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Thread: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

  1. #26
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    For me, the instrument I enjoy playing the least usually turns out to be the instrument that is hardest to learn.
    -- Don

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  2. #27
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I've heard the Sitar is hard to learn,I would think something like the Basoon isn't to easy either..playing a left handed strung guitar ,right handed is really hard,I've tried it ,,playing bluegrass mandolin hard is very demanding on the right arm and sliding double stops is a whole new level of calous...

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  4. #28
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    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 !
    Yes, it's hard. Tried it for a while, but then lost it. Seems like I left my harp in San Francisco.
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  6. #29

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    I've heard the Sitar is hard to learn...
    It is the form (raga) that is challenging (to Westerners; conversely not so much for those fluent in Indian classical music). So it is with guzheng and TCM: on the surface it is the simplest of instruments - pentatonically arranged strings on a piece of timber - but the (trad form) music consists in microtonal subtleties..

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  8. #30
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    For me, Sitar and Fiddle.

    Fiddle for the bowing and fretless fingerboard.

    Sitar is hard on several levels.
    Sitar is technically difficult to play because you play mostly horizontally across the first string using mostly just your first finger (like slide but without the slide).
    Add to that bending entire passages from one fret that can go up about 7 semi-tones.
    The right hand is very difficult as well.
    Then you have the fact that the music system for sitar is another world completely.
    You can spend years on one Raga, so looking at the list of several hundred ragas can be daunting.
    Definitely worth it though, as the sitar is an unbelievably amazing acoustic machine.
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  10. #31
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    The hardest:
    Fluba
    Singing Ringing Tree
    Cross-Grainger Kangaroo-Pouch Tone-Tool
    The Great Stalacpipe Organ
    Pyrophone Organ
    Hyperbass Flute
    Hornucopian dronepipe
    Aquaggaswack
    Sandata ng lolo ni tatay
    Xaphoon
    Cloud Chamber Bowls
    Dynamophone

    The easiest:
    Wind Chimes

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  12. #32
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I always thought the triangle guy had it pretty easy..

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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    I always thought the triangle guy had it pretty easy..
    It can take decades to master the subtle nuances of the triangle

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  15. #34
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    For me it was the fiddle. My wife told me either the fiddle or me were going to sleep in the outhouse, it was my choice. I think the fiddle is still there.

  16. #35

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Polecat,at first I didn't much care for the sound of the Yaybahar,but I think he was just tuning up. I was into it by the end of the performance. Thank you for that.

    Trying to play a violin made me appreciate the instrument and what it takes to make one really sound good.

  17. #36
    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Well, if you want to get into instruments you haven't played but have only heard of, the Chapman stick is epic and looks very hard

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  19. #37

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I really enjoy the varieties of experience. Btw when I wrote things are "easy" and "hard" I just mean in relation. I'm too wore out to be able to play guitar and mndlns etc so I spend all my time on boxes.

  20. #38

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I can just see my friends’ reactions when I tell them I ‘m taking Sandata ng lolo ni tatay classes.

    I don’t think I’d ever feel comfortable playing an instrument whose name I can’t pronounce.
    You’d play a tune, really focused, no mistakes, but knowing for certain that when the tune is over, perfect performance, someone is going to say, ‘what’s it called?’
    And you’re going to say, ’uhhh.’

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  22. #39
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post
    Well, if you want to get into instruments you haven't played but have only heard of, the Chapman stick is epic and looks very hard
    I almost bought a Chapman Stick at one point in my electric guitar phase. I backed off when I realized that it's basically a string version of an electric keyboard without dynamic range, like a Fender Rhodes with a little more sustain. The lack of dynamics starts to sound monotonous to my ears when I hear enough of it.

    YMMV, and it's still impressive to see one played by someone who knows what they're doing, like that clip above. But there's a reason it hasn't taken over the world, while there are still plenty of guitars and keyboards being played.

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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    .......Chapman Stick...... I backed off when I realized that it's basically a string version of an electric keyboard without dynamic range, like a Fender Rhodes with a little more sustain. The lack of dynamics starts to sound monotonous to my ears when I hear enough of it.......................
    Sounds perfect for Cajun music
    Play it like you mean it.

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  26. #41
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    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.

    Other than producing special effects sounds for horror movies, the role of that things seems awfully limited when it comes to music

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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    ...
    Last edited by Simon DS; Oct-07-2019 at 1:25pm.

  29. #43

    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 !
    Fyi, many beginners (writing on the harp forum) are older adults - many are older than you. Harp seems to be an instrument that many folks aspire to play, but don't undertake until at a later point in life, if at all - when they're finally ready to do something wholly irrational . Of course there are the usual barriers, and access is no doubt one.

    I was one of these - always had the sound in my head (gaelic airs) but never thought I'd do it, always reasoning that I had too much going on already.. I encourage you (and anyone) to try - you may find it highly intuitive. Of course more complex music is more difficult, but simple tunes are rather easy, and sound quite nice out of the gate. And your grandkids will love it.

  30. #44
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    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.
    Tried playing my grandfather's fiddle, didn't get very far -- had a hard time getting consistent bow pressure and speed, missed having frets -- but didn't really make a serious attempt to learn it.

    Of the instruments I do play, professionally and in front of audiences, concur that English-system concertina is the most difficult. After playing it more than 25 years, I can still find myself wandering off the correct buttons and not being able to get back -- not frequently, now, but still happens. Irrational button layout, no visual cues, and no way to "hide" with that piercing, oboe-esque voice. Still, I love it, and will take the risk of the occasional melt-down.

    Mandolin? Piece of cake (as long as you don't listen too closely...).
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I’ve got a MOOG Theremin that’s pretty tricky to play. Just waving in thin air with no reference points. Left hand for volume and articulation and right hand for pitch.

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  33. #46
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveGinNJ View Post
    Other than producing special effects sounds for horror movies, the role of that thing [yaybahar] seems awfully limited when it comes to music
    I have s slew of pedals to try to make those psych sounds. Is there a wrong way to play it? why do I want one?
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  35. #47

    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Tried playing my grandfather's fiddle, didn't get very far -- had a hard time getting consistent bow pressure and speed, missed having frets -- but didn't really make a serious attempt to learn it.

    Of the instruments I do play, professionally and in front of audiences, concur that English-system concertina is the most difficult. After playing it more than 25 years, I can still find myself wandering off the correct buttons and not being able to get back -- not frequently, now, but still happens. Irrational button layout, no visual cues, and no way to "hide" with that piercing, oboe-esque voice. Still, I love it, and will take the risk of the occasional melt-down.

    Mandolin? Piece of cake (as long as you don't listen too closely...).
    Mandolin a piece of cake? No way... well, what sort of cake?

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  37. #48
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Of the instruments I do play, professionally and in front of audiences, concur that English-system concertina is the most difficult. After playing it more than 25 years, I can still find myself wandering off the correct buttons and not being able to get back -- not frequently, now, but still happens. Irrational button layout, no visual cues, and no way to "hide" with that piercing, oboe-esque voice. Still, I love it, and will take the risk of the occasional melt-down.
    The guitar player in a local mixed Scottish/Cape Breton/Irish session can occasionally be coaxed to bring out his concertina. He's very good at it, knows a ton of mostly Irish tunes. He doesn't always hit every note or quasi-chord right, but he hits most of them so the clams don't really matter. The sound is great and it adds so much to the session.

    The clams in a trad session or OldTime jam are how you know you're not listening to a recording, after all. It's "authentic!"

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  39. #49
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    Mandolin a piece of cake? No way... well, what sort of cake?
    That would be a.....
    Wait for it...



    A shortcake!

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  41. #50
    Registered User zedmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: What instrument is the hardest? My experience

    I play guitar, bass & mandolin.

    I'm probably best at guitar, then bass & then mandolin-which is also the order of when I started playing each.
    But difficulty?
    They all have their difficulties.

    I think part of it depends on hand size, your body size, the physical instrument, and what you want to do with it.

    I know people who play each--and they would give different answers.
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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