Many children and adults alike take music lessons for popular instruments such as the piano, the guitar, and the violin. However, some music students develop an interest in playing difficult instruments, including the bagpipes, the organ, and even the French horn. Find out why these instruments are sometimes regarded as difficult and discover key tips that will make the learning process easier.
The organ was a popular instrument during medieval times in Europe as well as in ancient Rome and Greece, where the instrument was mainly played at sporting events. Today, the organ is usually played in houses of worship. This type of organ is better known as the chamber organ.
Many people mistakenly think the organ and the piano are very similar. This is understandable considering most people have never played both instruments. Though on the surface it it may seem that the organ and the piano are similar, in reality, they're quite different. For starters, the organ has multiple keyboards rather than the single keyboard of the piano.
In addition, the organ can be played with the feet or the hands, making it both unique and difficult to learn at the same time. Considering the fact that the hands and feet have to work in unison, learning to play the organ can be intimidating for a beginner. However, with proper instruction and adequate practice time, the organ can eventually be mastered just like any other instrument.
As one of the oldest musical instruments in the world, drums aren't necessarily considered a non-traditional instrument. However, they are one of the most challenging instruments for several reasons.
A member of the percussion group, drums are straightforward in terms of design, featuring the drum itself and the accompanying drumsticks. Despite its simple design, the drum requires a precise playing technique, which some students find it difficult to master even in a group setting.
Some believe that the drums are simultaneously the easiest and hardest instrument to learn. Sure, it's relatively easy to tap the drum with the drumsticks, but the challenge lies in maintaining harmonies and keeping the hands and feet in sync. As with any instrument, mastery of the drums comes with adequate practice.
3. French Horn
Bagpipes come in a variety of styles, from the Northumbrian smallpipes to the Asturian gaita. According to the Oxford History of Music, the origins of bagpipes can be traced back to 1000 BC. Bagpipes have endured peaks and valleys in popularity throughout the centuries, yet they have never completely fallen out of favor. Typical settings include parades, military events, as well as memorial events.
The bagpipes are unique in that they are comprised of several components, all of which contribute to their distinct sound. Bagpipes can play nine notes, which are produced through continuous pressure from the musician. What makes playing the bagpipes seem especially difficult is the amount of wind needed to produce sound - something many beginners struggle with.
Initially, learning any of the instruments detailed here will require a certain degree of added effort. However, it's important to persevere through what could prove to be a significant learning curve. Regardless of the student's age, learning any new instrument will take some getting used to.
If your child is interested in playing a more difficult instrument, consider allowing them to play a similar (but easier) instrument first. Also, it might be easier to learn to play a more complicated instrument after the child has already mastered one instrument and is looking for a challenge by adding to their repertoire of instruments.
Some may argue that the reputation of these instruments is unfounded. Practically speaking, nearly every instrument can be viewed as difficult to learn from a beginner’s standpoint.
All instruments come with unique playing challenges that can be seen as difficult depending on the musician’s perspective and individual preferences. In the end, mindset is more closely tied to successfully mastering an instrument than its perceived ease or difficulty.