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Taking up a new instrument

Charmion 01 Feb 05 - 04:42 PM
Ned Ludd 01 Feb 05 - 06:59 PM
Leadfingers 01 Feb 05 - 09:20 PM
Gypsy 01 Feb 05 - 09:52 PM
Cluin 01 Feb 05 - 11:55 PM
GUEST,Ned at work 02 Feb 05 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Flamenco Ted 02 Feb 05 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Davetnova(backdoor) 02 Feb 05 - 05:56 AM
GUEST 02 Feb 05 - 07:48 AM
Zhenya 02 Feb 05 - 02:38 PM
AggieD 02 Feb 05 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Feb 05 - 08:20 PM
Kaleea 02 Feb 05 - 09:47 PM
Teresa 02 Feb 05 - 10:05 PM
Mooh 02 Feb 05 - 10:39 PM
CarolC 02 Feb 05 - 11:02 PM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Feb 05 - 12:06 AM
fogie 03 Feb 05 - 05:40 AM
Torctgyd 03 Feb 05 - 07:00 AM
Andy Jackson 03 Feb 05 - 10:15 AM
Wesley S 03 Feb 05 - 01:21 PM
Mooh 03 Feb 05 - 02:29 PM
squeezeldy 03 Feb 05 - 06:09 PM
Gypsy 03 Feb 05 - 10:43 PM
Áine 04 Feb 05 - 09:17 AM
Charmion 04 Feb 05 - 01:59 PM
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Subject: Taking up a new instrument
From: Charmion
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 04:42 PM

I started learning to play the mandolin last summer at the Celtic College in Goderich, and have made so much progress that I'm confident of being able to play in sessions at this year's college, in August. My fingers seem to know what to do most of the time, and tunes just seem to bubble along with remarkably little effort. I never learned to play the guitar with a plectrum, but have absolutely no trouble using one to play the mandolin. Most days, I can't wait to get home from work and start practising.

Looking back on my long years of not entirely satisfactory effort on the guitar, I'm beginning to wonder if I have finally, at the age of 50, discovered the instrument I should have been playing all along. Have any of you had a similar experience?


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 06:59 PM

They say that your instrument is out there,but many people never find it. Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 09:20 PM

Charmion - YES !! When I played (or rather TRIED to play ) Jazz clarinet there were pieces thatI just could NOT do anything with at all ! Then I fell into Folk and started playing whistle ! There are
tunes I thoroughly enjoy on whistle , that I could NEVER do much with on clarinet - Like Sweet Georgia Brown ! When you find 'Your' own
instrument it all becomes SO much easier !!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Gypsy
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 09:52 PM

Oh yeah, for me it was hammered dulcimer. I tried and tried and tried to play conventional instruments, and they never fell to the fingers the way the dulcimer does!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Feb 05 - 11:55 PM

I think the second instrument is easier to learn than the first one, generally. Unless it is a lot more technically challenging.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: GUEST,Ned at work
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 03:27 AM

I had a shop and played loads of instruments, then I picked up a bouzouki.....In't love wonderful?


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: GUEST,Flamenco Ted
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:54 AM

I was forced by my parents into ten years of piano lessons, before embarking on Flamenco guitar, the true path. I still get a cold chill whenever I see a piano.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: GUEST,Davetnova(backdoor)
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:56 AM

Mandolin did it for me too. I love the little beasties.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 07:48 AM

I never thought of playing the hammer dulcimer with my fingers.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Zhenya
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 02:38 PM

I played classical flute for several years (voluntarily) from junior high school through college. No matter how much I practiced, I never felt I made much progress.

Now I play the fiddle, and I feel I've learned something new at every practice session - either I've made some technical progress in my playing, or I've come to some new understanding about the instrument.

Yes, absolutely, you have to find the right instrument!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: AggieD
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 05:02 PM

I took up the melodeon purely so that I could play for Morris dancing, & never really made much use of it, practising out of necessity, not for the joy of improving.
But recently I've bought an English Concertina, & just love it.
I too have recently reached the 50 mark like you Charmion, perhaps that what has made the difference!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 08:20 PM

Congratulations to all of you! It is so nice to hear from people who are playing music and enjoying life.

Unlike you, I have never had the experience of changing to the Instrument Meant for Me. I'm mediocre at everything, but I enjoy it.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Kaleea
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 09:47 PM

Charmion, Yes! After being a Music major & playing piano & guitar & flute since childhood, & several other instruments, I took up the Autoharp in my late 40's. I play it Appalachian style with fingerpicks, not down flat on a table, so I play the melody. I discovered an incredible instrument which I never knew about. I loved it so much that I bought a professional instrument which makes all the difference in the world. This greatly inspired my proficiency. I've been learning the Celtic Harp & Mandolin (round back neapolitin type) in the past couple years, but nothing beats the satisfaction I get from playing the Autoharp.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Teresa
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 10:05 PM

I'm still exploring, and I just turned 40. :) See what I have to look forward to?

I started playing piano when I was very little, then switched to guitar when I was twelve and loved it. I've never been great at it; discovered some interesting chord progressions, etc. I also like to try to get music out of any instrument I can; literally playing. :)

Looks like I'll have a mountain dulcimer soon. I love their sound, so we'll see how the rapport goes. :)

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 10:39 PM

Charmion...You're not alone! I owe my living to guitar, but mandolin and bouzouki get an awful lot of attention these days. If you need tunes, PM me, I've got tons. It's nice to hear that the Celtic College has helped, especially since I'm a volunteer and employee.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Feb 05 - 11:02 PM

Absolutely. I started with piano, then violin (didn't get very far with that), then recorder (my main instrument for many years), then penny whistle, and finally, almost five years ago when I was in my mid forties, I fell in love with and began learning to play the piano accordion. With the other instruments, I never felt that the music I was making lived inside of me. I always felt a sense of dissatisfaction with even the best I could do, and I got bored fairly quickly with those instuments.

Even before I got hold of my first piano accordion, I had an instinctive feeling that it was my instrument. Once I started learning to play it, I was able to satisfy musical needs I never even knew I had. I never get bored with it, I am able to express what I have to say musically, and best of all, I feel that sense of the music living inside of me that I never had before with any other instrument. My only regret is that I didn't learn to play it and develop the muscle memories when I was younger. I will probably never become as good on the accordion as I probably would have had I started at a younger age.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 12:06 AM

Technique: Piano Accordion for The Recycled Muso


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: fogie
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 05:40 AM

The instruments we left behind- I never took to the 5-string banjo, the hammered dulcimer, the continental chromatic accordions C and B systems, the clarinet, the flute or the trombone -life's too short,-or is it?? just got a ukelele, and can play it just like my guitar. I must stop trying out these dammed things- but I wouldnt mind a gurdy, a bagpipe or a harp, what's my bank balance like this month?


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Torctgyd
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 07:00 AM

After trying the guitar, flute, keyboard, anglo concertina and whistle I got myself a melodeon and haven't looked back!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 10:15 AM

wow what a great thread and !I thought I was the only One" to quote from a dulcimer collection I think. Ive been through 5 string banjo and several styles - gut guitar - one row two row melodeon ~ fiddle ~ anglo conni ~ and now english conni. But about 25 years ago I fell upon the instument of the gods, The Hammer Dulcimer -- Of all my very mediocre attempts at music the dulcimer gives me the most pleasure to play. Perhaps only equalled by my Omniprescent Tea Chest Bass of course, I sort of forget that, it only started in fun and now I play it all the time. I've tried fingers on the Dulcimer as in East Angla, but not for me. Hammers it is and what fun, its just plays to you when you stroke it gently. One point arising though - someone says about the second instrument is easier, how true. If you own several different instruments its surprising what they learn when your back is turned, as if out of jealosy that you are playing with something else!!
Keep on trying to find your instrument, the search itself is fun and I still aim to be vaguely proficient before I reach 60.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Wesley S
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 01:21 PM

Charmion - Have you visited www.mandolincafe.com yet ? It can be a treasure trove of information. And the forum has a seperate section for "celtic" styles of mandolin and for "mando's on steroids" - CBOM's. Check it out.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 02:29 PM

Ditto the mandolin cafe recommendation...very good site, and links. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: squeezeldy
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 06:09 PM

50 is a magic, golden age. At 49, I bought an anglo concertina. I have "traded up" twice, and am astonished at where in the world and in my heart and soul I have gone with my little concertina. I have met wonderful people, fallen in love, and been places I never would have gone otherwise. It doesn't matter what the instrument o r the music style is. I think even your proficiency is only as important as you want it to be. What matters is the growth, the willingness to take new chances and learn new things, and the ability to look forward with amazement and anticipation. You can do all of that without changing instruments, but what fun to learn a new one. Yes, that perfect instrument is out there--somewhere....the search is half the fun!


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Gypsy
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 10:43 PM

YAY Miskin Man! Welcome to wonderful world of TUNING, and hauling around a giant cheeze slicer! sometimes i feel like i am the only one out there intrepid enough to haul around my HD.........


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Áine
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 09:17 AM

Hey there, Charmion,

It's nice to see that the magic of the mandolin has touched yet another Mudcatter!! ;-) I've gone through a few instruments myself and I know how you feel about finding the one. My mando just makes me happy -- even when I play sad songs on it. Can't say that about any other instrument I've played. Congratulations on your discovery!!

And ya know, they're saying now that 50 is the new 30 . . . just think of all that playing we can get in - Yee haw!!

All the best, Áine (Mandolinquent at 50 and loving it!)


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Subject: RE: Taking up a new instrument
From: Charmion
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 01:59 PM

I have, indeed, discovered Mandolin Café, courtesy of a guy at the office (another passionate plinker). There's also The Session (at www.thesession.org), an amazing resource of Irish traditional music where people post actual tunes in actual notation (dots, that is) and wrangle madly about sources, variations and playing etiquette. You think Mudcat has a few wild-eyed purists; compared to Sessionists, we're a bunch of heretical slackers.

My aching bones and tendency to hit the sack at 2100 hr indicate that, for me at least, 50 is actually the same old 50 (at 30 I was still up for howling the night away). Despite the undeniable desuetude that comes with age, I do not suffer the mid-life dullness a fair few of my contemporaries complain about, though; I am never bored or jaded, I don't wonder (like Janis Ian) "is that all there is?", and I have no trouble finding something fun to do that is neither illegal, immoral nor fattening.

And to think that all this comes free with a cute little fretted instrument that you can play Corelli and Vivaldi on if you want, or The Black Velvet Band if you don't want, and fits into the overhead bin on commercial aircraft ... !


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