These Famous Self-Taught Artists Will Impress You!

One of the hardest things to do when you are teaching yourself to play an instrument is keeping your motivation up. Early frustrations make us doubt if this is the best way to learn an instrument, and it can be difficult to get back into practicing. If you want some inspiration, take a look at these famous self-taught musicians and find the motivation you need to keep going!

15. Eric Clapton


One of the most legendary blues guitarists of all time, Clapton got his first guitar from his grandfather, but didn’t start playing for another two years!

14. Dizzy Gillespie


Gillespie revolutionized jazz music with his highly complex and fast sounds. He did take lessons for piano, but taught himself the trumpet and trombone by the age of 12.

13. Jimi Hendrix


Hendrix’s left-handed string arrangements and crazy style were also self-taught, as he originally learned to play on a one-string ukulele.

12. Noel Gallagher


Oasis’ infamous front-man, Gallagher’s trademark style and sound come from a somewhat tormented youth, but also from learning to play on his own to escape boredom.

11. Keith Moon


Moon is one of the most technically complex drummers, as well as a great improviser, yet he only took a handful of lessons before deciding to strike his own path to awesomeness.

10. David Bowie


David Bowie was one of the most versatile and talented musicians of the 20th century. Bowie learned to play piano, guitar, harmonica, bass, percussion, and even koto on his own.

9. Thelonious Monk


Undoubtedly one of the most legendary pianists ever to live, Monk’s improvisational and eclectic sounds were the result of teaching himself the piano from the tender age of six!

8. Prince


Prince could be on this list twice, as he taught himself to play piano at age 7, before learning the guitar at 13 and the drums at 14!

7. Dave Grohl


The multi-talented Grohl only took a single drum lesson before realizing he could do better on his own. Two bands and several platinum records later, it looks like he was right.

6. Elton John

Elton John is one of the most iconic musicians of all time, as well as one of the most gifted. He started learning piano on his own at 3 years old and taught himself until the age of 7.

5. Jack White


The prolific White is one of the best guitarists in rock music today with his blend of styles and sounds. He started learning from instruments his older brothers threw away.

4. Frank Zappa


The enigmatic Zappa was a musical prodigy who taught himself how to play most modern instruments, as well as how to compose at a very early age.

3. Richard Wright


Even though not as well renowned as other members of Pink Floyd, Wright’s trademark style defined the band’s sounds for a very long time.

2. Kurt Cobain


Despite the fact that Cobain’s major talent was in songwriting, he taught himself how to play the guitar in order to be a more well-rounded musician.

1. Louis Armstrong


One of the forefathers of Jazz, Armstrong’s musical life started early when he started playing the trumpet at a home for delinquent youths he was sent to repeatedly.

Follow in these musical greats’ footsteps and become an iconic musician on your own!