11 Small Musical Instruments to Practice on the Road

Is there anything better than packing the car and heading off on the Great Australian roadtrip? And further, is there anything better than kicking back and having a singalong while you’re at it?

If you’re heading away for your next adventure and looking to add a few more strings to your bow (so to speak), why not learn to play an instrument along the way? Music is a great way to add to a yarn, keep everyone entertained on a long drive, or take a night around the campfire from ordinary to extraordinary.

Most importantly, though, music brings people together – creating memories and providing a great way to meet new people while travelling.

Small Musical Instruments to Practice on the Road

You’ll want your choice of instrument to be small and compact, making it easy to pack and therefore ideal for your next trip away.

Here at the Melbourne Music Centre, we specialise in providing a great range of small musical instruments for you to choose from. These are perfect to pack with your luggage, and won’t take up too much space in the car. Better yet, they’re not all that heavy – so you won’t have to lug these pieces around.

Here are just a few of the mini instruments that will perfect to take with you on your next adventure. Even better, they’re not too tricky to learn to play either.


Ahhh, the classic harmonica. When you think of roadtrips, we bet you think of the cheerful whistle of a harmonica. They’re tiny and so easy to carry – they’ll simply tuck away inside your pocket.


Small hand drums, like the djembe, conga or bongo drum, are easily portable and therefore ideal for bringing along on a roadtrip or camping expedition. Once you get a good beat going, everyone can join in and really get into a good rhythm – and from there it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s up dancing. You don’t necessarily need to know a specific tune – just use your hands and make it up as you go along.

Mini Travel Guitars

Is there anything more iconic than playing a guitar round a campfire or out on the road? Our range of mini-guitars are up to the task – including mini electrics and classic dreadnoughts which are much more traditional.

Whether it’s a jam session or playing from the back of a van along the way, everyone will be singing along together in no time. Smoke on the Water, anyone?


How can we possibly mention mini-guitars without mentioning the ukulele? This is definitely a popular choice when it comes to roadtrips and if you’re learning to play for the first time. It’s light to carry, easy to play, and sure to spark some fun little singalongs with its bouncy, cheerful tune. Our range includes ukuleles for beginners, soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, and vintage ukuleles.

Originating from Hawaii, the ukulele instantly conjures up visions of beaches and sitting by the sea, sun on your face and wind in your hair. You may also recognise this sound from Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s iconic rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.



The banjo, synonymous with folk and bluegrass music with its signature twang, is perfect for inspiring a good old-fashioned dance-off for a rollicking good time. This instrument is sure to make a great addition to your collection, and isn’t too tricky to learn if you’re a beginner who’s just starting out.


The mandolin is a beautiful instrument that creates gorgeous melodies, with a range of chords to play. Like the banjo, the mandolin is also quite common when it comes to bluegrass and folk music. Trust us, you won’t forget hearing one in a hurry.


You played it in third grade, so why not pick it up again? That’s right – before you all start covering your ears and wailing in despair, toss these memories to a side and give the recorder a second chance.

The recorder is one of the easiest small musical instruments to learn to play. They handed it to you in school with good reason. They’re cheap and affordable to buy, and easy to carry, but can produce a wide range of sounds and tunes. Also perfect for softly singing everyone to sleep with a soothing lullaby.


The flute also provides soothing melodies to either provide a lullaby, or create a bright, warm melody to accompany folk music. This woodwind piece is reedless and easy to learn to play.


Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me. Originally written by the great Bob Dylan, but also covered by The Byrds, this beautiful song pays tribute to this diverse, beautiful percussion instrument. It’s easy to transport and sure to inspire people to dance. Simply tap it with your hand or against your hip to create a beat, and the music will do the rest.


When you think about heading out on a roadtrip, you may not necessarily think of taking a violin with you – but hear us out. If you’ve ever been to Europe, you’ll know there are quite a lot of fiddlers who busk in the streets and can entertain quite a crowd.

From something quite lively to something more sombre and soulful, a violin can hit all the right notes – while also adding a touch of class and sophistication (along with a few laughs, if you want to punctuate a few stories with the sad, wistful strains of the violin).


Last but not least, why not give the didgeridoo a go? This wooden instrument has been renowned for sharing stories round campfires for centuries. This is a perfect way to pay tribute to our indigenous culture, especially if you’re headed into the outback or Arnhem Land as you journey round our Great Southern Land.

The Best Range of Mini Instruments for Your Next Adventure

For all the best gear, come see us at the Melbourne Music Centre. We are the experts when it comes to musical instruments and quality equipment that’s easy to use and built to last.

Our team of musos and enthusiasts are all here to answer your questions and lend our expertise, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Visit us in-store at our 525 North Rd, Ormond showroom, online or give us a call on (03) 9578 2426.