Bards aren’t just battle jobs in Final Fantasy XIV. You can also perform music for an audience (or for yourself) as a classic nightingale. The Performance System gives you access to various instruments, which you can use to play music to your heart’s content. Play solo or with an organized band. It’s really up to you.
If you don’t have bard unlocked, don’t worry. Just level your archer to level 30, and then unlock the bard job with your soul stone.
The Performance System
Available to bards only, the Performance System lets you use your keyboard or controller to play a range of notes on different instruments. Harps, pianos, lutes, saxophones, cellos, bass drums, clarinets, and more are available for you to experiment with.
After opening the Actions & Traits window, click on the Performance tab on the left side. You’ll find the available instruments there. When you want to play an instrument, drag and drop it to your hotbar. Selecting the instrument will bring up a universal piano UI for you to select notes with, creating your melodies that way.
While you’re free to create any music you want, Square Enix has certain restrictions. When sharing your performances with others online, the development team has asked that players avoid doing this with music from third parties. In general, any music licensed by Square Enix, such as official Final Fantasy XIV soundtrack music, is fair game.
You don’t need to be an expert musician to create music with the Performance System. A quick search online will bring up “sheet music” other players have created. Find a song you’d like to learn, and practice the sheet music with the game’s controls. If you want to perform for others, and you’re confident in your abilities, Limsa Lominsa is always a popular hangout for Eorzea’s best minstrels.