How long does it take to learn to play the Stylophone?

The Stylophone is a unique electronic instrument that has been entertaining musicians and music lovers for over 50 years. Invented in the UK in the 1960s, it gained popularity thanks to its use by artists like David Bowie and Kraftwerk and has since become a staple of electronic music.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of the Stylophone, as well as provide tips on how to play it and answer the question of how long it takes to learn.

A Brief History of the Stylophone

The Stylophone was invented in 1967 by Brian Jarvis, an electrical engineer from England. It was designed as a portable electronic organ that could be played using a stylus or “pen” instead of traditional keys. The instrument was an instant hit and soon became popular with musicians looking for new sounds and ways to experiment with electronic music.

One of the most famous uses of the Stylophone came in 1969 when David Bowie used it on his hit song “Space Oddity.” The distinctive sound of the instrument helped make the song a classic and cemented the Stylophone’s place in musical history.

Over time, different variations of the Stylophone were developed, each with its own unique features and sound. Today, there are several models available for purchase, including the original version as well as more advanced variations like the Gen X-1.

How to Play the Stylophone

Playing the Stylophone is relatively easy compared to other instruments. It requires no prior musical knowledge or training – just a willingness to experiment and have fun.

To play, simply turn on your Stylophone and use the stylus to touch one of its metal keys. As you move your finger up or down along the key, you’ll hear different notes being produced. You can also adjust the pitch using a knob located on one side of the instrument.

One thing that sets playing a Stylophone apart from other instruments is that you don’t need to worry about pressing multiple keys at once or maintaining proper hand position. Instead, you can simply focus on exploring different sounds by sliding your finger around each key.

How Long Does it Take to Learn the Stylophone?

The amount of time it takes to learn how to play a Stylophone varies depending on several factors:

  • Prior musical experience: If you already have some experience playing another instrument or reading sheet music, you may find it easier to pick up playing a Stylophone than someone who has never played any type of instrument before.
  • Natural ability: Some people may naturally be better at picking up new skills than others.
  • Practice time: Like any skill worth learning, getting good at playing a Stylophone requires practice. The more time you spend playing around with it and experimenting with different sounds, the faster you’ll improve.

Generally speaking though, most people should be able to pick up basic melodies within just a few hours of practice. With more practice over time, you can start developing your own unique style and techniques for making interesting sounds with your instrument.

Tips for Getting Started

If you’re interested in learning how to play a Stylophone but aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips that can help:

  1. Start simple: Begin by practicing simple melodies using just one or two notes at first before moving on to more complex pieces.
  2. Experiment with effects: Most modern versions of the stylophones come equipped with various effects such as vibrato or echo-like sounds which can add depth to your performance.
  3. Listen closely: Pay attention when listening back after recording yourself playing; this will help identify areas where improvements are needed.
  4. Join online communities: There are many online communities dedicated solely towards stylophones where beginners can ask questions from experienced players about their struggles when starting out
  5. Have fun!: Above all else remember that playing music should be enjoyable; keep practicing until something clicks then let creativity take over!


Whether you’re new to music or an experienced musician looking for new ways to experiment with sound production; The stylophones offer something unique that few other instruments can match! With its accessibility level even without prior experience required coupled with endless possibilities for experimentation – not only is this quirky little device perfect for creating strange soundscapes but also makes an excellent addition toca any musician’s collection!






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