Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Mia. Mia Wonders, “What is the hardest instrument to play?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Mia!

What’s the most difficult instrument to play? Could it be the kazoo? How about the recorder? Perhaps the trumpet?

The kazoo, the recorder, and the trumpet can all pose their challenges. But they’re usually not listed among the most difficult instruments to play. Of course, every person may have more difficulty with one instrument than others. But some consistently pop up on lists of those that are difficult to play. 

Have you ever played a musical instrument before? For many, any instrument can seem like a foreign object. Don’t worry, though. Even the most accomplished musicians felt the same way when they picked up their first instrument. It’s only natural. There’s a learning curve for every instrument.

Some of those learning curves happen to be steeper than others. If you pick up a pair of drum sticks, you can probably tap out a simple beat without much practice. If you pick up a violin and a bow, however, it’s a different story. You might not even be able to make a sound at first.

Experts say that some instruments are difficult to play, while others are difficult to play well. What’s the difference? Some instruments are difficult to play from a physical perspective. For example, playing a tuba calls for both physical strength and a great deal of lung power. 

Other instruments are difficult to play well. They take hundreds or thousands of hours to master. Examples of these types of instruments include the violin and the piano.

You may have noticed that we’ve mentioned the violin twice. That’s no accident! The violin often tops lists of the most difficult instruments to play.

Why is the violin so difficult to play? It’s a small instrument with strings that are played with a bow. To play the violin correctly, you have to hold it in the right position while maintaining good posture. Developing the coordination to play the right notes seems to be very difficult for most people.

What other instruments are thought to be very difficult to play? They include the drums, accordion, bagpipes, harp, piano, classical guitar, oboe, organ, and French horn. Many of these involve many different parts that require you to play with both hands and sometimes even your feet—all at the same time!

Are you a budding musician? Don’t let this list of difficult instruments stop you from giving one of them a try. People learn to play them all the time. They might just take a bit more effort. You never know, though. It could turn out that you’re a natural!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1

Wonder What's Next?

Find a nice, KUSHy place to read tomorrow's Wonder of the Day!