PDA

View Full Version : How many of us play an instrument?



Dan McFeeley
05-16-2011, 12:18 AM
After reading the thread on favorite music types, I started wondering how many of us might play an instrument. Wouldn't surprise me if there's a good number of us -- people who brew, vint or make mead, I tend to think, are mostly creative people who get into all kinds of things.

I'm an old guy, well past the half century mark, but I've picked up the Irish tin whistle and bodhran over the last couple of years, and now play with a band, The Sligo Bay Balladiers (we're on Facebook!).

I'm attaching a small clip of our band.

Anyone else play an instrument of some kind?

--

AToE
05-16-2011, 01:04 AM
I played guitar in a band for a long time, still play a little bit (wish I played more!), mostly just record bands now. I can also play (very poorly) some drums and piano (though I'm decent on a djembe or congas).

I like all these getting to know each other threads, nice touch to the site. ;D

Chevette Girl
05-16-2011, 01:20 AM
Erm, no. Not well at all, I tried the flute and the trombone in jr. high, where I discovered that I can't read music AND play an instrument concurrently... I think my fingers are just untrainable, been using the same keyboard for a decade and the backspace button is still the most worn out one. I'm not bad for singing in a choir though, I've got a decent ear and at least vocal control is instinctive. Even if my voice isn't too nice on its own, it's good background support and I love harmonizing, generally the only one who has to listen to me is the car. Kudos to those of you who actually CAN make pleasant sounds from an instrument though!

AToE
05-16-2011, 01:29 AM
Trying to learn theory and read music is a huge part of why people quit playing instruments. When I was a guitar teacher I just taught people to play, and some very basic theory behind understanding what they were playing. You can always learn to read the stuff later, but if you stop playing it's all over! (Can't read a single note of properly written music myself. I can read tablature, but anyone can read tab after a few minutes of instuction. Can't read and play at the same time though)

veritas
05-16-2011, 07:30 AM
I tried to play the bodhran and some other drums but no use not so able. But hey someone has to listen and I do a lot of that. For some reason I have lots of friends that have amazing musical ability. So Im lucky in the listening department.

Loadnabox
05-16-2011, 08:11 AM
I went to a magnet school in high school where I got college level music theory writing composing and even playing three instrument parts in my own song. I used the in-school recording studio to play one part at a time then go back and even did the final mix myself.

It was the worst music ever written...dead serious

I never got good at jazz, I was much better at music that was written down 'cause then I only had to worry about putting the emotional emphasis into it.

I played for several years with the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestra and even played with the Phoenix Symphony on two occasions. My primary instrument was trombone.

Gespacho
05-16-2011, 11:05 AM
Does playing badly still count? I've been dabbling in the guitar for the past few years. Before that, I was in piano lessons all the way through primary school and was in choir the whole time. I'm pretty sure that the voice should count as a musical instrument too.

wayneb
05-16-2011, 11:15 AM
I mess around with keyboards of various kinds (not referring to computer keyboards here), and my first was an accordion. I still play it from time to time.

Guinlilly
05-16-2011, 11:44 AM
I played saxaphone poorly when I was younger. Learned the dulcimer while I was taking West Virginia history in middle school and completely enjoyed that and wish I had one I could still play. Music playing has never come easy to me, but I am an artist, so I'm still pretty creative. :D

Gespacho
05-16-2011, 11:59 AM
I played saxaphone poorly when I was younger. Learned the dulcimer while I was taking West Virginia history in middle school and completely enjoyed that and wish I had one I could still play. Music playing has never come easy to me, but I am an artist, so I'm still pretty creative. :D

Dulcimer? Now that is old fashioned.

wayneb
05-16-2011, 12:00 PM
Which dulcimer? Hammered, or Appalachian lap dulcimer? I'm curious because I taught myself to play a hammered dulcimer, too, a few years (er, ahem, decades I mean) back.

AToE
05-16-2011, 12:27 PM
I used to have a hammered duclimer, very cool instrument.

Accordian is one of those instruments like banjo that gets a bad rap, they're perfectly wonderful sounding instruments, people just happen to hate the genres that are typically played on them!

Gespacho
05-16-2011, 06:36 PM
I used to have a hammered duclimer, very cool instrument.

Accordian is one of those instruments like banjo that gets a bad rap, they're perfectly wonderful sounding instruments, people just happen to hate the genres that are typically played on them!

Don't underestimate the banjo. My cousin has been playing the banjo in a band for a couple of decades. They have kind of a country/rock sound to them.

AToE
05-16-2011, 06:44 PM
I love banjos, just don't love anything country! Just doesn't sit well with my eardrums for some reason.

I really want to use some banjos in a metal album, I'm just waiting for a band that has a part that just screams to me that it should be a 6 string banjo with full on metal distortion! (Or even in a spacey rock album could be awesome, with just some light distortion and reverb... I've really got to buy one of those!)

Guinlilly
05-16-2011, 08:37 PM
Which dulcimer? Hammered, or Appalachian lap dulcimer? I'm curious because I taught myself to play a hammered dulcimer, too, a few years (er, ahem, decades I mean) back.

Applachian lap dulcimer, we made the instruments in shop and then learned to play them in our music class. People may disparage folks from WV as unlearned, but I learned some of the most amazing things while living there.

AToE
05-16-2011, 08:41 PM
Applachian lap dulcimer, we made the instruments in shop and then learned to play them in our music class. People may disparage folks from WV as unlearned, but I learned some of the most amazing things while living there.

Diatonic or Twelve-Tone-Equal-Temperament (12TET)?

I love diatonic instruments.

Guinlilly
05-16-2011, 08:49 PM
Diatonic or Twelve-Tone-Equal-Temperament (12TET)?

I love diatonic instruments.

O_O I don't know the difference. It was a basic lap dulcimer with 6-strings...

Mars Colonist
05-16-2011, 09:03 PM
Drummer for a couple of bands... havent played a lick in about 2 yrs.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v667/maxhavoc/mike.jpg

AToE
05-16-2011, 09:10 PM
The difference is the frets. Our modern western note system we divide the octave evenly into 12 notes, but more ancient (and scientifically correct actually) note systems are based only on the notes you would use in a single piece of music/scale, and these instruments aren't just missing the unused frets (if they have frets) the distance between notes is different.

Diatonic means "as per the scale" (sorta), and the intonation system (distance between notes) is called Just Intonation, rather than our modern 12TET. Inbetween the 2 systems is what used to be used in Europe (and what most classical music was written for) which are the "tempered intonations" which do divide the octave into 12 notes, but they are not evenly space - so you get a bit of both worlds.

The advantage of Just Intonation is that every note is much much more "in-tune" with the root note (but not necessarily with each other) than in our modern 12TET, but it is not as versatile, and notes can't be stacked as much (because in a big chord the notes might all be perfect with the root note, but not play nice with each other).

In 12TET the advantage is that you can change scales or keys mid song, and that every key sounds exactly the same, just higher or lower. Also, because all the notes (other than the octaves) are slightly out of tune with the root note (in some cases much more than slightly) they play nicer with each other. So we can stack melodies and chords until the cows come home.

In a tempered intonation you can still stack stuff like in 12TET, but you get different results. In 12TET a minor chord is exactly the same, regardless of it's root, but in a tempered system some minor chords are more in or out of tune than others, and in different ways (same with scales. The minor scale might sound more "sad" in the key of F, then more angry in D, etc).

It's remarkable the possibilities that exist. I'd be happy to elaborate on the science behind why in some ways Just Intonation is "more correct" (Indian music uses Just Intonation) but depending on what your desired result is, 12TET, or a tempered 12 note system might work better (There's more than just 12TET too. In 12TET the 5ths and 4ths are nearly perfect, but the Major and Minor 3rds are very out of tune (especially major to my ear). But in a different one, maybe 33TET (I made that up) maybe the 4ths and 5ths are horrible, but the 3rds are excellent).


ANYWAYS - does yours have frets like a guitar, or are there some places where the spaces between frets are much bigger or smaller than on a guitar? Mountain Dulcimers are typically diatonic as I understand it.

JayH
05-16-2011, 09:21 PM
I play an English style button accordion (Melodian) for English dance mostly Morris, Longsword and rapper, though I've also been known to play for Contras occasionally too. I also play most of the tin whistle, recorder, Irish flute genre of instruments.

Nothing better than spending a cold rainy afternoon with your finds in a pub drinking beer and playing music.

If you ever go traveling to third world countries, learn a tune or two on a tin whistle and take with you, you'll find it is the best ice breaker there is.

Jay

Guinlilly
05-16-2011, 09:29 PM
ANYWAYS - does yours have frets like a guitar, or are there some places where the spaces between frets are much bigger or smaller than on a guitar? Mountain Dulcimers are typically diatonic as I understand it.

The spaces are bigger and smaller in places. This isn't my dulcimer but mine looked almost exactly the same (It got lost in one of my frequent moves):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v514/Guinlilly/SpMTop.jpg

AToE
05-16-2011, 09:46 PM
The spaces are bigger and smaller in places. This isn't my dulcimer but mine looked almost exactly the same (It got lost in one of my frequent moves):
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v514/Guinlilly/SpMTop.jpg

That's diatonic for sure, you're playing in the more ancient and scientifically correct "Just Intonation", congrats! ;D

wildoates
05-16-2011, 10:48 PM
I mess around with keyboards of various kinds (not referring to computer keyboards here), and my first was an accordion. I still play it from time to time.

I believe that is required if you are of Polish descent, Wayne. Pretty sure it's a federal law.

:)

With that said, no, I don't play anything except my nose, which I can either blow or pick.

(Had to be said, sorry!) Hee hee hee

wayneb
05-16-2011, 11:28 PM
I love banjos, just don't love anything country! Just doesn't sit well with my eardrums for some reason.

I really want to use some banjos in a metal album, I'm just waiting for a band that has a part that just screams to me that it should be a 6 string banjo with full on metal distortion! (Or even in a spacey rock album could be awesome, with just some light distortion and reverb... I've really got to buy one of those!)

Let's do something with banjos and an electric accordion or two. ;D

AToE
05-16-2011, 11:34 PM
Let's do something with banjos and an electric accordion or two. ;D

Accordion (thought it was "ian...") I think is a very wonderful sounding instrument, EXTREMELY responsive to the player's touch... I think it might be actually the closest a key-d instrument (piano, organ, harpsichord, etc) can come to the sheer complexity of what you can force it to do as the instruments that actually involve laying your hands upon the resonating body (plucked and bowed string instruments, drums, even winds to a degree).

It's a really nice instrument, no idea why everyone makes so much fun of it. (I guess it can sound goofy as hell, but what instrument can't?)

---

I'd love to ramble on about a project I'm going to be working on over the next few years involving sympathetic resonance in strings (making a whole musical piece out of nothing else... trust me, this is crazy and AWESOME) but it would take up a lot of space and every time I go on about it I get the impression that people's eyes are glazing over... I'll just have to finish it and show it to people so it doesn't sound like a goofy science project!

Braxton
05-17-2011, 10:55 AM
I play harmonica mainly (quite similar to the accordion in many ways) and guitar and sing some. I play in a jug band and a more modern electrified country/rock band. The discussion up to this point reminds me of the keyed and bowed instrument called the Nyckelharpa, which has sympathetic resonance strings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyckelharpa

I know it because of the awesome group Vasen.

Chevette Girl
05-17-2011, 11:47 AM
I believe that is required if you are of Polish descent, Wayne. Pretty sure it's a federal law.

:)



I'm pretty sure it's an international law and it extends to most Eastern-European countries... my German-Slovenian husband had to learn the accordion too, one year of torture he doesn't talk about much... his brother still plays accordion and has been keyboardist in an on-again off-again band for a long time.

wayneb
05-17-2011, 01:16 PM
Yeah - with the accordion, you either get it or you don't. Although I was originally "made to" study accordion (it was either study this thing that your uncle gave you for free, or you get no lessons at all - and I really wanted to do woodwinds back then), once I got past the first six months or so of rote study, it actually began to be fun. I ended up studying for a little over 5 years, and got to be pretty proficient with the box.

This thread inspired me to pull out that old squeezebox last night, for the first time in a decade or so. Unfortunately I found that the instrument is now in need of semi-serious repair. The bellows leaks more than a little, and several of the keys are now sticky. Gee, come to think of it, some of those very same descriptions are directly applicable to me! ;)

AToE
05-17-2011, 01:29 PM
I love to still play guitar sometimes, but it's a little depressing. Back when I was in a pretty technical metal band I would practice for 2 hours at least every day, one hour before the band jammed (which was typically a couple hours itself, and yes, we jammed every day) and then an hour afterwards. This was necessary to keep up with the other guitarist's skills and to be able to play the stuff.

Now that I play probably 5-10 minutes a week (gods that is depressing...) a lot of what I used to be capable of is just gone. It's like there's a local-time-distortion around my bloody fingers or something, my brain is telling them what to do just find, but they seem to think they're moving through mud!

TheAlchemist
05-17-2011, 03:15 PM
With that said, no, I don't play anything except my nose, which I can either blow or pick... Hee hee hee

Ha! My college sweetheart gave me an Armenian Nose Flute. He said "No bizarre girl should be without one."

TheAlchemist
05-17-2011, 03:16 PM
I'm not a musician , but recently some instruments have found thier way to my home despite my lack of eptitude.

African thumb piano and Tibet bowl...

TheAlchemist
05-17-2011, 03:35 PM
This thread inspired me... ! ;)

Yes! The Whole Hive inspires me! And that's not to mention all the inspiration pertinent to making mead...:D

Loadnabox
05-17-2011, 04:47 PM
I love to still play guitar sometimes, but it's a little depressing. Back when I was in a pretty technical metal band I would practice for 2 hours at least every day, one hour before the band jammed (which was typically a couple hours itself, and yes, we jammed every day) and then an hour afterwards. This was necessary to keep up with the other guitarist's skills and to be able to play the stuff.

Now that I play probably 5-10 minutes a week (gods that is depressing...) a lot of what I used to be capable of is just gone. It's like there's a local-time-distortion around my bloody fingers or something, my brain is telling them what to do just find, but they seem to think they're moving through mud!

I used to be able to sight read bass, treble and two variant of the movable C cleff (Tenor & soprano) Can barely read music anymore :/

I've gone from respectable classical musician to "Wait, what position is that note?"

It's depressing to think about sometimes, then I remember I make way more as a computer engineer than I ever would have working in a symphony.

Tannin Boy
05-17-2011, 04:55 PM
After reading the thread on favorite music types, I started wondering how many of us might play an instrument. Wouldn't surprise me if there's a good number of us -- people who brew, vint or make mead, I tend to think, are mostly creative people who get into all kinds of things.

I'm an old guy, well past the half century mark, but I've picked up the Irish tin whistle and bodhran over the last couple of years, and now play with a band, The Sligo Bay Balladiers (we're on Facebook!).

I'm attaching a small clip of our band.

Anyone else play an instrument of some kind?

--

Nice pic! Thanks for sharing....
I also am closing in on the over the double nickle mark :mad:

Mom made me play the trumpet as a kid and I tried the french horn too.
Hurt my lips to play them, but glad I had the experience!
This is a nice touch to the site. Good to see what folks like to do.

TB

YogiBearMead726
05-17-2011, 05:51 PM
Can't believe no one has listed any brass yet. :( I guess I'm the lonely trumpet major.

chams
05-17-2011, 06:53 PM
I've played guitar and bass in a few bands, but now, I mostly record other players/bands. I find recording/mixing more satisfying now than my mediocre playing. :p
I've run an international music forum for quite a few years with some decent players involved. I've met some good friends from around the world that way, including my wife.

Chevette Girl
05-17-2011, 08:34 PM
Can't believe no one has listed any brass yet. :( I guess I'm the lonely trumpet major.

Loadnabox played trombone, he mentions it a page ago. :)

THawk
05-18-2011, 12:45 AM
used to play piano... well, HAD to take lessons when I was a kid... I can still read notes though... :)

YogiBearMead726
05-18-2011, 01:58 AM
Loadnabox played trombone, he mentions it a page ago. :)

Doh! I kinda skimmed through the string-mumbo-jumbo and must've missed it.

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. :)

Braxton
05-18-2011, 04:20 PM
I also have played trumpet, valve trombone, French Horn in the past. Just don't play them much anymore so I didn't mention it. But I'm with you!

JayH
05-18-2011, 04:30 PM
Here is a picture of some of us playing a month or so ago.

The reason I play is because of bad ankles I can't dance much any more, but I try.

Gespacho
05-19-2011, 09:17 AM
Let's do something with banjos and an electric accordion or two. ;D

I know what would sound good with those. I saw an electric ukulele at the Calgary Stampede a few years back. The band was really good, but they all had instruments from off the beaten path.

Brad Dahlhofer
05-22-2011, 12:49 AM
Was a jazz major in my first semester of my freshmen year playing electric bass guitar. Dropped out to get a get a BBA/MS and a "real job". Played sax all through middle/high school (alto, tenor, baritone), dabbled in guitar, drums, keys. Lead singer in a few bands.