Easiest Instruments to Play

The Top Ten
1 Triangle

What people forget when they vote for the triangle is that no professional musician is just a triangle player, but rather an orchestral percussionist capable of playing many instruments. Perhaps each individual percussion instrument is fairly simple, but when one player has to master so many instruments it becomes just as hard as any other instrument.

As a percussionist I must disagree with this. Though playing the triangle is not a very difficult instrument there still some difficulties to it. Playing the triangle is not simply hitting it there is a technique to it. A perfect upstroke is required to great a good sound. A steady hand is required to hold the triangle. Moving the triangle may even create fluctuations in the sound for the audience so location is also key. The triangle is not the most difficult instrument but it definitely isn't just hitting a piece of metal.

While this may be the easiest instrument individually (it doesn't take a whole lot of effort or skill to hit a piece of metal with a stick), it's a bit arbitrary for it to have its own individual spot. It just fits into the category of percussion in general. Percussionists are required to switch instruments in the middle of a song, sometimes having to run from one side of the stage to another in order to do so. If you're playing the triangle you're likely going to be playing some other instrument along with it.

I am a percussion who strongly disagrees with this. The first time I got assigned a triangle part I thought, "great, the world's easiest instrument". Then my band director showed me how to use it. You have to hit it exactly parallel to the instrument or it sounds bad, not too loud or soft, and you sometimes have to do triangle rolls. On top of all that, you need to mute it. I agree that the triangle is one of the easier instruments, but certainly not the easiest.

2 Whistle

I think the writer means Tinwhistle, do they not? It's definitely simpler and easier than the Recorder on account of having only six finger holes. It's a great instrument if you like Irish or african Qwela music. It leads on very easily to the traditional keyless flute, which in turn can lead on to the Classical (old style) keyed flute or even, with a bit more effort, to the modern orchestral Boehm flute. This in turn is relates to the saxophone. All in all the Tinwhistle is a great foundation for learning any woodwind instrument, and still a fine, and rewarding instrument in its own right. It's also cheap and robust and a fine instrument to take on your travels.

I would like to have a whistle, since I cannot manage to whistle at all without the instrument.

Seriously? Even mayonnaise is closer to an instrument than a whistle.

You mean to tell me that this is harder than a trumpet or a piano?

3 Kazoo

To all of you who think playing kazoo is easy let me tell you a story: I'm a self-taught kazooist. My life was changed when I found this great instrument. Every morning I wake up at 5 am to practice. I'm first chair kazoo in the New York Symphony Orchestra and even got the opportunity to play for Obama at his inauguration. One day, I lost my kazoo! I thought my life was over. Then, I went to the music store and bought another one which set me back an entire $0.99!

I think this is the worst, and easy intrumemts. But anyway, I'd like to ask WHY the guitar, piano, flute, clarinet, and saxophone are on here!? The guitar is simple, but does still take a lot of practice. The piano is easy at first, but if you start playing Beethoven or Mozart music, it's hard. And for the clarinet, flute, and saxophone. They are very tough, because you have blow perfectly to not squeak, go flat, or anything like that. But with the kazoo, ALL you do is blow. It's pitiful!

I have been playing the kazoo for 12 years. The constant number sexual offers from women become tedious after a while but that is just the price I have to pay. I am a professional player but it is EXTREMELY difficult to master the correct end to blow through.

I often play the mirliton (aka kazoo), it's a great instrument, though it's underrated. I can make recognisable tunes with no practice, which is great for playing national anthems to persons of a country, for example.

But yeah, it's super easy.

4 Trumpet A trumpet is a blown musical instrument commonly used in classical and jazz ensembles. The trumpet group contains the instruments with the highest register in the brass family.

The trumpet is way more difficult than it looks. The most common response I get is, "But it only has three valves! The saxophone way more and is therefore more difficult." Let me ask you this: how do you think we play different notes with the same fingerings? The answer: or FACES. Saxophones can learn a new note by practicing it over a weekend, but trumpet players need months or even years to learn a new note, because your lips are muscles, and they must be trained to play more strenuous notes.

I can't believe this is 4th. This is rediculous and the people that vote this have no clue what they are talking about. First, the SLIDES. Trumpet players aren't only moving three fingers in patterns. They are moving their hands. Opening and closing slides is no joke, so it's like a trombone and a trumpet in one. Second, playing in a large range. High notes aren't achieved by pressing a button or plucking a string. You have to work to the point your face turns red and your lips feel "broken". And low notes can even be a challenge.

If someone says that the trumpet is easy to play and they "learned how to play it" in less than a year then they have no idea what they're doing. Trumpet is a hard instrument to learn, especially if you actually want to sound good. The trumpet does not fit on this list and in my opinion you don't know how to play if you haven't completed anything past a level one method book.

Eh, it's not easy. But definitely not the hardest. There are two hard things about it: buzzing (least difficult out of two) and remembering the combination for the notes (hardest of the two). Buzzing is not hard, it just takes time to get used to. In fact, I found the trumpets empogure (dunno how to spell it) WAY EASIER then the other intruments. Seriously, look the flute, or any woodwind for a hard empogure. The same goes for the combinations for notes, but that is actually kinda hard. I only really know four of them. Well, that's all. Is not easy, is not hard.

5 Ukulele The ukulele is a member of the lute family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.

So I saw this them went straight to youtube and watched a ton of tutorials and it looked pretty easy! My mom got me one on friday and honestly it is so much fun to play‚ô° It's super inexpensive for an instrument, holds an amazing tune, light to hold, and it is so easy to pick up! When I first got it, the only thing I had trouble with was tuning it, but after I went on YouTube, I am fine and can tune it in my sleep and it only takes like 10 seconds. I had mine for 4 days and I can already play anything with the chord notes, and I can even play some stuff by ear! This is a really fast fun and easy instrument to learn and everyone should have one!

It's been three weeks since I got my first Ukulele, a soprano one. After some video-tutorials on Youtube, I've learned how to play two songs already and some of the most used chords (with my guitar, I took one month to learn my first songs and chords). It's obviously easier if you already know how to play the guitar, and it also helps playing the later, so I'd recommend trying both.

My brother got an ukelele for Christmas, but never used it. I got it out of the closet about a year later, and taught myself how to play. It is a lot easier than a guitar because of its 4 strings, and few notes. I also believe the ukelele sounds similar to a harp.

At 59 yrs old...having never learned to play an instrument - yet loving to sing...I finally learned to play the Ukulele ( I researched on the web and it was unanimous that the Uke was easy to learn) in less than 6 months from watching YouTube videos. A lot of great teachers on there.

6 Guitar

Guitar is in NO way the easiest instrument to learn. You first have to deal with the pain of the strings, especially on an acoustic guitar as the gauge is the highest, and the strings are the roughest. Classical guitars have nylon strings, and electric guitars have steel strings, both of which are more comfortable to play. There are many styles of guitar, and none of them are particularly easy. I have to admit, chords are probably the easiest to learn, but it is difficult to master. Some chords are virtually impossible to play if you have small hands, and some chords require music theory to know and learn, and can be extremely complex. Riffs are extremely hard to learn, as you need to learn to read tablature as well as the actual playing, which could be extremely fast. Classical guitar is difficult because you need to successfully capture the emotion of the song, and you need to know the layout of the guitar in order to play songs.

To people who say they've learnt guitar in a ...more

I recommend this instrument to anyone. Acoustic or Electric Guitar has a beautiful sound. I been practicing electric guitar for almost 2 years. Every instrument takes practice, duh! But for guitar, once you get a hang of it, trust me, you'll never want to stop practicing, and playing. Electric Guitar has volumes and tone controls, and you can buy pedal effects along with if you like.
The reason why I chose electric is because God inclined my ear to the instrument and I liked it. I thank God for that and for training my fingers day by day. God gave us many talents. You can play any instrument. But without a purpose of playing, your doing nothing. All honor and Glory to God ;-) God Bless.

This is very true, you just have to practice 30 minutes a day. Just like all instruments. If there is an easy, and hard instrument, than their different difficulties are negligible. They all have their own challenges.

"Instrument" excludes Tambourine, Triangle, and Snare Drum, which percussionists play. It also excludes Turntables, which is just Spotify, and pressing random buttons that does not change anything.

I don't agree with this. I'm being taught guitar at school, and I'm already learning a string instrument but I found it really hard to put my left hand (fingers) on the correct string and correct position whilst strumming the correct beat with my right hand. You really need a guitar pick too. I played without a pick once and I got a blister right at the tip of my thumb.

7 Harmonica

If you think the harmonica is an easy instrument to play, you shouldn't be allowed to even think about the name of the instrument.
This is one of the hardest instruments, in all honesty.
I've been playing for four years now, and I can guarantee you that this is not an easy instrument.
If you think you're so good at it after one day of learning Bob Dylan songs, you can go throw away your harmonica, it's disrespectful to the instrument if you keep it. Bob Dylan and Billy Joel, etc. are bad players. They shouldn't even be called harmonica players.
Go try something else, you're not going to be successful in music if you think the harmonica is an easy instrument.

People only think the harmonica is easy to play because there is no wrong notes to play and it is easily tuned. It is hard to be able to over blow and bend. Many people can't even play a single note and they can only play cords.

Many people have said this is the easiest instrument to learn and play. I've just started and I'm finding it quite difficult. Still, I'll persevere with it. I'll be bending those notes in no time right? *Sigh*

I really agree with this. I started playing yesterday and I know 16 songs. It's really fun!

8 Cow Bell

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!

This is like the triangle. Clamp it to a stand and teach a 5 year old to play it in a day

Timing and loudness. That's all you need to worry about.

Why is a cowbell below a ukelele and guitar?

9 Piano The piano is a musical instrument played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands.

The piano is an easy instrument to play? Never. The learning curve is exponential. It starts out very simple, tricking people into the illusion of an easy instrument. Then, the hard part really comes when you want to master the piano. The skills required to master the piano are unmatched by other instruments. I have played other string instruments before, and really, despite how the piano is much easier to pick up in contrast to some other instruments which require learning the right technique, the piano's difficulty comes in when you want to learn to be better at the piano.

Its quite easy to be fooled by the illusion that the piano is an easy instrument. It really isn't.

This is not correct. Moving 2 hands in coordinated orders pressing keys at a certain time doing it for a while multiple at a time with the pedal and looking at the music while blindly moving your hands is not considered easy. It is learnable but it gets very difficult and not even the best in the world has mastered the piano to its full potential. But John Schmidt from the Piano Guys, for example, finds bizarre ways to use this instrument and you should look him up and watch his videos.

I love playing the piano, I have played it for 5 years now and I still find it very fun. You feel really good when you have a polished piece that you can play to your friends and family; or just to yourself! Piano helps you to learn notes quickly and it works well if you sing to. You can play many songs and sing at the same time or you can simply express yourself through playing! It is an amazing instrument!

It's all about that learning curve. Piano starts out as an easy instrument to learn. If your just doing basic chords to a 4/4 or even 6/8 (3/4) beat then it's pretty easy. Especially if your within the key of C. However, after you get past SMP (Sheet Music Plus) level 4 it get's pretty hard. With guitar it's a moderately difficult instrument to start, but as soon as you master the basics it's fairly easy to get to a higher level. With piano this isn't the case. You start off with easy basic techniques that 5 year olds can master in days. After that though, you start to reach a level to where it's hardly possible for human's to play. Imagine playing 32nd notes in 5/4 time signature at pp with a BPM of 80. Not to mention the fact that one of your hands can be playing a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT melody then the other. That's hard. Easy instrument? No. Easy instrument to start? Yes.

10 Tambourine

I have played tambourine for one week and I can play to any song already. I have 8 years experience with piano, 2 years experience with mandolin, and 1 year experience with harmonica. Because of my experience, I can tell you that all that is needed to play this instrument is basic rythym skills.

Yes definitely one of the easiest. More percussion should be on the list. I tamborine, when attempting to play guitar. Any instrument that requires multiple refined techniques of body parts, including piano should not be on the list.

It is like the easiest instruments to play. Al you have to do is hit it, it's like clapping. But unless you play the tambourine crazy (like me), then it will be the easiest instrument.

The tambourine should be way at the beginning! The piano is so much harder than that! The piano takes years of experience!

The Contenders
11 Clarinet

The clarinet is easy to begin on but once you start playing harder pieces it becomes difficult. If anyone things they make a perfect sound on the clarinet they are wrong. You don't just blow. To make a good sound you have to have a trained embouchure and a perfect air flow. Your fingers also have to be light and speedy on the keys, something that takes years of practice. I've been playing for two years. I make a good a sound but it's far from perfect. People playing other woodwind instruments find it very difficult to learn clarinet. But playing the clarinet means that you can pretty much play any woodwind instrument with ease. This is because of the amount of strain playing the clarinet puts on you embouchure. It trains your mouth to become a much better musician than other woodwind players. Also the third register is very hard to learn. The fingering is all over the place. Also to get that high you have to have a very strong embouchure.

Whoa, whoa, okay this is an instrument that is extremely difficult to achieve a NICE tone on. Sure, it's easy to make a terrible sound on, but do you even know how hard it is to play the 3rd register's notes? And for it to sound DECENT? It takes a good amount of years to even get up to a high decent sounding Bb for most clarinetists. And the music choices for clarinet... so many runs. So much practice time has to go into them to get the runs EXACTLY RIGHT especially with a ton of accidentals.
The fingerings are pretty straight forward, making its easy, but when you actually have to play music in a concert setting? So much concentration and practice has to go into this instrument.

Excuse me. I've played the clarinet since 5th grade and it's hardly easy to play! The amount of notes and keys that go along with those notes to remember is a lot! There is about 5 different ways to play one note on clarinets! Some unofficial but it is still the same note. Perfect tone is really hard to get and takes a lot practice. It took me many years. It's a rough instrument to learn. Basic notes are a breeze but the high notes take lots of air. Definitely not an easy instrument. Might as well say a Saxophone is easy if you say a clarinet is lol

I so disagree on this. Clarinet is really hard! Have you even seen one? All those buttons you need to press. If you chip your reed even a tiny bit, that means you'll have to buy a new one. You have to blow really hard and it takes while to get the sound.You can't puff your cheeks either, and I have learned this from experience, when I tried out the clarinet. Clarinet is very difficult. I do not recommend it. I HATE CLARINET!

12 Recorder

Yes, it's "easy" to play to begin with when you use about four notes, but the recorder is actually very difficult to play well. It takes several years to produce a tolerable sound, play the top notes without squeaking (up to the second G above middle C) and perform dynamics without sending the note out of tune. Anyone who thinks the recorder is an easy instrument never bothered learning to play it properly.

Playing the recorder is a very very VERY easy thing. It might LOOK hard, but when you actually start learning, it gets pretty easy, as a lot of the notes can be played with one hand. Also, you don't need to blow too much (unlike its cousins like the oboe and clarinet) and a good recorder is around 10 U.S dollars. Believe me, I play the recorder, and it's a fun instrument.

I learned how to play this in 5th grade. We were hardly taught anything, and I still could play very, very well on it. It takes almost no air to make a sound, and they are sold as child's toys. This is definitely the easiest thing you could play.

I would rather have learned to play the piano or guitar in school than this. Name one professional recorder player (not amateur). That's what I said.

13 Double Bass

I've been playing for the last 4 years in school. It takes some skill, being able to pluck and shift fast, controlling the bow and the gargantuan instrument itself. But I also took guitar lessons for a while, and double bass was far easier to learn. Vibrato can be difficult on bass too, and glissando can be painful. By the end of All-County last year, my back was aching, my fingers were raw and calloused, and I could barely stand up straight. It takes a toll on your body, yes, and it's difficult to manage, yes, but as far as mastering the instrument goes, it's actually pretty easy.

I have been playing double bass for quite a while now, and although we get the easiest parts, the instrument is not easy. It is difficult to get good tone from instrument, and requires extremely trained hands to hold down the strings in solo pieces often used for auditions.

I play double bass and cello. Double bass is way harder to play. It's massive size is a real challenge and it's really expensive.

I have been playing Double Bass for a year now and already play in the community orchestra.

14 Harp The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard; the strings are plucked with the fingers.

I have been playing the celtic harp (no pedals) for the last 5 years and I find it VERY challenging! One has to think in finger patterns---always putting down 4 fingers before playing the actual notes. And there are many other complicated finger patterns as well. In addition, one is playing different patterns with each hand--often 4 notes per hand and each hand playing different rhythms together as well. As a pianist who has played piano all my life since age 7 with lessons, and with a degree in music as well as being a elementary vocal teacher (now retired), I find harp challenging. When I began, everyone said it would be so easy because harp and piano are similar in many ways--same notation, and using both hands as the harp. A harp is a piano turned on its side. But there's where the resemblance ends! My piano knowledge has been a great help as well as a hindrance as the hand techniques are so different for each one. But... both make beautiful sounds from the beginning and that ...more

If you aim to play Celtic style instead of classical style, it is much easier, as Celtic style uses 3 fingers (two and a thumb) on each hand instead of 4 fingers (3 and a thumb) as in Classical,so the actions are quicker and easier and continuity is achieved sooner. This is music for enjoyment, not disappointment and frustration.

15 Flute The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening.

Flute is hard for some people and easy for other people. Since I am a flutist, I have experienced everything, and I'd say it's in the middle. And I disagree with the "crazy sheet music" thing. Yes, they're are, a lot of different fingerLINGS, but that's how it is with every instrument. Look at clarinet. You also have to have correct embouchure, yes, but that is an essential part of playing the flute and if you look at clarinet again, you'll see that you'll have to be careful about specific things, like not drop the reed so it doesn't get chipped, and if it does, you won't be able to make a sound. You can't drop the mouthpiece of the clarinet, otherwise you won't be able to make a sound either! You see, if you dent the flute, you can still make a sound. Think before you speak.

Once you get the basics its actually not that hard. Of course for some it takes time to learn to blow into it but in the end its not that hard. The sheet music is simpler than piano in that there are no chords to play and there can only be one line of music you play at once. 205 hours of practice of about a half an hour a day would give you what you need to play in the most common scales. And it quickly becomes fun for you. As long as your not trying to become a professional I would say try a 0% interest rent to own or something similar and for adults you wont need a teacher for a while just to learn the basics! Also if you can play any other flute or the oboe Soprano Flute should be even easier.

I am so mad right now. Who even put flute on this list? It takes years to master the flute. Did you know that only about 20% of the air you blow into it goes in? It sometimes makes me feel faint, because it takes so much air just to make a sound. The person who put it on here, either hasn't even played the instrument and is just judging it by it's size, or is a very good flute player who doesn't remember what it was like. But it has no place on this list, and neither does trumpet.

I have played the flute for about 2 years and it is very easy for me. It took two days until I got any sound out, but after that it was easier than making an instant lunch. I never really practice and I have still never been less than the second chair flute in my band. All you need to do is add in detail like dynamics and such and it sounds beautiful. I have played piano for 3 years and that is a real challenge.

16 Rainstick

Even though this might seem easy to use, it might be hard to make the right rhythm or go to the right beat.

All you have to do is rotate a stick. Definitely one of the easiest.

17 Bongos

Bongos are a very fun instrument to play and very easy.
Bongos can be hard when doing solos because it needs very fast hand movement.

Not even kidding this takes almost no skill.

Does this even count?

18 Maraca

This is extremely easy I don't know how this is not #1 because all you literally do is shake.

It's not easy, if you play freely it is, if you're in an orchestra, it is not.

Below the guitar?

19 Saxophone The saxophone is a family of woodwind instruments. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet.

I have been playing for 1 year, the tenor sax, and it is very simple. I can play most pieces at sight, and the fingering is probably more logical than brass instruments (except for sharps and flats.) it is probably the easiest of the woodwinds, as it is easier to get a sound. Your fingers don't have to be that long, and although my teacher recommended an alto, I still do the tenor, even though I am small. Your eumbochoure has to be perfect though, otherwise your G's will squeak and you have to relax your lip otherwise it will be sharp. But other than that, it is easy, as long as you want to play it.

It's easy, I started even playing it, well, except it can ruin you jaw shape if you have braces. I also taught myself how to play Epic Sax Guy. It's easy! Just blow and click random buttons. Even the principal's favorite instrument is this woodwind instrument. Well, except you need to buy like a ton of reeds for this thing.

I started playing saxophone at Christmas and now I'm doing my grade three, three months later. From a strings stand point, having to learn what keys create what is mind numbing. But once you understand that you just can't guess it, it gets kinda fun to learn sharps.

I think this instrument is pretty easy. This is my third year playing it. I play the alto sax. The way you hold your mouth isn't too hard since you don't have to buzz your lips like brass instruments. Also, all the notes are in order as far as the fingerings on the sax.

20 Tin Whistle

Okay the tin whistle is actually kinda hard if you literally want a song to come out. It just takes some practice though.

21 Bass Guitar

The electric bass is not an easy instrument to learn. If you branch out beyond rock and country, you'll learn that there's much more to this instrument than just playing the roots of the chords.
Also, the fewer strings makes the instrument more difficult because you must move horizontally along the neck to reach higher tones. Guitarists have the luxury of being able to move vertically because of their extra strings. Plus, the fret spacings on a bass are much longer than a guitars which means more stretching.

It's basically a simpler version of a guitar; less strings to worry about.

Bass is easier to pick up than Guitar, but harder to master.

No, definitely not

22 Drums

Drums might look easy to play but its actually pretty hard. This isn't a "how to hold the drum stick" argument. If you don't hit the drums in the middle and just slightly on the rim, it can screw you up. If you don't hold down on the bass pedal after using, it can screw you up. People commenting that they're easy really should try to play a song on the drums (it shouldn't take that long, considering it's "easy").

A few YouTube tutorials and about four hours of practice, and I can play well enough that I can jam with them without holding anyone back. Maybe it's because I'm already used to playing music, but it was insanely easy to pick up.

I think all the people attacking the simplicity of learning the drums are a little defensive of their craft. Half the peoples argument on difficulty was "You have to hold the drum sticks in a specific way" LOL

It's harder than something like a vibraphone but easier than something such as a violin. It's in the middle, but it is very hard when you have to play fast with a hard rhythm, such as playing to "Your Best Nightmare". It is much easier to play to songs with good and easy rhythm like "Megalovania".

Drums really do stress me out. I can play them and keep a nice beat to any song but like roling them and stuff is a different story. You also have to multitask because both of your hands are doing two completely different beats then your foot has to do something else so it can get pretty complicated. Like any other instrument, if you want to be a pro and master it then you must practice. I think I just had a bad teacher who really ruined the instrument for me :(

23 Slide Whistle
24 Ocarina

Easier than flute because you don't have to learn embouchure -- you just place your mouth on the mouthpiece and blow. Easier than recorder because you have much less range -- fewer notes to learn and worry about.
Be sure you pick the "transverse ocarina" -- the one that looks like a sweet potato! It's the easiest.
"Pendant ocarinas" are the competing alternative. They have only 6 holes (4 on top and two thumb holes on the bottom). These are harder to learn because there is little relationship between the fingering pattern and the scale.

I LOVE ocarinas! I got mine because I'm a Legend of Zelda fan. If you play the Zelda games, specifically Ocarina of Time, then you know what the ocarina is. It's a very simple instrument, similar to a recorder, but the ocarina sounds different. If you get an alto, tenor, or bass ocarina, the sound is mellow and easy on your ears. If you want a more tin whistle-like sound, go for a soprano ocarina. There are even ocarinas inspired by the Zelda games, so if you're a Zelda fan, those are nice (if you buy one from a good brand, such as STL Ocarina or Songbird Ocarina.)

Took me 39 minutes to learn three songs using tabs. I found it easier than a recorder and has a better sound with no shrieks or shrill like a soprano recorder has. I now have three ocarinas two sopranos in key of c and g and one alto key of c. I would recomend an alto in key of c or d.

I watched a tutorial of how to play Lugia's Song on youtube, and it is actually very easy to play! It even shows how many finger-thingies you should place on the Orcarina!

25 Stick Dulcimer

Very e a st to learn

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