What Is The Hardest Instrument To Play: Hardest Instruments Ranked

Music, particularly how to play an instrument, is one of the many amazing talents that you may acquire today. Music’s expressive nature as a tool makes it applicable to many genres. The correct instrument must be utilized in the right way to spice up the voice.

We’ve watched investigated, and tried a variety of musical instruments over the years, and we can safely say that although some can be learned in a matter of weeks, others require a great lot of patience and practice.

One thing to keep in mind, don’t let this list discourage you from studying any of these instruments. Although they will take a little more effort and attention, the benefits are frequently higher than learning a simpler instrument!

We take a look at some of the most difficult musical instruments to play as well as what makes them so difficult for both novice and expert players. Let’s go!

hardest instruments to play

The 10 Most Difficult Instruments to Play and Learn

1. French Horn

The Hardest Brass Instrument to Master

10 Hardest Instrument The French Horn
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The French Horn

The French horn, as its name implies, is considered to have originated in France, which was a major producer of hunting horns. But don’t be fooled by the instrument’s beauty into believing it’s easy to play.

First and foremost the French horn is the instrument with the highest part of all the instruments. Because of the high partial demand, it’s possible to miss a note if you strike the wrong portion or don’t situate your lips precisely.

This is the primary reason I feel it is the most difficult instrument to learn and play. The instrument’s size and weight are further factors that make it difficult to play.

A woman playing a french horn with the band
A woman playing the french horn with the band.

A long tube creates a broad circle in this design. You must hold the instrument by surrounding it with your hands. This hand posture, along with the weight of the instrument makes it difficult to play for lengthy periods.

Your fingers must also be able to easily contact the buttons, which necessitates a considerable deal of flexibility.

To make a pleasing sound, you must master your breathing technique with the long pipe. The total complexity of playing the French horn is comprised of these components. It’s fairly unusual for orchestras to have a backup lead horn player who can take over when the primary musician is unavailable.

2. The Violin

The Most Difficult String Instrument to Master

10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Violin
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Violin

The violin is, without a doubt, the most complex of string instruments. To play and master it, you’ll need a lot of focus and precision.

The violin, for starters, is the tiniest high-pitched string instrument. As a result, maintaining the correct position while playing it is difficult. The violin also lacks frets than other string instruments use to direct the player’s fingers. Because there are no frets, it is important to put the fingers precisely and perfectly.

The actual difficulty of the violin, however, is in balancing the tone throughout. Learning to play the instrument does not require a lot of a player’s mental and physical resources, but generating a well-rounded sound with the correct loudness, pitch, and tone without losing the tone’s beauty and distinctiveness is not for the faint of heart.

playing a violin requires undivided focus
Playing the violin requires undivided focus.

Even something as simple as maintaining the bow length for the proper time requires a great deal of practice.

Another difficult aspect of playing the violin is maintaining proper posture. You should hold the instrument such that your left hand may freely move up and down the fingerboard while supporting it under your chin.

Not to mention the fact that progressing up the violin’s neck necessitates a variety of finger placements. Professional players strive to improve this technique to produce and maintain a beautiful vibrato. Check out our selection of the finest online violin classes if you want to learn to play the violin.

3. The Bassoon

The Most Difficult Woodwind Instrument To Master

10 Hardest Instrument The Bassoon
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Bassoon

The bassoon requires all ten fingers, which makes fingering difficult. There’s also groundwork to be done to become a skilled bassoonist.

You should learn how to produce reeds, how to balance them delicately, and how to give them time to rest If you want to perfect the bassoon, you’ll need patience, commitment, and self-discipline.

A bassoon’s double reeds are distinct, and the same reed must be changed over time. Mastering the ability to adapt to change is not a simple task, at least not for novices. Hard assaults are also produced by double reeds. It’s tough to play gently (to make delicate assaults).

4. The Organ

The Most Difficult Instrument To Master

10 Hardest Instrument The Organ
10 Hardest Instrument to play: The Organ

One may mistake an organ for an electronic piano based on its appearance. The organ, on the other hand, is divided into several sections, each with its keyboard. The organ can produce a broad spectrum of sounds, from the softest and lightest to the most powerful. It lacks a sustain pedal, making it one of the most difficult instruments to master.

To play the organ, the musician must keep the key pressed for as long as the note is to be played. It takes a lot of practice to master this talent with your hands.

Learning and performing a new musical composition necessitates the ability to play all of the keyboards while sight-reading. It takes time to learn and master this degree of coordination and music reading.

5. The Oboe

The most difficult instrument to play in a marching band

10 Hardest Instrument The Oboe
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Oboe

This is another intricate woodwind instrument with more to it than its plain appearance suggests. It’s noted for producing exceptionally clean and crisp soprano voices.

Lips, mouth, tongue, and respiration are the primary controls, requiring skilled lipping or embouchure. To play it. you must alternate your fingering to keep the notes varied and avoid boredom.

Manipulation of the fingering, as well as the ability to manage your breathing, is the most difficult aspect of playing the oboe. The oboe is similar to the flute in terms of sound, but its double-reeded nature makes it a considerably more difficult instrument to master.

6. Bagpipes

10 Hardest Instrument The Bagpipes
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Bagpipes

This is another intricate woodwind instrument with more to it than its plain appearance suggests. It’s noted for producing exceptionally clean and crisp soprano voices. Lips, mouth, tongue, and respiration are the primary controls, requiring skilled lipping or embouchure.

To play it, you must alternate your fingering to keep the notes varied and avoid boredom. Manipulation of the fingering, as well as the ability to manage your breathing, is the most difficult aspect of playing the oboe.

The oboe is similar to the flute in terms of sound, but its double-reeded nature makes it a considerably more difficult instrument to master. They feature a unique shape or structure, as well as a distinct tone that most people find pleasant.

Bagpipes, on the other hand, need a complex skill to play. For example, you must make sure that air is continually fed into the instrument’s reservoir and that the air is squeezed in to generate sound.

Playing this woodwind instrument also involves dexterous arm motions, cuddling the instrument like a teddy bear, and mastering the instrument’s difficult fingering technique. Tuning the bagpipes is likewise a difficult task. You may become an experienced bagpipes player with years of instruction and practice, especially on breathing air into the instrument and perfect finger synchronization.

7. Harp

10 Hardest Instrument The Harp
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Harp

The harp has been a popular musical instrument to study and play since King David’s time in the Bible. It creates some of the most beautiful fairytale-like melodies and noises. The harp may appear mystical to the listener, but ask any musician and they will tell you how difficult it is to fully master this instrument.

For starters, a harp has more strings than any other stringed instrument you could be interested in. There are up to 47 strings on certain harps. It’s also difficult to get your hands in the right position. To make the music flow smoothly, you’ll need the precise hands of a skilled artist and the eyes of an eagle.

With so many strings, harp player should be familiar with it to produc precise sound.
With so many strings, the harp player should be familiar with it to produce precise sound.

Playing the harp with pedals will eventually demand a new degree of coordination. To adjust the pitch, some contemporary harps feature up to seven pedals!

To change the tone, the player must synchronize the string pedals. You must acquire strong muscle memory and coordination to play the harp, which takes a long time to master. As a result, the harp is one of the most difficult instruments to learn and should be avoided if you wish to learn an instrument quickly!

8. Accordion

10 Hardest Instrument The Accordion
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Accordion

One of the things that draw people to the accordion is the pure joy of tugging and twisting the instrument while belting out ancient tunes.

The chromatic button accordion is a delightful musical instrument that reminds me of European street performers and Oktoberfest celebrations. It is, nevertheless, one of the most difficult musical instruments to master.

If you’ve ever watched someone play the accordion, you’ve probably been perplexed by the manner the musician pressed and pulled all those buttons. Playing the accordion is like playing the bagpipes and the piano at the same time. To put it mildly, that is a difficult task.

You’ll need to learn several keys and buttons on the accordion to guarantee that you’re playing the correct chords and notes. Configuring buttons is a difficult process.

The chromatic button accordion is a large, hefty instrument as well. Because the accordion is not a well-known musical instrument finding a suitable teacher to assist you may be challenging.

9. Piano

10 Hardest Instrument The Piano
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Piano

The piano needs you to use both your feet and your hands to play, which might be challenging if you aren’t particularly coordinated. Learning to execute all of these things at the same time and in a rhythm is a difficult challenge. After you’ve mastered coordination, you’ll face the difficulty of reading while playing.

Unlike other instruments, you must simultaneously read two bar lines! To master this, your senses must be sharp and your mind must be clear of distractions.

Pianos, particularly acoustic pianos, are extremely costly. Purchasing an instrument before learning to play it may not be a smart choice in this situation. It means a lot to be able to play the piano.

You should be able to play with both hands at different tempos and in two clefs, although playing on a digital piano will be a bit simpler because they have a lot of learning tools. You should be able to play the treble and bass clefs with your right and left hands, respectively.

10. Nyckelharpa

10 Hardest Instrument The Nyckelharpa
10 Hardest Instrument to Play: The Nyckelharpa

This is a relatively unknown instrument, yet it is unquestionably difficult to learn and master. To begin, you use a strap to suspend the instrument over your neck, exactly like a guitar. The keys are the source of the problem. Because there is more than one string to produce a tone, the left hand must manage seven strings, and the musician may be needed to shift the fingers from string to string.

For most novices, positioning the left hand, which plays the keys, is likewise a difficult challenge Maintaining one’s position while playing is also difficult.

This is a relatively unknown instrument yet it is unquestionably difficult to learn and master. To begin, you use a strap to suspend the instrument over your neck, exactly like a guitar.

You should position your left hand above the keys such that your fingers are slightly curled and you may contact the keys with the tips of your fingers. The thumb should be able to easily move down the neck by bending under it.

Although learning to play the nyckelharpa is not simple, the ethereal sounds it generates will turn attention everywhere you play!

The musical piece in the video clip is part of the new record “Thomas Roth Nyckelharpa Ingredients Vol. 1.”

Shortlist

Top 5 Most Difficult Musical Instrument to Play

Below is the list of the most difficult musical instruments that are hard to play, with their info and why they’re difficult to play.

1. FRENCH HORN

French Horn is a brass instrument, and you’ll need to have a proper amount of air so you can play it properly. Aside from proper air, what you’ll need is to practice breathing control.

2. VIOLIN

Violin belongs to a string family and what makes the violin hard to play is that the finger placement is very tricky.

3. ACCORDION

Accordion is another difficult musical instrument to learn and to play. Both hands have different tasks to do, the right hand will play the piano style or the keyboard, and the left hand will play the chords or the bass notes.

4. DRUMS

Drums most required a good rhythm and proper coordination. Every player must know how to coordinate their arms and foot.

5. OBOE

Oboe is a wind instrument that is difficult to play. What makes this instrument difficult? Most of the wind instrument requires a lot of air and proper breathing just like the french horn.

5 Difficult instruments to play
5 Difficult instruments to play: The Violin, french horn, accordion, oboe and drums.

Conclusion

This is a relatively unknown instrument, yet it is unquestionably difficult to learn and master. To begin, you use a strap to suspend the instrument over your neck, exactly like a guitar. However, some people may find it exceedingly difficult. You should also keep in mind that everyone is unique, and some people are better suited to particular instruments than others.

We propose that you pick one with which you are most comfortable and. more importantly, that you pursue your passion. The more enthusiastic you are about learning an instrument, the more motivated or inspired you will be to master it. At the absolute least, get started learning to play an instrument right now.

About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!