Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Learning to play another instrument  (Read 4604 times)

Offline bno

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
Learning to play another instrument
« on: June 12, 2009, 01:51:10 PM »
This is one of those "Duh, I wish I had known.." things.  I just recently (four months) started to take saxophone lessons because one of my kids was doing it.  I always wanted to learn how to play a saxophone.  Well, I'm making fast progress because, as it turns out, if you have some formal music understanding (e.g., can read music and have theoretical understanding of scales, arpeggios, modes, etc.) learning how to play a new instrument focuses almost entirely around the technical aspect of making sound - you already have basic musicianship under your belt.  And with guidance (a teacher) you make very quick progress.  I'm already just a couple more months away from being able to play basic horn parts in a funk/rock band.  

My point is, if you have studied music and can play one instrument, it is fairly easy and really worth it to learn how to play another.  It really puts your theoretical knowledge to the test, improves your sight reading and reinforces your musicianship on many levels.  Highly recommended.  I wish I had started about 20 years ago.
'94 Fly Deluxe
Listen first, then play.

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Nefarius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
    • The Nefarius Homepage
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 02:53:45 AM »
Funny, I too want to learn how to play the saxophone. Been in my head for several years now. I guess it's that ethereal sound quality and breathiness I'm drawn to. And possibly the fact that it's about as far away from playing the guitar as it can be. But I haven't got one or started anything yet except some two hours with a friend's sax. It was fun and the first steps seemed quite natural to me. Well, some day I'm pretty sure I'll get one.

And whatever instruments one wants to add, I think it's always tremendously beneficial for one's writing creativity. Not really knowing the way around on a new instrument and not feeling safe with the way it's (supposed to be) played often seems to result in nice and unexpected ideas one would probably never come up with using the old trusty axe of choice with that safety net feeling of years of experience.

Greetings...
Nef

Learning to play another instrument

Offline doombilly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 758
    • http://illicitizen.com
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 12:34:39 PM »
Was one of my goals for this yr but it is looking like I am going to p*ss money away on keeping the lights on etc... instead. Good for you man. I agree. In fact when I took music theory in college it made no sense. The next semester I took class piano and everything locked in. Sorta.

http://illicitizen.com

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Anton17

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
    • http://www.myspace.com/iloveyourkids
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 04:46:49 PM »
Congrats on a new passion.

When I can afford the gear I'm going to learn Piano for playing Synths and Keyboards. I idiolise my retirement with a library room in my house with a grand Piano in it.

Learning to play another instrument

Offline JSanta

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1606
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 10:10:40 PM »
I started bagpipes about a year ago, but since I got sick it's really hard for me to practice.  It has really helped my guitar playing though.  Wish I felt better to play more!


/jim

Miss Wormwood:  What State do you live in?
Calvin: Denial.
Miss Wormwood: I don't suppose I can argue with that...
 

Learning to play another instrument

Offline bembamboo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1000
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 07:49:05 PM »
Been wanting to find an easier instrument on my hands, fingers, arms (getting old, stiff, probably arthritic prolly) like a uke sized something with a cello-type range.  Classical guitar might be the answer.  Maybe something syth-like.  any ideas?

Learning to play another instrument

Offline rollingthunder

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 12:50:11 PM »
I know I'm reviving an old topic here, but I can't agree more with this. I started playing baritone horn when I was 11, convinced my Mom to buy a tenor sax for me the next year and taught myself how to play well enough that I was able to convince our band director to let me play in the traveling competition stage band when I was in 7th grade. I taught myself how to play a variety of woodwinds in high school, and picked up guitar and keys along the way. Oh, and drums - I use to show our stage band drummer the parts because I could read the chart. Went to college on sax and switched to guitar when I was a junior. That transition while in college studying music was great - all the jazz sax riffs I knew I started translating to guitar. While I can "shred" as need be, my favorite solo styles have been much more oriented to the intervalic approach so many sax players favor.

I find switching off onto different instruments helps to bring new things to each.

Now some years later, my son has taken up sax and I've bought him a lefty Strat for Christmas this year. His interest has been one of the spurs getting me back into music after far too long of a hiatus.

I'm thinking I might buy myself a sax to practice along as well!


- bill

2010 Fly Mojo Cherry Flame
2006 Fly Mojo Natural
1989 Steinberger GM4T
Line 6 Spider MKII w/ shortboard
- bill

2010 Fly Mojo Cherry Flame
1989 Steinberger GM4T
Ibanez RGA8 with Aftermaths
Line 6 Spider MKII w/ shortboard

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Notes_Norton

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 446
    • http://www.nortonmusic.com
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 04:16:09 PM »
My story is opposite.

I started on drums but I have been a sax player since Junior High School and have played it professionally most of my life. Since all songwriters don't have the wisdom to include room for a sax, I learned rhythm guitar (mostly barre chords), bass, and keyboards -- or at least enough to do cover songs.

I also taught myself flute and wind synthesizer (they are close enough to sax).

A couple of years ago, I decided to get serious about playing the guitar, so I got to know Mel Bay and Hal Leonard, transferred my theory skills from sax and limited fretboard knowledge from bass, and learned pentatonic, blues, and major scales in multiple positions on the neck. Before I knew it I was playing OK leads in my duo http://www.s-cats.com

I just "graduated" to a DragonFly guitar and am one happy camper exploring the guitar.

I noticed a few things right away.

1) Reading music is much more difficult on the guitar, but transposing is much more difficult on the sax.

2) Guitarists have more GAS than saxophonists. I own a good tenor sax, a back up tenor sax and an alto sax -- 3 saxes. I own 4 guitars.

3) I can sing and play the guitar at the same time (can't do that on sax <grin>)

Seriously, I wish I started getting serious about the guitar years ago. It's a great instrument. But for me, saxophone will always be number one.

Notes

------------------

Bob "Notes" Norton

Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com the best duo in South FLorida
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 04:16:41 PM by Notes_Norton »
------------------

Bob "Notes" Norton

Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com the best duo in South FLorida

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4839
  • What is this ?
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 06:31:49 PM »
Good Sax is the closest any instrument comes to singing, without singing. [8D]

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

Learning to play another instrument

Offline bno

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 09:14:48 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by Bill

Good Sax is the closest any instrument comes to singing, without singing. [8D]

A few Flys in my soup

And bad sax is the closest thing to killing animals without spilling blood.  I could have been useful at Guantanamo Bay.  

So, pay no attention the the ramblings of this dilettante. As my son got better and better it eventually came to the point where he said "Face it Dad, you suck.  You should just stick with keyboards and guitar."
'94 Fly Deluxe
Listen first, then play.

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4839
  • What is this ?
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 09:21:15 PM »
Well it could have been bagpipes. [;)]

It might not have killed small animals, but surely they would have wished they were dead.

A few Flys in my soup
A few Flys in my soup

Learning to play another instrument

Offline rollingthunder

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 09:57:05 PM »
dunno...I've always thought clarinet was a cruel joke perpetrated on parents that didn't know any better. I recall one girl I knew in junior high school...nickname was "squeaky" due to her mad clarinet skills...


- bill

2010 Fly Mojo Cherry Flame
2006 Fly Mojo Natural
1989 Steinberger GM4T
Line 6 Spider MKII w/ shortboard
- bill

2010 Fly Mojo Cherry Flame
1989 Steinberger GM4T
Ibanez RGA8 with Aftermaths
Line 6 Spider MKII w/ shortboard

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Notes_Norton

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 446
    • http://www.nortonmusic.com
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2010, 08:15:27 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by rollingthunder

dunno...I've always thought clarinet was a cruel joke perpetrated on parents that didn't know any better.<...>


Not quite. Drums are worse, especially if the parents have the lack of foresight to buy the little noisemaker a trap set ;)

(I started out playing drums, but my parents only bought me a practice pad and pair of sticks).

Notes

------------------

Bob "Notes" Norton

Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com the best duo in South FLorida
------------------

Bob "Notes" Norton

Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft Songsmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com the best duo in South FLorida

Learning to play another instrument

Offline Paul Marossy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7330
  • Excuse me while I kiss The Fly
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2010, 06:32:55 PM »
I've been learning to play drums the last couple of years. I have an electronic set, so it's quiet and I won't annoy anyone. I've even been able do a little double bass with my new double bass pedal. It's fun to just groove and mess around. Wanted to do that since I was probably about seven years old. It only took my 35 years to actually give it a try...

__/\\/\\__PJM__/\\/\\__
http://www.DIYguitarist.com
http://www.myspace.com/j201jams

Learning to play another instrument

Offline rollingthunder

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Learning to play another instrument
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2010, 07:16:26 PM »
I've been thinking about a good electronic set for a while. My son's indicated an interest there as well, so we'll see. I loved playing drums. I was very mediocre at best, but I had fun, and got good enough to read charts on traps - not sight read, mind you. I still have the practice pad from high school (30 years removed now) in the basement.

My folks were smart enough not to buy a set. ;)

- bill

2010 Fly Mojo Cherry Flame
2006 Fly Mojo Natural
1989 Steinberger GM4T
Line 6 Spider MKII w/ shortboard
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 07:21:22 PM by rollingthunder »
- bill

2010 Fly Mojo Cherry Flame
1989 Steinberger GM4T
Ibanez RGA8 with Aftermaths
Line 6 Spider MKII w/ shortboard