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Easy instrument to learn

Mo the caller 13 Nov 07 - 06:26 AM
catspaw49 13 Nov 07 - 06:40 AM
Steve Shaw 13 Nov 07 - 07:03 AM
skipy 13 Nov 07 - 07:11 AM
Ernest 13 Nov 07 - 07:22 AM
TheSnail 13 Nov 07 - 07:30 AM
Leadfingers 13 Nov 07 - 07:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 07 - 08:18 AM
Marje 13 Nov 07 - 08:37 AM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Nov 07 - 09:03 AM
katlaughing 13 Nov 07 - 10:17 AM
The Sandman 13 Nov 07 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,george garside 13 Nov 07 - 11:04 AM
Grab 13 Nov 07 - 12:13 PM
Les in Chorlton 13 Nov 07 - 12:21 PM
Mr Happy 13 Nov 07 - 12:24 PM
bill\sables 13 Nov 07 - 12:28 PM
Bert 13 Nov 07 - 12:35 PM
GUEST, Mikefule 13 Nov 07 - 01:07 PM
Jack Campin 13 Nov 07 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Nov 07 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Jeff 13 Nov 07 - 06:33 PM
Grab 13 Nov 07 - 06:55 PM
Tootler 13 Nov 07 - 07:36 PM
deadfrett 13 Nov 07 - 08:17 PM
selby 14 Nov 07 - 02:44 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Nov 07 - 03:24 AM
Alan Day 14 Nov 07 - 03:37 AM
redsnapper 14 Nov 07 - 05:11 AM
Steve Shaw 14 Nov 07 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,george garside 14 Nov 07 - 06:59 AM
Georgiansilver 14 Nov 07 - 08:17 AM
stevep 14 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM
Gurney 15 Nov 07 - 02:31 AM
Dave Hanson 15 Nov 07 - 02:46 AM
Susan B 15 Nov 07 - 12:05 PM
The Villan 15 Nov 07 - 01:05 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 15 Nov 07 - 02:18 PM
Roj 15 Nov 07 - 04:11 PM
Ernest 16 Nov 07 - 02:09 AM
redsnapper 16 Nov 07 - 05:13 AM
Ernest 16 Nov 07 - 07:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 07 - 08:09 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Nov 07 - 11:59 AM
Tootler 16 Nov 07 - 07:54 PM
GUEST 16 Nov 07 - 10:40 PM
Uncle_DaveO 17 Nov 07 - 03:42 PM
Fliss 17 Nov 07 - 04:50 PM
Jack Campin 17 Nov 07 - 05:01 PM
Tootler 17 Nov 07 - 05:39 PM
Uncle Phil 17 Nov 07 - 07:06 PM
Leadfingers 17 Nov 07 - 07:09 PM
Rowan 17 Nov 07 - 07:57 PM
Stringsinger 17 Nov 07 - 09:46 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 07 - 07:46 AM
Mo the caller 18 Nov 07 - 12:58 PM
Fliss 18 Nov 07 - 01:22 PM
Tootler 18 Nov 07 - 07:17 PM
TheSnail 18 Nov 07 - 07:33 PM
Tootler 18 Nov 07 - 07:47 PM
TheSnail 18 Nov 07 - 08:16 PM
Mo the caller 19 Nov 07 - 05:30 AM
JeZeBeL 19 Nov 07 - 11:37 AM
Jack Campin 19 Nov 07 - 08:37 PM
The Fooles Troupe 19 Nov 07 - 09:48 PM
johnnyforde 20 Nov 07 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,strad 20 Nov 07 - 11:35 AM
Fliss 20 Nov 07 - 04:58 PM
lefthanded guitar 20 Nov 07 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Russ 21 Nov 07 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: Easy instrument to learn
From: Mo the caller
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 06:26 AM

I have been resisting all thought of upgrading from my recorder, on the grounds that if I can't play one instrument properly I can't solve it by buying another.
But every time I get a cold I stop practising because I get out of breath.
Actually it doesn't take much to stop me practising, I'd rather be thinking about dances.
I learnt the piano as a child and play from the dots. On the recorder I am now finding that I can play by ear too, a bit. I tried the violin at school but got nowhere, I dont want something where I have to decide where to put my fingers to be in tune.

So what would be the easiest, and not too intrusive at a session. I don't expect I'll get to much of a standard, but I enjoy joining in with tunes I know. I'm no good at patting my head while rubbing my tummy.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 06:40 AM

Nose flute? Kazoo? Bull Roarer? Air Guitar?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 07:03 AM

Whistle. Just buy a cheapie Generation or a Sweetone. You can already play the recorder so you're some of the way there already. If it turns out to be no good you've only wasted about three quid. I implore you not to purchase a bodhran under any circumstances. I have a nasty feeling that you're currently vulnerable to making such a grave error!


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: skipy
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 07:11 AM

Three quid for penny whistle?
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Ernest
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 07:22 AM

Harmonica could work too (as would jaws harp), but just as with whistle/recorder it is a bit difficult when you have a cold.

With all non-wind instruments I am afraid knowing where to put the fingers is essential (but tis would be true for recorder/whistle too).

Can you borrow a tenor banjo, mandolin or uke to try out if it suits you? Tablature does help a beginner.

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 07:30 AM

If Mo's problem with the recorder is running out of breath, switching to penny whistle wouldn't help. How about English concertina? (But they ain't cheap) Mandolin? which is a fiddle with frets.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 07:47 AM

Ukulele is relatively easy to play basic stuff , and CAN be used for complicated stuff if required - but DONT buy a really cheap one , unless you can find someone to check the intonation ! If the intonation is out , it will never play in tune - I know fron LONG experience .


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 08:18 AM

If you get a ukelele consider changing from the normal tuning to fiddle/mandolin tuning, GDAE. Great fun to play, and as unobtrusive as you want it to be.

Nobody's mentioned the mountain dulcimer, which is virtually as easy to play as a bodhran, and a lot more tuneful.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Marje
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 08:37 AM

And there are other squeezeboxes besides the English concertina - you could also consider accordion, melodeon or Anglo concertina. They all come with ready-tuned notes so you don't have to worry about the intonation, or about breathing as the instrument does that for you. It is, it has to be said, difficult to play any of these in an unobtrusive way at a session, but if you try noodling a bit, it is possible to make a useful noise even if not all the right notes are there (provided you're noodling in the right key).

The best way to find out more would be to talk to others who play them and perhaps borrow an instrument or two to experiment with in the privacy of your own home.

Not being much good at recorder doesn't necessarily mean you'll have problems a different instrument. I've been playing recorder on and off for over 40 years and I'm still rubbish at it, but I can play melodeon to a reasonable standard. Our two daughters also struggled with the first instruments they learned, but really came into their own with the second ones they chose.

Good luck!
Marje


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 09:03 AM

Now is the time to find out who your friends are! You need to try out a lot of different instruments and see if anything suits you. So see who will lend you an instrument for a week just to see what happens.
I started playing Anglo concertina because I was lent one for a couple of days and I got a tune out of it in the first hour.
In the past year I've been offered and tried a bassoon, a bass guitar, a hurdy gurdy and a tabor pipe, none of which suit me as well as my first love th Anglo concertina, but it was interesting to see what I could get on with (tabor pipe and hurdy gurdy) and what was difficult.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 10:17 AM

Someone mentioned a lap/mountain dulcimer. They are fretted so you know where to put your "noter" and they don't take a ton of coordination AND can sound very pretty in just a little while. You can play one from dots, but it's very easy to play one by ear, too, which I prefer and I've been trained on both.:-)


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 10:56 AM

The voice.and then the kazoo.English Concertina,see dickmilesmusic on you tube,it goes well with the Clarinet,but it is not as good as blowing your own trumpet.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,george garside
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 11:04 AM

The DG melodeon is relativley easy to learn and a great many tunes can be played using only 4 buttons which means the fingers don't have to move anywhere else!. Many new players take naturally to the push/pull system & others never will! However even half decent one are relativaly expensive so the simplest way of getting an idea of how you will get on withone is to buy a 3 quid chinese mouthorgan. If you can get a tune or two out of the mouthorgan you will probably be fine with a DG box.

george


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Grab
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 12:13 PM

Guitar. Anyone can learn basic chords. If you can curl your fingers into a fist, you've got enough finger flexibility, and if you can tap a table in time with the music then you've got enough rhythm to strum along. If you don't know the chords, play softly until you've worked them out.

It'll probably take 3-6 months of homework to get to a level where you can strum along. And a cheap second-hand nylon-string will only set you back about £50 - more than a whistle, but a damn sight less than a squeezebox.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 12:21 PM

It has to be the instrument that you cannot walk past with out picking it up and doing something with it


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 12:24 PM

Comb + Izal?


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: bill\sables
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 12:28 PM

For easy learning Melodeon or Autoharp


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Bert
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 12:35 PM

You can play a melody by ear so what katlaughing said is true. You shouldn't have too much problem with a mountain dulcimer. Or its big ugly cousin the Hurdy Gurdy.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST, Mikefule
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 01:07 PM

As Les in Chorlton said:

<>

There are no instruments that are easy to play *well*.

Money saved on a cheap instrument is money wasted.

You need an instrument that suits you, that you want to play well, and which encourages you to practise it.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 03:06 PM

While it doesn't fit the "unobtrusive" part of the requirement, a saxophone takes less breath than a recorder and the fingering is not that different.

Clarinet takes even less wind but the fingering is a lot more subtle.

Think again about the fiddle. It isn't really any harder to place your fingers accurately on a fretless instrument than it is to blow a recorder accurately enough to be in tune. The bowing is the hard bit, not the left hand.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 05:53 PM

I disagree about the guitar being easy. I've had one for forty years and can't do 3 chords (though I can pick out a single note tune OK). It's because my finger tips all head for each other when the fingers curl over and I can't spread them. No problem for playing concertina, not so good for stringed instruments. Different people have different capabilities.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 06:33 PM

It's been suggested already, but the autoharp is the easiest and quickest to learn to be able to play the chords to familiar tunes. I taught my completely musically illiterate cousin to play one and she had a 'lightbulb' moment after about 2 weeks and is now quite an accomplished player. Leads worship at her church for different occasions. She started at age 40. She doesn't just strum the chords, either. She picks out melodies like Wildwood Flower and Silent Night. The autoharp is portable, playable and peaceful. A very intimate instrument in how it's played by holding it against one's chest. The technical facility required isn't very demanding, either. I highly recommend it. But, get the 21 key model as they are, usually better quality and have a greater variety of chords.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Grab
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 06:55 PM

BBCW, hence my disclaimer on being able to make a fist. OK, I should also have added a disclaimer on being able to open the fist up too!

For any instrument, there is an implicit assumption that you've got the basic physical abilities common to all people in reasonable health. If you haven't for whatever reason (through illness such as tendonitis or arthritis, or through permanent disability) then of course you wouldn't be able to play an instrument which requires physical capabilities that you don't have.

This doesn't change the fact that the guitar is a very easy instrument to learn for anyone who does have those basic physical abilities. I doubt you'd say that hoisting a pint is hard, just because a double amputee clearly wouldn't be able to manage it. ;-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 07:36 PM

For any instrument, there is an implicit assumption that you've got the basic physical abilities common to all people in reasonable health.

I will agree with that.

This doesn't change the fact that the guitar is a very easy instrument to learn for anyone who does have those basic physical abilities.

And I will disagree with that. The guitar is NOT an easy instrument to learn. I have tried on three different occasions in my life to learn some basic guitar and simply could not get away with it.

I can play recorder to a reasonable standard, am learning flute and anglo concertina and am making good progress in those and have not found the basics too difficult, though I do mainly treat the anglo as a melody instrument, rather like the Irish do.

OTOH, I have a friend who is very much at home on guitar but who finds the whistle difficult. Different instruments suit different people and it is not about musical ability but a combination of your physical and mental make up.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: deadfrett
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 08:17 PM

Mo-the mountain or lap dulcimer is probably the easiest to learn.There are several excellent teaching methods readily available. You may find a used one for very resonalbe price, Haunt garage sales and pawn shops. You might have a friend loan you one to try out. Dave


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: selby
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 02:44 AM

Having struggled will allsorts of instruments and tried all sorts on stands at festivals without a doubt English concertina is relativley easy for me.But I think whatever you by it needs to be a quality one not a cheap on, they put you off rather than help you. I struggled with an old battered concertina bought a quality one that I love to bits and moved forward immensley.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:24 AM

If you have played fiddle, undoubtedly mandolin. G D C Dmin and Emin and A chords are dead easy and E major and F pretty easy. In G and D you can get away with playing the open strings a lot of the time. So long as you avoid the C and C sharp you can play the same scales in D and G keys which covers most sessions - if you are in the right key then what you are playing is a harmony, so long as it is in time (well, nearly). If it's decently set up hammer ons and pulloffs are easy. You don't need much stretch in the left hand and you don't need much force in the left hand.

With the aid of a capo they are great for accompanying singer-guitarists (so long as they stick to predictable melody formats which most do - watch out in Irish and English trad for the unexpected drop to the relative major) and with a little sensitivity can soar above and really add to singer guitarist without confusing or putting off and make you sond much much better than you really are - people have fallen for that when I play and thought I was good!


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Alan Day
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 03:37 AM

I agree about the Concertina English or Anglo.One note at a time tunes are fairly easy to achieve in a very short while.The instrument is small fairly lightweight and suitable for most unless you have tiny hands.
The scope of the instrument is there for progression as you can introduce chord playing.Also the English is ideal for song accompaniment,the Anglo may take a little longer.
Al


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: redsnapper
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:11 AM

I agree with Tootler. It is hard to suggest an "easy" instrument because different instruments suit different people. For example I have been playing fretted instruments like guitar and mandolin for about 45 years and am pretty well at home on any fretted instrument. I am also learning smallpipes and, although having to reprogramme my brain and fingers a little, am making progress.

But I am completely at sea with anything like a Anglo or D/G melodeon which makes different notes pushing and pulling. Equally harmonica with blowing and sucking. These instruments do my head in bigtime while others find them relatively easy.

Coming back to Mo the Caller, since she has recorder experience perhaps whistle, low whistle or D flute could be a good start for sessions since, as she says "I am no good at patting my head while rubbing my tummy" and these would build on existing knowledge? Just a thought.

RS


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 05:57 AM

I'm quite happy to pat my own head and have someone else rub my tummy.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,george garside
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 06:59 AM

this is why I always suggest anybody thinking about taking up the melodeon (or anglo concertina) should try a 3 quid mouthorgan first. some people are natural push/pullers ( or blow/suckers) and others never will be as long as they've got a hole in their bottoms

george


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 08:17 AM

Playing a strumstick is as easy as falling off a log.......can look at them at http://www.smokeymountaindulcimer.com/


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: stevep
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 12:09 PM

Concertina - I spent two years struggling to get my head around an English, but have progressed well since I exchanged it for a Crane Duet . Melodies are easy to pick out, and chords with the left hand are pretty simple. Problem is, they are not easy to find, and expensive when they do turn up.

For cheap and cheerful I would go with the Ukelele. Or the mandolin if you want to make a bit more noise.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 02:31 AM

Mountain dulcimer and autoharp.

When I proofread, I had typed autohard. I don't think they are really, compared with most instruments, but they seem a little limited.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 02:46 AM

Remember the old ads ? get yourself a bodhran, and you too can be a folk musician.

eric


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Susan B
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 12:05 PM

If you get out of breath playing because you have a cold, and you are not dying of suffocation, then there is a problem with your technique - you shouldn't be using your nose to breathe with when playing. Have you been shown how to support your breathing with your diaphragm, because that should make a lot of difference? Asthmatics have often found that learning to play a wind instrument properly helps considerably with their breathing control.

Please don't think of it as "upgrading" from your recorder. It might not be right for you, but the recorder is a real instrument in its own right; it just suffers from association with school days. If you get thirty different un-tuned, cheap and nasty fiddles in one room, played with varying degrees of confidence and ability, it sounds a whole lot worse than recorders! I try not to remember my son's days of going to 'String Club'. (My therapist would probably agree that I shouldn't!)

Les in Chorlton's comment "It has to be the instrument that you cannot walk past with out picking it up and doing something with it" is the most helpful here, IMHO. Getting the right instrument means that you don't have to make time to "practice" - you have to make time to get anything else done!

Happy playing!

Susan B
(recorder player and happy with it!)


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 01:05 PM

Hugh Scullion makes a whole variety of top class musical instruments to customers specifications - each one just as phenomenal as the next.

Hugh also makes the "Strummer" and "Superstrummer".

The Original Strummer - acoustic only

The Superstrummer - acoustic with opt. pickup

The STRUMMER and SUPERSTRUMMER are suitable for melody or chords, but ideal for folk, Irish , celtic and American folk music.Amazingly powerful and sweet sounding instrument. Easy to play and great fun! Ideal for backpacking and holidays.

Phone 01724 863095
email: strummer58@tiscali.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 02:18 PM

I play several different instruments, but there are a few that are classified as "easy" that I don't play. Why? Because I hate the sound of the damned things! No matter how easy an instrument is to play, you're not going to get very good on it if you don't love the sound that comes out of it. And I'm not talking about the sound an accomplished player gets from it, but what you are going to be producing during those many hours of playing poorly that you'll have to go through before reaching a reasonable level of proficiency.

I personally think the acoustic guitar is the most inherently pleasant sounding instrument there is. It can be played poorly without driving you crazy. And after becoming proficient on guitar, if you should want to learn a more annoying sounding fretted instrument like mandolin or banjo, you'll already have many of the skills you'll need to make learning it less traumatic.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Roj
Date: 15 Nov 07 - 04:11 PM

tape recorder! - no offence.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Ernest
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 02:09 AM

Roj: which kind of tape are they made of? duck-tape? And can you give instructions how to make them?

;0)
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: redsnapper
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 05:13 AM

...if you should want to learn a more annoying sounding fretted instrument like mandolin or banjo

It's so fortunate that the 'Cat is such a broad and tolerant church! (;>)

RS
(mandolin player... sometimes also permitted to play the guitar)


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Ernest
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 07:24 AM

"...if you should want to learn a more annoying sounding fretted instrument like mandolin or banjo"

Isn`t it funny that guitarplayers are often so jealous that other instruments are louder/better suited to melody-playing in an ensemble?

Best
Ernest
(bad on banjo and mandolin ;0)


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 08:09 AM

Perhaps not "more annoying" but "more obtrusive or noticeable". If someone want to fade into the background in a session while they are learning (which Mo seems to indicate is what is wanted here), a guitar tends to be a better bet than a mandolin, or especially a banjo, provided it's played tactfully, which isn't always the case. But too many guitars doesn't in my experience make for too good a session. More than two at a time is too many, I'd say.

Once again, there's the still quieter option of the ukelele in a banjo/mandolin tuning - which a fellow Mudcatter once suggested should be called a "mandolele".


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 11:59 AM

I don't know whether it is something about threepenny bits, or about the people who play them, or about starting to learn them alone, or about playing only melodies to start with, but although there are some excellent threepenny bit players there seems to be a threshold - until you are pretty damn good - they are never in time and what comes out conveys no sense of rhythm.

Once you get over that hurdle, fine. But that hurdle sems to be higher for threepenny bits than any other family of instruments apart from Highland/Northumbrian/Irish pipes


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 07:54 PM

But I am completely at sea with anything like a Anglo or D/G melodeon which makes different notes pushing and pulling. Equally harmonica with blowing and sucking.

I tried the English Concertina and found it's button layout weird, I then got an Anglo and it seemed perfectly natural. But, then I have been playing harmonica since about the age of 10 and don't remember having much trouble with them - though I have never learnt to play it properly


this is why I always suggest anybody thinking about taking up the melodeon (or anglo concertina) should try a 3 quid mouthorgan first.

Similarly if you think you might like to play a wind instrument, try a descant recorder or whistle first. If you and get on with them, you will probably be OK whatever you choose. If you can't then forget it.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 10:40 PM

Frailing banjo is probably the easiest thing to learn. Learn one picking pattern and a few chords and you can play and sing thousands and thousands of folk songs.

Here are some free resources to check out:
Old Time Banjo video workshop
Frailing Banjo video workshop
http://www.ezfolk.com/banjo/howtao/
http://tangiersound.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/five-strings.pdf
The Outlaws and Scalawags Songbook
The Daily Frail archives
Folk Song of the Day archives
Four text workshops on frailing

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 03:42 PM

Shaky egg???

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Fliss
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 04:50 PM

melodica... its a mini keyboard and you blow into a tube to make it work... one of the musicians in our session plays one to great effect.
Fxx


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 05:01 PM

Melodicas have a really nasty tone due to the single reeds, the keys are always too stiff, and one of the common designs has the white keys pivoting to the right and the black ones to the left, which makes fingering horribly difficult except in C. They do work as a kind of percussion instrument, the way they're used in reggae, and David McGuinness can do amazing things with them as an accompaniment to Scottish music, but they're very much a niche instrument.

Mo, have we given you any useful ideas yet?


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 05:39 PM

Melodicas have a really nasty tone due to the single reeds...

I'm not sure it is necessarily the single reeds that are at fault as both harmonicas and concertinas have single reeds and they don't have a nasty tone, at least not in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:06 PM

Claves


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:09 PM

A good friend once made the comment to me " The BEST violinist in the world has never seen a violin" - Which rather baffled me , till he explained - WHEN he sees a violin , he will learn to play and BE the best ever "!
Moral is , try as MANY instruments as you can , and eventually you will find the one that is right for you .


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Rowan
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 07:57 PM

Mo, as a caller and as a session player, surely you would have seen and heard a wide variety of instruments. I'd imagine you'd steer clear of winds if recorders gave you enough problems to consider changing and the only other clues you've given are ease of learning and lack of intrusion; there's no hint of whether you want to broaden the sessions you play in or develop melodically, tonally (with different registers or timbres) or harmonically for yourself as well as in the sessions.   Given you had some piano skills in the past, if there's no other keyboard player in the session, why not noodle around on one of those smaller electronic keyboards with the volume turned down so that your sounds are supporting what's going on? While not as inexpensive as some already mentioned, they're often not as expensive as others already mentioned and a good player can transform sessions in many different genres.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 09:46 PM

Autoharp. Press down and play. Pretty chords. You can sing with it too.

Uke. Four string. Basic chords. Transferable to guitar.

Any instrument is hard to play well.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:46 AM

it doesnt matter what ya pick up....nothing is easy
you have to work work and work at it....


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 12:58 PM

Maybe I'll stick with what I've got. I'm happy with the fact that it's just a melody instrument and I don't need to worry about the chords. It's just that everyone else seems to start with whistles or recorders and move on.
And I haven't been practising much lately.
All the others are Yes, But... instruments. I never could play a mouth organ, and I can't imagine having to work out which hand to use for which note for an English concertina. I rather liked the bowed psaltery, but I bet they need a lot of tuning. A melodean was suggested, but I wouldn't want something that didn't have all the notes. Etc, etc.
Thanks everyone. Shaky egg may be my best bet. I've got a frog, for when they play the frog tune at Audlem.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Fliss
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 01:22 PM

Recorders sound great, you dont need to move on. They are a real instruments. My friend Pat started recorder lessons at about 55, now at 61 she has just joined a recorder group and is loving it.

I took up concertina again at 51 and now at 58 I can hold my own in sessions.

We have a great practice session on Sunday mornings where beginners and returners and the session shy can work on tunes and have a tea or coffee and a chat. Yesterday we played for the switching on of the Christmas lights - in the warm at the community centre.

Having fun is the key.
cheers
fliss


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:17 PM

I have been playing recorder regularly for more than 25 years, though mostly in more classical settings. It is a good session instrument and though I have been learning to play flute more recently I always take a descant recorder to sessions and will usually play it, if only to give my arms a rest from holding the flute. I prefer to play recorder than whistle.

One way to move on with recorder is to get a tenor. It has a mellow tone and is very useful to have if there are too many whistles in the session. The tenor is excellent for playing slow airs. You do need to get used to the stretch, though they tend not to be as bad as low whistles in that respect.

I took my bass recorder to Folkworks summer school this year and it went down really well. I used it in a band for accompanying singing. where it really helped the texture of the accompaniment.

If you can't manage a mouth organ, then forget melodeon or anglo concertina. I am happy with "suck blow" instruments but they are not for everyone.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:33 PM

Tootler

If you can't manage a mouth organ, then forget melodeon or anglo concertina.

I really have to contest that. I can grasp the principle of melodeon and anglo and I think I could make a reasonable go of them if I had the time (so many instruments, so many tunes, not enough fingers) but with the mouth organ all I get is a mouthful of notes; tunes are impossible.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 07:47 PM

Snail

Is your problem with the mouth organ that you get different notes on the push and pull, or is it focussing your mouth on a single hole to get a single note for playing melodies?

If it's the former (or both), then I suggest you will have problems with the anglo or melodeon as they both operate on the same principle.

If it's the latter, then it is possible that you will cope with anglo or melodeon as each button just plays one note - with the exception of the basses on the melodeon, half of which actually play chords.

If it helps, you need to recognise that the layout of the notes on the harmonica enables you to get a selection of chords (or partial chords) related to the key of the harmonica, enabling an accompaniment to be played - so the noises you get are not entirely random.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Nov 07 - 08:16 PM

I'm OK with the push and pull, or at least, understand the principle sufficiently that I think I could get there with practice, it's the focusing on a single note that I can't do, I get a major + 9th + 11th +13th (and a few others) whatever I do. I just wanted to point out that failure to do that didn't exclude anglo concertina or melodeon where you can push one button.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Mo the caller
Date: 19 Nov 07 - 05:30 AM

I've got a treble and tenor recorder, just don't play them much.
The treble is a wooden Schott that an aunt and 3 cousins clubbed together to buy for my 21st, years ago. I fancied it to play the Alto line, since that is what I sing, but that's not how the dots are written and I didn't fancy transposing, even an octave. So I've never got to the stage where I can play reliably from the dots without having to think about it (or shifting unpredictably into descant fingering).
I bought an Aulos plastic tenor a few years back, but I am very slow on it, and I can't play it by ear.
Yes I know, I should be practising instead of whinging.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 19 Nov 07 - 11:37 AM

Somebody incinuated that the Bodhran is an easy instrument to play.

I would like to correct that statement....

It is easy to Bash/beat/hit a bodhran, but it is not easy to play a bodhran.

If oyu want to bash one....take it to a football match!!!!

Jez
(A very proud Bodhran PLAYER)


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Nov 07 - 08:37 PM

I have an old Schott alto too - mine is a "Concert" from c.1980 (pearwood? maple?) which a friend of mine gave me as she wasn't using it any more. It looks like a cheap school model with its crude streamlined shape and grotty brown varnish like 1950s Danish Modern furniture, but its intonation is dead on and it's got a terrifically focused sound, cuts through almost anything.

Sightreading different pitches of recorder isn't hard. Just do a lot of sightreading with the alto *only* for a while - three weeks should do it. Then reintroduce the C recorder again and learn to switch between them. After a couple of weeks of that, adding other instrument pitches is easy.

I don't do much sightreading with F recorders these days (mostly C and G pitches) but I can pick it up again instantly when I have to.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 19 Nov 07 - 09:48 PM

OK, a GENERAL level statement here....

Many instruments, including the violin, are "easy to get a sound out of", but - as my father used to say, 'difficult to play well'...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: johnnyforde
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:00 AM

who said the bodhran was an instrument????????


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,strad
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 11:35 AM

The bodhran bucks up your feet. Or was that Odour eaters?


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: Fliss
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 04:58 PM

Agree bodhran is not as easy as it looks. Bones are even worse. I just cant coordinate to play them at all.


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 05:30 PM

Guitar ..thsomeone once said it's the easiest instrument to play badly the hardest to play well.

Kazoo.

Dulcimer.

Kareoke.



Mandolin I'm gonna try it next so I hope it's easy.

Whatever you do- DON'T TRY BANJO. IT's harder than you think


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Subject: RE: Easy instrument to learn
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 21 Nov 07 - 12:45 PM

Something you might want to think about.

Worst case scenario:
If you decide to play an instrument because it has a reputation of being "easy to learn," all the musicians you play with will be aware of that reputation.

You will be considered a musical wuss who is afraid to try to play a "real" instrument.
It will be assumed that you have no musical ability or taste.
You will not be made welcome.

Maybe you won't notice that you are a pariah and have lots of fun.
Maybe not.

Russ (permanent GUEST who has been there and done that)


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