Hardest Instruments to Play


The Contenders: Page 4

61 Low Brass

I play trombone and it's hard to keep breathing over and over again but over all it very fun besides getting pinched every once and a while.

Actually, isn't this just what you classify trombones, baritones, French horns, and tubas in? - Metalhead1997

I have been playing my trombone and it's pretty hard to keep your air steady

Totally agree

V 5 Comments
62 Mandolin

The Mandolin should be much, MUCH higher. Not necessarily in the ranks of the violin or french horn, but not at #40 either!

I've been playing it for 7 years, and it's still very challenging to master some pieces. Entry level players suffer in the beginning. Each string comes in pairs of two, leaving you with eight strings to work with. You have to be sure to apply loads of pressure to the strings against the fret board or you'll get buzzing notes and uneven chords if you're not touching both strings in one pair. Not to mention, the strings are so close together, and have to be replaced every month at most in order to get a clean sound.

What a joke. How is the guitar above the mandolin? Compared to the guitar, the mandolin needs a wanton amount of pressure applied to the strings in order to get a clean sound. Chops take time to master well, and fingering the fret board can be very difficult due to the close proximity of the strings and the fact that they come in pairs!

I am learning mandolin right now coming from being a bass player and the conversion is brutal. Don't get me wrong it's fun, but the neck is so narrow with 8 string

Mandolin is SO easy!

V 2 Comments
63 Baritone

Baritone is, frankly, a very easy instrument to play, but difficult to master and perfect one's tone quality on it. By relativity, though, it is a very easy instrument considering that fact that most baritone players in a concert band often play simpler parts.

Baritone is easy to start with but at the end it is hard to master and to get the high notes

I like how this is one of the main instruments in a wind ensemble yet it is so far down the list

V 1 Comment
64 Santoor

Laugh out loud I bet half the people are too ignorant to even know what a Santoor is. So I'll give a brief description. Its composed of 100 strings which are placed parallel to each other with a distance of half a centimeter. You have two tongs which has a sharp curved end to it. So basically you play this like the xylophone, but you need to put a certain string out of the 100, and in the exact order with equal pressure in order to get a beat. This is the hardest instrument to learn. Its takes an expert almost 1.25 hours just to tune it properly.

Where's it? It should be definitely on the top 10 list. Piano is not that much hard. I want it to be on the top. It is super hard

I've played many instruments from guitar to piano but believe this much more harder than them, and a reason it's not in the top 10 is that many people haven't heard even it's name!

I think Santoor is tougher to play than drums or electric guitar or violin.It's not easy to play 126 strings compared to 6 strings in guitar or violin.I have been playing Santoor for the last 14 years and it seems to me not any less harder than it did to me 14 years ago.
I play Drums also.But its much easier than this Persian,Indo-Kashmirian Classical Instrument.
You hold the sticks and play the three-stringed groupings of the notations.You tune it using a KEY hammer.
Just try to do it once!
You would end up playing a distorted tune resulted from simultaneous hammering of two or more groupings.Or you would find your neck stiff after tuning a 126 STRINGS,bending over the Instrument and fumbling which tuning peg belongs to which string

V 1 Comment
65 Timpani
66 Mellophone

Mellophone is hard do to the reason it is just basically a marching French Horn, so it has all the difficulties of a regular French Horn but marching as well.

I am a French Horn and Mellophone player and I have to disagree. The Mellophone is piss-easy when compared to the French horn.

The mellophone is super easy because it is pretty much a bigger trumpet.
But I think the French horn is SO HARD.
So I have to agree that the mellophone is piss-easy compared to the French horn.

V 3 Comments
67 Ukulele

No it's not it's one of the easiest instruments I've ever played! Look I didn't even take lessons I got lessons of the Internet and my parents were very impressed I was already picking and my dad plays guitar and FYI almost all the instuments in the world are on this list

After you get the moving your fingers to different strings part, its pretty easy.

It is really easy because it only four strings, and it is small.

68 Soprano Sax

Although it is easy to learn because fingering is simple, tuning is very hard. I have played soprano for about 3 months now and embouchure is very tight. It is also very hard to play quietly.

Number 1 hardest instrument

Intonation is very tricky.

This instrument is realativly easy

V 1 Comment
69 Shakuhachi

End blown Japanese Flute, VERY hard to even get a constant sound out of it.

I have been playing the shakuhachi for a year and a half now.
All though I have not been practicing regularly, I still think that it is easily one of the hardest instruments ever.
The reason it is so difficult is because it goes out of tune if you do not play it precisely at the right angle and with the right amount of air.

V 1 Comment
70 Lute

The lute should be up with classical guitar at 3 maybe even 2. The lute is like having the classical guitar but with 8 courses (a course is 2 strings with the highest being 1 so 15 strings). Not only that but chord structures are much much harder to get a hang of than in classical guitar. Getting used to picking 2strings not just one with nails by itself is harder than many instruments in here. I started with acoustic guitar and learned over the hills and far away by ear in 20 minutes. It took me 2 weeks to learn el noi de la mare which is relatively simple in classical guitar (been playing almost a year) and it's a known fact that playing the lute at the same level a classical guitar is much more difficult. The lute deserves a wayy higher place on this list.

The lute has way more strings than a guitar, and keeping one in tune is a bit of a nightmare (no geared tuning pegs like a modern guitar). The notation for lute tablature is also much more complex than guitar tablature. Playing double strings simultaneously with a nice tone is also much harder than on a guitar. I have managed to become reasonably proficient on all instruments I have attempted to learn: classical guitar, flute, piano, and have only admitted defeat with one: the LUTE!

71 Synthesizer

Why is this so low? Sure its not hard to PLAY, but Good GOD is it hard to get the sound you want. There are so many knobs and stuff on it.

I can imagine this would be a nightmare to perfect. But those who play them are massively talented. - PositronWildhawk

72 Electric Trumpet

I tried to learn this but electrocuted my lips in the process.

I just think this is hilarious

Wait, there's an ELECTRIC trumpet?!?! I GOTTA TRY IT OUT! SCREW THE POCKET TRUMPET! - Metalhead1997

73 Veena

Indian stringed instrument: its heavy, playing is highly nuanced, and volume hard to play. It takes years to master the fingering and tone, especially getting the nuances right and fluid. There are frets, yes, so you don't have to go hunting for the right note, but there are 22 different notes! Depending on the Raaga and the nuance you are trying to play, you gotta get it just so, or it sound like a different raaga altogether! Plucking has to be perfect and not purcussive, posture has you seated for hours without pins and needles... and the deep pulls and strikes will have your playing fingers cut to the bone in no time.. tell me what's harder!

V 1 Comment
74 Contra Alto Clarinet

It is so big that no one can play it.

75 Contrabassoon

Pitched a semitone higher than a pianos lowest note, reeds cost a fortune, huge etc

Contra bassoon Is basicly just the next level of bassoon, more random keys in more random places

Awesome and low. Require 5x more breath, being a contrabasson player myself.

76 Bajo Sexto

I have been playing the bajosexto for 1 year and its easy to play for me but I have seen a lot of people struggle

77 Uilleann Pipes

Uilleann pipes take 21 years to completely learn. It has two octavesfull of notes, three drones as well as regulators which sound chords as you play. A full set of uillean pipes can require three things to be done at the same time. Pumping the bellows, playing the chanter, and playing the regulators. Also most pipers learn by ear ( without written music and just by listening to a piece) which is extremely difficult. Also before you learn the pipes you must first master either tin whistle, low whistle or trad flute.

The Irish or Uilleann pipes should be at the top of this list.

I can't imagine how in the world anybody could play this instrument.

78 Bells

The ringing part (of handbells) is easy but the technique is hard to master. And you do need a lot of people to play a song - with 3-5 octaves of bells, you'd need more than just a person to manage it all! It's great group work.

V 1 Comment
79 Hammered Dulcimer

Ah man, the Hammered Dulcimer. The board of strings that have to be hit perfectly or else they suck. - NymeriaWaters

80 Khlui Phiang Aw
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List StatsUpdated 24 Aug 2017

13,000 votes
127 listings
7 years, 39 days old

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You can cheat on the violin by sliding into notes
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