Hardest Instruments to Play


The Contenders: Page 6

101 Glass Harmonica

Well try getting one, that in itself is challenge. Invented by Benjamin Franklin and a master makes beautiful sounds.

102 Portuguese Guitar
103 Concertina
104 Cornet


105 Subcontrabassoon

An instrument currently being modeled/made by Richard Bobo. - Anoyth

106 Tenor Saxophone Tenor Saxophone The tenor saxophone is a medium-sized member of the saxophone family, a group of instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s.

Tenor Sax is very easy to learn, I would say, but it's insanely hard to actually be GOOD at (as with any sax really. ) A child could play a saxophone, but jesus christ I've heard some really bad players who have been playing for years.

Any Saxaphone is the same amount of difficulty than the other. Believe me I play Alto... but, imagine Godless amounts of keys and sever combos for said keys. - fireinside96

Tenor sax should go up higher. It takes up a lot of breathe with far apart keys. Still love it

French horn or saxophone? Which would be easier? I'm thinking of switching to horn

V 10 Comments
107 Tuba

I haven't been playing the Tuba for that long, but I did originally play the Baritone/Euphonium. The Tuba is one of those instruments that you have to use a lot of air and you have to focus on tonguing a lot more. Being someone who has asthma, it's a bit more harder to play the instrument. The Tuba is a lot more difficult than people think. After playing the Tuba, sometimes I have to make sure I don't pass out haha. It is similar to the Baritone but different. There are plenty more notes and partials on a Tuba than a Baritone. Th partials are always the trickiest things to master. Especially getting those high notes is hard, but the low notes can be just as hard.

Been playing tuba for close to four years now, and I would definitely say that tuba is one of the more tricky to learn instruments out there. The rest of the band can goof off while doing breathing exercises, but if we want to be able to play above a mezzo, then breathing simply is a must. Articulation is very difficult, and at a high tempo, it is incredibly difficult to have notes come out cleanly. (The fudging chromatic scale). It is also incredibly difficult to begin on, since all notes sound like farts until you get to a level where air is steady enough to tune. (At which point it sounds unbelievably beautiful.)

Tuba is a great instrument, but it is hard to play. Not only is it hard to find a DECENT tuba playing instructor, it is hard to find online classes, help, or sheet music. We are also laughed at for the way it sounds. It takes lots of air to play correctly and loudly enough. It is not very fun it play whole notes either, and actually very hard to do the oompah part in marches without the band director complaining. Double buzz, cleaning, low notes, and high notes are another big problem. Let's not forget that this is one of the biggest insturments out there. Very hard to carry at times. As a FEMALE tuba player, I get judged people say my playing is worse. This is a great but very hard instrument. Don't think it is easy because it seems comical.


V 21 Comments
108 Alto Sax

I'm going to be completely honest. Saxophone is HARD! Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about. Coming from a classical background, saxophone is not only a difficult instrument to master, but due to its poor reputation as a classical instrument, that puts extreme pressure on Saxophonists to be perfect. Best example is in a Symphony Orchestra setting. Saxophonist rarely get called to play in an orchestra, but when they do, there is already a level of bias put on them, as if they don't belong. Therefore not only does the player need to have mastery of the instrument, but they need to represent the entire community of saxophones out there. You wouldn't believe the amount of bias some directors have on Saxophone. Even Band directors. What makes Saxophone hard is not necessarily the instrument itself (even though it is hard when you include ALL necessary extended techniques needed to graduate college now) but you need to push though an incredible amount of bias. ...more

I have been playing Alto Saxophone since fourth grade, I'm now in seventh. So, I've been playing Alto Saxophone for about 3 years now. I feel like some people underestimate Saxophones. They think so many others are difficult and confusing, but they don't think saxophone is that unique, special, and mesmerizing. There are so many notes (high and low), along with the beautiful passing notes, along with the ability to play so many songs. One of the hardest parts about playing saxophone, is your mouth and lungs. The finger and note section is difficult too, but the amount of breath necessary to play just one note. Well, long story short, it's underestimated on it's ability and difficulty to play.

Saxophone is really fun, but it is really hard, too. You have know where each finger goes, not to mention having to play key with your palm, and each finger has usually 1 but sometimes 2. Then you have to have the right ombuchere for high notes and low notes. And if your into jazz, you have to roll your tongue while playing or make this humming sound to make a "growl" which I can't seem to do. I haven't played any other instruments, but I do know that flute is really hard, French horn is, clarinet, and violen. But I don't know how the trumpet is hard, as the new guy to my band got up to chair 1 in a day, and there was another trumpet, too, who went to chair 2 but he didn't practice at all. I'm also not really sure if trombone is hard, or how percussion is hard, because I think that people are saying it's hard but they don't practice. I played sax my first day and got really good. It was hard, really hard, it's been a year and I'm still learning but I PRACTICE.

Her days true

V 51 Comments
109 Double Bass

Currently, violin is the highest instrument on this list. This is hard for me to grasp as the double bass is set up in a near identical manner and requires as much dexterity and much more physicality than a violin. In order to get sounds out of a bass similar to that of a violin the amount of time, training, and practice is exponentially higher. And yes, most violin repertoire can be adapted to the bass. Furthermore, as a practicing bassist I am not only responsible for performing symphonic and classical music, but jazz is an vital requirement of a well rounded bassist. As other instruments all perform jazz differently than classical music, there is no bigger difference in technique than that of classical and jazz bass, it's almost a different instrument. One might even propose the bass to be the most important jazz instrument as jazz ensembles can nearly function without any instrument other than the bass.

Fretted instruments do not compare to classical string instruments at all in difficulty, the string bass requires years to master and the amount of shifting necessary to play melodies is many times that of other string instruments. The finger must be placed in exactly the right spot and even the slightest roll will make the note out of tune. Bass players must also have shifted to the correct location in order to place their fingers accurately and must balance the instrument (if they are standing). The bow must also be accounted for as the location of it on the string, the pressure angle and speed can all drastically change the sound.

Honestly I think double bass should be first because of all of the shifting that is required, and the fact that the strings are huge. I played bass for a year and quit because it was way to hard then I started playing the viola. I honestly don't know why the violin is at the top, all of the strings are super thin, and there is barely any shifting to be done. I am mainly a violist but I can also play the violin and cello and I haven't been able to master the double bass yet. I also find it weird how people love the double bass so much and they don't put any thought to how much trouble they go through to be so good.

The double bass is literally the hardest to play. There’s extra shifting, and that pressure to keep a steady beat! Literally the whole orchestra depends on you! Now I have played bass for 5 years and I am the best middle school player in central Oregon!

V 28 Comments
110 Clarinet

Okay people let me tell you, clarinet is not easy. I've been playing clarinet for 7 years and I still constantly run into challenges. First of all, you have to use a reed in order to get a sound. It may just seem like "oh you have to put a little piece of wood onto the mouthpiece" but no its more than that. Reeds come in many strengths ranging from 1 to 5 with the increasing number being the more difficult. It takes a long time to adapt to a new strength, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. Some people just think "so what? you blow harder" no that is not the case. You run out of breath quickly even when you play the easiest stuff. Reeds also have to be wet, otherwise you start to squeak. Reeds are also very breakable. Even the slightest damage can make you sound like crap. But that's enough about reeds. There's also fingerings. Depending on what sharps or flats you have in the key signature, you have to use many difficult fingerings depending on the note. Sometimes, you have to ...more - bigbubba2001

Here's the thing, I've been playing the clarinet for 4 years now, and it's extremely difficult. I can say that I'm pretty good because I am one of the best in my state currently and I'm only 15, since I got into All-State and all that stuff. I cannot explain how hard it is to get a pure sound from a clarinet. There are so many different components that affect the tone. I can say that the fingerings are not the worst, except the upper register and going over the break which I still haven't even mastered yet. Once you get the hang of it, playing it isn't that hard. But once you get into faster music, with lots of scales and arpeggios and 4ths, it's terribly difficult. Most people that play the clarinet have a fuzzy tone, when you can hear the reed. Listen to the professional clarinetists, their tone is so pure and even, it sounds like a drone. Most instruments, tone isn't that difficult. Many people I've played with who are not serious about music have a beautiful tone. Woodwinds and ...more

Most do not agree that a clarinet is hard- in fact, it is known for it's squeakiness and "easiness". However, they may have or may not have tried one in their lives, so because of idiocy, they never know how hard it is on the lip and neck.

Clarinets tend to have a squeaky nature if not played EXACTLY correct. If even a tilt in the angle or slight movement occurs, the clarinet will squeak, leak out air, or just not make any sound. You must also have good posture for good sound (otherwise it'll sound like a bunch of geese in the park or a dinosaur being tortured), articulate and control your tongue, change dynamics and notes fast and smooth (involving knowing all the keys on the clarinet), and blow fast, hard, and quickly.

Unlike most instruments, clarinets take a good solid two minutes to assemble and place a thin reed to play on. Saxophone or flute players may complain about their fingers or neck, but the flute is one third of the clarinets' size and the ...more

...THIS IS HARD TO PLAY! People think it’s easy but it’s not.I would like to see you play the melody and all of sudden squeak because you missed a note.Now all instruments are hard to play,but I don’t get Which this is so low.

V 121 Comments
111 Bass Clarinet

Okay, I just have to say, the bass clarinet is incredibly difficult, I understand why the oboe and the bassoon and the bag pipes and the violin are all up there. Those are respectfully difficult instruments to master, but the trumpet? The trombone? The flute? Are you kidding? I have personally played all of those instruments in my life time and none of them compare to the bass clarinet. First off, the bass clarinet is huge. If you happen to be small (like me) and also happen to have a little smaller than average hands and lungs (like me) this thing is near impossible to pull a sound out of. It takes all the air you can think of, you're embouchure has to be extremely loose, not even to mention how clunky and hard to maintain it is. I don't know if the fingerings are difficult to learn because I worked my way up (or down, pitch wise) to the bass and started with the regular Bflat clarinet (which, if you weren't already aware, has the same fingerings as the bass). But, I do know, that ...more

I've been playing the clarinet for 7 years now and I transitioned from soprano clarinet to bass clarinet 3 years ago and I must say that the bass is more difficult. While the soprano clarinet requires to to play nice and loud and fast the bass requires you to have practice more as mentioned before you need to have a good embouchure and you can play in bass clef and treble clef. It also requires more air and for marching band is much more difficult due to its weight, length and air requirement not to mention when it is cooler it tends to fall out of adjustment so you need to be able to tune it fast and effectively.

If people think the clarinet is hard, wait until they SEE a bass version. A meter long,2X big mouthpiece, And even more notes. Plus, takes much more air to power.


V 13 Comments
112 Triangle

Wow where do I start. Well firstly lets start of with its history. Started by the Illuminati the triangle is propaganda in its purest form. The Illuminati would enslave children do to their darkest deeds and to brainwash them into it their trigger noise was the ping of this malevolent instrument. Galileo Galleli himself created the instrument, because as being a reincarnation of Pythagoras he realised that the equilateral triangle conducted for more evil karma then the right, isosceles or scalene. To this very day children today are still part of this deviant practice. Mainly practiced in Communist countries but also in primary/elementary schools children are forced to "play" the three (hence a triangle and Illuminati) most dark instruments ever created: The recorder, tambourine and the Triangle. However when they "play" the instruments it is actually act which symbolises that they have given up their souls to the Illuminati.

I'm 13 years old and love ...more

I used to go to triangle lessons - I started when I was six years old, but unfortunately ended up quitting my lessons aged 15 because it is such a difficult instrument and it was taking up a lot of my school time and was eating into my social life. Maybe in a few years when I don't have so much going on I may start music lessons again. I hope one day I will finally master the ability to play such a beautiful and complex instrument.

Such a hard instrument. I am currently playing it and just can't the hang of wacking something so delicate with a stick. It traumatises me. I am currently preparing for my grade 100. I can't play for that long as my arms get tired. This is well harder than anything else hear. I am shocked no one has voted for it.


V 9 Comments
113 Recorder

Good tonality on a recorder is difficult to achieve. A player must blow at a constant pressure in order to achieve a reasonable pitch. Also, to achieve satisfactory dynamics a user must know his/her instrument very well as a fluctuation in strength of blowing, the pitch can change. It takes a lot of skill to play a recorder well.

I know the recorder gets a lot of bad press, but any plastic instrument played by children under the age of 10 would sound terrible.

This was hands down the absolute easiest instrument I've ever played in my life time!

Not too hard. I played as a kid. Have to be careful not to blow to hard and to cover finger hole but this should definitely be above the triangle!

WHY do you get forced to play this as a kid? - Metalhead1997

V 7 Comments
114 Tin Whistle

Easy to learn and play, and you can start playing songs on your first day. When you try to play outside of Mary had a little lamb, trying those traditional songs that actually sound good, and you start to realize it isn't that simple. They play tricks with their flute that you can barely see since their fingers move so fast.

The flats and sharps are hard, but I was able to pick up tin whistle in a matter of hours. Possibly because I've played a wind instrument for a long time. I would recommend it as practice for someone trying to pick up flute.

I play it for 2 years. Fingering is easy, but is hard to master and play ornaments correctly.

I feel like people don't take the tin whistle seriously, consider what rachmaninoff said about the piano, he basically said that just doing a few songs doesn't make you a good pianist. the same is with the tin whistle. Don't get me wrong, the piano is harder than the tin whistle, but you need skill to be able to masters

115 Cowbell

I have gone to an advanced school for cowbell for six years now, and play at an intermediate level still. Deceptively simple looking, but don't let anyone tell you you don't need to work your @#$ off to get it right. It takes weeks or more to master even the most simple songs. - airbb

You have to learn how to play a different part than anyone else. And also you have to be able to play the part loud. I played the cowbell in a song that I had a solo in and I had to play it as loud and fast as possible. And then no one was playing at all at the same time as me. You have to be able to go with the rythym and play it loud as possible.

Everyone always needs more of it! - maclancaster

Mo' cowbell!

V 3 Comments
116 Jug

Dang. I thought that mastering the violin was hard, until I tried master the jug. I ended up quitting and have vowed ever since to never play the jug again. I recently broke the commitment because of the beautiful sound produced from the jug, but even after years of practice, I'm no where close to mastering the great instrument

For real is so hard. I play it on the streets and people are so impressed that I can play it so well. some guy close to me plays the violin and everyone laughs because it doesn't sound good at all compared to my jug so I beat him with it because he deserves it. I love the jug and have vowed to give all my life to the jug. it is beautiful and makes me horny

, you people think the violin Is hard I've been playing since last year and its so easy, and no I'm not Chinese! (not trying to be racist) the jug takes a while, a real long good ole while to master

Soprano sax is way harder

V 7 Comments
117 Melodica

This instrument is sort of a mixture of a harmonica and an accordion. It can get very difficult, especially since it is similar to an accordion, which is also difficult to play. But unlike an accordion, you have to blow into it and play it like a harmonica. A harmonica can get difficult also. A mixture of two difficult instruments is very hard indeed,

Oh God, has anyone seen those melodica videos of movie themes? Sounds AWFUL. - Metalhead1997

118 Claves V 2 Comments
119 Bass Drums

In my marching band bass drum is where they put all the kids who don't even know what a sixteenth note is

Actually much harder than anyone could guess. - Turkeyasylum

Its very easy. All you do is hit the head. I love it! Marching band is a good place to play it!

V 1 Comment
120 Saxhorn
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You can cheat on the violin by sliding into notes
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