learn an instrument in your lifetime

2 years, 5 months ago

My grandfather told me that no (wo)man should die having never learned to play at least one song on an instrument… we’re talking a song at least one step above Mary Had a Little Lamb. i like the challenge. personally a fan of bluegrass, i’m thinking of an instrument along the lines of a banjo or mandolin. do you have a reason behind your desire to play an instrument? which instrument do you play the best? advice for me on beginning? thanks!

November 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

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Profile photo of Gus Gus (@sassysalamander) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

Ah music will never sound the same after you learn an instrument.. I personally want to learn how to play the trumpet, but i have yet to commit. I have though, played guitar for 10 years and all i can say to a beginner is to try and learn songs that you actually enjoy. It’s much easier to learn and feels amazing to hear yourself play a song for the first time :)

Goodluck!

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Profile photo of Dreamer Dreamer (@mute74) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

@larahol, I always wanted to learn to play the guitar. I found myself constantly watching live acoustic versions of songs on YouTube. Well, I met a girl who plays the piano and she was always so incredibly passionate about music that it kind of rubbed off on me and inspired me to finally go out and buy a guitar. It’s only been a little over a month, so i obviously still have a long way to go, but it’s been a great experience learning how to play so far. Frustrating at times, but it’s amazing seeing your own development when you make time to practice a little bit each day. I’ve been learning from free videos on a website called justinguitar.com. I’m sure you can find free videos to learn to play the banjo or mandolin somewhere online too. Well, definitely follow through and make sure you start learning how to play. It feels wonderful.

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Profile photo of TheSkaFish TheSkaFish M (@theskafish) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

@larahol, I want to learn guitar. I love the feeling I get when I find a song that I can listen to for 10 times in a row without getting sick of it, and I want to be able to make something like that too.

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Profile photo of TheSkaFish TheSkaFish M (@theskafish) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

PS, and because I feel that when I go to shows, it’s almost no fun anymore simply being part of the crowd. I want to be able to take that next step, to actually BE the generator of the energy, which to me music is all about. It always looks like a real experience to me, a life achievement to be able to come up with good artwork of all sorts.

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Profile photo of CosmicLemonade CosmicLemonade (@cosmiclemonade) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I play the trumpet best personally. I play in a band which just released its debut album. Heres the website where you can take a listen.

http://theswimmingmachine.com/album/overgrown

Here is a review of it that we are pretty stoaked about. :) http://thebottomstring.blogspot.com/2012/11/album-review-overgrown-by-justin-lacy.html

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Profile photo of Gus Gus (@sassysalamander) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

@theskafish, Totally understand that feeling.. I went to bonnaroo 2 years in a row and both times i felt so useless just sitting in the crowd yelling.. i sincerely cannot go to shows without getting annoyed with envy.. but oddly im glad because my ass needs to get in gear.. lul

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Profile photo of Chris Chris (@vulpes) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I played guitar for two years, but I never really enjoyed it. It’s an instrument that so many people can play and do so well that I didn’t feel it was as important to learn. I received a violin for a birthday a couple of years ago and I love the sounds a violin can produce, but I’ve always been deterred by an inability to find a teacher. I do agree though that learning how to play an instrument should be something everyone attempts to achieve in their lifetimes.

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Profile photo of Brandon P'naantan Pinkney Brandon P’naantan Pinkney (@hlalhabattu) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

there are quite a few I want to learn how to play, actually. at the top of my list are the harp, didjeridu and the saluang. sometime in life I’ll get my hands on one of em

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Profile photo of Daenerys Targaryen Daenerys Targaryen (@ohimstillalive) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I have been playing guitar for 7 years now and a piano for almost a year and a half. I love playing those instruments because I love the feeling that I get after practise playing for two to four hours so hard and see that I have accomplished my goal for that day. I mostly recommend learning to play piano to everyone! No matter if you can’t sing and think that you’re not talented! Learning to play piano requiers only practise, and ofcourse you would have to be at least interested in playing the instrument. In my opinion, it is better to spend hour or two everyday on practising, than to spend those precious hours doing something stupid on internet like being on Facebook or other sites that lower your self confidence.

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Profile photo of Ramistotle Ramistotle (@mcr513) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I highly recommend learning an instrument. I am a scientist in training but I learned guitar and piano not too long ago. I strived to get good enough to express myself, and have found it a very healthy method. Learning a great way to keep your mind constantly sharp and your emotions level.

Music heals the soul.

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Profile photo of forover100years forover100years (@forover100years) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

The act of learning to play an instrument is rewarding in itself, but once you get past the fundamentals and can start putting your own personal style and colors and tastes into it, then you step back and realize you are an artist, that’s what it’s all about. This is applicable to any thing you do in life.

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Profile photo of Ramistotle Ramistotle (@mcr513) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

YOLO that shit.

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Profile photo of Marie Marie (@ARCANUS) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

@larahol, Awesome, good luck! The banjo is beautiful, haven’t played it myself. I know how to play the piano (played for about 12 years) and the ukulele (1 year). My reasons for starting up with piano was I just found it beautiful. It still is my favourite instrument, to play. I set myself the goal, when I started up, that I would learn to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. And so I did, a couple of years later. :) It was indeed satisfying. I’ve loved music my whole life, and quite a few people in my family and my friends are into it as well, so that’s probably another reason why I started up. Would love to learn to play the bass, cello, banjo, drums and/or percussion, organ, and the accordion. The latter I might actually inherit from my grandpa, he’s got about three of those. :) I have a guitar as well, but I never really got into it, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I found piano is much easier, but that may just be a subjective opinion. Too many strings (that’s why I ended up with a ukulele instead). It’s really good to play something. Feels good to be part of the music. It’s motivational when you’re starting to get the hang of it. And jamming is much recommended. My one advice is play something that is not too hard, something you know and love, and don’t give up.

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Profile photo of pexlc pexlc (@pexlc) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

Yes, definitely pick up an instrument as soon as you can.

But you shouldn’t just learn songs, you should learn to play the entire instrument and only then learn to play songs by ear, when it feels more natural.

If you don’t do that you are going to learn to perform, not to play. To play an instrument you should spend time with it and just play as if it was a game. See what sounds it produces and which sounds you like together.

You should keep an electric tuner nearby (or in your cellphone or computer) to be able to make the same sounds all the time, and not variations from lack of tuning and to be able to play other instruments.

But it is very important that you learn to play by the sound and by experience with the instrument and not by the use of information.

I have been playing for 13 years and I have taken classes (not that many to be honest), learned hundreds of songs and plenty of music theory, but none of that helps you play any better, it just lets you perform for other people.

The relationship with an instrument (and music in general) is about making sounds your mind (or body) enjoy.

You just have to tune in (like in the old radios) and play. Get familiar, start knowing which sounds each key is going to make, but don’t force it. The most important thing you have to remember is that the formula that shows how good you are playing an instrument is confidence + time actively playing the instrument.

It is very important that you have confidence and you experiment a lot and you are not shy when it comes to playing as loud as you want. You should not be embarrassed by other people listening to you play. It is ok to be learning an instrument at any age. I just wouldn’t recommend you giving an acted performance. That’s what is wrong with most music, it’s acted, it bears no significance to the people who performs it, cover the ones you know and really like.

When you play try not to think about how professional your music sounds, or how good in general it sounds, play the sounds you personally enjoy. Don’t think of yourself to be as good as how good you perform other people’s songs, don’t think of you as being good or bad, just play the sounds you like and explore the instrument as much as you can.

As of which instrument should you buy, I think you should buy an instrument you like but make sure it is a simple one to make a pleasant sound, for example I wouldn’t recommend you learn with a trumpet. Also not too expensive because there’s always the risk you won’t get attached.

Buy one you like the sound of in the store.

Sit down and develop your own sound. Don’t ask yourself whether people will like the music you make or not. Play only what you like and perform it with absolute confidence.

The thing you should remember the most about this post is you should be absolutely confident in what you play, and that you should play only by ear. The sounds you like to produce.

Let’s try to find (and help produce) more natural musicians.

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Profile photo of ELI var namnet ELI var namnet (@manimal) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

@larahol,

“do you have a reason behind your desire to play an instrument?”

-I really like music and creative work in general, it’s my biggest passion.

“which instrument do you play the best?”

-Probably guitar (and bass) closely followed by piano/keyboard. I’m pretty good with harmonica and drums too, and not all that shabby with an accordion. I like variety, playing different instruments, it’s also very good exercise for the brain.

“advice for me on beginning? thanks!”

-Bluegrass is not a good beginner style. I suggest starting with blues or something similar and working your way there. If you can play such things with a banjo, I’m not sure. But bluegrass is tricky stuff, you need very fast and accurate fingers on both hands.

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Profile photo of The Phoenix The Phoenix (@phoenixthepenguin) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I plan on buying a Didgeridoo around Christmas time because I’m interested in creating “psychedelic rap”, using it for aiding in the creation of beats.
Can anybody recommend a good website for buying one for the first time? Nothing too fancy or expensive, I’m simply looking for something durable that doesn’t sound too shabby.

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