"Entry instruments" in Irish or other traditional music.
We often hear the term "entry instrument" used in relation to playing traditional music.
Unfortunately, I think this is a very misleading term and will mean different things to different people.
Obviously, we all have to start somewhere. However, there is a difference between starting to play music on a more forgiving instrument e.g. a mandolin as opposed to a fiddle or a tin whistle before taking up the flute and so on than deliberately choosing an instrument such as a bodhran, guitar (for chords) etc which will (some might assume) get you into the scene that bit quicker before you have learned enough about the actual music itself.
So, basically, I’m asking what the term "entry instrument" means to you? Is it a "short cut " or, as I would like to see it, a more accessible starting point on a fairly long musical journey?
Also, although everybody’s circumstances and experiences will differ, which instruments would you suggest a beginner should try first. My first obvious thought might be the tin whistle although it’s actually an instrument that I’ve never mastered myself.
There is also the argument, of course, that one should "know the music" before trying to play it which is quite valid if you are moving across from another genre. However, many young players are also still "brought up in the tradition" and their entry points will be that little bit different.