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Other than guitar what do you play, or would like to?

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(@timezone)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 209
 

I only really play and practice guitar. Though I have a couple of harmonicas / harps, as others have mentioned. Actually I did that just before picking up guitar. I was sort of just trying to see if I liked making music enough to pick up a guitar, and a harp was cheaper than a guitar. Since I got the guitar (and many more guitars) I haven't really touched them. Voice? Good point. I like singing in my car. I've only recorded my voice a few times, and it wasn't too bad. I should work on practicing that more, cuz I kind of like it.

TZ


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

As a kid, I played trumpet -- well. But gave it up for mathematics and guitar my sophmore year.

I've learned a bit of mando and bass, the former more recently. My real challenge is violin. Have one, but it's slow going with little time to practice. And now I also have a Glissentar. That probably will jump to the head of the line. Poor lap steel: Nearly finished buildiing it, and will have little time to play ..

-=tension & release=-


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 Noff
(@noff)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 102
 

I play a little bit of piano, but I'd really like to improve that.

Other stuff I'd like to do eventually:
sing
harmonica
bass
mandolin

I think I'll settle for being passable at the guitar first.


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

my main instrument is a paintbrush!
guitar, both acoustic and electric is my passion. I love strings. have an instrument with strings; I want to play it.
after discovering lap steel playing slide has become important. different techniques and tunings are a treat in learning. slide has opened my ears to more genres in music. I find myself listening for slide in early country western swing (post WWII -1955).
the pedal steel guitar is one instrument I would have loved to master. unlikely as it is for me to be a master of any instrument or thing is a stretch. however, I love the sound of pedal steel. I did own one for a few years. I tried and tried and was able tyo play a little bit. I soon realized it would take a lifetime of just pedal steel playing to get where I wanted. I could not sacrifice my regular guitar playing for the pedal steel. I sold it. I miss it.

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


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

NFL, NBA or MLB as for instruments sing!

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

At one time I was pretty good on piano and bluesharp, haven't practiced either in years. I can keep a good steady beat on drums, but nothing fancy. When I was a kid I had some lessons on accordian and trumpet.

I would love to take up piano again, and I've always wanted to play drums.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
Topic starter  

I've always wanted to play drums.
As an experienced drummer of...um, lets' see... around 33 hours now (since my first lesson)... I can confirm that it's great fun. Deeply satisfying to be able to belt the daylights out of a defenceless drum-kit. But hell on the right leg Boy, you certainly have to bounce that bass pedal up and down a heck of a lot of times for every minute of drumming.

Do drummers end up looking like pirates - with one muscular great right leg from pounding away on the bass drum, and a weedy left leg like a peg, that mostly just relaxes on the high hat pedal??

I clearly need to do some more exercises to build up the strength and stamina. . A few push-ups should do fine for the arms, and maybe a two mile hop each morning on the bass drum leg... Where's Bish when you need his advice? :|

Chris


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Y'know, I've often wondered where these multi-instrumentalists find the time to practise. Take Mike Oldfield, for instance - remember Tubular Bells? How many instruments were on that? OK, several were guitars, and most of the keyboards were just variations on a theme, but there were quite a few different woodwind instruments as well, if I remember correctly. Take Roy Wood - plays everything from guitar to bagpipes, plays everything on his solo records - what does he do? "Oh, I need a bagpipe solo on this - I'd better learn to play them quick, so's I don't have to hire a session musician!" There are others as well - McCartney played all the instruments on his first solo album, and I can think of a few guitarists who play keyboards as well.

What about you, Ingar? Guitar, Bass, keyboards, violin - OK, bass is a variation on guitar, but how do you cope with switching from Guitar to violin, which I think is tuned like the bottom four strings of a guitar, but lefty? What about you, Elecktrablue, switching between guitar/mandolin/dulcimer? I'm curious as to how much time you spend on each, and that goes for you other multi-talented people as well.

In my case - well, I play mostly guitar. Rhythm, mainly - and a different style of rhythm depending on whether I'm playing electric or acoustic. I play a little lead as well, mostly on my own recordings - and then there's slide, either in open G or standard. I try and give each about the same level of concentration and practise - then I'll think, "hey, I haven't played slide for a while...." and probably noodle around on that for a few days. Then I have to get back in the rhythm guitarist mentality....

Keyboards, I don't really practise. I know a few chords - which I've worked out myself from basic principles, adapting my guitar knowledge of chord construction, such as it is. If I need a keyboard track on one of my songs, I'll practise that track a few times till I'm close enough, then put it down till I need it again. Same goes for harmonica - I have five of them, in A C D E and G. I just pick one up when I need it and use it in the same manner as keyboards. Bass guitar, again pretty much the same - pick it up when needed, although I don't actually posess a bass at the moment. I also have a recorder, but I've never written anything yet that required its services, so it's gathering dust somewhere.....

So what do you do? Practise mostly on your main instrument, or devote equal time to each? Do you study theory separately for each instrument, or do you adapt your guitar knowledge? Are you satisfied with one instrument as your main instrument, and any others as just a handy tool for a specific job, or do you want to be equally proficient on each? Go on, satisfy my curiosity!

:D :D :D

Vic

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@rahul)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Would like to play Banjo.


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Would like to play Banjo.

oh yeah ... i've got one of those as well. haven't quite taken to it.

-=tension & release=-


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
Topic starter  

So what do you do? Practise mostly on your main instrument, or devote equal time to each? Do you study theory separately for each instrument, or do you adapt your guitar knowledge? Are you satisfied with one instrument as your main instrument, and any others as just a handy tool for a specific job, or do you want to be equally proficient on each? Go on, satisfy my curiosity!

:D :D :D

Vic

Hi Vic,

I try to play at least one well enough to be called a 'main instrument' and the others adequately enough to be used in short bursts for a take on a song track. In reality I'm not particular good on any of them, and have no skills at all yet on some that I own. But that doesn't mean I can't use more than one, it just limits my range to simple things. As this was (and still is) also true of some artists who actually record(ed) songs, this doesn't bother me.

Most music theory seems transferable or usable in some way. The same theory mostly applies to piano and guitar, despite the differences in range and layout. And even theory that looks redundant usually turns out not be. For instance, if you play sax or clarinet, or even sing, you can think "Hey, great - no chords! Just a melody line to master and I'm home free. But of course if you want to play alongside another instrument then you'll be forming chords whether you know it or not - so it pays to know it. A way down the track yet, I'd like to try and be a reasonably good writer and arranger if I can. That way I can match what I need to play to the skills that I have at the time. So, in my book, theory is essential - quite apart from being interesting and enjoyable anyway.

I also think that - as Wes pointed out here once - that one of the most important skills a musician can have is the ability to keep in time. I'd go further than that and say that 'Touch and Timing' isn't just some sort of polish that you put on at the end, but they are THE MOST important things that makes music what it is - something with a heart and soul, rather just mechanical noise. It's the reason why a beginner doing an 'easy' song still sounds like a beginner - even if they can play the chords or fret the notes, they haven't yet got the 'touch and timing' to fully bring it alive. But once you DO have some ability in that area then, like the theory, you can carry much of it across to another instrument.

There's a guy who teaches in our local music shop, who is the image of a caricature hillbilly. He's scruffy and overweight and mostly broke. But you can hand him ANYTHING with strings on it and he'll mumble appreciatively away while he plucks and fiddles around to see what sounds there are and where he can find them - and then he'll start playing music that would make you weep with joy if it came from your own fingers. :)

Like you, I've always fancied the sax. It's just the sexiest instrument there is. And when I had the opportunity to buy one year or two ago, at the right price, I did - and put it reverently under the bed in its case, for another day. Yesterday, after reading something you'd said, I took it out, assembled it, wet the reed, hung it round my neck and blew. What a glorious noise. 8) Now, I can't play the sax, and I don't currently know which button does what, but I did have a few clarinet lessons a while back, so at least I had a reasonable idea how to blow it. So I fiddled around for a few minutes until I found five or so notes, and then made up a little tune with them. Blissful. And done only with what little skills I have scraped together from other instruments.

I don't have a practice schedule, I don't have any noticeable 'natural talent', and I don't put anything like as much time into playing as I'd like to. But with a bit more time and patience, and a track by track recording, I have every confidence that I can eventually reach my goal of playing all the instruments on a song that I've written, and have it sound at least half way OK. Pretty much the same goal as you I'd guess.

Cheers,

Chris


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(@97reb)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1223
 

I play mostly guitar, then sing. After that bass, then keyboards, then drums. I'd like to get a mandolin, sitar, maybe a bouzouki or other "world" string instruments.

It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!


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(@elecktrablue)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 4389
 

Y'know, I've often wondered where these multi-instrumentalists find the time to practise. Take Mike Oldfield, for instance - remember Tubular Bells? How many instruments were on that? OK, several were guitars, and most of the keyboards were just variations on a theme, but there were quite a few different woodwind instruments as well, if I remember correctly. Take Roy Wood - plays everything from guitar to bagpipes, plays everything on his solo records - what does he do? "Oh, I need a bagpipe solo on this - I'd better learn to play them quick, so's I don't have to hire a session musician!" There are others as well - McCartney played all the instruments on his first solo album, and I can think of a few guitarists who play keyboards as well.

What about you, Ingar? Guitar, Bass, keyboards, violin - OK, bass is a variation on guitar, but how do you cope with switching from Guitar to violin, which I think is tuned like the bottom four strings of a guitar, but lefty? What about you, Elecktrablue, switching between guitar/mandolin/dulcimer? I'm curious as to how much time you spend on each, and that goes for you other multi-talented people as well.

In my case - well, I play mostly guitar. Rhythm, mainly - and a different style of rhythm depending on whether I'm playing electric or acoustic. I play a little lead as well, mostly on my own recordings - and then there's slide, either in open G or standard. I try and give each about the same level of concentration and practise - then I'll think, "hey, I haven't played slide for a while...." and probably noodle around on that for a few days. Then I have to get back in the rhythm guitarist mentality....

Keyboards, I don't really practise. I know a few chords - which I've worked out myself from basic principles, adapting my guitar knowledge of chord construction, such as it is. If I need a keyboard track on one of my songs, I'll practise that track a few times till I'm close enough, then put it down till I need it again. Same goes for harmonica - I have five of them, in A C D E and G. I just pick one up when I need it and use it in the same manner as keyboards. Bass guitar, again pretty much the same - pick it up when needed, although I don't actually posess a bass at the moment. I also have a recorder, but I've never written anything yet that required its services, so it's gathering dust somewhere.....

So what do you do? Practise mostly on your main instrument, or devote equal time to each? Do you study theory separately for each instrument, or do you adapt your guitar knowledge? Are you satisfied with one instrument as your main instrument, and any others as just a handy tool for a specific job, or do you want to be equally proficient on each? Go on, satisfy my curiosity!

:D :D :D

Vic

Vic

Once you've got the various instruments fairly well learned, it's not hard to switch from one to the other. I think the hardest switch for me is from guitar to mandolin, but that's mainly because of the small fret area on the mandolin (and the fact that the tuning is backward from the first four strings on a guitar (GDAE (just like bass) rather than EADG...). After playing guitar I sometimes tend to "overshoot" the correct fret on the mandolin, thank goodness it usually only happens once! But, the dulcimer is so completely different that I've never had a problem switching to or from it at all. It's the only thing that lays in my lap while I play it! Really, though, guitar, bass and mandolin have a lot in common with each other. Even though the mandolin has 8 strings you play it as if it had only 4 since the strings are tuned pairs. The dulcimer that I have, though, is tuned diatonically rather than chromatically (like guitar, bass, mandolin). That's what makes it so simple to play!

When it comes to practice time, since I'm "retired" and have all day, every day to do as I please, I usually grab my acoustic guitar first and either learn a song or noodle or go over songs that I already know (I've kind of gotten away from playing my electrics since I'm not in a band anymore). I might play for half an hour or an hour, then I usually mess with my bass for a while, another half hour to an hour. I haven't been practicing my mandolin as much as I should, though, because it's developed a buzz at the fourth fret and I think I need to have my truss rod adjusted, so it's just been sitting there for a couple of months! I need to get it into the shop! And, I play my dulcimer almost every night while I'm in bed (it lives on my dresser). There's something relaxing about sitting indian style on the bed with a dulcimer across your knees! I play it while I'm watching TV (sometimes I mute the TV and do my own soundtrack to whatever's on). The thing about dulcimer, though, is that if you want to change keys you have to re-tune (or have 3 or 4 dulcimers tuned to different keys (it's that diatonic thing). When it didn't have a buzz I also practiced the mandolin in the bed (it lives on top of my armoire). Small instruments are great for the bedroom!

I may be adding one more instrument, too! I've run across a good deal from a friend on a lap steel (lessons included). Another good instrument to play in bed! (I just have to come up with the money first!) :D

I like being able to play different instruments. There are times (at jams) when there are so many guitar players that want to play that it seems kind of redundant to add one more. So, when I can throw some mandolin or dulcimer into the mix, it seems to really liven things up! And, while the other guitar players are jockeying for a lead slot, I automatically get one because I'm not playing guitar! Although, I do consider guitar my primary instrument, all the others are secondary (but I enjoy them just as much).

I guess the thing is, at least for me, I would prefer to be thought of as a musician rather than a just a guitar player. And, I get great pleasure out of accomplishing something on a new instrument. Sometimes they make me want to tear my hair out, other times it's like listening to angels sing, and either way is fine with me! I just love music that comes from strings. Always have, always will!

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Thanks for sharing, Chris and Elecktra!

Chris - yes, I too think simplicity's the key to secondary instruments. What you did with the sax is roughly what I do with the keyboard - find something simple that fits. I can manage most chords right-handed, but that left hand just hasn't got the same freedom of movement anymore - it took a while (and a lot of hard work!) to get it back to 100% on guitar, and it aches like a - well, a lot! - after a good workout. So it's just chords and maybe a bass-line on the keyboard, if I need a melody line I'll overdub.

Elecktra - i didn't know that about dulcimer. What do you do if a song changes key? Change dulcimers? I've never tried lap steel, I must have a go one of these days - although I've often played acoustic (sans cutaway) on my lap with a slide when I've wanted to get above the 12th fret. I think the thing with lap steel is, the tunings are a little exotic compared to guitar - I've seen C6 tuning mentioned quite a few times - and it's just one more thing to have to learn! Let us know how you get on!

I'm still a long way from mastering the guitar - I don't think I could ever spare the same amount of time to learning another instrument. To learn one instrument well takes dedication - to learn two, well there aren't enough hours in the day!

Having said all that - I think from now on I'll spend at least half-an-hour a day on the keyboard. I'd like to be able to just pick it up and be able to play something straight away, instead of having to re-familiarise myself with it because I haven't touched it for a few days!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
Topic starter  

Having said all that - I think from now on I'll spend at least half-an-hour a day on the keyboard. I'd like to be able to just pick it up and be able to play something straight away, instead of having to re-familiarise myself with it because I haven't touched it for a few days!

:D :D :D

Vic

I've really been enjoying the keyboard. I think there's a lot of things that would be easy for you to do one handed on the keyboard that could be useful to add to the mix. I expect you know these already - so forgive me if I'm stating the obvious. But maybe someone else will be interested too. I've often seen keyboard players just playing octaves to fill out a sound - ideal for your large hands - you just play a pair of Cs, a pair of Ds or whatever. Similarly, it's sometimes good to play 'chords' with just two notes. Which one gets dropped probably depends on what the keyboard is doing. If it's a left hand bassline thing then two can sound good but triads sound muddy and overdone.

But the one that seems to give the most "bang for your buck" is learning a few inversions of the basic common chords. In that way you can play a whole song with chords in one hand, without moving much from the same position. Instead of shifting your whole hand when you change chords, you can then leave a finger or two as an anchor (on the same notes) and just move the fingers you need to. Much like you can often do on guitar when changing chords in the first position. For example:

D G B (G in the first inversion)
E G B (Em - only one finger moved)
E G C (C in the second inversion. Again, only one finger moves)
D A C (D7 - if it feels OK add the F# as well, but you can get away without it)
D G B (Back to G)

There's no complete liftoff anywhere. All changes have one or two anchor fingers.

Just get the timing right, and whang the hand up and down the right number of times and you've got Stand By Me. Sing the melody line. :) It's pretty quick to learn some basic patterns using all the most common I, IV, V and ii, iii, vi shapes. If you're in a hurry, with many keyboards you would only need to learn them in C and can press a button to transpose to any other key.

With a bit of theory, and a sense of touch and timing you can get a heck of a lot out of a keyboard without a huge amount of study, because the layout is pretty straightforward, and the sound from a keypress is so reliable. Of course, to really master it, takes the same lifetime of study that anything else does...

Cheers,

Chris


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