Hardest Instruments to Play


The Contenders: Page 4

61 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
62 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 agree should be up on the tip top 10 list

V 1 Comment
63 Timpani
64 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
65 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.

66 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
67 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.

V 3 Comments
68 Synthesizer

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

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.

69 Electric Trumpet

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

V 1 Comment
70 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
71 Contra Alto Clarinet

It is so big that no one can play it.

72 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.

73 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

74 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!

75 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
76 Hammered Dulcimer

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

77 Koto

Its not the hardest but its pretty hard to learn and play, it takes A LOT of practice to play well

78 Pan Flute V 1 Comment
79 Khlui Phiang Aw
80 Venezuelan Cuatro

I have been playing the cuatro for a number of years and it is very challenging. The speed with which the strums are played in conjunction with the different strum techniques and replacing strums with knocking on the wood is overwhelming. If you can imagine that when mastering soloist songs, each individual strum in a bar of 6 strums plays a different chord in a different position on the neck, then precision comes into play, and missing the position of one finger can ruin the piece. Also, it is a clandistine instrument where no official notes have ever been written for. Before the internet the only way to learn how to play would be from teachers (which are scarse) and counting on the people in your neighborhood to learn how to plan new songs. Give it a try, and listen to some cuatro soloist music from Cheo Hurtado, Jorge Glem or Carlos Camacho and you will know exactly what I am talking about. Enjoy music!

PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Hardest Songs to Play On Drums Easiest Instruments to Play Hardest Songs to Play on Guitar Hardest Metallica Songs to Play Top Ten Hardest Sports to Play Without Your Arms

List StatsUpdated 22 Feb 2017

11,000 votes
125 listings
6 years, 221 days old

Top Remixes (24)

1. Violin
2. Oboe
3. Electric Guitar
1. Violin
2. Cello
3. French Horn
1. French Horn
2. Oboe
3. Viola

View All 24


You can cheat on the violin by sliding into notes
Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.