The 69 Worst Instruments of All Time

The 69 Worst Instruments of All Time

Finally, a definitive ranking of the most awful sound-makers.

Since the dawn of time, humans have created instruments in their attempts to express the human condition through the medium of sound, and most of them have sucked ass. There are hundreds and hundreds of instruments, each more useless than the last. Does the world need so many instruments? We submit that it does not. In an attempt to weed out the bad ones we’ve compiled this list of the 69 worst ones. (Also, we didn't list 69 to be funny, it's just the way it shook out. Speaking of shaking out, maracas suck, also.)


69. Flying V Guitar

The Rob Schneider of guitars.

68. Bassoon

This looks like a flute with its shoelaces untied.

67. Steel Drum

Goes to Margaritaville once…

66. Vuvuzela

Imagine how lame you’d have to be to get banned from soccer.

65. Bagpipes

More like buttpipes.

64. Fugazi’s Instrument

Doesn’t even have “Waiting Room” on it.

63. Xylophone

The only thing a xylophone is good for is using the X in Scrabble.

62. Trombone

Ska instrument. Disqualified.

61. Trumpet

Ska instrument. Disqualified.

60. Texas Instruments

Worse than a regular calculator because you can’t even write BOOBIES upside-down with all this graph nerd shit in the way.

59. Violin

The favorite instrument of the 1%. The violin has definitely called the cops on a cookout before.

58. Fiddle

The violin’s red state cousin who posts a bunch of MAGA shit on Facebook.

57. The Long Guitar

It’s bigger and has fewer strings. What dumBASS invented that?

56. The Beeping That Goes Off in the VICE Office Every Five Fucking Minutes


55. Glockenspiel

How can something that starts with “glock” be so lame?

54. Speak & Spell

The glockenspiel for kids.

53. Triangle

The default instrument for band kids desperate for extracurriculars on their college applications.

52. Tambourine

Like if someone glued a bunch of triangles together.

51. Bugle

An instrument named after a brand of corn chip that causes anal leakage.


50. Shofar

Pros: Brought down the walls of Jericho
Cons: Not responsible for even one banger

49. The Drum

Jesus shoulda beat the little drummer boy’s ass for bringing this as a gift.

48. Double Guitar

So you can annoy twice as many people at Guitar Center.

47. Lute

You’re not gonna get laid at Ren Faire, dude.

46. Stethoscope

Cold as fuck.

45. Cello

I love this instrument and its curvy body. As a teenager, I was often teased by my friends for my attraction to instruments on the thicker side, ones who were shorter and curvier, instruments that the average (basic) bro might refer to as "chubby" or even "fat." Then, as I became a man and started to educate myself on issues such as feminism and how the media marginalizes instruments by portraying a very narrow and very specific standard of beauty (thin, tall, lean) I realized how many music fans have bought into that lie.

45. Clarinet

It sure does blow!

44. Flute

It sure does blow!

43. Piccolo

It sure does blow!

42. Basset Horn

It sure does blow!

41. Kazoo

It sure does blow!

40. Saxophone

More like sexophone. Just kidding, it sure does blow!

39. Sackbut

Is that really the name of this thing? Good lord.

38. Oboe

The oboe? More like the oh-no.

37. Ukulele


36. Marimba

Every motherfucker who heard that Midori Takada album on YouTube thinks they can play malleted percussion now.

35. Singing Saw

Cool instruments don’t come from Home Depot.


34. Drum Machine

Actually drum machines are kinda cool because they put a lot of drum nerds out of work.

33. 808 Cowbell

Only good use is when this kid ate raw pasta as the sample played.

32. Accordion

Look at this shit.

31. CDJs

Objectively not an instrument.

30. Fife

No one wants to hear you play the fife, dawg.

29. Harp

The herpes of music. Harpes.

28. Voice

Yeah, you could use it to hit a wide range of notes or you could use it to shut daaa fuk up.

27. Banjo

We’ve seen Deliverance.

26. Björk

We wish it was oh so quiet.

25. Harmonica

Nothing cooler than looking like you’re wearing orthodontic headgear.

24. Saxophone

Pretty sure we already listed this one but fuck this Lisa Simpson-ass instrument.

23. Tuba

Who named this? Did you see it one day and say, “Looks like a tube… UH?” Pathetic.

22. Bazooka

Doesn’t blow anything up.

21. Spoons

These are for eating.

20. Tuning fork

Also for eating.

19. Pitch Pipe

Can’t even smoke out of it.

18. Sheet Music

Just a bunch of paper.

17. Stradivarius Some inbred family made a fancy fiddle and we’re supposed to give a shit?

16. Wah Pedal

15. The Large Piano from the Movie BIG

Wow, Robert Loggia stepped on you, join the club.

14. Microphone

The go-to instrument for lame white rappers.

13. The Sound of Everyone’s Amber Alert Going Off at Once


12. Muted Post Horn Tattoo

Yeah we studied comp lit in the 90s too.


11. The Beam

A good way to end up in a band with John Mayer.

10. Kora

This looks like a scale-model bridge.

9. Those Stupid Farting Mufflers on Fast & the Furious-looking Cars

Vin Diesel is rolling over in his grave.

8. Piano

How about don’t play me a song, Piano Man.

7. Organ

Like if a piano was a virgin for religious reasons.

6. Hands

Ayyy we got your sound of one hand clapping right here! [We were gonna put the jackoff motion here but then we had a long, productive discussion about using gendered language like that and decided against it, in our small attempt at resisting the heteronormative language that’s become pervasive online]

5. Keytar

The only good part about playing the piano was sitting down and some idiot ruined it.

4. Crash Cymbal

Wow some genius had the brilliant idea to smash two instruments together, congrats.

3. Hi-hat

Neither high, nor a hat. Discuss.

2. Jug

Jugs were the Monster Energy cans of their time.

1. Guitar