Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

What's The Most Difficult Musical Instrument To Play Well?

gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
edited July 2007 in College Confidential Cafe
For my money, the oboe. Double reed = tough.
Post edited by gbesq on

Replies to: What's The Most Difficult Musical Instrument To Play Well?

  • kollegkidkollegkid Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    LOL - I was going to say oboe, but I see you already said it. I'll just have to say I agree.
  • gbesqgbesq Registered User Posts: 1,779 Senior Member
    Speaking of playing the oboe well, this woman is absolutely amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRb8KKyenSY
  • sigurrossigurros Registered User Posts: 1,439 Member
    The bassoon is another double reed intstrument. The thing is you can always improve your ability on an instrument thus making it impossible to determine the "hardest" instrument. There are instruments that have a higher learning curve and take more time to sound good on but different instruments require different sets of skills and it takes an immesne amount of skill to play an instrument at a professional level.
  • dank08dank08 Registered User Posts: 1,768 Senior Member
    Recorder. .
  • llpitchllpitch Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    imo Clarinet.

    There are a lot of "decent" players but you need to have god given talent to be great.
  • MBPMBP Registered User Posts: 2,509 Senior Member
    1. oboe
    2. french horn
    3. bassoon

    my best friend is the best oboe player in the state (:D), and i used to play bassoon. My school is amazing with double-reeds. it's had the last 4 best bassoon players in the state (and would have had the 5th, except he moved to Arkansas, and is now the best player, regardless of instrument, in the state, as a freshman!!!).
  • LesOsLesOs Registered User Posts: 4,545 Senior Member
    If the quality of my HS band was any indication, trumpets must be the hardest to learn... because all of our trumpets are terrible =P

    I agree... oboes/double-reeds in general are the hardest to play well. Our oboe player during my freshman and sophomore years was the best in the state. She made playing it seem effortless. So, when my two best friends started playing this year to fill her spot... it was quite a rude awakening.

    I play the clarinet. I consider myself to be, as llpitch said, "decent," but the one thing preventing me from becoming... er, better than "decent" is something beyond my control. My fingers are so short that I have to stretch to reach the left finger C/B keys. It's very frustrating =P
  • you'llsee...you'llsee... Registered User Posts: 4,535 Senior Member
    the kazoo, hands down.
  • lablondielablondie Registered User Posts: 5,014 Senior Member

    i really have no clue
  • nhsharvardnhsharvard Registered User Posts: 1,947 Senior Member
    I would say:

    1. double reed instruments
    2. tuba
    3. trumpet

    In my school, the some of the tuba and trumpet players have bad tone.
  • llpitchllpitch Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    I went to one of the best band programs in the nation last year (It was ranked #3 in the nation by the Grammys in '03). Every year we had about 15 All-State players (I lived in California).

    Every year there would be about 1 or 2 freshmen coming in that would be placed right in the top band because they had some god given talent. Usually this happened in the Clarinet/Oboe sections.

    So my top 3 hardest musical instruments to play at a high level would be:

    1. Clarinet
    2. Oboe
    3. Piccolo

    And lol @ saying French Horn is hard. One of my best friends went from Sax to French Horn last year and got placed in the second highest band (remember this is at a really great band HS). He said it was probably easier than Sax.

    Then again, all this is my opinion.
  • reid2575reid2575 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Haha, I'm going to second the Bagpipes vote. It has a reed, and I've heard you need lungs of steel to even squeak out a note. Although I know this is true for a lot of wind instruments...

    Well, at least we're all agreed that it would be a wind instrument!
  • fizix2fizix2 Registered User Posts: 3,570 Senior Member
    Your fingers.

    Have you seen those people who can lace their fingers, then blow through their hands and make different notes based on which fingers they're holding up? I saw one in Washington DC once. It was positively amazing.
  • LesOsLesOs Registered User Posts: 4,545 Senior Member
    Maybe your friend is just musical. This girl in my band switched from flute (she would have been principal) to french horn... and is TERRIBLE. Annoyingly, though, she's convinced that she's God's Gift To French Horn Players Everywhere. One day in band, she decided to play flute just to "see what the principal's solo was like" (which is obnoxious in itself, but- oh no! There's more!!!) The french horns sounded the same as they always do (terrible), and the assistant band director told them to work on a section. God's Gift raised her hand and said, "Well, most days -I'll- be playing with them, so..." as if her playing is marvelous/ she can actually play the parts! In reality, she's the worst in the section and has become a joke in band. (Sorry for the slightly off-topic rant. I REALLY dislike that girl and needed to get that out =P)
  • LaptopLoverLaptopLover Registered User Posts: 287 Junior Member
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned violin. That's where my vote goes. I've been performing music for a while now and there are some times when I listen to a buddy of mine play violin and a couple of notes I hear make me want to cringe and plug my ears because it's slightly off tune. The fact is, if your finger is off by more than a couple of millimeters, the note sounds... less than optimal.
This discussion has been closed.