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If you hadn't played guitar.....

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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 680
Topic starter  

What instrument would you chose to play instead? I know some people here will have already chosen another instrument and been multi instrumentalists and I am to a point I've played bass and piano. I tried drums when I was young but I gave that up fast. Now..... if I was to chose an instrument I could imagine myself playing if not guitar it would be saxophone, because I love the sound of it and you can do all the bending, and improvisational stuff on a saxophone. In fact most sax players Ive heard improvise the entire song, just knowing the key as you dont have to play chords like on a guitar, so its a cool instrument would love to get one, one day.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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(@s1120)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Im thinking I would play Piano. Why? Well it just has the sound that I like. Only Piano though. Im not a fan of eletronic keyboards at all.

Paul B


   
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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Tough call. I spent a couple ofdays wanting to play the trumpet when I was about 8, and I can still knock out a tune on a recorder but it's hard to imagine life without a guitar.

Bagpipes, maybe?

Hmmm.....

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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The question's open to more than playing another instrument...but, okay...I concur: bagpipes!

I grew up in metro NYC and I watched friend after friend embrace the Dark Side of Life. But I didn't. I always had my guitar.

Nowadays...being Ye Olde Farte...and a long time Rotarian...I mentor kids to ways through their own Dark Side issues...chair to chair, guitar to guitar, eye to eye. I've been there...

If I hadn't played guitar? I'd probably have been buried a long, long time ago.

It's a wonderful, liberating instrument. So I draw a blank...really...on the question!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@notes_norton)
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<...>if I was to chose an instrument I could imagine myself playing if not guitar it would be saxophone, because I love the sound of it and you can do all the bending, and improvisational stuff on a saxophone. In fact most sax players Ive heard improvise the entire song, just knowing the key as you dont have to play chords like on a guitar, so its a cool instrument would love to get one, one day.

As a saxophonist who later learned guitar I notice some very strong differences.

As you say, saxophonists can usually improvise a song just knowing the key (1) if the chords are relatively familiar and (2) you have a good ear. I can do the same on guitar if I'm playing lead and not chords.

And the sax can do a lot of things a guitar cannot do. But guitars can also do a lot of things saxes cannot do.

Saxes have more control over sustain, vibrato, and volume changes after the not has been initiated.

It's easier to read music on the sax than the guitar.

Sax feels like you are participating more, since you use your breath as well as your fingers.

Sax can only play one note at a time. Sure we don't have to learn chords, but we do need to learn arpeggios (same thing but one note at a time). This has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Saxes don't transpose like a guitar. Learning any scale on the guitar has about 5 basic fingerings/positions. Sax has only one. But if I want to play the same scale in a different key, the fingering is entirely different. On the guitar you move it up a fret, fingering is the same. On the sax, completely different fingerings for the same scale in each key. So while the guitarist learns 5 major scale fingerings (one for each position) the saxist learns 12. While the guitarist learns 5 pentatonic fingerings, the saxist learns 12. Same for all the other scales. And if the song has a key change modulation, the saxophonist needs to learn the new key as if he/she were learning the song for the first time with entirely different fingerings.

Sax is more difficult to get a note out of, you need breath support, embouchure and more different kinds of articulation. Of course the increased articulation devices make for more expressive solos.

Saxes are more difficult to play in tune. When you tune up a guitar and intonate the bridge, as long as you aren't bending strings you are pretty close to being in tune in every note. Saxes are not in tune with themselves. Each note requires using your ears and varying your lip pressure on the reed to adjust the intonation. You do learn the characteristics of your sax, so for example on my present sax, I know the Bb is a little flat so I have to bend it up a bit. And of course, this doesn't matter much on fast runs, but it does on longer notes.

Sax is a faster instrument than the guitar. I can play faster on the sax than most of the fastest guitarists on the planet. It's just the nature of the instrument.

So which is more difficult? Neither. Each one has it's easier and harder aspects. And I find that with every instrument I've learned so far. I started on drums, went quickly to sax, along the way picked up flute, bass, keyboard synth, wind synth, guitar and vocals. On second thought, there is one instrument that is harder to become competent with than all the others, and it's the easiest to get a note out of, and that is the voice.

So now I play 7 instruments, 8 including vocals, and which will be next? I have no candidate right now. As I progress more on my latest (guitar) something might enter the brain and I'll go out and purchase one if I can afford it.

And fleaaaaaa, if you want to learn sax, I encourage you to pick one up, get some basic lessons and give it a try. Your second instrument takes less effort than the first since you already know a lot about music from your guitar, and learning other instruments actually can help your guitar playing as they increase your understanding of music and how each instrument expresses itself.

As Charlie Parker once said, "You don't play the sax, you let it play you." Same goes for any instrument. Each instrument has it's own way of expressing itself. You cannot make a guitar do some things a trumpet can do, and vice versa. You are limited to the ways in which the instrument under your fingers can express itself, and you have to figure that out and then exploit it to say what you want to say within the limitations of that instrument.

OK, I"m rambling off track here, sorry.

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks man, I read every word...... Ive had my eye on a ukulele too...... for a while I mean I know that is technically a different instrument but the way I've played it so far is just like using my gutiar skills for another instrument.

Id love to get a sax one day if I had the spare income sitting around.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


   
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(@niklas)
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I thought saxophone was one of the instruments you have to start very young to develop the lung capacity needed? I'd love to be able to pay the sax, but my lungs just wouldn't cope. I hardly managed the flute when I was younger.

I would have choosen the drums, because then I would never be without a band it being so rare. It would be worth a lot.

"Talent is luck. The important thing in life is courage."


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Piano. In fact, lately I am playing much more piano than guitars. It is keyboard but I always use the piano mode. I change the voices and select rock organs or electric pianos but rarely I use the accompaniments although it is fun, too!

I also play bass and ukulele. Ukulele is a great instrument. You could find lot of fun. It depends on the ukulele and tuning but they share the same tuning with the highest guitar strings. It helped to learn that part of the fretboard (as the bass helped to learn the lower four strings).

And... I was in a store the last week. I was asking for a violin... I got a great deal for a entry level German violin but finally I didn't buy it. I don't like the tone too much. Maybe next time. Although I'd prefer a cello.


   
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(@robparis)
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Joined: 13 years ago
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Piano and vox!

I would take Piano lessons and song lessons !!!
Its amazing what you can perform with a piano and some vocals!

Maybe I'll do that when I'm older anyway!

Keep it rockin'

Check out my new guitar blogg! (click below)

http://www.guitarbeyondreason.com/
Its only rock n roll but I like it!


   
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(@dogbite)
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it would be piano for me. when ever one is around I sit and try my hand at the few chords I know. I play piano in my dreams sometimes. the melody is beautiful and my fingers move all by themselves. when I wake up I can't play a lick.
I would love to learn that boogie woogie on the keys. I'd be in heaven.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@notes_norton)
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I thought saxophone was one of the instruments you have to start very young to develop the lung capacity needed? I'd love to be able to pay the sax, but my lungs just wouldn't cope. I hardly managed the flute when I was younger. <...>

Flute takes much more air than saxophone. In fact, flute takes more air than Tuba and every other wind instrument. Why? All your air doesn't go through the instrument and much is simply wasted.

Now that it's been mentioned.........I play keyboard synth, and sometimes I'd like to learn actual piano, especially when I see a great solo pianist turn the instrument into the equivalent of an entire orchestra.

But I don't see that coming quickly in the future. I mess around in the piano mode from time to time, getting both hands to do something different is very difficult and I can see it would take a lot of time and dedication to learn it well. Time is what I don't have. Between the time I'm putting in on the guitar, writing new style disks and fake disks for Band-in-a-Box, gigging, keeping the duo working, running the Norton Music Business, and everything else I'm doing, I just don't have the hours I would realistically need to dedicate to the piano at this time in my life. But one never knows about the future.

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


   
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(@hobson)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I always thought it would be cool to play a wind instrument because so many people play guitar or piano. But I would have more likely learned keyboard. I have a keyboard and took lessons for a while. The teacher was flaky and often wouldn't be there when I arrived for my lesson. That was years ago and maybe it's time to try again. The advantage of keyboard, as well as guitar, is that I can sing while playing.

Renee


   
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 Crow
(@crow)
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I can & will play anything with strings or keys, but if I had it all to do over again, I would play double bass. Electric bass has been my main instrument, but doghouse bass is for grownups.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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(@rahul)
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oboe


   
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(@noteboat)
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I play a whole bunch of instruments badly, a few well, and guitar about 50 hours a week give or take. The thing that appealed to me about the guitar, compared to the instruments I'd played before it (drums & clarinet) was the range and phrasing potential... the range of the guitar pretty well matches sounds I hear in my head, and it's very expressive.

If I had to do it all over again with a different instrument, I'd pick cello. Nearly the same range, and also very expressive. And it seems pretty versatile... I've gigged with a jazz cellist, and I've seen it used in concert with a reggae band (Third World)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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