Everybody knows that playing an instrument can enhance the networks in your brain, making all your brain parts work together at the same time. People playing the guitar, piano, electric cellos or drums, are known to have stronger brains, are less stressed out, become more creative and have better social lives than the ones who don’t.
If your artistic side wants to get out and you want to transfer your feelings to the people around you, it would be a great idea to learn how to play an instrument.
The first thing to consider is that there are instruments that are easy to learn, like the harmonica or bongo drums, and there are the difficult ones, like the violin, the piano and some others that you are going to read about in this article.
We will tell you what to consider when starting to play an instrument and what the hardest steps you have to take while doing so are.
Vivaldi learned how to make use of the violin for his beautiful symphonies and made everybody fall in love with this instrument. But even if the sound it makes is marvelous, it’s not easy to learn how to play it. The violin is a high-pitched instrument and, in terms of dimensions, it is the tiniest of the string instruments.
People have been using the violin to make music for dancing and singing, but it is also used as a solo instrument. But why is the violin the hardest instrument to learn how to play? It is small, it has only four strings, everything seems easy, right? Well, not quite.
First of all, you have to play it with a bow. The strings are very close together and if you touch multiple strings at the same time you might get a dirty sound. That means that you have to be very careful not to change the angle of the bow without knowing exactly what you are doing.
Unlike the guitar, there are no markings on where to press the strings. You have to learn how and where to press them. Also, the price of a violin ranges from one thousand dollars to fifteen million dollars, meaning you would have to get a fair amount of money out of your pocket to be able to get a decent one.
Another aspect to take into account is the posture while playing. You have to hold a strict posture while moving your arm. This might be cool if you have to do this for twenty minutes, but if you want to become a good player you should hold the position for a few hours a day, maybe more, meaning you should keep fit so that you won’t have back and neck problems.
The French Horn
Orchestral instruments can be filled with magnificence. Just telling someone that you play one makes them look at you like you are some kind of a classic superhero. The French horn is one of them. It makes a beautiful sound and it also has stateliness. But learning how to play the French horn is not as easy as you might think. And here is why.
First of all, the French horn uses a lot of partials, more than a regular brass instrument, and some of them are not used because they are not in tune. High notes are close to each other and using the same fingering technique can be difficult. So to make different sounds you will have to learn how to move your lips and how to push the air to move between them.
Most of the French horn players say that the most difficult part is to master the mouth moving technique. What you have to know is that you can play all partials without pressing any key. Also, it is a heavy instrument and it’s not facing the front of the stage, but the back. This means that, for it to be heard, you have to use more air to make ampler sounds.
Imagine you are in a concert hall listening to Beethoven’s Fur Elise. You envy the piano player that he can impress so many people with his flawless technique. You go home and think to yourself: ‘Well, in two months I should be able to play Fur Elise the same way that piano player at the concert hall did. It’s only one song, what could go wrong?’. The right answer is ‘Everything!’.
At first, it might seem very easy to play the piano. You can even learn how to play some easy songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or The Alphabet Song. But when it comes to mastering the technique and triggering emotions in people’s hearts the task gets tougher.
Why? Because you have to use both hands at the same time and, most of the time, you have to use different rhythms with each of them. This can be challenging for beginners, as even the more experienced players still have to improve their poly-rhythm technique. A flawless technique is very hard to gain in just a few months.
Then there are the notes, the distance between them, the posture, the speed, you get tired just by enumerating them, imagine playing the piano and having to pay attention to all of the aspects at once. And, more important than that, you have o make the piano sound perfect, to make people feel the sweetness of the song you are playing.
The harp is a sublime instrument, just looking at it transports you into a fairy tale. And like most fairy tales, the sounds it makes seem enchanted. That is because harps usually have between 40 and 47 strings. Does that make you think twice before making the decision to learn how to play it? Don’t worry, with practice, you will get pretty good at it, but it won’t be easy.
The hardest thing to master when it comes to playing the harp is your finger movement. The position of your hands is also very important. Think about a 7 string instrument: not that hard to play, you could do it with just one hand. Now think about a 47-string one. Your heart just skipped a beat, am I right?
Regardless, the harp is a beautiful instrument and you can play it solo or in an orchestra, in a classical quartet or a new-age band. If you truly want it, 40 strings seem like much, but with a lot of practice, you can do it.
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘cello’ is ‘the soul instrument’. It is a majestic instrument, it has a dramatic, still delightful sound, even though when you look at it you can get the impression that it makes heavy and boring sounds.
Many musicians learn how to play various musical instruments through their lifetime and most of whom have learned to play the cello agree upon the fact that it is one of the hardest to master. Mostly because a cello player has to move his/her fingers a long distance for reaching every note.
It is harder for them to shift the notes because the cello has a considerable size and it is very long. Its body length can go up to 755mm, making the increments of the notes at a greater distance apart than on the violin or the viola.
Its large size is something to consider when deciding to learn how to play the cello. The cello’s weight may be a problem for some people. Nevertheless, mastering the cello can be mesmerizing. It carries a lot of weight and it inspires a lot of depth. You can be an orchestra god or goddess if you play it well, so the effort is totally worth it.
Every one of us has a musician inside of them, but the feeling of wanting to share that skill with the rest of the world is not manifested by everybody. If the musician inside you wants to come out, learning how to play a difficult instrument is a great choice.
Even if it takes time, the emotion you project outside of yourself deserves to be as noble as your soul. The more complicated the instrument, the more complex the emotion, so why settle for something easy? The effort you put into it will be later rewarded with a flawless technique and an impressed audience.
If you know how to play the piano, then you will find it a bit easier to learn to play the organ since the keys are placed in pretty much the same way as on the piano and so are the notes. With that said, this is where the similarities end and, even with prior knowledge, this is still considered to be the hardest instrument to play by many musicians.
The organ is a keyboard musical instrument, and each division features its own keyboard that can be played using both hands and feet. If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is, and this allows the organ to produce the slightest to the most powerful sound.
There are also many switches and drawbars that can change the tone of the instrument and, while you won’t have to tweak them constantly, you need to be familiar with them since, otherwise, you won’t be able to get the tone that you want.
Practice is key with the organ, and you’ll need to improve muscle memory since, unlike the piano, with the organ you have more keyboards that need your attention. What’s more, since this musical instrument doesn’t have a sustain pedal, if you want to sustain a certain note or chord, then you will need to keep your fingers in position.
That’s not to say that your feet won’t get a good workout too since the organ also features bass pedals that are laid similar to a keyboard. If you have to tap into the full range of the instrument, you won’t just need your right and left hand, but you’ll also need to learn to play with your feet so that you can control the pitch.
Learning the organ may sound daunting and, while it is true that it requires a lot of time, the sound it creates is worth the investment.
Learning to play the drums is certainly not as difficult as the rest of the instruments on this list, but they are one of the most difficult to master. Anyone can pick a drum set and, in just a few hours, they’ll be able to play along with their favorite songs, yet this doesn’t mean that drums are easy.
It may be easy to get started, but if you’re looking for a long-term commitment, you’ll be surprised to learn just how intricate and nuanced these musical instruments can be. It’s not easy at all to keep the beats and hands hit in sync no matter what other people might think.
Another difficulty with playing drums is that getting the right taps and accents requires a lot of practice. Compared to instruments like guitars that are more difficult in the beginning, drums are the opposite. They’re certainly more accessible, but the nuances in complex drum rudiments will require more work down the line to master.
Similarly to brass instruments, drums are not as melodious on themselves, which means that a key factor to becoming a good drum player is being in perfect synchronization with the orchestra since if you don’t coordinate properly, you can ruin the entire piece.
There is also the fact that modern drums come with a pedal that is used to alter the pitch and, to play this musical instrument to its full potential, you will need to develop flawless synchronization between your hands and your foot.
Mastering the drums is indeed hard, but you shouldn’t let this bring you down, and if you are a beginner and you’re looking for instruments to play, then you should definitely give drums a try. You don’t need to master them if you don’t want to, you can still have plenty of fun learning to play along with your favorite songs.
The flute is a classical musical instrument that may look simple in appearance but that requires a lot of hard work to get started and even more to master. Many think that because it is a versatile and gorgeous instrument, learning to play the flute will be a breeze, but in fact, it will take a beginner a long time to get the knack of it.
There are many technical challenges you’ll face when you begin to learn to play the flute, but what makes this one of the hardest instruments to play is that the artist will also be faced with physical challenges.
Just as is the case with most woodwind and brass instruments, when playing the flute, getting the shape of your mouth just right is essential. To produce music from the flute instead of just random sounds, you need to learn how to use specific shapes. This takes a lot of practice since it is not easy to build muscle memory.
Holding the flute is also a challenge since it needs to be held unilaterally, and this forces you to hold your hands above the shoulder level and if you’ve never had to try this position, trust us when we say that it is incredibly uncomfortable.
Proper posture is very important since, otherwise, you can end up with problems in the shoulders and back as well as pain in the wrist and finger. Students will also need to learn how to develop good breathing habits.
Thus, don’t get fooled by its look or small size, the flute is certainly not the easiest instrument to learn or master, and it will take its toll on you both physically and mentally.
Instruments like the oboe just as the flute may not look complicated at first glance but require a lot of work. The oboe is a woodwind instrument, and it produces clear and sharp sounds in the soprano range, and learning to play is not difficult because you need a lot of breath as is the case with the flute, but because you need to restrain your breath.
The instrument is made up of a wooden tube that features metal keys and bells. The sound is produced by blowing air into the reed, and the reason it is difficult to play the instrument is that the reeds need to be controlled delicately, and sometimes you’ll need to exhale before you inhale to catch your breath.
In order to avoid a monotonous tune, you’ll need to keep on switching your fingering, and this makes learning and playing the oboe very difficult.