Is it true that some music genres are harder to perform than others?

Posted by Cynthia Madison on February 27th, 2020

If you’re seeking a successful career in music, you have to maintain a standard of excellence. The music industry is becoming increasingly competitive, so practice, practice, practice. Some pieces of music are harder to play than others. That’s just the way things are. You’d be tempted to think that it’s straightforward, but it’s not. Some music genres look easy, but once you start playing the songs, you understand that it’s quite the opposite.  

There’s a lot of music that seems to have been written to be impossible to play. The songs require great technical ability, which is gained after years of practice. What you have to do basically is unlearn everything you know regarding timing and rhythm and stop relying on your instincts. The point is that some music genres are harder than others. If you haven’t had much exposure to one or the other, you’ll most certainly make a mistake. Or two. 

What music genre is the hardest when it comes to execution and learning? 

Just to be clear from the very get-go, nothing is easy. It all depends on the individual. While some people might find hip-hop easy, while others might find it impossible to make the beat groove. It’s just an example. In what follows, we’ll present the hardest music genres in terms of execution and learning. 

Jazz 

Jazz has its origins in the African-American communities of New Orleans. This music genre is associated with some of the most brilliant musicians ever, such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. Jazz is largely based on improvisation. So, it requires strong skills. It’s not the technique that’s challenging, but the musical vocabulary. More precisely, you have to be able to play through the changes. Playing jazz is like learning a foreign language in the sense that you might hear the tune but your ears might not be ready for it. 

The melody is the most important part of the song, so don’t think too much about the chord changes or how to navigate them. Make sure the song is playing in your head when practicing. Most importantly, feel the emotion of every note. Appreciate the role of that note in the progression of the song. Get your fingers across the keys and practice scales of various speeds. Finally yet importantly, try to imitate the playing of jazz masters such as Ray Charles. 

Clapping

If you’re not familiar with clapping music, you need to know that it’s a minimalist genre introduced by Steve Reich back in 1972. It has succeeded in influencing generations of pop, jazz, and even classical musicians. Even if you don’t know who Steven Reich is, you’ve certainly encountered clapping music. The question now is: What makes clapping music so difficult to execute? Well, it has something to do with the constantly changing rhythm. The rhythmic pattern changes again and again, which poses difficulty for the performer. 

Practically, you have to quickly make the transition from one pattern to the next and this is anything but simple. You’re likely to lose control at one point or the other. As a player, you have to clap the rhythm and vary the main rhythm while shifting the beat every few repetitions. Attention should be paid to the fact that clapping music is meant to be performed by two people at the same time. And that pattern complexity affects rhythmic performance. If you hesitate even for a second, you’re not going to arrive where you want to. We’re talking about perfect musical execution. 

Rock 

Everyone likes rock music. This renowned form of music emerged in America in the early 1950s. Its massive popularity is obvious from the numerous record sales and the number of bands that have adopted the rock aesthetic. Everyone can agree with the fact that rock music is hard to play. You have to weave instruments together to sound bigger than they really are. Plus, rock requires more skill and talent than any other musical genre. For instance, you need to completely relearn drumming techniques just to play a certain song. 

When it comes down to rock, the voice isn’t the most important element. Soo, focus your attention on the instruments (drums, electric guitar, keyboard, etc.) Some performers have learned to embrace imperfections. You should do the same because you don’t need to execute the musical pieces perfectly. Rock may be a little bit difficult to play if you were raised with electric buttons. If you practice enough, you’ll come to master the music genre. 

To sum up, no music genre is created equal. Some are really hard to play, while others don’t pose any kind of difficulty whatsoever. Needless to say, they require different skill sets. Rekindle your love for music and don’t stop practicing. If you’d like, you can take a slower approach to learning.  


Cynthia Madison

About the Author

Cynthia Madison
Joined: September 28th, 2017
Articles Posted: 48

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