I guess I should start a new category, since I’m running across these somewhat frequently. I frequently don’t agree with the “best answer” … unless it’s mine … hah! Go figure.

Here’s another question and answer.

What is the hardest key signature to play in and why?

What is the hardest key signature to play in and why? I want to know because I want to challenge myself trying to create/improvise music in this key. If it depends on what instrument Tell me! :] I can play just about every instrument but my main ones and the ones I’d be playing on are piano and guitar. (I love rock/metal but I’m not a complete metal head junkie! I love/play classical, jazz, flamenco, ect.)

Additional Details
The guitar is tuned to E, normally that is.

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

It depends on the instrument, musical style, and practice level. For instance, C instrumentalists in classical orchestras get used to playing in several flats. A decent high-school oboist will be able to handle B-flat or E-flat as easily as C — but don’t ask him to handle A (three sharps) on no notice.

In general, the more flats or sharps, the harder it is, because you’re moving off “home position” more often. I played clarinet, and I found a# minor the worst: seven sharps and morose melody. Some people have more trouble with 6 or 5 sharps — with 7, they simply remember that *everything* is off.



  1. That’s weird – why would someone think that any given key signature would be easier on a C instrument vs. an instrument in another key? And personally, on oboe, I prefer sharps to flats – the fingerings seem to be easier/more natural.

  2. Yep, it was weird. And I, too, prefer sharps to flats. Silly answer to the question.

    But could that be why I posted it? Hmmm.