Top 10 Hardest Instruments to Learn

Top 10 Hardest Instruments to Learn

Have you always wanted to sit down and play an instrument whenever you want, but never got the chance to take lessons? It’s never too late to start.

Playing music is fun, inspiring, and provides the opportunity to collaborate with others. It even comes with health benefits such as increasing blood flow to the brain and improving memory.

Once you’ve decided to give music a chance, you’ll need to choose which instrument to focus on. When making a choice, it helps to know what type of challenge you’re up against.

That’s why we’re breaking down the ten hardest instruments to learn and master.

1. Piano

The piano is one of the most beautiful instruments on the plant. It’s also one of the most complex.

What makes the piano so difficult to learn is the multitasking you’ll have to do. Each hand must do something independent from the other. You also have to keep time with each hand.

Playing the piano requires using your feet to operate the pedals. To top it off, while you’re playing with both hands, your eyes have to remain on the sheet music. This is the epitome of multitasking.

2. Harp

All you need to do is watch a person play the harp to understand it’s difficultly. This huge instrument has up to 47 strings, which means it takes a long time to familiarize yourself with the notes.

The most difficult thing about playing the harp is moving your hands to the correct spot. You also have to develop a good sense of time.

Another challenging aspect is the use of pedals. Yes, full-size harps also have pedals that make the notes either sharp or flat.

If you love the angelic sound of the harp and want to start learning, you’ll need to choose one that’s suitable for beginners. Do some research to find out which harps are the best for novices.

3. Oboe

This woodwind instrument plays notes in the soprano range and is known for its clear sound. However, the oboe a great deal of controlled breathing to play well.

The oboe, along with other brass and woodwind instruments, has a mouthpiece. Embouchure refers to the way the player must place their lips on this mouthpiece. This is a delicate process you’ll have to master if you want the oboe to sound good.

Aside from breath control and technique, you’ll also have to develop good fingering to switch between notes.

4. Violin

This is another instrument that requires a delicate touch. Learning the violin, which is the smallest stringed instrument with a higher pitch, is no picnic.

Holding the violin in the right position is hard enough. You also have to learn where to place your fingers on the strings to get the desired sound.

Finally, bowing a violin takes concentration and practice. You’ll need to practice every day.

5. Bagpipes

You’ve probably seen people playing bagpipes and wondered how they’re creating the sound. It’s done by blowing through special reeds called aerophones.

What makes this instrument so difficult is the lung capacity needed to play it. Beginners have to work hard to build up enough strength.

In addition to strength, you have to master good breath control. This takes time and can be very frustrating.

6. French Horn

As far as brass instruments go, the French horn is the most difficult to learn. However, the beautiful sound it produces is well worth the effort.

One of the hardest things about playing the French horn is lip placement. One slip-up and you’ll lose the note you’re on.

The design of the French makes it very awkward to hold. They may look compact, but they’re quite heavy. Playing one for an extended period of time is exhausting.

7. Organ

A common misconception is that an organ is simply an electric piano. There’s a lot more to it than that.

Yes, playing the organ requires developing the same skills needed to play the piano. However, because most traditional organs don’t have sustain pedals, the player must hold notes for longer.

Other styles of organs use drawbars, which change the pitch and simulate traditional pipe organs. Some organs even have multiple keyboards with different tones and ranges.

8. Accordion

Because it’s associated with polka and other lesser-known genres, the accordion isn’t often taken seriously. It turns out this unique instrument requires considerable skill to play.

To learn the accordion, you’ll have to become familiar with the small keyboard used to dictate each note. Then, you’ll have to learn to manipulate the bellows, which push air through the instrument to make the sound.

This is another instrument that requires multitasking. However, once you learn to play, you be the highlight of every party.

9. Classical Guitar

Learning to play rock guitar is something many people can do fairly quickly. Classical guitar is a different story.

Unlike modern acoustic guitars, classical models are smaller and fitted with nylon strings. This makes for a much clearer and expressive sound.

Playing in the classical style requires a lot more single-note picking. This is very difficult during the beginning stages. However, if you stick with it you’ll be able to play any type of guitar.

10. Drums

If you want to learn how to play rock beats and blow off steam, learning drums is easy. However, refining your skills takes a lot of time and effort.

Playing drums requires a good sense of time and lots of patience. You’ll also need to build up strength and control in your wrists.

Drummers must use both feet to play the bass drum and hi-hat cymbals. This means learning to mentally separate each limb so they can play independently. However, once you master this, you’ll have the freedom to improvise and develop on your own.

Master Some of the Hardest Instruments to Learn  

Yes, many instruments present serious challenges for students. But this shouldn’t stop you from learning an instrument you love.

Remember, some of the hardest instruments to learn are also the most fulfilling to play. If you put in the time, you’ll become a master before you know it.

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