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What is The Hardest Instrument to Play?

What is the Hardest Instrument to Play?

Famous orchestral conductor Leonard Bernstein was once asked a question by one of his admirers: "Mr Bernstein, What is the hardest Instrument to learn?". The answer came very quickly: "The second violin. I can get a lot of first violinists, but finding one with the same enthusiasm playing the second violin, the second horn or the second flute is really a problem. But nevertheless, if nobody is playing the second violin there would be no harmony".

The answer from Bernstein is actually leaned on a passage in the Bible. Jonathan, son of King Saul, could control this "instrument" (the second violin in a metaphorical way). He had the chance of succeeding to the throne, but said to David: "Don't be afraid. My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this" (1. Sam 23,17). Jonathan understood, that David was the one, who should be on the throne and abdicated it.

The Four Hardest Instruments to Play

But now from a metaphorical answer of the basic question of this article to the real "answer". A lot of people ask themselves, what is the hardest instrument to play or to learn. Like everything else in life, it depends from person to person. But still then are there some instruments, which are said to be the most hardest to play:

violin Violin, CC Jason Hollinger flickr


Almost all string instruments are said to be hard to learn. And under the string instruments is no other so complex and differentiated like the violin. Thats why a lot of children start learning violin between age 4-8. While the right hand is gripping the notes, the left hand has to handle the bow stroke with the right pressure and speed. Furthermore is the posture essential for the right sound. The violin requires the use of the whole body, physically and emotionally.   oboe Oboe, CC Javi Sánchez de la viña flickr


What is an oboe? The oboe instrument is a woodwind instrument with double reed. For a long time, the oboe had the reputation of being an instrument for hard classical music fans. Oboe players need a wide chest. Press, press, press is what the oboe is about. 150 milliliters of compressed air produce one oboe sound.  

Harp, CC Alex Luyckx flickr


The harp looks and sounds very beautiful. With the 46 or 47 strings is it able to perform wonderful sounds - if someone knows, how to play it. People have to use hands and feet. Only through pedals it is possible to elicit whole tones and half tones, which requires high concentration while playing.   orpan Organ, CC Anton Raath flickr


A lot of people connect the organ with church music. It's one of the biggest, loudest and also one of the most hardest instruments to learn. The sound ranges from gentle pianissimo to thunderous fortissimo and the ups and downs go to a greater amount than any other instrument. The "king of the instruments" gets the wonderful sound through many pipes which are made to sound while playing.

Some also say, that the piano, guitar and the drums are the hardest instruments to learn/ the hardest instrument to play. But on the other hand are there also a lot of people, who say that exactly these three are the easiest instruments to learn. So what instrument should I play or should my child start to play? If someone only wants to learn the sheet music, feeling and some rhythm, then the flute is a nice instrument. If someone really wants to go further, he is good to go with violin or piano. But if someone wants to learn a very exceptional and extremely beautiful looking instrument, he should start playing the harp.

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