[Dixielandjazz] Hardest instrument to learn

Andy.Ling@Quantel.Com Andy.Ling@Quantel.Com
Wed, 19 Jun 2002 15:46:15 +0100

Bob Romans asks :-
> I don't wish to start a nuclear war here, but
> I've gotten into some discussions lately about
> which is the hardest instrument to learn, and
> which is the easiest. If a friend of yours wants
> to learn to play in a Dixieland jazz band, and has
> never played ANY instrument,and asks you which one
> would get him there fastest, what would you tell him/her?

Well, of course, all instruments are equally hard to play well.
But to get started - There's always the wood block or even
the washboard :-)

Seriously, I suppose if you pick a back line instrument you
are less likely to be heard making that big mistake and you
don't have to be quite so inventive. A bass can get away with
only a couple of notes a bar.

It's hard work maintaining an even rhythm so drums may not be
ideal (and you did say which instrument :-)

If you're going for the front line then, as has been suggested,
I guess the Saxophone is the easiest to get started on. It is
easier to get a note out of than a clarinet and it has nice little
covers for all the holes. So if you don't get your finger in
quite the right place you still stand a good chance of closing
the hole. I'd go for the Alto for weight.

If you're half serious though, you should pick the instrument
you like most and put in the time to learn it properly. After
all you are going to be listening to it a lot.

Andy Ling