornucopian Dronepipe like on any other tube instrument. The interesting fact is that the Hornucopian Dronepipe is made with a 3D printer.
12. Digi Fonf
Digi Fonf is a Romanian national instrument that we can hear in their folk music. This instrument is similar to a flute, but with a different design. While standard flute has holes on it, Digi Fonf has two holes, and you are creating notes with your index fingers. Also, it comes in various sizes and shapes, and produce sounds similar to the ocarina.
One of the most unusual and unique simple instruments in this list is Conch, which is made of a seashell. It can produce a variety of sounds depending on the size of the shell. This instrument was often used for special effects in old movies.