Easiest and Hardest Instruments

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of bsamples bsamples 3 years ago.

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    Profile photo of snake

    I’d really like to play an instrument at a high level, but I’m wondering which are the easiest and hardest to pick up.
    Do you think I should choose what is easiest? Or maybe choose what I want to play the most, despite how hard it may be?
    Piano and violin interest me the most, I just need to find clear instructions on where and how to start.

    Advice would be great.

    Profile photo of britanica

    I would say piano seems to be the easiest but I am a noob to this as well. I am sure you will find great advice on here though :)

    Profile photo of snake

    That’s what I’m thinking, violin requires extremely precise arm work.. I don’t think I’d do so well.

    Profile photo of britanica

    I am going to eventually try it with the violin though I think it is going to be hard, it is worth a try. It can’t hurt :)

    Profile photo of dayzd

    Does singing count as an instrument? lol!

    I always found singing comes naturally but piano I have to work at (I don’t always work at it but I try)

    Profile photo of dayzd

    @snake: I tried some other instruments at school and what I liked about piano was how all the notes are layed out for you. You can see which notes are higher and lower. On a violin or guitar the different strings make it more complicated to understand (and don’t get me started on wind instrument fingerings!!!)

    Profile photo of caylalayman

    Does singing count as an instrument? lol!

    I hope so! Singing and voice tone always came fairly easy. When I tried to pair it with piano it was a whole different ballgame. I do still feel that piano is one of the easiest instruments, although some would argue drums if you have a good ear for tempo. I much prefer a keyed instrument to a stringed one.

    Profile photo of larsguitar

    I would say the bass is the easiest at basic levels of course, but no instrument is really easy to master.

    Profile photo of jtabon

    hey snake,

    I think the easiest is piano and violin is the most difficult instrument to play.

    You have to learn music theory though for both instrument but when it comes to playing, you can play a simple song on piano in 1 week unlike violin. You need to have a good ear when playing the violin because it has no frets.

    First learn to read music. Just basics, like note value, key signature, time signature, middle c.

    Buy some piano lesson book, read and follow the instruction. Or get a piano teacher :)

    Profile photo of v3jimenez

    hi snake!

    i’m someone who learned by reading books, watching videos, and asking friends and other people online. i learned the following instruments:

    age 14 – acoustic guitar
    age 21 – keyboards (by ear)
    age 22 – bass guitar, lead electric guitar, drums

    those i tried to learn but failed: violin and the flute

    basically, learning is physical as it is mental. based on experience, here’s what i think, #1 being the easiest and #5 the hardest.

    1) guitar: easiest to learn to accompany one’s singing. you just have to memorize the chord shapes. you also bring it with you almost anywhere

    concern: calloused left hand fingers as you form chords on guitar neck and scrape right hand fingernails as you strum the guitar

    special mention: ukelele. i wanna pick this up soon. ill need to learn new chord shapes but it will be easier to play coz of its smaller frame.

    2) keyboards (chords): you’ll be learning chord shapes with both hands. youll be able to accompany singers like a guitarist would.

    concern: not easy to bring around and as in the case of the piano, you can play it only at one place.

    3) keyboards (notes and chords): if apart from the chords you can also play the notes, then you can make the piano sing on its own :) if you know the basics of chords and scales, and with continuous ear training, then you can pick out the notes even without sheet music.

    concern: sight reading or the ability to play notes and chords while reading sheet music might be more difficult to learn as you get older

    4. the violin: it was a challenge for me to make the strings sound using the bow. i think i’ll need a tutor.

    5. the flute: i could play a note or two with the violin but i really couldnt do it with the flute even though ive watched a number of videos. it also needs to be assembled first before you can play it.

    i didnt talk about the drums because as a percussion instrument, its in a world of its own.

    also, learning really varies from person to person so my opinion may be the complete opposite of someone else’s. =)

    just my two cents, hope i helped :)

    Music is Freedom

    Profile photo of britanica

    Everyone always says the violin. :'(

    I would love to master it and I just keep hearing how hard it is. uggg! I am going to try anyways. I am not sure on which type to start with though.

    Profile photo of pomeroy

    @Snake, what are your reasons for wanting to learn an instrument? Is it to play in a rock band? An orchestra? For a hobby? It is important to think about why you want to learn to play, because that might help guide you to which types of instruments you should go for.

    Additionally, I say go for the instrument you find most interesting, regardless of how difficult it is! All of them are going to take time and effort so you might as well play something you love.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Profile photo of pomeroy pomeroy.
    Profile photo of quintusvw

    This is very interesting topic! Also one that requires special discussion (as is going on here). I like the way v3jimenze layed out his personal experience of the levels of difficulty for the some instruments.

    Concerning the easiest instrument I would side with dayzd. The piano can be used as an analogy (by representing a number-line) for understanding intervals. To the left lower pitch and to the right higher pitch. The interval between two notes are certain semi-tones apart. This is a great start.

    Now, the more difficult instrument (I say more difficult since the most difficult instrument is subjective) would be a stringed instrument with no frets in my opinion. This would include the violin, cello, viola, fretless bass guitar, etc., primarily because you have to find the perfect location to play a particular note.

    Now that being said, I must state that music is what this is about. An instrument is like a portal between this world and the world of music. Which ever instrument is used, it is still music, and music is something you feel, something you experience. Thus any instrument you play is your representation of what you feel, making the statement of ‘the easiest/most-difficult instrument’ subjective to what you feel.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some degree of difficulty in every instrument, but in the end it all boils down to what feelings you are trying to express. Just my 2 cents. Please feel free to correct me if my perception is perhaps flawed.

    Profile photo of rodc

    Hi Snake,
    I agree with what @pomeroy said. You should choose an instrument that you like and suits your purpose rather than one which is easiest to play. Spending years learning an instrument you don’t like isn’t my idea of spending your time wisely.

    For example, I chose a clarinet because I love the sound and it has the versatility for most things I would like to play – ranging from classical to jazz, rhythm and blues, folk, pop etc.

    Whatever you choose, get a teacher or at least have access to someone with some experience who can advise you when you need it. Learning from books or the internet might appear to be OK at the start but poor technique is going to get you as you progress and you might have to start all over again.

    Having said all that, the easiest instrument to learn is probably the tin flute – I kid you not. It is simple, cheap and not just a kid’s toy. It has the ability to play some really serious music if you like the sound. Just look up James Galway and tin whistle on YouTube and be amazed.

    Profile photo of rodc

    Oops – I meant tin whistle not flute.

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