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#2916414 - 03/21/18 03:25 AM Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences
Flemtone Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1837
Loc: Mine Hill, NJ
So I get a gig playing acoustic guitar for a one-off gig on St. Patrick's Day with an Irish rebel band. Lots of ballads of oppression, brutality and an occupied homeland, and then some sad songs. Multiple tune-sets as well (instrumental, 3 songs played three times without a break). A lot of fun and a good crowd in an Irish tavern.

HOWEVER - my fingertips are KILLING me! I haven't played acoustic 6-string in over a decade. My fingertips are no longer in shape for those itty-bitty strings. The mandolin player wants to take the band out more often so I better start getting these fingertips in shape for more abuse. That got me thinking about keeping up on multiple instruments. I know we all have our 'number 1' instrument, but do you play any other instrument?

I had piano training as a yoot' but never took any lessons on any other instrument. The fundamentals of chord structure and theory gleaned during 7 years of piano kinda took hold and helped enormously when learning other instruments. I play bass fairly well, guitar passably (rhythm only - no leads), drums/keys/piano/synth (more in my younger years), a little bit of harp and a tiny bit of ukulele (just learning).

I can't really place influence on a specific thing, though I listen to a lot of classical (for structure), swing (for rhythm and syncopation), standards (for vocals and arrangements), 60s/70s Grateful Dead (for bass innovation), early-70s Allman Brothers (for sheer drive), early Beach Boys (for harmonic genius) and a fair smattering of do-wop (for fun). I was raised by a radio-man (DJ turned news broadcaster) and a Mississippi farm woman. They came from completely different musical backgrounds so each influenced us in different kinds of music - from him, a love of classical and 40s; from her came bluegrass, mountain, country western and western swing. Both were always open to hearing new music and new genres for the entirety of their lives.

Enough about me - what's your history? Influences? Any real multi-instrumentalists here? Any good stories?
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#2916806 - 03/22/18 05:46 PM Re: Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences [Re: Flemtone]
Basshappi Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/16/03
Posts: 3362
Loc: Tucson,AZ
Other than bass guitar I have had formal training in:

Trumpet (elementary & Jr HS Band)
Piano (3 years private lessons)
Double Bass - (2 yrs High School orchestra)

I have never learned how to play guitar.


Edited by Basshappi (03/22/18 05:46 PM)
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#2917005 - 03/23/18 02:53 PM Re: Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences [Re: Basshappi]
jeremy c Offline
10k Club

Registered: 02/01/01
Posts: 16436
Loc: Berkeley,CA,UNITED STATES
I took clarinet and saxophone lessons as a kid and played in school bands in elementary school, jr. high, and high school.
The first band I was in was in high school and I played sax and sang.
After seeing the Rolling Stones in 1964, I switched to bass.
I got a B.A. degree in music with clarinet as my major instrument and I played in the University orchestra.
I can play a small amount of guitar, acoustic and electric, but not soloing.

I've been playing bass in bands now since 1967.

Clarinet and sax got my on the road to reading and studying harmony and composition in college has really helped my knowledge of chords and harmony.
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#2917007 - 03/23/18 02:55 PM Re: Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences [Re: Basshappi]
Danzilla Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 5516
Loc: Baltimore, MD
I started playing piano; had several years' worth of lessons as a young lad. And youth choir. I started playing guitar in 8th grade on a refurbished Kay acoustic; got my first real one (Kaman Matric ovation style) a couple years later. Got my first bass (Kramer Striker P/J) at the start of my senior year in high school; the same model electric guitar followed a few months later. Took lessons through my first year in college; continued with several levels of theory there. Got a mandolin for Father's Day in 1998. I'm not very good at it, but passable for basic stuff.

Influences? Started off loving the Beatles and The Who. When I realized that the REALLY good parts of The Who were Entwistle, I wanted to play bass.

I've played music in church pretty regularly since 1983 or 1984, I guess. Party-playing lead to an acoustic duo that played in local clubs; a blues & rockabilly band; and for most of the 21st century, Christian rock bands. Preferably playing bass, but I enjoy playing guitar, too. I've recorded several albums with these bands, and done sessions for a few friend's projects, as well.

One of these days I'll get around to double bass and/or cello.
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#2919212 - 04/04/18 02:48 PM Re: Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences [Re: Danzilla]
Bob Gollihur Moderator Offline
Gollihur Music, Big Cheese Emeritus
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/11/00
Posts: 1208
Loc: Ocean View NJ, USA
Nice to read of your adventures, guys...

My instrumental start was in in 1958, on violin in 3rd grade w/private lessons. Introduced to URB in 6th grade, tho no teacher, dropped violin because there was no school orchestra. Bob, also meet tuba, which you'll love playing.

Began gigging URB at 13 with HS guys playing standards (trumpet, sax, piano, urb, drums), and later w/adults having joined the AFofM at fifteen. No lessons until as an URB music major at college. It wasn't pretty.

Bought a bass guitar at 13 and did the usual kid band thing, playing rock and subbed on Union gigs in my teens.

Odd instrumental diversion... taught myself to play the tenor banjo in the house in my teens, from a book, but it's not very hip unless you're a Mummer. Bought a cheapo six string guitar, added two machines like Mickey Mouse ears, recut the nut making my own "8 string" tenor guitar strung a la mandolin. High strings are the A above the high E on a six string guitar. Bright, full sound. I still have the late 20's "the gibson" tenor guitar I found and played in the late 70's, to switch off from URB in acoustic things. I never learned 6string guitar.

I played more and then less in differing periods of my life, as parenthood and career allowed for it, sometimes focused on bass guitar (rock), other acoustic thangs on URB. Played lots of URB in a trio two summers ago, playing fretless in a light rock acoustic sorta trio this and last summer.

I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without music.
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#2936425 - 07/06/18 04:59 AM Re: Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences [Re: Bob Gollihur]
picker Offline
10k Club

Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13524
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
At 6, I took some piano lessons. Didn't really hook me in.

At 12, my dad bought me a $17 Sears SIlvertone acoustic. I diddled with it for a week, then it sat for a couple of years.

At 14 I got hooked in on guitar, and I laid into playing every chance I got.

At 16, I heard a guy playing that made me think I would never be as good as him. So, I took up bass.

6 weeks later, I saw my guitar sitting in the corner, and thought "it doesn't have to be one or the other", and picked it up again.

Since then (I'm 65 now), I haven't been able to make up my mind which I like better. So, I play one for a while, then I play the other for a while. At the present, I'm in bass player mode.
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#2936496 - 07/06/18 11:00 AM Re: Mini-Bio's - Different Instruments-Influences [Re: picker]
J. Dan Online   content
Bannination Free Since '08
10k Club

Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 12521
Loc: St. Louis, MO
I started out taking piano lessons as soon as I was old enough to read. Never practiced as much as I should but stuck with it anyway, at least through high school. Started learning sax in the school band program around 6th grade and took private lessons through high school.

Went off to college and it was no more lessons after that, but that's when I started playing in bands and got much better at keyboards. Also during college, lived in a fraternity with other musicians and began playing around on guitar and bass. Bought my first guitar while still in college, and bought my first bass right out of college. At that point, just playing keys and sax in bands. Graduated college in '95 and around 2000 was the first band I actually played bass in. Well, bass, keys and sax. Mostly keys with bass in a backing track, but if there were no keys or a more prominent bass part, I would play bass. Next band after that, I played keys, guitar and sax. Guitar mostly out of necessity to cover Rhythm during the solos, especially on songs with no keys. Later joined a band playing solely bass (acoustic electric) - so that was my first band playing full nights of all bass, and that was started roughly 5 years ago or so. I still mostly play keys but can pick up the others when needed.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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