What other instruments do you play?

Posted In: Coffee Break


  • Participant
    Annie on #222329

    Hi there! I’d like to know if you guys play other instruments other than harp. I still don’t have a harp, as I’ve started saving for one not long ago, so I still have to wait a little bit. But meanwhile I play the ukulele, which I really enjoy and makes me very happy. Sometimes I miss some lower notes and more range, but anyway it makes me very happy when I learn a new song. I played the violin when I was a child, or should I say I “suffered” the violin.. Omg that was difficult as hell. I enjoyed playing in an orchestra, but I never really enjoyed enjoy the instrument itself.
    So… What about you? 🙂


    Participant
    hearpe on #222330

    I started on keyboards as an adult back in the ’80s.
    Then I got some piano lessons and love piano, though never give it enough time. I also started on classical guitar in the mid-90’s because some broken fingers made steel string seem harder, and had some lessons at LA Community College. I too got into ukes five or six years ago, which help on guitar and opened up more strumming, which is not encouraged in Classical finger style, but which I think may lead to easier song writing. Harps I’ve eased into this century, and a little more serious all the time, but spread thin, because I’ve also taken up violin the past six years or so- and wish I’d started that 10 or 20 years sooner. Mandolin sorta blocked that, because I took up mandolin and it’s too small for my hands to chord easily, and I thought fiddle would be the same. So I’m playing a bit on all these and not making really serious progress on any- an intermediate I guess on most- but sometimes an idea or phrase on one takes me to another instrument, and so I’m making progress in general. Flutes and fife and clairinet a bit. Entry instruments are getting cheaper- but I don’t think I have room for cello or sax. Having started in my 30’s it always been about having fun and just staying with a discipline- I can often tell how my body is doing otherwise by how practice goes- and I enjoy them immensely.


    Participant
    harpist123 on #222336

    Good coffee morning!
    I started playing the clarinet in elementary school (most likely because both of my older sisters played the clarinet, and so we all got “hand-me-downs”, as money was short. I pursued it all the way through college getting a Bachelor of Music degree. Then I worked, and music went by the wayside. I had an opportunity in college to take a quarter year of private lessons with the harp professor (she took on 3 of us who didn’t play a stringed instrument: me, a mezzo soprano, and one other individual). I fell in love with it, but didn’t buy my first harp until 30 years later (yikes!) That was in 2003. I took private lessons to get wrapped around it. Then pursued playing it on my own. As the past 15 years have so quickly passed, I’d say I am probably an intermediate player still. I play for my own enjoyment, often adding accompaniment without the sheet music, relying on my music theory background…much easier for me 🙂 A few years ago I just wanted to branch out on an instrument that I could produce rhythms and patterns on…so rented a 16/15 hammered dulcimer. I found someone who played very well, so we got together from time to time, and he would show me various patterns I could apply. I bought my own HD and really started having fun just hammering away! So diverse from the harp. Just what I needed. I wander away from it, then every now and then I pull it out and find such joy! I’m not really very good. I really would need to practice much more often to really learn my way around it, as it’s tuned in 5th’s, not chromatically, so that’s yet another learning curve. A friend visited and brought his Oud…Had never heard of it…We tried to “jam” together (Oud and harp), but it just didn’t mesh. So, out came my hammered dulcimer. The perfect combination! He was quite good on the Oud, so gave me simple patterns to play along with him that I could tackle, and we had an absolute BLAST! I highly recommend trying ANY instrument if you are focusing on only the harp. Especially if you are very proficient at the harp (perhaps pedal harp, orchestra performance, etc.) and read only off sheet music. Put the music away for awhile, and strike a balance without it!! I even joined a monthly acoustic instrument jam session with my harp once…No music, just listening and joining in. Lots of fun! There were 3 Ukulele players that came to it as well…And every month was a different combination of musicians and instruments. So never the same!


    Participant
    Annie on #222348

    Wow! I’ve loved reading your stories, you guys have a huge music background! I honestly think being able to play several instruments is so awesome! It doesn’t really matter if it’s not in a professional level. To me having fun with music is the most important, especially if music it’s a hobby and not your job. (Even there, having fun is still the most important, hehe).
    Hearpe, I love classical guitar so much! I live in Spain and the guitar is really a symbol here. I’d like to learn someday, damn, too many instruments I’d like to learn!
    Harpist123, those jam sessions sound so much fun! I’ve learned some bluesy improvisation in my uke, but I still have to understand well those scales… Damn, music theory is complicated! ^_^’


    Participant
    Sylvia on #222401

    0
    I had to take class piano in college, and it was torture. I just don’t think in black and white. My brain is wired to harp strings. I play pedal harp.
    I marvel at people who play both pedal and lever harp because I would automatically move my feet.
    I played violin with my blind student in middle school orchestra so I would understand the braille better. (I brailled the music for him, and string music has tons of markings….bowings, accents, etc.)
    He had perfect pitch and did fine. (only problem at first was keeping the bow in the right place, but we got a bow-right gizmo to put on the fiddle so he could get used to the feeling of where the bow should be) Since all the music had to be memorized, he did not continue in high school.
    I was terrible. Couldn’t look at my hands, so I was the one who was handicapped.


    Participant
    Annie on #222414

    Oh! I had never thought of the way to teach a blind person to play such instrument like violin. Sylvia I know what you mean with being wired to string instruments, I tried playing the flute and my sister’s sax and I thought I was dying, lol! Definetelt not for me.

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