Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 125

Thread: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

  1. #1
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Balama, Mozambique, Africa, Earth
    Posts
    523

    Default What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    So someone on another forum asked me how I would rank the instruments I play by difficulty, and those of you who are multi-instrumentalists will know this is difficult, but I did my best to break it down, hereís my essay.
    Ok, little disclaimer here, I picked these instruments up in about six month intervals, so the ones I started later would be easier proportionally.

    Ok, to the topic at hand, Iím gonna try to rank my five main instruments by difficulty, in a few different categories. The instruments are (in the order I picked them up) Guitar, Harmonica, Fiddle and Mandolin, and Iíll add Ukulele for fun.

    Beginning phase:

    1. Mandolin

    2. Banjo

    3. Fiddle

    4. Harmonica

    5. Guitar

    Bonus

    1.5 Ukulele

    So, that list was for just starting out each instrument, and itís not objective because I had a different level of experience before picking each one up. The mandolin was easiest because I already had lots of experience, and the Ukulele cuz itís similar to guitar. Guitar was hardest cuz I had no prior experience.

    Getting good:

    1. Banjo

    2. Guitar

    3. Mandolin

    4. Fiddle

    5. Harmonica

    Bonus

    4.5 Ukulele

    So, this is a very different list, itís about when youíve been playing a while, how easy is it to start improvising or playing more advanced material, and just being comfortable just randomly playing with the instrument. This list is influenced by both the amount of time Iíve played each instrument as well as the layout of the instrument. I find the banjo to be super intuitive and easy to play, and play with, but others may feel differently (but theyíre not making this list, so they canít complain :joy definitely the harmonica is the hardest to get good at because there is a lack of both learning materials, and good players to emulate, and same with ukulele, most people who play it only play a few chords and sing.

    Physically:

    1. Guitar

    2. Banjo

    3. Mandolin

    4. Harmonica

    5. Fiddle

    Bonus

    3.5 Ukulele

    6. Bass
    So, (I say that a lot), this is basically which one is physically the easiest. Honestly, it depends on whether Iím sitting and where, but the only reason banjo is lower than guitar is my shoulder gets tired holding my arm up in first position. Iíve always found ukuleles awkward to hold, and depending on your lungs and the shape of your harmonica, it can be unpleasant too. And itís no secret that the fiddle is an awkward thing to hold, I havenít had any trouble holding it in a long time, but my bowing arm gets very tired. I added bass for giggles, itís bass guitar (not upright) and theyíre super heavy.

    Overall:

    1. Guitar

    2. Banjo

    3. Mandolin

    4. Harmonica

    5. Fiddle

    Bonus

    0.5 Ukulele

    So, this is the last one, itís an all things considered list. The Ukulele is the easiest, because the simplicity of the chords and the forgiving nature of the instrument make it very easy to make nice music. Thereís a reason why so many people play them, and if youíre a serious musician, there is some advanced material to learn, a lot of innovation waiting to happen, and a very low Audience expectation when you take it out.

    The guitar is next, everyone has one, and itís very forgiving similar to ukulele. Thereís a reason everyone plays one. And when youíre advancing, thereís so much material out there to learn and numerous artists to look up to.

    Banjo, I found the open tuning super easy to use and think about, and thereís a lot of material to learn.

    Mandolin, this one is pretty easy cuz thereís such a devoted following, information isnít too hard to find, and thereís lots of material and great players. Also, since itís rather obscure, itís a great conversation starter.

    Harmonica, this one is hard both to think about and to get good at, thereís several notes missing unless you can do advanced overblowing techniques. Thereís very few real musicians playing these, and material is hard to find. On the upside, expectations are low when you get one out, and people will be surprised if you play well.

    Fiddle wins most difficult, this wasnít a blowout victory, it was a close contest, but fiddle is more difficult because thereís no frets, the bow is a **** and itís loud, so not forgiving. But there is a great community of players you can find, lots of instructional materials, and no limits to the possibilities of the instrument.

    I hope you enjoyed this list, itís by no means scripture, itís just my experience.

    And for the record, when I say harmonica I mean ten hole diatonic, not chromatic

    Now all of these were very close decisions hard to make, but itís what I felt at the time.
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
    https://backingtrackers.wordpress.com/

  2. The following members say thank you to Gunnar for this post:


  3. #2
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,031

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience


  4. The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to mandocrucian For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked


  5. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    I used to play the Zu Zitter Carzay and the Trum Tupers. Very difficult. You don't see them much except in the Whoville area

  6. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to DaveGinNJ For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kalamazoo, MI.
    Posts
    7,040

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    The hardest instrument would be the one you have not started yet!
    I never felt like the mandolin was “hard” because I really fell in love with it, the desire was a greater driving force than discomfort.
    It is always a challenge which is the fun!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  8. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Columbus, GA
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I don't believe I'm coordinated enough to play a pedal steel guitar.

    (For what it's worth, the jury's still out on my mandolin playing ability, too,) ♫
    David Hopkins

    Breedlove Legacy FF; Breedlove Quartz FF
    Gibson F-4, (1916); Blevins Octave Mandolin, 2018
    McCormick Oval Sound Hole "Reinhardt"
    McCormick Solid Body F-Style Electric;
    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

    The older I get, the less tolerant I am of political correctness, incompetence and stupidity.

  9. The following members say thank you to DHopkins for this post:


  10. #6
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,206
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Double bass is an extremely physical instrument to play and transport. I highly recommend it for us older retirees, you'll get lots of exercise. Especially on cruise ships, walking corridors, going up and down circular staircases or through revolving doorways, etc. (don't ask how I know).

    In comparison, Mandolins, ukes and fiddles are kids's stuff, bluegrass banjos come close because of weight (but not size), acoustic guitars are lightweights and Dobros are closer but are still outclassed in this category.

    (If you're mobility impaired like me, there are some pretty nice wheels available for double bass, but it's still very physical.)

    On the bright side, you may actually get more work with double bass -- they are audience magnets.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to dhergert For This Useful Post:


  12. #7
    Registered User Bob Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Beautiful Salem County, NJ
    Posts
    1,572

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Forget the instruments; Tuvan throat singing seems pretty difficult to me.
    Purr more, hiss less.

  13. The following members say thank you to Bob Clark for this post:


  14. #8
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,206
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Clark View Post
    ... Tuvan throat singing seems pretty difficult to me.
    Hmmm, that's me, unintentionally, just about every morning.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  15. The following members say thank you to dhergert for this post:


  16. #9
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,052
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    So someone on another forum asked me how I would rank the instruments I play by difficulty,.
    While I applaud the effort you put into making sense of the chaos, I do not think your results are universal.

    There are many individual differences that in large part determine or influence what is hard or not for an individual. A person without great muscle memory might find violin more difficult than others. Or depending on the muscle memory issues, might find concertina easier. A person whose only conception of the music is a keyboard, or woodwinds, comes at all of these other instruments very differently.

    And then there is what you expect to do on the instrument. If the extent of your guitar playing expectations are four or five chords and strumming, while you look to play melody on mandolin, then of course the guitar looks easier. But if your goal is to play melody on the guitar, and chord slamming on the mandolin, the reverse is true.

    If you learn to read notation there is a ton of music out there for all the instruments.

    I find mandolin much easier than guitar, because of all the symmetry. I know what is next to, above, and below anywhere my finger happens to be, because it is always the same. Guitar is not the same across the neck and having to know where you are across the neck is such a pain.

    I find violin very hard because of the bowing. It doesn't do anything for you. You have to not only accurately start each note, but you are responsible for extending each note its proper length in time, and you are in charge of when each note stops. The mandolin you pluck it and move on.

    And so on. I don't think you could make a list that most people agree with.

    I would say that playing any instrument well, is much much harder than playing at that instrument. So in a way, you could say that the hardest instrument you are going to find is the one you make a commitment to playing well.
    Last edited by JeffD; Oct-05-2019 at 11:01pm.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  17. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Pacific NW, slightly outside BC
    Posts
    654

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    There was a book in the library that recommended (band and orchestra) instruments for kids who are not especailly disciplined, up to really determined kids. It said sax, clarinet and flute were easiest and then I don't remember which ones are in the middle but I think it said bassoon and French horn and maybe trumpet and violin were the hardest. I think anybody that's ever tried bassoon and French horn would agree. I'll have to see if I can locate the book
    The Keepers: Kentucky km900, looking for next one
    Yamaha piano, clarinet, violin
    Stage1 pedal steel, some banjos and a dobro don't get played too much

    Shopping/monitoring prices: Yamaha brass, single/double reeds

  18. #11

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    I don't believe I'm coordinated enough to play a pedal steel guitar.

    (For what it's worth, the jury's still out on my mandolin playing ability, too,) ♫
    There was a time where I could not play guitar. My fingertips would go numb. I had to play something so I bought a pedal steel. I took lessons, practiced like the devil, and amused myself for two years. Another ten or so and maybe I could have played in a band. Hardest instrument I ever tried. But I did learn to use metal fingerpicks and a lot of skills ported over to Dobro. Luckily I could still play bass guitar.

    My feeling is what folks consider folk instruments, guitar, banjo, etc., are all easy to play simply and sing with. After all, there was no big structure of learning materials. Skill was passed down by family members. Instruments had to be cheap to buy or easy to build. How the fiddle thrived in these conditions is beyond me. But advancing on any instrument takes time and dedication. Playing tambourine is a skill few people have mastered. Learning a fourth instrument is easier by far than the first.

    I can play and sing with my banjo after three weeks. My daughter, a violist, picked up my mandolin and played a prelude to a Bach suite without error. Never laid her hands on one. I just told her it was like a violin.

    But that pedal steel takes feet moving separately, knees moving separately both left and right, one hand moving a bar with intonation, and a right hand working ten strings while palm blocking. Hardest by far than anything else. French Horn is a bitch too.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  19. The following members say thank you to Br1ck for this post:


  20. #12
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Balama, Mozambique, Africa, Earth
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    While I applaud the effort you put into making sense of the chaos, I do not think your results are universal.



    I would say that playing any instrument well, is much much harder than playing at that instrument. So in a way, you could say that the hardest instrument you are going to find is the one you make a commitment to playing well.
    Nor do I think they are universal, and I think I made that pretty clear in the OP, I just listed my personal experience with a few instruments (at the request of someone else) it is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to all instruments, just something to think about. For the record, I hope to in the future tackle the Concertina, the Accordion, Dobro, Uilleann pipes, GHBP, Bodhran, and more. I currently can play several more than listed also.
    I agree totally with that last statement. I sort of covered that in my OP, but not as clearly
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
    https://backingtrackers.wordpress.com/

  21. #13
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,474
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Over the years I have taken a crack at many instruments:
    - Guitar
    - Bass
    - Keyboards
    - Drums
    - Hand Percussion
    - Trombone
    - Banjo
    - Pedal Steel Guitar
    - Accordion
    - Harmonica
    - Lap Steel
    - Violin
    - Dobro
    - Recorder
    - Ukulele

    In my experience I have found that I personally cannot play any instrument that involves breath/blowing (harmonica, recorder, trombone). . . come to find out I have low-lung capacity, and a very narrow throat opening; (one doctor was surprised that I could even breathe, much less play an instrument - but that's another story).

    Like DHopkins above, my lack of physical coordination made my short attempt at playing pedal steel a frustrating attempt at getting two hands, knees and feet to work at the same time - however (like the violin) I did 'master' it just enough to play the instrument on one recording - so I was able to wipe that instrument off of my musical bucket list before I sold it.

    In the end however, for me personally, I had the hardest time attempting to play the accordion. Trying to coordinate left-hand bass notes, right hand chords and squeeze the instrument in-and-out all at the same time was just plain impossible for my un-coordinated body and brain. The accordion that I had was a loaneer from a friend, and I gave it my best shot for the entire day - but in the end it was my biggest musical failure. (Pete Townshend of The Who one said that he 'learned to play the accordion for this demo of the song 'Squeeze Box' , but he didn't play it properly, he learned it just enough so that he didn't fall over while playing it'.)
    Last edited by MikeZito; Oct-06-2019 at 8:34am.

  22. #14

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Yes the diatonic accordion is pretty hard. The worst thing about it is that whereas with a guitar if you forget some part in a song, you can improvise and fake it by ear till the next part, with the diatonic there’s nothing, you just trip over and stop. For me the learning process is long and technical with lots of unintuitive memorisation involved.
    One sure sign is that if I get it out, or even if I just carry the case around the apartment then the cat scowls at me, and slinks over to the front door pleading to go out. Meooooow! -even if it’s raining, which is often why I get the thing out in the first place. Yes, cats know things. Harmonica is another instrument that the cat doesn’t appreciate.

    I did try a sort of hunting horn one time, can’t remember the name of it, it had two circles of tubing.
    Anyway that was really easy, just a couple of days, because it naturally resonated on a couple of main notes of 2 keys and the rest was like whistling. It’s actually a great instrument for someone with a dog.
    The tone improved after just four days.
    Last edited by Simon DS; Oct-06-2019 at 9:33am.

  23. The following members say thank you to Simon DS for this post:


  24. #15
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Yes, diatonic accordion has me stumped. Mainly because I haven't taken the time to practice it enough.

    But watching folks play English concertina makes me think that's more difficult. Maybe not as bad as being a good violin player, but close.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  25. The following members say thank you to Eric Platt for this post:


  26. #16
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    North CA
    Posts
    3,939

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    "What instrument is the hardest?"

    The one you don't practice.

  27. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to DavidKOS For This Useful Post:


  28. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,073

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I don't play it but I have always heard that a Harp is the most difficult ! Any Harp players out there ? With not much ability and starting late ( 64) any instrument would be difficult for me ! One quality I do have is determination !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  29. #18
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Balama, Mozambique, Africa, Earth
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by yankees1 View Post
    I don't play it but I have always heard that a Harp is the most difficult ! Any Harp players out there ? With not much ability and starting late ( 64) any instrument would be difficult for me ! One quality I do have is determination !
    I can play two different types of harp, the blues (mouth) harp, and the auto harp. I do love good harping though, and would love to learn some Celtic harp music
    ..
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
    Other instruments: way too many, and yet, not nearly enough.

    My blog: https://theoffgridmusician.music.blog/
    My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChF...yWuaTrtB4YORAg
    My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africanbanjogunnar/
    Free backing tracks:
    https://backingtrackers.wordpress.com/

  30. #19
    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Germany
    Posts
    549

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I would say the Yaybahar. Apart from the fact that they are not commercially available, I can imagine that there are a fair few people one might have difficulty persuading that what one is producing is actually music.

    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

  31. The following members say thank you to Polecat for this post:

    V70416 

  32. #20

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I've been a drummer my whole life. In the 80's, when I told my friend Mike I had bought a guitar, he asked me to start playing a gig with him once a week because he had just lost his guitar partner. I asked, "shouldn't I learn to play it first?" He replied, "No problem, come by the house and I'll show you what to do." We ran through two Grateful Dead songs and a few days later I was in front of an audience. Playing electric rhythm guitar I quickly discovered I only needed a few bar chords, eventually a dozen or so. Another advantage to electric was that I started with the amp so low that only I could hear it. It took two months before I was using normal volume. The rhythms were brush patterns. In fact as a trio, with his wife on piano, I sometimes brought a drum set and played with brushes and it seemed somewhat interchangeable.

    A few years later I was playing guitar with the world class harmonica player Sandy Weltman. Sandy was on bass in this group and when he had to miss a performance he asked me to play bass, "come by my place and I'll show you what to do." Sandy gave me two rules, "start every measure on the root" and "the rhythm is more important than what notes you play" so I limited myself to arpeggios. It worked very well.

    All these years later, I can't call myself a guitarist or bassist because, while the access to playing is easy, mastery is hard and elusive.

    I call myself a drummer because I can sit down with anyone in almost any genre and make music.

    I hope to call myself a mandolinist one day. Access to playing isn't much harder than a guitar. But the real payoff, possibly due to the residual learning of decades at the outer edges of guitar, is that the intermediate level, wherein I understand the theory and potential of the instrument, has opened up to me readily. I think this is mainly about having seven frets under your fingers on each string, as well as the consistency of fifths.
    1989/2019 Ike Bacon/Barry Kratzer F5
    1945 Levin 330
    192? Bruno (Oscar Schmidt) banjo-mandolin
    early Eastwood Mandostang
    2005 Tacoma CB-10 acoustic bass guitar
    Fender Tweed Deluxe clone

  33. The following members say thank you to Greg P. Stone for this post:


  34. #21

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Polecat View Post
    I would say the Yaybahar. Apart from the fact that they are not commercially available, I can imagine that there are a fair few people one might have difficulty persuading that what one is producing is actually music.

    Sounds like someone drumming on a sheet of ice on a lake in winter, or if they happened to have a bow and arrows, they’d put an arrow into the ice and play it with the bow?

  35. #22
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    DFW, America
    Posts
    3,242

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I only play guitar (electric and acoustic) and mandolin, and I find the mandolin absolutely unforgiving in every way.
    ďDon't suck the fun out of your hobby by making it results-based." -Ryan Holiday via The Art of Manliness podcast.

  36. #23

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    For me, the "hardest" ones are:

    Violin (hdgfl foremost for various reasons - 11.5" SL being one..)

    Pedal steel (long learning curve)

    Guzheng

    Dance music (instrument played in folk or dance idioms) tends to be "easier" than more complicated forms, etc.

    For me, (lever/celtic) harp was intuitive because I had technically prepared for it for decades with classical & flamenco guitar. I also found diatonic accordions "easy" after two weeks to get comfortable with bisonorics (you dont have that problem with unisonoric english or duet concertina for example).

    Of course, context is everything; playing anything at a high level is "hard." Performing Bach may perhaps be no more challenging than your fastest fiddle tune. Playing Bach on a guzheng or erhu would be quite difficult indeed. And so on.

    For me, Chinese and Arabic music is most challenging. But of course, it wouldn't be for those raised in Chinese or Arabic cultures.

    For some reason, I was never a keyboard person - perhaps having grown up with strings - and it took me 10 years learning as an adult to get comfortable playing professor longhair on piano accordion.

    Aside from ergonomic, cultural and stylistic considerations, the "hardest" instrument is the most expressive one.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Oct-06-2019 at 1:51pm.

  37. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Posts
    659

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Being a no talent hack, there is no easiest one. The most difficult is what ever I happen to be playing at the time......
    Thanks

  38. #25
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,954

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    There are so many different angles to this question. Even if it's limited to just one person's experience, some of the issues are more about the style of music than the instrument itself.

    For example, if we're just talking about the mechanics of playing, then the mandolin is much easier for me to play than one of my other instruments, the wooden "Irish" flute. Part of that is all the years I played guitar before discovering mandolin, but the flute is just a very physically demanding instrument. It's more of a whole-body workout than mandolin, combining finger articulation with mouth articulation and breath control.

    Now approach the question from a different question, and ask which instrument is easier for playing Irish traditional dance music?

    For me, there is no question that flute is easier than mandolin for playing this music. It just fits naturally, because the techniques for ornamentation borrow so many elements from the early pipes. It's more of a struggle for me to get a mandolin to sound authentically "Irish." I'm not saying it can't be done, and the mandolin has certain advantages in partial harmonization within the melody line. But it takes more work, and the options for ornamentation and rhythm pulse within the melody are far more limited on mandolin.

    We could take this through one more iteration and ask which of those two instruments is easier for playing Bluegrass?


    The answer there is clear (flute ain't no part of nuthin'). So music style matters as much as the instrument, if we're talking about "what's easier."

  39. The following members say thank you to foldedpath for this post:

    JL277z 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •