What's the most annoying instrument?

Or, A: It’s harder to hit a moving target.

The recorder, especially an entire class worth of 8 year-olds playing them at a ‘concert’.

I’ll throw in my support for the nomination of the harmonica, and add the organ to the mix…any variety of organ, really.

The intrinsic problems with both of these instruments are one and the same: dissonant honking is not a pleasing sound. Even in the hands of an expert player, the most one can hope to achieve with either is a melodious dissonant honking, which, while substantially less irritating than a haphazard version of same, still tends to annoy rather than soothe.

Q: What’s the definition of a gentleman?

A: A man who can play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.

Feel free to insert your least favorite instrument in the place of bagpipes. Or, whatever instrument is played by the person you’re trying to insult.

The harmonica. Anytime I hear one pulled out in a song, I immediately change the station.

My vote is for the whiny-ass steel guitar, most commonly used in country music :: pukey smilie::. It makes me want to stab my ear drums with an ice pick. Repeatedly.

On the other hand, I love most applications of slide guitar.

OK, I was being facetious about the butt trumpet. (I actually like ALL brass instruments. :wink: )

The pan pipes are what drives me up a wall. Especially when amplified and played in those sound-alike South American Indian combos you seem to see at every farmer’s market or craft festival.

I LOVE the accordion, and any harmonica playing that consists of more than two notes (“in” and “out”).

And anybody who says ALL saxophone playing is bad should get their Windows Media on RIGHT THIS INSTANT and listen to Sigurd Rascher, Harry White, and John-Edward Kelly.

The lagerphone.

Whatever it is that plays on an ice cream truck. Not just loud. Not just repetitive. Not just silly. Annoying.

The kazoo always vibrates my upper lip and nose in such a way that it causes a sneezing fit, but that probably doesn’t count.

The only instrument I dislike hearing more than the trumpet is the twangy slide guitar so prevalent in C&W music. Both make my stomach turn.

I believe that’s called a “tape”…

…on the ice cream truck. I dunno, maybe they’re chips or modules or something now. I once heard a Mister Softee truck drown out the world’s largest carillon.

Does anybody hate carillons? Or does everyone still just ignore 'em?

Whayever it is they play the tape on, then. Usually the tape itself is bad, too.

I second the pan pipe. Soprano sax drives me up the wall after about five minutes, regardless of how well played. I like violin and flute, but not as the main ingredient in a jazz format.

Bagpipes - one can be nice - more than one is a guaranteed disaster

Recorder - always horrible

Electric Steel (variety used in popular country) - have yet to ever hear anything played on one that I was left with a “wow - that was nice” feeling

As for the other instruments mentioned - each to their own. Thank Og we all like different things. I do think that any instrument at the hands of a beginner or amateur can be grating but should be outside the limits of this discussion.

I vote for the flute. Even when it’s played well, there’s just something so freaking wussy about it. And not a good wussy, and irritating wussy that makes me want to snatch away the flute and stomp it into the ground. Or at least change the station…

Bagpipes? Harpsichord? Scrapy beginner’s violin? Pah! Not even close. The most annoying sound produced by any instrument is the vocoder.

A perfect example of a solution for which there is no known problem, the musical stain known as the Vocoder ruined numerous songs and albums in the 70s, even ones that didn’t actually need the extra ruining. Some said that this farcical miscegenation of synth, inner tube and kazoo served some purpose, in that it enabled musicians who couldn’t sing to do something close to singing. False. It enabled these people to embarass themselves for all time by making noises like a wet barf down a vacuum cleaner hose. Telling fact: there isn’t a person alive whose all-time favourite track has a vocoder anywhere on it. Another telling fact: there has never been (and, please Og, there never will be) such a thing as a solo Vocoder recital or performance. Yet another telling fact: many 70s performers and musicians who dared to use this ‘instrument’ on stage were actually stoned to death by the audience, and in every case the judge let the audience off on the basis that their action actually reduced human suffering.

Okay, I made up the bit about the stoning. But everything else is true. I rest my case.

I had a roommate in college that was learning to play the bagpipes. Worse than bad bagpipes are the kind played by a novice. :eek:

Cartoon here. One of my favorite Far Side’s.

I find sitars barely tolerable, and I’m another who has no great love for flutes.