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Any multi-instrumentalists out there?

  • Karen
    Karen Johns

    I'm currently up to 4- mid-size folk/celtic harp, wire-strung harp, hammered dulcimer, and flute (classical silver and bamboo). I think this is my limit, however, a larger folk/celtic harp and Sweetheart irish whistle sure look tempting...

    Karen

    replies to "Any multi-instrumentalists out there?"
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      I play a few instruments.  Piano is my first instrument.  Been playing that for 47 years!  Also played bass drum and side drum in a pipeband (I'm Scottish), played Glockenspiel in another marching band, play guitar (but not that well), piano accordion and started learning Alto Sax but haven't played it for ages due to problems with my lower front teeth.  Just got my first harp last Sunday.  Love the harp already.

      The other instrument I'd like to learn is the hammered dulcimer.  They have a lovely sound.

      What makes me think your limit might just be broken LOL???  Always room for another instrument or two, or three......

    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      I think you are right, Fiona. There is always room for another instrument, just not enough time to play them all! :-)  And yes, the hammered dulcimer has a wonderful sound. I like to play fast jigs and reels on mine- mostly Irish and Scottish-with a few American fiddle tunes thrown in. Actually, I find the dulcimer to be quite a bit easier to play (as a beginner) than any of my other instruments.

    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      Glad to see I'm not the only glockenspiel player. It was my first instrument in marching band. Then I played the fife and then took up the flute and tin whistle.

      I also play piano and both electric and acoustic guitar.

    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Ooh!  Where did you get the smileys from?

    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Wow Tony!

      So do you still play all these instruments? I have you counted at 8 including your harp. Are you also a Music Major by chance?

       

    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Fiona,

      All you have to do is type in  a colon :  a dash - and a parentheses ) together and it should show up as a smiley face when you post your message.

    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Whoops-I forgot to add my percussion instruments. For some reason (and I know this is wrong!) I just don't think of them as an instrument. Probably because I only dabble in them, and haven't really applied myself to playing them with any sort of proficiency. But I do have a bohdran, a triangle, a tambourine, and various chimes and bells.

    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Thanks Karen :)

      I don't think you can have too many instruments.  I also wish more kids would learn to play an instrument.  I think there'd be a lot less trouble among youngsters if they did.

    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      I still play all but the glockenspiel. Not much call for it.

      No, not a music major. I just have been playing one thing or another since I was seven.

    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      I find there's nothing nicer than being able to play an instrument.  I find it relaxes me and I enjoy playing for friends and family sometimes.  Learning a new instrument is a challenge too.:)

    • Ruth
      Ruth Harper

      I play mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, recorder, harp, and fiddle.  Most of my practice time is with the hammered dulcimer and harp.  I had been in a New Horizon's string programme but will not be playing with that this spring as it took more prep time than I was willing to give to it.

    • Zep
      Zep of the Cross Strung

      Karen,

      I may have the record so far, but I'm not sure.  Here it is, with the approximate ages:

      Piano - 8
      guitar - 12
      transverse flute - 12
      recorder - 12
      bass guitar 34
      saxophone - 36
      violin 38
      accordion 42
      piano hammer dulcimer 50
      mandolin 52
      harp - 56

      I've had regular lessons for a year or more each on piano, guitar, and violin.  A few lessons on the sax.  Lessons in school on flute.  Informal instruction from players on accordion and mandolin.

      The way I think of it, you don't so much play an instrument as you train your nervous system to relate musically to a particular way (or different ways, in the case of multi-instrumentalists) of controlling sound. As a result, a violinist can (with some practice) play a viola, a keyboardist can play a synthesizer, etc.  Having said that, as we know, no one says "I'm going to train my nervous system to relate to the musical keyboard." (that would be pretty funny!) - no, they say "I'm taking piano lessons."

      I'm comfortably at the intermediate level in all of the above.  Obviously, I can only keep my "chops" up on very few (and these days, its he harp, but I'm still pretty new to it!). I also play jazz piano pretty regularly but non-professionally with some other folks.   I only play out only very occasionally.

      Its good, I think, to get the insight into music, and experience the difference in musical expression, that playing various instruments gives you.  On the other hand, it does result in a kind of dissipation of your musical energy - I'd probably have made more progress if I were dedicated to a single instrument my whole life, but doing that, I would have lost the energy for and interest in playing early on.

      Michael

    • Audrey
      Audrey Nickel

      Well, I play the lever harp, of course, and have just taken up the wire-strung harp, which I consider a different instrument altogether (shape may be roughly the same, but the technique and sound is totally different).  I have played the feadóg stáin (tin whistle) for many years.  Also, I'm a singer, with an interest in Irish sean-nós singing.  So I'll claim four (even though the one is just in the early learning stages).

      Audrey

    • Audrey
      Audrey Nickel

      BTW, Karen...the Sweetheart whistle are terrific! I've reviewed three of them over the years...their old laminated "Pro," their new plastic "Pro" and their laminated "Pro" low D.  Really nice instruments, and the Sweets are great people to work with.

      If you hang out on Chiff and Fipple by any chance, I'm "Redwolf" over there.

      Audrey

    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Oh good, a recommendation! Thanks, Audrey! But which one should I get? The low D really appeals to me, but I like the high notes too. Maybe I'll get two- could you recommend a website/store I can order these from?

    • Sid
      Sid Humphreys

      I started out playing the piano, picked up the saxaphone in Jr. High (sopranno, alto,and tenor), tampered with the flute. The pedal harp is now my primary instrument ( I chose a harp because I didn't have room for a piano!). I now sing 2nd bass with Resounding Harmony and White Rock Community Church. There is a cello in my living room that I thought would be fun to learn but all I seem to do with it is tune it, then put it down!

      Sid

    • Audrey
      Audrey Nickel

      I would order directly from the Sweets.  Here's a link to their website:

      http://www.sweetheartflute.com/whistles.html

      Unfortunately, they no longer make the high D in the "Dymondwood" laminate, but I've just finished reviewing their new plastic model, and it's a fine whistle.  Here's a review I did of it a short while ago:

      http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=65284

      Their low whistle is a wonderful instrument.  A bit pricey for my blood, given that the low whistle isn't really my instrument, but if I were going to buy a low D, it's the one I'd get, hands down.  I  reviewed one for them a few years ago, and if I hadn't been saving for a harp at the time, I would have just sent them a check instead of the whistle!

      What it all really comes down to, though, is the sound you like.  Do you already play the whistle?  This is one instrument where often the cheaper ones are the best bets, if you like their sound.  It's all a matter of what you like to hear.  I have about 25 different whistles, some "high-end" and some very inexpensive, and each has its own unique characteristics that makes it a "keeper."

      Audrey

       

    • Liam
      Liam M

      Hmmmm Well I am still "Playing at" the wire harp and fumbling the lever.....


      I am quite accomplished at the phonograph!
      LP and 45!
      Also the 8 Track, cassette and recently learned the CD!
      MP3s still elude me, but with time.......


      My entire life I have looked upon those of you that play so beautifully and effortlessly with so much envy. Until I stumbled on the harp by pure chance, I never had any hope of ever learning any instrument... But, God willing, the low neck wire harp will some day be mine.

      As the character of Michael Smith says in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, "I am only an egg".

    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      Without listeners and aspiring musicians the world would be full of chickens! LOL

      Which leads us to the questions: Can there only be chickens without eggs (or vice -versa)? And which really did come first?

      But now I have really gone off the deep end...time to go play with my harp in my little padded room now...

    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      My hubby is laying claim to his PC tonight - since I monopolise it most of the time (evil grin), so if he wants his PC he'll have to promise to leave me in peace to play my harp  Just a tiny bit of blackmail in there (even bigger evil grin).

      Ah Liam.  The days of 8 track stereo.  Are you acquaint with reel to reel tape recorders?  78rpm records, transistor radios that sounded tinnier than a tin of beans LOL.  Happy days LOL.