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Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018287 12/03/19 06:27 PM
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I started on string bass and trombone in the youth orchestra and took lessons from the assistant principal in the San Francisco Symphony; and then, in an effort to make myself more unemployable, I switched to guitar.

In truth, I've always had a guitar lying around. But then one day I decided to make a concerted effort to really study. Now, 20 years or so later, I've gotten to the point where I do all the band parts on the guitar behind a vocalist in the jazz and bossa style in the Tuck Andress vein (he was one of my teacher, so I took it REALLY seriously).

And yes, in various cover and original bands I get to run around like Angus Young and play Van Halen licks, which is super fun! Come to think of it, I suppose THAT'S why I switched.

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018319 12/03/19 10:34 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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The biggest problem with trombone is you can't sing and play at the same time!

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018382 12/04/19 12:41 PM
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Mike Rivers Offline
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Originally Posted by Anderton
The biggest problem with trombone is you can't sing and play at the same time!


Indeed. And another thing is that you don't get girls by playing the trombone. That's why I took up guitar.

I remember John Duffey saying that he played a lot of instruments, as did most bluegrass players of the day (and it's probably still true), but that nobody - including himself - could ever really master more than one. John was a master of the mandolin (and could sing great even while playing) and could be a perfectly competent second banjo or second or lead guitar or fill in for a sick bass player if he didn't have another gig, but he only had to play a couple of notes on mandolin and you knew it couldn't have been anyone else. Les Paul and Doc Watson were masters like that, too.

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Mike Rivers] #3018428 12/04/19 06:01 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I remember John Duffey saying that he played a lot of instruments, as did most bluegrass players of the day (and it's probably still true), but that nobody - including himself - could ever really master more than one.

That's an interesting extension to this discussion. I don't feel that I've mastered even one instrument, so it doesn't matter if I haven't mastered more than one smile But, is the point of playing multiple instruments to master them, or feed into an overall musical experience? My keyboard playing is nowhere near as good as my guitar playing, but I'm a better guitarist because I play keyboards. But I think people who play multiple instruments will usually have a primary instrument...I can't think of anyone offhand who is truly a virtuoso on multiple instruments...although there probably are some people like that.

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018435 12/04/19 06:53 PM
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Primary instrument is Guitar, followed by Synth, Percussion (not Trap set) & Mandolin, small variety of Wood or Bamboo winds. Slightly less skilled with Electric Bass, no facility with Upright Bass, no Orchestra Strings, no Brass.

A Drum Machine led me to take up Percussion. A friend gave me an RX7 way back when, and I quickly decided that simply chaining programmed Patterns didn't amount to creating anything, so I started taking lessons in different Drum traditions. Not surprisingly, it's much more fun beating on things than pushing buttons.

Mastery is a separate issue. I don't claim to have truly mastered any of these instruments, but I'm pretty damned good with at least a few of them, and I keep learning & trying new things.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018439 12/04/19 07:01 PM
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KuruPrionz Offline
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I remember John Duffey saying that he played a lot of instruments, as did most bluegrass players of the day (and it's probably still true), but that nobody - including himself - could ever really master more than one.

That's an interesting extension to this discussion. I don't feel that I've mastered even one instrument, so it doesn't matter if I haven't mastered more than one smile But, is the point of playing multiple instruments to master them, or feed into an overall musical experience? My keyboard playing is nowhere near as good as my guitar playing, but I'm a better guitarist because I play keyboards. But I think people who play multiple instruments will usually have a primary instrument...I can't think of anyone offhand who is truly a virtuoso on multiple instruments...although there probably are some people like that.


I've seen David Lindley in concert twice, it is all stringed instruments but very different ones (oud, slide guitar with bass strings, electric guitar, etc.). He is pretty much totally amazing and like many at that level, makes it look easy.
If he ever comes around, do not miss!!!!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018473 12/04/19 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
... is the point of playing multiple instruments to master them, or feed into an overall musical experience? My keyboard playing is nowhere near as good as my guitar playing, but I'm a better guitarist because I play keyboards. But I think people who play multiple instruments will usually have a primary instrument...I can't think of anyone offhand who is truly a virtuoso on multiple instruments...although there probably are some people like that.


Anthony Phillips has released albums of both solo acoustic guitar and solo grand piano, and they're all amazing. I think his focus varies depending on what he's into at that moment; in the notes for his brilliant CD Field Day, he talks about his soundtrack work keeping him away from playing strings for so long that it took a lot of woodshedding to get back into form... but he did it.

I know that every instrument I learn the rudiments of feeds into my overall musical expertise.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
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-- except for Bryce, who's, well, YOU know.
Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Mike Rivers] #3018493 12/04/19 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Anderton
The biggest problem with trombone is you can't sing and play at the same time!


Indeed. And another thing is that you don't get girls by playing the trombone. <...snip...>


You can't sing while playing sax either, but you definitely can use it to get girls!!!


Bob "Notes" Norton
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Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Notes_Norton] #3018537 12/05/19 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Anderton
The biggest problem with trombone is you can't sing and play at the same time!


Indeed. And another thing is that you don't get girls by playing the trombone. <...snip...>


You can't sing while playing sax either, but you definitely can use it to get girls!!!


Well, I did mention, in another discussion I believe, that I wanted to play sax, but my school didn't have any loaners available that year, but they needed trombone players so they had plenty of trombones. The school orchestra director encouraged members to form small groups for the school talent show and had a collection of "combo" books to learn a a couple of tunes from. Being a Spike Jones fan, I joined a group of other brass players playing from the Hungry Five tune book. Our combo won third prize - but I think it was because of the corny jokes rather than the rather ragged oom-pah music.

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018551 12/05/19 03:56 PM
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I loved Spike Jones when I was young. I still like his stuff, but I've heard most of it and the jokes are no longer surprising.

Besides for being goof-offs, the level of musicianship was extremely good.

I was lucky, when the tenor sax player's family moved, and the rental was available, I was in the right place at the right time.


Bob "Notes" Norton
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The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018923 12/09/19 02:58 PM
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I mostly played stringed instruments, prefer electric guitar
also baritone, guitar, tenor guitar, 6 string bass, 4 string bass, used to have a 12 string
I also like acoustics, have a jumbo, a nylon string, a dobro and an old archtop
also play lapsteel and tried pedal steel (no longer have a pedalsteel)

turned to keybords some years ago, mostly for fun
got a couple of small synths and some modules and a Roland workstation, couple of old transistor organs

got some musical toys, Stylophones, theremin, etc.
lots of effect pedals
and a sampling pad (ssampling is not really my thing)

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Notes_Norton] #3018935 12/09/19 04:44 PM
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Anderton Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
I loved Spike Jones when I was young. I still like his stuff, but I've heard most of it and the jokes are no longer surprising.

Besides for being goof-offs, the level of musicianship was extremely good.


Your trivia for todays: Leslie Ann Jones, multi-Grammy award winner and director at Skywalker Sound, is Spike Jones' daughter.

Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3018943 12/09/19 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
I loved Spike Jones when I was young. I still like his stuff, but I've heard most of it and the jokes are no longer surprising.

Besides for being goof-offs, the level of musicianship was extremely good.


Your trivia for todays: Leslie Ann Jones, multi-Grammy award winner and director at Skywalker Sound, is Spike Jones' daughter.

Thanks. I didn't know that.


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: How Many of You Play More than One Instrument? Why? [Re: Anderton] #3021148 12/27/19 07:34 PM
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My gigs are mostly solo, unaccompanied piano- background, "wallpaper" or cocktail piano. I actively seek out requests of any genre. Early on I developed good relative pitch, and the ability to recognize intervals, which helped a lot in learning basic guitar and harmonica. Focus is on playing melodies or "heads" to songs ala Paul Shaffer and the Letterman Band (my heroes), as that ability is what keeps me employed. I think it's a fairly rare skill, as I am often surprised at how often seemingly advanced "shredders" struggle with doing that.

On diatonic harmonica I focus on country, while playing keys on the road in the 90's I sidelined on harp with some Clint Black and Terry McMillan parts and solos. Since then have focused more on Charlie McCoy and Mickey Raphael, the latter because of a recent 3 year stint in a Willie Nelson Tribute. IMO what separates the men from the boys, harp-wise, is throat vibrato. Which leaves me out because I never could get that Mickey Raphael distinctive vibrato. I'm in good company.

On chromatic harmonica I'm into Stevie Wonder. With the advent of overblowing ala Howard Levy (something I have not attempted) some think that a slide on a harp is unnecessary but I disagree, it's not the same. I intend to work chromatic playing into my wallpaper background piano gigs, since I can hold the harp and work the slide with my right hand while playing chords and bass with my left. I guess an overblower harpist could put a diatonic in a neck holder and play piano or guitar with both hands, but I have yet to see anyone do that.

@Craig, have you tried the Audix Fireball mic for harp? I love mine. It has a significantly hotter output than a Shure 58. I like your playing and I'm glad you're back at the helm of an ongoing SSS. I still envision you as Spicoli's teacher in Fast Times at Ridgmont High, moderating those unruly HC forums, lol. Happy New Year!

Last edited by pinkfloydcramer; 12/28/19 02:07 PM. Reason: clarty
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