I used to play a mean guitar, and the violin pretty well too. But then I bumped my brain and I can't play a lick on either. I have been working hard at trying to learn the harmonica for the last year, and I am beginning to make progress. Encouraged by that, I just picked up an Irish Tin Whistle. It has a beautiful sound and I figure it will be a lot of fun in all the Irish Pubs I crawl around in (Guinness, Hydromaxmmm).
It seems as though stringed instruments seem to be popular. I myself was thinking about picking up an acoustic guitar, but then I realized I'd buy one, play with it for awhile, and then toss to some part of my room never to be used again.
If you are thinking of learning an instrument, I highly recommend the harmonica. It can be carried in a pocket, is a fine accompaniment when you run into another musician no matter what he is playing, and can be played anywhere (you ever see someone bring a guitar into a bar and play it - I do it all the time with my harmonica and is it ever a hit!) Plus, when you are feeling down, nothing beats the harp for blues. It is a whole lot easier to master than a stringed instrument, and you never have to spend time tuning it. And the best part is it won't cost an arm and a leg to buy one, so if you give up and toss it you won't feel nearly as bad.
I used to play the cello for 4 years when I was a kid, which I then swapped for a bass guitar at the age of 11. Been playin that ever since (mostly slapfunk and groove).
It's quite surprising really what you can do with a bass if you're good at it... it can be a powerful instrument on its own. Just listen to somebody like Marcus Miller and you'll see what I mean! :bottumsup