Even if you can't carry at tune, there's still a musician inside you, says Joe Lamond. The head of the National Association of Music Merchants says he watches people discover their rhythm every day at the hands-on museum his group runs in Carlsbad, Calif. It's one of many galleries, informal music groups and getaways that encourage both beginners and experts to get their groove on. "All people need to do is show up and folks will help them make music," he says. He shares some favorite melody-making spots with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.
It may be BYOU (Bring Your Own Ukelele), but guests and spectators are still welcome at free playing circles on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at Bertrand's Music. The sessions are geared for beginners, but Lamond says anyone can learn. "It takes about three minutes on a YouTube channel to understand you can play every single Beatles song you love." 858-780-1812; bertrandsmusic.com
This giant hands-on museum, formerly known as the Experience Music Project, is Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's tribute to the music he loved as a kid. It's now a fully immersive museum with millions of dollars of instruments and mixing gear. "Most people don't have access to the equipment in the best music studios in Los Angeles, and here you get to play with it," Lamond says. 877-367-7361; empmuseum.org
Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp
Las Vegas and other cities
If you've always wanted to move like Jagger, this camp could be your ticket to stardom. It lets ordinary folks jam with rock legends like Kiss' Gene Simmons or Aerosmith's Steven Tyler as you prepare for a concert. "The big guy becomes your band mate," Lamond says. "It's a fantasy come true." But fantasies don't come cheap. Three-day packages start at $6,999. 888-762-2263; rockcamp.com
Rhythm! Discovery Center
Drummers and wannabes are all welcome to show their stuff at this Midwest gallery run by the Percussive Arts Society. Exhibits outline the evolution of percussion instruments. "This place really celebrates drumming," Lamond says. "You get to touch, play and hit the drums and do drum circles." 317-275-9030; rhythmdiscoverycenter.org
Girls Rock Camp
Lamond says there's no glass ceiling when it comes to music. "The jury is in, and yes, girls can rock." Separate summer day camps for girls ages 8 to 17, and for adult women, let guests explore their inner Joan Jett with classes, workshops and performances. Other programs run year-round for residents. 503-445-4991; girlsrockcamp.org
Musical Instrument Museum
This huge museum was developed by former Target CEO Robert J. Ulirich as a tribute to music making. "This is probably the best collection of musical instruments in history," Lamond says. Guests wear wireless headsets to hear instruments played at exhibit hotspots. And in the Experience Gallery guests get to try them out, too. 480-478-6000; themim.org
Music Masters Camp
Big Indian, N.Y.