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Bagpipes are a wind instrument using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag.


Nobody on this damn forum has any clue about these musical instruments obviously. Electric guitar is one of the easiest instruments you can learn. The acoustic guitar should be above it too. However as a professional level pipe player in a grade 1 pipe band (means I'm really good) I say Bagpipes are the worlds hardest instrument.

starting with the physical aspect it takes loads and loads of air to keep pipes going, as well as the player must keep the pressure in the bag even so that you don't get fluctuation in the tuning of the 3 drones and the chanter, which adds more concentration.

while maintaining this pressure the actual fingerings are irregular, which must be played for proper tone. Not to mention all the embellishments which make playing so unique.

Not even the harp is in the top 10 this entire list is pathetic. Someone who actually know something about these instruments should be making up this list.

In here I'm talking about the great highland bagpipe, I don't know much about the other types.

I feel kind of offended honestly that any one would think that an instrument such as the electric guitar or the drums would be harder than the bagpipe. It requires a lot of physical activity to keep the bag going steadily. Not only that, it is a militarized instrument full of traditions, so when you are playing it in band, you have to stay in step, stay in a line, and follow the proper commands that the drum major gives out; be attentive to the Pipe and the Drum major to know when the tune ends while marching down the street on the correct foot and playing the correct melody at all times not knowing when it will end (it ends whenever the drum major or the pipe major gives the signal and not necessarily at the end of the tune you are playing) is also challenging. One small distraction and the whole band may stop except you which will make the band sound off.

There is also a lot ...more

I've been piping for almost four years! It is an amazing thine to try. It is extremely difficult and I passed out the first time I played the bagpipe. There are SOOO many things you have to do at one time like a grip or a birl with several grace notes. The reeds are nearly impossible to break into once you need a new one. And the drones slip up and down while you are playing which can mess up a band in a competition. My chanter has fallen out quite a few times one time including being at the worlds.

I find it a little disappointing that people think that the violin, guitar, the flute, and the piano are more difficult then the piano. It took me about about seven months to master the violin while the bagpipes took me a year and a half. I learned how to play the guitar withing two weeks. The flute took me six months and the piano took me a year. The harp is much more difficult than the violin and so is the mandolin. I feel like everybody is just voting on their preference in ...more

There is no way that this is the 8th hardest instrument. I understand the top two (french horn and violin) as well as oboe at 4th, but piano at 3rd?! Guitar at 7?! Flute at 5th?! Even the Harp should be higher! Bagpipes are definitely in the top 5 if not top 3 hardest instruments. With bagpipes you learn on a practice chanter for a while then once you master the chanter you move on to the full bagpipes. The pipes require more mechanics to get them to sound right than any other instrument. Then once you learn the mechanics you have to recall what you learned on the chanter and apply that to the pipes. It takes a long time to learn and there is no way that it's the 8th hardest instrument.

People at my school were really amused when I brought my pipes in and they wanted to try. None of them could even fill the bag to play a note. The only time they could make a single noise is when I supplied 100% of the air. This is ALL without any of the drones on.

I play (or have dabbled on) all of the instruments listed above and I guarantee this is the hardest. And my non-piping friends will attest to that as well. The "top ten" is filled with instruments that are easy and voted there by kids who don't know how to play anything else.

The pipes are by far the hardest out of any listed in the top 10. I know 5 guitar players of any form of guitar and they don't think it should make the top 10 it is easy. Iv got a practice set and started to learn and even playing tuba for 12 years didn't get me ready for the amount of air needed for the pipes. I agree that a lot of the instruments in the top 10 are made top 10 due to little kids not knowing anything else and that they suck at the only instrument they can even get a sound out of. My little brother tired clarinet and said it was the hardest but he never practiced it or tried but would be the first to say it should be number one here.

Unlike other instruments, you can't pick up a set of bagpipes and play on your first day. It's fairly likely that you may pass out due to the air required just to get the drones in tune.

Another factor that makes the pipes difficult is the fingering. Due to the addition of the bag, you can't play staccato notes, as you can on another instrument. Instead, notes must be separated by gracenotes (32nd notes). These gracenotes are then combined into increasingly complicated movement, such as D Throw, Tourluaths, and Birls. That said, after these movements are memorized, they effectively become second nature.

Finally, the bagpipes are difficult as they require very frequent practice for a couple reasons. Firstly, I've noticed that I lose fingering skill rapidly, so a week off can have a massive hit on my performance. Secondly, too long without the pipes can impact on your stamina, meaning you can't play for as long without starting to feel lightheaded.

In Addition don't forget to mention that the pipes are also played in times of war in the harshest environments and until fairly recently the first into battle try playing your fiddle, piano guitar while your being shot and tell me how hard it is.. "The bagpipe is the only musical instrument deemed a weapon of war because it inspired its troops to battle and instilled terror into the enemy.

The only thing that makes sense as to how the bagpipes ended up at the very bottom of this list is that so few people have the passion and perseverance to stay with the process long enough to even play them...well, or otherwise! I have played the trumpet, French horn, baritone, piano, and organ...the bagpipes are, by far, the hardest thing I may have ever done, let alone the hardest instrument to play!

This instrument requires a huge amount of strength and concentration to play. To begin with, the three drones on the top have to have a constant supply of air from the bag, which you blow into, whilst putting pressure on it just to keep the reeds in tune. Then, there is the completely different factor of the fingerings, as well as technique, both of which are very difficult.

Bagpipes take incurable amounts of air just to play, because they only have 9 notes there are tons of different embellishments and grace notes that are played very quickly. Not only do you have to play but you also have to march while playing tunes. I would definitely say that they are one of the hardest instruments out there.

I have to tell you that the bagpipes are hardest instument to play in comparison to some of the others listed above them. Three single reeds and one double reed to tune to the chanter compounded by the need to produce a steady flow of air without ANY interuption to the instrument add to the difficulty. People question difficulty using the fact that the chanter only produces nine notes. They do not take into account the number of embellishments or grace notes that have to be produced. If you have never tried it, you will not understand how difficult it is to play it.

I've played piano, drums, saxophone, bassoon and trombone. Bagpipes tops them all in difficulty of fingerings (embellishments) and difficulty of creating and maintaining sound on a full set of bagpipes. By far the hardest musical accomplishment for a beginner.

Yes, I agree that bagpipe is the hardest... You do not know how hard it is until you try it. I suggest you all to try playing bagpipe and vote again

Clearly nobody here has even tried the bagpipes, go out and try to learn them and then come back and try to tell me that the guitar is harder than the bagpipes, I have tried them both!

This has to be the most difficult instrument to play. I am no instrument expert but I known the bagpipes have many notes in many different spots and you have to squeeze at the right time and at with the right amount of force

I play clarinet, alto sax, and several brass instruments. I can say for a fact that Bagpipes are much more difficult to learn to play than any of those instruments for the reasons already mentioned. To put flute ahead of bagpipes is crazy.

I play piano, whistles and Bagpipes and I can say 100% that bagpipes are much more difficult that the piano and whistles. My Brother played pipes and violin and he found pipes so difficult he gave it up in favor of the guitar and the fiddle.

This thing is beautiful, but playing it unleashes the Hell-fire on your fingers. It requires EXACT precision. If your even one little bit off, mercy on your soul. Your bagpipe makes a sound I can only describe as a polish woman getting slapped firmly. And the tunes are fast, with many embellishments. Its like a 1 minute long song with 400 notes. Its ridiculous.
However, it is still quite nice.

As someone who has played guitar for many years then switched to the bagpipes, I can tell you that the pipes are much more difficult to learn. A change in a few temperature degrees and you have to re-tune. There is no quiet setting. In fact you have to learn to play the pipes on a practice chanter (different instrument). You have to tune each note (there are 9 of them) to each other. There are 4 reeds you have to tune. If the chanter reed gets too wet you go out of tune. Also, playing the pipes is like doing crunches because all the air you are moving. I haven't even gotten to all the movements (doublings, tachums, tourluoghs, etc. )!

Bagpipes seem like a hard instrument to play and I feel like I would quit right away because I am NOT a fan of how bagpipes sound. Therefore, it would be extremely hard for me to actually play them for a long time.

You have to use a ton of air to play this instrument. You may even pass out trying to learn it in the beginning. I play piano and trombone and they don't even come close to being as hard as the bagpipes.

Bagpipes are defiantly the most difficult instrument in the world to play; not only is there the grace notes and finger movements to know about, but the tuning of the bass and tenor drones as well. Just one slip of the finger on the chanter will lead you into a Trail of embarrisment and dissapointment. People don't usually pick the bagpipes as their desired instrument to play, but people who do soon find out that their is more than what meets the eye.

I play both the Violin and the Great Highland Bagpipes, as well as the trombone. The bagpipes are definitely the harder of the three, and probably hardest in the world.

Should be number 1 I have been playing the bagpipes for 2-3 years and the first year was tough with the amount of blowing keeping the bag full and keeping a good sound