A Complete Guide on Instruments Played in Disney’s High School Musical

Ever since the release of the first film 15 years ago, Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise has enjoyed enormous popularity. Its catchy tunes and flashy dance moves have captivated people of all ages worldwide and inspired them to take singing or dancing lessons themselves. Many of them were also amazed by the clever use of instrumental music in these movies. If you were one of those people who paid attention to the instruments and would like to know more about them, here is a guide to help you out.

Acoustic Guitar

An acoustic guitar is one of the most straightforward string instruments to master once you understand how it works. Guitars consist of a neck and a body, with strings running from one part to another. Acoustic guitars usually have six strings, and each of them resonates with a deeper vibration than the previous one. With a guitar pick, you pluck the strings, and the sound they make comes out from the sound hole. The top of the guitar is called the soundboard, and it has a role in sound transmission.

Electric Guitar

The electric guitar works on principle more than the acoustic one, with the difference of the amplifier used for louder sound productions. However, full electric guitars are usually made out of a solid piece of wood, without holes. They also have far more frets which makes them more challenging to master. Electric bass guitars have 4-6 strings. They produce a lower pitch, and are often played without picks as their strings are much wider.


The piano is a keyboard instrument with a unique appeal due to its wide sound range and the possibility of playing chords freely. Although its use is based on a technique of simply striking some strings with little hammers, it can be challenging to master.

First, you will need to acquire the basic set of octaves you can play with the keys. Then you can begin to learn the difference between the sound that the white keys and the black ones produce. Later on, you can try to combine them by learning some simple pieces composed for beginners.

The construction of the piano itself has a significant bearing on how well your play will sound. Because of their sensitive nature, poorly constructed instruments or the ones made from lower-grade materials will never make the notes sound as they should. So if you see yourself playing like Kelsi Nielsen’s character in the film then investing in good-quality piano brands is a far better idea than struggling with an instrument that has mismatched tunes. By learning how to play the piano that can be tuned properly, you will be able to advance much more rapidly and greatly enjoy your experience.


Drums are the most prevalent percussion pieces, and they provide foundations to every soundtrack. They also help set the rhythm for the other instruments. Most drums consist of a ring called the hoop. It holds the plastic covering (head) to the shell with the help of the tuning bolts on the sides. These are used to tighten the head – the structure that determines the tone made by the drum.

Since you only have to hit it to make a sound, a drum is probably one of the easiest instruments to play in the world. The first thing you need to do is learn how to find the rhythm and conquer some basic techniques on a single drum using both the sticks and the pedals. After that, you can move on to practice using the other percussion pieces in your kit and learn how to combine all the sounds.

Other Instruments

Latin percussion instruments provide a very upbeat tone to each musical number due to their lively sounds. Cajon, timbales, bongos, and congas are all heavily used, not in traditional Latin music but in popular pop soundtracks and even musicals. Timbales are particularly often used, as they essentially have the same characteristic as drums. They consist of two drums of different sizes mounted on one single stand. The larger one (female) makes a deeper sound, while the smaller one (male) makes slightly higher sounds.

The timbales are made of wood and are always played with wooden sticks using similar techniques as you would percussion. If you want to take it one step further. You may add a cymbal, snare drum, or attach a cowbell to your stand and combine all of their sounds.

So here you have the instruments played in Disney’s “High School Musical”. Of course, in the official live musical show, numerous others were used as well. Not to mention in all the unofficial shows. However, if this article inspired you to try some of these instruments, feel free to tackle them. Do all the research you need to before buying your piece. Sign up for some lessons, and you can then begin playing your first tunes.