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View Full Version : What are you, instrumental? The instrument discussion thunderdome


PapillonReel
05-18-2011, 01:48 PM
With all that discussion in the Random Content and Happiness Thread, it sounds like a lot of people play instruments on Talking Time! So: what kind of instrument do you play? How long have you been playing it, and what convinced you pick it up in the first place?

http://i.imgur.com/Ctmxd.jpg

I play the flute, personally. The model I have is (I think) a 511 RSBO Jupiter Flute: silver-plated body, is open-holed, has a gizmo key and a B foot key letting it go one note lower than middle C. It's only an intermediate level flute however, which is why it doesn't have anything fancy like a wooden body or a gold-plated lip (which I never really understood the point of personally, but okay). It only costed about $700 since I bought it used - the last owner was the head of the then-Ottawa flute association, a very nice woman who picked up the instrument as a hobby - and I've been taking as good care of it as I can.

I've been playing since grade 9 of High School and used to practice quite a bit in the school's concert band before I enrolled into the music analysis program at uOttawa. Which was... well, a bad idea, considering that I never really gave two whits about music theory outside of composition and the lack of actual instrument playing killed the program for me. Plus it was difficult finding a practice room that wasn't occupied and playing at home meant being barraged with requests to play for people, which drove me up the wall. When I want to practice, I want to practice in peace and quiet! GEEZ.

Since I was never really formally trained in the instrument (the HS teachers were both Trumpet players, so I mostly had to teach myself as a result) I never really knew where I stood in terms of ability or where I needed to improve and slowly lost interest as a result. It's been about two years since I've really played with any regularity, but May's feeling like that kind of month, y'know? Maybe I'll pick it up again sometime soon.

fugu13
05-18-2011, 01:53 PM
Now you're making me want to rent a cello so I can play again.

Queen Possum
05-18-2011, 01:57 PM
I played trumpet for 7 years in middle and high school. I was pretty damned good. I should've gone into marching band in college. I miss it.

Elements
05-18-2011, 02:02 PM
Just keyboard. All of my brothers play guitar, and young me always aspired to be classier than them, so I took up keyboard. I probably learned as many video game songs as classical songs. I always tried to get my sister to learn accompaniments to me on her clarinet, but noOoOoo~. My mu makes me do Fur Elise whenever I visit. :p I suck pretty bad at my instrument for the most part.

Adam
05-18-2011, 02:12 PM
I played an Alto Sax for 5 years or so. These days I just drum on my cats' bellies.

Soren Highwind
05-18-2011, 02:18 PM
I've played percussion since about 5th grade or so. I have a kit, but I haven't really played it for about two years now. Maybe I should start again. I've also been told that I have the hands for guitar, but I can't play the damn thing to save my life.

Little Sampson
05-18-2011, 02:24 PM
I dabble in violin, but mainly sing. I do a little solo singing but really thrive in choirs/groups.

sraymonds
05-18-2011, 02:25 PM
I played the viola for about three years and was in the choir for 5 years. I'm a baritone!

Nobuyuki
05-18-2011, 02:39 PM
I've studied piano for about six years. I did private lessons for about a year then studied at university once I transferred to my school. I never played any instrument or had any kind of music training before I began. I just sort of had a whim that I'd like to learn an instrument and shortly after lucked into a cheap standup piano. Piano was actually my second choice, my initial plan was to learn the accordion. Unfortunately those things are freaking expensive.

tungwene
05-18-2011, 03:41 PM
Fun fact: I learned to read music before I learned how to read and write. I did piano for five years because my parents made me. Then they kinda pressured me into stopping once they realized I wasn't gonna be a child prodigy. It's been so long I don't know if I can play anymore. About the only thing I can do now is sing, and not very well at that. I wanna try to pick up the harmonica again at some point.

Meditative_Zebra
05-18-2011, 03:47 PM
Hey! Why can't I select more than one category?

Yes, I did see that it says primary. But I choose to ignore it so I can gripe instead!

I did band all through middle school and high school. I started out playing clarinet. When our middle school band director went looking for people to play the bass clarinet I jumped on the opportunity since the pawn-shop bought clarinet that I had was a real piece of junk and playing a school-owned instrument allowed me to play on much nicer hardware than I could have ever afforded. Then in my third year of high school a new school bond passed which allowed the band program to buy some new instruments. Thus, I became the school's first ever contra-bass clarinet player (and was entrusted to carry around an instrument that cost more than most people's car).

But as a clarinet player I was jealous of all those kids in jazz band because 1) we had one of the best jazz band programs in the state and 2) the kids in jazz band got to go on more trips than the regular band kids (and therefore miss more class). Most clarinet players than play in jazz band will play saxophone since it's a relatively easy transition between the two instruments (similar embouchure, overlap in fingerings, tenor sax players don't even have to switch what key they play in). Since I really wanted to skip class and go on some these jazz band trips I decided I needed to learn a jazz band instrument.

But since our school already had a freakin' ton of saxophone players around I realized that it would be hard for me to make it into the jazz band against so many people with more experience playing the instrument than I would have had.

However! There was a noticeable shortage of trumpet players and in order to fill the ranks of that section the directors had already had to recruit a baritone player and a saxophone player to play trumpet. So I figured "what the hell" and took up trumpet. I was very smug about the fact that I, as a clarinet player, made the jazz band on trumpet and wasn't even last chair. :D

Sadly, I very rarely play music nowadays. The college I enrolled at right out of high school had a very demanding music program. So much so that I didn't even bother to audition. I did buy a guitar a few years ago and taught myself chords and basic stuff like that, but I quickly plateaued and more or less lost interest. My guitar now sits in a corner as the dust gathers. :(

Even though I'm far from being a talented musician I can at least say I have a passing familiarity with a fairly broad range of instrument types. (Story of my life: jack of all trades, master of none)

Kfroog
05-18-2011, 03:47 PM
Then they kinda pressured me into stopping once they realized I wasn't gonna be a child prodigy.

Holy shit.

tungwene
05-18-2011, 04:25 PM
Holy shit.That and music lessons are expensive and all that. They just decided it was a better idea to put my skill points into a different class.

Prinnydood
05-18-2011, 05:42 PM
I played the viola for six years starting in middle school. I started it just to get out of gym, but to my surprise, I actually ended up enjoying it. Until then, I always though of orchestra students as hoidy-toidy students who always walked around with their chins pointed in the air.

Some of my best grade-school moments come from just goofing off backstage before a concert. Sometimes, we did it just because our instructor became a complete hardass on concert nights (for good reason). It was a sad day when I had to give it up after going to college. I feel like I should get back into it at some point after college is well and done.

Lady
05-18-2011, 05:58 PM
oops. I voted percussion, because I'm used to considering xylophone etc as percussion, but keyboard would be more appropriate.

In high school band, I had to learn drums, timpani, and xylophone/marimba each, but I took piano lessons growing up.

After I graduated, I bought a trumpet, then never bothered learning more than one scale.

wartin8531
05-18-2011, 06:49 PM
I play the guitar and saxophone.

Luana
05-18-2011, 06:58 PM
Man, why did my last post not go through! LAME. I made it right when the thread started!

Violin: I started in the fifth grade and continued playing until I graduated from high school. I never took private lessons, but I was consistently one of the better violinists in my school. (Never the best -- we had a lot of All-State/Interlochen kids.)
Viola: I taught myself viola during my junior year of high school.
Cello: I took up the cello in the eighth grade because we only had one cellist in the orchestra. Once again, I was self-taught. In a month, I was first chair (out of two, but shut up), and I continued with the cello until junior year.
Doublebass: I taught myself to play the bass during my senior year so I could lead morning sectionals.I also spent all of second period during my senior year teaching the freshman orchestra. It culminated in conducting a piece during the spring concert, which I used as the performance piece for my graduation project. My orchestra teacher thought that I would be a natural music teacher.

I played the bells (okay, the chimes) during one concert performance with the full orchestra and was part of the choir for, oh, three seconds. (Our choir program was a joke compared to our other fine arts programs.) Oh, and I'm a contralto. My range is shit now.

If I had an instrument, I guarantee that my depression would lift a lot faster.

Son of Sinistar
05-18-2011, 07:07 PM
I started out trying to learn the harmonica when I was young, but didn't really get the hang of it. I don't think my tongue was big enough at that point. I went on to flute in late elementary/middle/high school before learning the sax for jazz band. After I went to university, I basically stopped playing anything but I would like to pick them back up at some point. As soon as I can stop being shy about practicing.

Nerdy
05-18-2011, 07:14 PM
5th Grade: Trumpet
6th Grade: Clarinet + Piano
7th + 8th Grade: Bass Clarinet
11th Grade: Guitar (dramaqueen guitar teacher = do not want)

Meditative_Zebra
05-18-2011, 10:38 PM
7th + 8th Grade: Bass Clarinet

Bass Clarinets for LYFE! :knux:

Kishi
05-18-2011, 10:40 PM
...Oh, I get it.

Mr Bean
05-18-2011, 10:54 PM
Rock on my fellow flautist.

I played in high school and college but it was never much more than a hobby. I never did practice nearly as much as I should have. The most fun I ever had was probably in the college flute choir rocking one of these monstrosities (http://www.internationalwoodwind.com/images/bass%20flute.jpg).

Aquadeo
05-18-2011, 11:16 PM
Piano for eight years. Technically, I could put on a pretty good Conservatory recital, but only with a great deal of preparation, and even then, I had no idea how to deviate from the script. My brother, on the other hand, could hammer out whatever melody he wanted within a few minutes of fooling around...

I was the better singer, though. : )

PapillonReel
05-19-2011, 12:03 AM
Rock on my fellow flautist.

I played in high school and college but it was never much more than a hobby. I never did practice nearly as much as I should have. The most fun I ever had was probably in the college flute choir rocking one of these monstrosities (http://www.internationalwoodwind.com/images/bass%20flute.jpg).

Oh damn, you have no idea how badly I've wanted to play a Bass Flute. The quiet somber tone they have... so great. Too bad they cost something like $10,000! D:

I'm looking into lessons right now to get back into the Arte or Musique, and so far I'm having trouble narrowing it down. I think I have a lead at the arts center downtown, but I'm afraid it might be too much for me to afford. What exactly should I be looking for in an instructor? Like, what's a good price for lessons by the hour, and how picky should I be about a music teacher's qualifications (or even just what I should look for)?

Odin
05-19-2011, 05:13 AM
My parents started me on piano while I was still in diapers under the Suzuki method. It worked great for a few years, then I just went through the motions for several more years before they agreed to let me stop. They insisted that musical education and ability were a good thing and encouraged me to choose another instrument, so I went with guitar (and guitar lessons) through the end of high school. I didn't really have much time for practicing in college so it fell by the wayside. I became a pretty good rhythm guitarist and have helped out off and on for the past decade with my church's contemporary service praise band. One of my goals for 2011 is to become a better guitarist, so I've actually started practicing scales and trying to learn lead guitar parts. It's challenging but very rewarding.

namelessentity
05-19-2011, 07:47 AM
I played the saxophone for eight years, but being in a school band the sound doesn't really fit apparently because all I can remember is hearing "something doesn't quite sound right, let's drop the saxophones. Yeah, that's better" The majority of the time in band class was spent playing chess with other saxophone players.

Because of that I have spent the last few years picking up various other instruments. Never getting any good with them, just messing around and learning one or two songs on each.

Balrog
05-19-2011, 08:06 AM
I took a year of cello in 5th grade. I didn't learn much because I spent most of the class chatting up this girl. :o

TK Flash
05-19-2011, 08:24 AM
I front a hard rock band, doing bass and lead vocals. I started both as an adult so I don't have that effortlessness that young people gain on their instruments. The guitarist is my best friend and he's going back to France next February so we are going to try to rock Tokyo to the ground before then. First show is next Thursday.

To all the people that wish they were studying/had studied in middle school/high school/college, here's the advice I heard from my personal guitar god: You got it wrong. Sure, a certain degree of study is necessary to tread water. But if you really want to get better and get the most out of your music you have to be at jam sessions weekly. Be in front of people. Play weird shit. Make lots of mistakes. Find a hole-in-the-wall somewhere in town and play some blues or funk with the local grandpas - music is a social phenomenon after all. When the person earlier said something like "I never played my flute because people asked me to play for them" I cringed like hell. If you're not playing for other people then what's the point? Having an audience is just as important as having an instrument in your hands!

mr_bungle700
05-19-2011, 08:30 AM
Been playin' the drums foreverrrrrrr. I was section leader in my middle and high school bands, did the All-State thing, taught lessons, won awards and such.

I was pretty :cool:.

Which is why I should have studied music in college.

But I didn't.

But now I will!

It's gonna be :cool::cool:.

Cyrael
05-19-2011, 11:06 AM
I played Violin for a few years when I was just exiting elementary school, and had a lot of fun with it. But when I changed schools, they didn't have a band program, so I had to drop it.

Ever since then whenever I see a talented violinist I get pretty sad and wish I hadn't had to give it up.

My wife is a great Pianist, and has been playing since she was about 6. I tried picking it up, and enjoy it, but I just can't find the time to practice.

Lady
05-19-2011, 02:27 PM
*flammadiddles bungle*

Dizzy
05-19-2011, 03:52 PM
In my day I played the violin, clarinet and saxophone.

Fuck you Adam.

mr_bungle700
05-19-2011, 05:57 PM
*flammadiddles bungle*

WHOA THERE

CAREFUL WITH THOSE

I may be forced to retaliate with a ratamacue.

nunix
05-19-2011, 06:04 PM
Hey you two this is not the Relationshippy Thread, there's no call for that kind of talk.

Meditative_Zebra
05-19-2011, 06:50 PM
*flammadiddle*

ratamacue

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060130025725/muppet/images/thumb/0/0d/AnimalS1.JPG/300px-AnimalS1.JPG

PapillonReel
05-19-2011, 07:21 PM
When the person earlier said something like "I never played my flute because people asked me to play for them" I cringed like hell. If you're not playing for other people then what's the point? Having an audience is just as important as having an instrument in your hands!

(Pssst, I have a name.)

You're putting words in my mouth here. I'm fine with playing in front of other people, be it in front of an audience or especially with other musicians - often they have a lot to offer in terms of what to change/tighten and how to improve on a perceived flaw. That's... not really debatable! Thing is, when I'm practicing in private, working on a difficult phrase in a song or trying to extend my range past C7 or something else along those lines, and someone barges in requesting I play Stairway to Heaven? That's not going to help. At all.

Anyway, kind of still looking for advice vis-a-vis instruction. What should I be looking for in an instructor in terms of qualifications and where's the best place I should look?

woofbro
05-19-2011, 08:48 PM
I did some keyboard as a kid and dropped it shortly after.

In primary school we had a school band going and I wanted to play the Trumpet so badly but everyone else did as well, and got in before me. So I stayed in the Brass section and went for Trombone I think it was Tenor and played during my primary school's and high school's school band demise. Everyone played Guitar or Drums or something like that, so I was encouraged to maybe pick up Bass Guitar since it was in Bass Clef and I could read that straight up.

Once I picked the Bass up I didn't glance back at the Trombone (which I played for 6 years) but I should have kept with it. The theory is in my mind it's just my technique that's severely lacking now. I got decent at Bass and it opened my mind up to listening to music, something I just never did before and I noticed slight differences in my playing, like instead of sight reading I was playing entirely from memory and just things like that.

Now I'm studying music at Uni and basically spend about all of my time just listening to endless music at home, playing a little bass and what not. I kinda want to go somewhere else now though. I'd like to pick up Trombone again, Keyboard and Guitar. I should go for it, I've been putting that off for almost a year. I've been thinking of writing my own stuff so Guitar and Keyboard would probably be the most helpful for doing that.

Winter
05-19-2011, 10:59 PM
I started playing the clarinet in fifth grade. I originally picked it up as something to just pass the time during lunch at school because my friends were all playing sports, but my mother went crazy about it, as mothers do, and started pushing me into private lessons and public performances and all that whatnot. I might have resented her for it, but I actually did get pretty good at it and it was something I really enjoyed, so I guess it worked out. Both my middle school and high school had really good band programs. My high school marching band in particular won more championships than any of our sports teams did. I made the all-state band a couple of times in high school, and was section leader from my sophomore year on. I picked up the saxophone, too, to play in the jazz band, but I don't think I ever really got jazz. It definitely wasn't something I enjoyed as much as the orchestra.

I kept up with music throughout college, even though it wasn't what I was studying. I played in my college orchestra, but unfortunately, the college I went to didn't have as comparatively high of a music program as my middle and high schools, so I don't think I was able to keep up as well as I would have been if I had gone somewhere else. I haven't played a whole lot since college, although I've also been noodling a bit with picking up piano, guitar, or vocal skills.

Looking at instructors, I would say it would depend on what your current skill level is and what you're looking to get into. If you've dropped a bit in skill since you were playing consistently, and you're just looking to pick up enough to be able to play for your own enjoyment again, I wouldn't think you'd need to worry too much about their qualifications. A lot of college students would be able to help you get to where you need to be. On the other hand, if you still retain most of your skill, or you're looking to play in full bands or put on public performances or otherwise get to a high skill level, you should probably pay more attention to what your instructor has behind them. Some things to keep in mind may be how long they've been playing, what their teaching experience is, if they've played in any major symphony orchestras or any other group with a selection process, those kinds of things. Most music shops would be able to connect you with at least some basic instructors. I've seen some more experienced instructors work through community centers and larger music stores, although they tend to teach more groups than individuals at community centers. A lot of the music professors at my college also offered private lessons, so that may be worth asking at your local institution as well. We don't have a major arts center in this area, but I'd assume that'd be a great place to start.

mr_bungle700
05-20-2011, 08:06 AM
That is all very good advice about finding an instructor. Definitely check with any nearby colleges. Both students and professors will probably be willing to teach private lessons. People often put up flyers in the music department, but the best thing to do might be to get in touch with the flute professor directly and see if he/she can point you in the right direction.

Music shops also usually have flyers advertising lessons, and some places offer lessons in-house. If you don't see a flyer for flute instruction, try asking at the counter if the shop offers lessons or if they know someone who does.

NOW GET OUT THERE AND MUSIC

PapillonReel
05-20-2011, 08:53 AM
Awesome, thanks for the advice guys! Right now, my main goal is to sit down with an experienced player and finally learn things right this time - odds are there are a ton of bad habits I've picked up that I don't even know about and I want to have them corrected right away. That said, I really would like to join a big band further down the line if I can - I really miss playing in a concert environment and it'd be a great experience working with so many different musicians in a collaborative environment.

Anyhow, I guess my first step will be in dropping by the arts center and university sometime later this week and rooting around for a lead - what's nice is that they're only a five minute walk away from each other. Convenient! There also a few music stores nearby I can check out, though a lot of the higher traffic ones tend to be waaay down at the other end of the city. Here's hoping this'll work out. :)

NOW GET OUT THERE AND MUSIC

YES SIR!

Kirin
05-20-2011, 09:28 AM
I had to go with Keyboard as my primary in the poll, because I've played it forever. But I wish I could also give also give Brass some more love. In fact...I played trumpet for 7 years in middle and high school. I was pretty damned good. I should've gone into marching bandorchestra in college. I miss it....is exactly me (only I'm pretty done with marching).

I was actually kind of ridiculously adept at trumpet around freshman year of high school... the band director at auditions said I was the best he'd heard and should consider making a career of it. I think this was mostly on the basis of the ridiculous high notes I could hit (over double-high C?) for that age. I can barely hit them now. Wasn't world-class or anything though; I was always first chair in HS, but second behind this guy with *amazing* tone at the regional youth orchestra. Oh, instrument-wise I upgraded to a pretty nice one at some point (a Bach I think?) which is now sitting in my closet.

Anyway, back on the keyboard side...My parents started me on piano while I was still in diapers under the Suzuki method....okay, not actually diapers for me - I started lessons at six and went on straight through HS (though I switched to jazz piano near the end for a bit). I haven't done enough practice lately to have much memorized beyond the main Mario and Zelda themes and a few FF pieces, but I still sit down at the old electric and sight-read a bunch of stuff every once in a while.

Falselogic
05-20-2011, 09:51 AM
I played piano for 6 years... I learned nothing much to my chagrin. I rote memorized every single piece instead of learning to read music.

I was a stupid kid.

Tavir
05-20-2011, 12:26 PM
I started playing clarinet in 4th grade and played in school bands all throughout middle school and high school (symphonic and marching band). I also played in the marching band in college (these guys! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QNI3W8UB-s) Although this was done a year after I graduated) and briefly dabbled in playing tenor sax for wind ensemble. Other than a few scattered performances here and there (mostly marching band alumni events), I haven't played for a few years now and I really miss performing in an ensemble.

Paul le Fou
05-21-2011, 10:27 PM
I come from a really musically gifted family - my dad plays piano and used to play trombone, trumpet, baritone and clarinet. And my mom played the guitar. Was she the one who played the clarinet? I can't remember now. They met in a church choir. My sisters and I are all pretty good with music, but none of us have really pursued it.

I wish my parents had made me take piano lessons, but I resisted because it was something my dad did and I got too strong an impression of "BE LIKE MEEEEEE" from it - imagined or not, I still don't know. Then in college I was all "damn it would be rad to play the piano" but it was a little too late, and still is (for now).

I played the cello starting in 5th grade and kept with it through High School. We had no orchestra in my school (wicked lame) so I had to keep with private lessons and a joined local youth orchestra to stick with it, and I finally was just too lazy to keep at it myself without an external motivator. Self-motivation has always been my big problem... I picked up Bass Guitar because I was in high school and everyone does some kind of rock band instrument in high school, and while I got pretty decent, private lessons and dicking around at home can only get one so far before one gets bored and distracted, especially if "one" is me.

I'm also a pretty good, albeit untrained, singer. I tear up the Karaoke booth. (You should hear my David Bowie.) Working on some, like, Sinatra songs, and am expanding my showtunes repertoire too, as they match my voice the best. I wish now I'd gone out for school musicals and stuff, joined a choir, etc. But my dad was a big choir singer and did some stage musical stuff himself, and I had (still kind of have) issues with following too closely in his footsteps/being too much like him. So I had absolutely no desire to do so back then and avoided it, and now I wish I hadn't.

When I get back to America I think I'll pick up the cello again and look for an amateur orchestra, or join a local choir, go out for stage stuff (I'd like to try some acting too, I did a tiny bit in a class and did pretty well for what little we were doing, if I may say so myself), as a social activity if nothing else.

Yimothy
05-22-2011, 06:46 AM
I grew up playing piano, but I mostly play guitar now. But not very much these days. Here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O9Pedo1FHU) me guitarin' (and "singing" (and drawing with my mouse)).

I liked the piano, but I probably wasn't very good at it. I think I was pretty terrible at playing in time for a long time, since I never really played with other people, so I could just speed up or slow down as I felt like it. My music teacher would get me to play with a metronome, but I don't think I ever used one at home. Forming a band made a difference to that, I think, but whenever I make home recordings I can't keep all the tracks in time, so I guess I'm still a bit naff. I never worried too much about getting any better, so a lot of my parts are pretty simple (the main guitar part in the song above is two alternating notes, for example).

Michelle
05-23-2011, 12:59 PM
http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab346/mazokunomiko/May020.jpg
My baby!

I played the violin from fourth grade through my senior year in high school, then briefly picked it back up and played with a couple of community groups while I was in college. I used to be pretty good, but, uh, not so much anymore. My violin basically sat in my closet for eight years until I dragged it out a couple of months ago to try out some Homestuck sheet music (http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?24618-Homestuck-Sheet-Music&p=4258645#post4258645). Oh, God, I'll never forget the horrible screeching sounds ... (Sorry, McClain.)

I also studied piano for five or six years, but I never really practiced much. I maxed out at "Fur Elise," and it's the only thing I still remember how to play.

My one big regret is never getting voice lessons. I love to sing, but man, I sound terrible. =P

Falselogic
05-23-2011, 01:07 PM
http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab346/mazokunomiko/May020.jpg
My baby!

I played the violin from fourth grade through my senior year in high school, then briefly picked it back up and played with a couple of community groups while I was in college. I used to be pretty good, but, uh, not so much anymore. My violin basically sat in my closet for eight years until I dragged it out a couple of months ago to try out some Homestuck sheet music (http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?24618-Homestuck-Sheet-Music&p=4258645#post4258645). Oh, God, I'll never forget the horrible screeching sounds ... (Sorry, McClain.)

I also studied piano for five or six years, but I never really practiced much. I maxed out at "Fur Elise," and it's the only thing I still remember how to play.

My one big regret is never getting voice lessons. I love to sing, but man, I sound terrible. =P

Mazo, you should forget about violining and get to fiddlin' everyone loves fiddlin'!

McClain
05-23-2011, 01:10 PM
She's really not as bad as she says. :)

I have three guitars and a bass, but I only play chords on the former and can barely thump along on the latter. At one point I was a pretty competent rhythm guitarist, but I never learned to properly play scales or any real musical theory and barely pick them up anymore.

One day I'll talk Mazo into becoming an alt-country duo!

Krakenbrau
05-23-2011, 03:21 PM
I played the saxophone for eight years, but being in a school band the sound doesn't really fit apparently because all I can remember is hearing "something doesn't quite sound right, let's drop the saxophones. Yeah, that's better" The majority of the time in band class was spent playing chess with other saxophone players.


Haha, I had that same experience! I played baritone sax for most of high school. I didn't usually get dropped (presumably because there were only two of us, and the other one wasn't that great), but the altos and tenors did.

Mazo's awesome violin

That a gorgeous instrument, Mazo. I've been playing violin for almost 20 years now (off and on...I was surprised at how easily it comes back to me after I've left it for a while). Mine isn't as nice as yours though, I don't think.

My primary is bass guitar though (I'll put up some pics when I get a chance), and I'm pretty decent at it. I'm thinking about recording some of my playing and linking it here, but I think I need one or two more bits of gear to able to do that.

I don't play in a band currently, but I've been in a few over the years. It's so much fun; I really wish I could find some people to jam with around here.

Michelle
05-23-2011, 06:29 PM
Mazo, you should forget about violining and get to fiddlin' everyone loves fiddlin'!

One day I'll talk Mazo into becoming an alt-country duo!

Iiiiiinteresting. Sounds like I have another backup career plan to consider after the death of print journalism. ;)

That a gorgeous instrument, Mazo.

Thanks, Krakenbrau!

I love how the back of it has a "tiger's eye" look:

http://i878.photobucket.com/albums/ab346/mazokunomiko/May024b.jpg

It really is pretty. Now I'm starting to feel guilty about all those years of neglect. I probably should buy some new strings* and start playing again!

I've been playing violin for almost 20 years now (off and on...I was surprised at how easily it comes back to me after I've left it for a while).

Oooh, I bet you're really good!

I'm always surprised by how much music I remember whenever I pick the violin back up, but my technique is definitely rusty -- especially for bowing. My left-hand stuff is a bit better because I have this habit of practicing vibrato on tables, chairs or my arm when I'm nervous. (And yeah, I usually get some weird stares when I do that. I guess it does look kinda dirty. =P )

* I've had the same ones on there for at least eight years -- probably more like 10. One of them actually popped off while I was taking these photos!

Krakenbrau
05-23-2011, 10:23 PM
Oooh, I bet you're really good!
Ehhh, I dunno...


I'm always surprised by how much music I remember whenever I pick the violin back up, but my technique is definitely rusty -- especially for bowing. My left-hand stuff is a bit better because I have this habit of practicing vibrato on tables, chairs or my arm when I'm nervous. (And yeah, I usually get some weird stares when I do that. I guess it does look kinda dirty. =P )


I do the same thing, actually. And I have the same issue. My left hand is alright, it's always the bow hand that needs work.


I've had the same strings on there for at least eight years -- probably more like 10. One of them actually popped off while I was taking these photos!

My strings are also ancient. It's kinda tough to find violin strings where I live.

namelessentity
05-24-2011, 07:29 AM
Haha, I had that same experience! I played baritone sax for most of high school. I didn't usually get dropped (presumably because there were only two of us, and the other one wasn't that great), but the altos and tenors did.

You can never drop the Bari, it's just too cool!

Damn Bari, stealing all the ladies with his smooth jazz and deep, sensuous sound and.......

Krakenbrau
05-24-2011, 08:52 AM
You can never drop the Bari, it's just too cool!

Damn Bari, stealing all the ladies with his smooth jazz and deep, sensuous sound and.......

....and long, thick, gleaming pipe.

McClain
05-24-2011, 03:04 PM
This thread inspired me to pick up my guitar for the first time in ages. I'm rusty and my fingers hurt, but damn does it feel good. Gotta start to practice again.

Sanagi
05-26-2011, 01:34 PM
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm124/zenoki/HNI_0028.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm124/zenoki/HNI_0025.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm124/zenoki/HNI_0014.jpg

Sanagi
08-18-2011, 06:54 PM
The Makala Dolphin and the Eastwood Mandola: Partners in garishness.
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm124/zenoki/HNI_0032-1.jpg

(In the background, the classy, basic-black Fluke slinks away, rejected.)

Googleshng
08-18-2011, 07:44 PM
I used to play tenor sax horribly, for reasons I can't really explain. As is I wouldn't mind trying to learn to play violin or shamisen, but, well, low dexterity.

mr_bungle700
08-19-2011, 03:07 AM
I forgot about this thread!

So I've been playing the piano for a little over a month now, I think, and I'm super incredibly happy with the progress I've been making. If I've come this far in just a month, it's exhilarating to think of how much progress I can make in six months, or a year. Someday I hope to be able to call myself Good at Piano.

Playing every day is easy and fun, and I love the feeling of working my brain and learning new things. I've even got a mini-keyboard coming in the mail today, which I'm going to carry with me at all times on campus. Any downtime between classes can be spent practicing!

I'm excited about piano times. Not only does playing the piano give me the ability to perform songs without accompaniment (as a percussionist, I'm used to having to team up with other people to make music), it will also allow me to compose and share songs more easily. Additionally, I'm learning a great deal about theory and getting good practice reading sheet music. Basically, this is going to make me a much more powerful and well-rounded musician.

Sanagi
08-19-2011, 08:39 PM
I'm only good enough at piano to trick people into thinking I'm good at piano, but it is so easily the best for composing, arranging, or just putting something on repeat and playing along until you figure it out.

mr_bungle700
08-20-2011, 01:52 PM
Yeah, it really is. I would very much like to write songs for a living (NOBODY LAUGH), so I figure piano is a skill I should have.

Sanagi
08-22-2011, 02:49 AM
Yeah, it really is. I would very much like to write songs for a living (NOBODY LAUGH), so I figure piano is a skill I should have.
If I laugh it is only out of sympathy.

mr_bungle700
08-22-2011, 02:32 PM
I would totally make you my go-to guy for steel drums, for reals. Steel drums require a kind of spectacular instrumancy that I just do not understand.

shivam
08-22-2011, 02:43 PM
one of my good friends is a steel drum tuner. its crazy, but he's always in demand.

Paul le Fou
08-22-2011, 05:36 PM
steel drum tuner.

MIND = BLOWN

Sanagi
08-22-2011, 05:59 PM
one of my good friends is a steel drum tuner. its crazy, but he's always in demand.
Pan tuners are worth their weight in platinum. Up here in Alaska we have to fly people in once or twice a year because no one here can do it.

I would totally make you my go-to guy for steel drums, for reals. Steel drums require a kind of spectacular instrumancy that I just do not understand.
Cool! Although actually, they're one of the easiest instruments to learn if you can just get into a class or group that gives you the chance to try 'em.

MIND = BLOWN
It's even more amazing to see (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQu5Unc_TNY&feature=related) and hear (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5BHta02Qbc&feature=related) them in action.

mr_bungle700
08-23-2011, 02:43 AM
Although actually, they're one of the easiest instruments to learn if you can just get into a class or group that gives you the chance to try 'em.

But I'm scared! What if I'm forever enslaved by the tropical rhythms?

Meditative_Zebra
08-23-2011, 03:00 AM
Wait a sec. When they tune a steel drum are they able to standardize the tuning across instruments? By banging the crap out of it with a mallet? That's kind of amazing.

Alternatively, how do steel drum drummers (apparently pannists is the proper term) manage to play melodies if the tuning of the instrument changes every time they play on a different steel drum?

dorkgirl
08-23-2011, 03:45 AM
Wait a sec. When they tune a steel drum are they able to standardize the tuning across instruments? By banging the crap out of it with a mallet? That's kind of amazing.

Alternatively, how do steel drum drummers (apparently pannists is the proper term) manage to play melodies if the tuning of the instrument changes every time they play on a different steel drum?

The tuning is standardized across instruments. They're generally tuned with a strobe tuner to A=440.

The note layout, however, is not even close to standardized. Tenor pans (sometimes called lead pans) tend to follow two or three patterns, and bass pans are usually similar across the board, but just as there are many different makers, there are tons of different note layouts, particularly on the middle voices in the steel orchestra, like the double seconds and guitar/cello pans. They even vary in the number of drums they use for each instrument, particularly in guitar/cello land, where they can use two, three, and even four barrels for each instrument.

How do pan players switch between instruments? Unless they're very, very talented, or playing at a beginner level, they don't. It's similar to stringed instruments. Lots of people can play a guitar proficiently. Not a lot of guitarists can easily switch between guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and banjo. Those who can are rather amazingly talented.

Meditative_Zebra
08-23-2011, 02:50 PM
The note layout is what I really meant. That's pretty intriguing that the layout is non-standard. I suppose that means that you'd get really attached to your particular instrument whereas with your typical wind ensemble instruments it's fairly simple to switch from trumpet A to trumpet B.

Just a quibble though; mandolins typically have the same tuning as guitars minus the two missing strings (EADGBE for guitar, EADG for mandolin). Since the playing technique is similar switching from guitar to mandolin, especially for a guitar player who plays 12-string guitar, should be pretty straightforward. (Violins use the same tuning too but the technique is so much different than guitar that there's no opportunity for an easy transition between it and a guitar.)

Sanagi
08-23-2011, 04:04 PM
Except that mandolin is tuned in fifths rather than fourths, so that any chord shape played on the lower four strings of a guitar will be reversed on mandolin. Another analogy would be switching between EADGBE and EADGCF on guitar. A slight difference, but completely dumbfounding to the player.

There are some logical principles that are commonly used for steel drum note arrangements based on how you can divide sets of twelve notes among various numbers of drums. Single drum = circle of fifths. Two drums = whole tone scale(six notes per drum). Three drums = Diminished sevenths(four notes per drum). Four drums = Augmented chords(three notes per drum). Six drums = pairs of fifths and fourths(two notes per drum).

When it comes to where exactly a note is placed, things get a lot muddier, and yeah, that's where it becomes hard to switch from one instrument to another. And there are some patterns that have been grandfathered in that don't make sense at all.


But I'm scared! What if I'm forever enslaved by the tropical rhythms?
I'm imagining hordes of zombies wearing Hawaiian T-shirts. "One of us... One of us..."

Sanagi
06-06-2013, 12:44 AM
http://imageshack.us/a/img585/6343/img0509la.jpg
Kalimbas are great! They sound kinda like music boxes, they're super-portable, and you hold 'em like a video game controller and play 'em with your thumbs, which is a natural fit for us gamers... Only trouble is they're always fixed to one scale, so they're pretty limited.

http://imageshack.us/a/img694/9904/img0512mg.jpg
Hey, wait a minute...

http://imageshack.us/a/img248/2702/img0514u.jpg
More notes! (http://kalimbamagic.com/learnhow/learnhow_chromatickalimba.php) Now I can play any scale I want! The notes on the back can be hard to find(now it's like a video game controller with seventeen triggers), but the important thing is they exist.

So happy right now.

TK Flash
06-06-2013, 05:55 AM
Wow, what a trip down memory lane this thread was. I even posted about my band back when I had one!

We played three shows, then the drummer's dad severely injured himself and he had to move across the country to take over the apple farm (dad fell from a ladder and severed his Achilles's tendon). I got more and more dissuaded from playing due to a lack of interest from my partner and pain from an old falling injury flaring up when I practice too much. An achy wrist makes my desk job super uncomfortable so I will probably be selling my guitars before too long.

Sir Sly Ry
06-09-2013, 01:22 PM
I would be sad....and probably go crazy if I had to stop playing bass. It's just something that is a part of me now.

That being said, hey, yeah, I play bass, and I try to be creative with it. I need to start learning some cover tunes though so that I can use this music stuff to be more social, something I sorely need.