Is the ocarina easy to play?

The ocarina is easy to play in the sense that:

  • It is easy to make sound on an ocarina.
  • The fingering system is logical.
  • Having a small range with only a small number of notes is easy to think about as a beginner.

Although, making a sound is not the same thing as sounding musical.

Music is in some sense a language, and knowledge of an instrument's fingering system is not enough to play interesting music. Learning to be expressive with rhythm and pitch comes from listening to good performers, and takes time to develop.

Ocarinas also have very unstable pitch, and developing the ear and breath control to manage play in tune also takes time. The fact of the matter is that all instruments are challenging in their own ways.

'Does the ocarina inspire you?' is a more valuable thing to be asking than 'is the ocarina easy to play?'.

If you've chosen the ocarina because you enjoy its sound and you're determined to play it yourself, you've chosen it for the right reasons. The same goes for any instrument: play it not because it looks easy or difficult but because you enjoy it.

Take care

Given that ocarinas are simple, you don't need a structured learning method or deliberate practice to learn to play it, right?

It is very easy to make this assumption, and following such an approach is very unlikely to lead to you learning to play well. Playing the ocarina takes practice like any instrument, and a good approach saves a lot of time.

Ocarina tabs especially are a double edged sword; while they can help you to get started, continuing to use them will quickly hold you back.

Not all of the playing techniques are intuitive. I recommend reading The fundamentals of playing the ocarina', which covers the critical techniques of playing the instrument.