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Multi Instrumentalists.

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  • Multi Instrumentalists.

    How do you work around this when you have facility on a few instruments?

    Are you able to practise each instrument everyday or do you go through times where it is only one that gets attention?

    I have a few instruments in my belt and I seem to be a bit schizophrenic in that, I seem to have a personality for each with instrument lore, repair, scales and arps, and licks and tunes for each.

     To make things worse, I can only focus my attention on one at a time.

    I read an autobiography years ago by an old jazz muso who said each instrument is like a mistress and he fell in love with them for about 6 mths and then moved on to the next..

    The only benefit I've found is that after the rust is shaken off, my chops seem to be better. Anyone else experience this dilemma?




  • #2
    My problem when I was a multi-instrumentalist is that I was not able to focus my attention well enough to really get to a pro level on any of them..... so I quit playing strings and wind instruments, focussing on keyboard. BIG difference in my keyboard playing ever since. I'll pick the others up again when I'm good enough on keyboards that I can work without any need for wood shedding... then I'll work on something else.
    Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?


    • Scrubby
      Scrubby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thats how I would like it too but sometimes it feels like I'm repressing a part of me.
      I also think of the saying, Jack of all trades master of none.
      And I'd like to be a master. You know? realise my full potential as a muso.

  • #3

    I can get by with a few practicing moderately. Mandolin, drums guitars. But for a few that I also play, violin and french horn, much more disciplined practice would be required and I lack the time

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Yamaholic --- PpP --- Old geezer with a grey beard


    • daddymack
      daddymack commented
      Editing a comment

      I found early on tha tsometimes taking a break for a few months and earnestly working on another instrument refreshes and reinforms your approach to your main instrument. I am primarily a guitar player, but I studied piano in college, and I actually started out as a bassist. I have branched out to harmonica, ukelele, and even tried reeds...the advantage being, if I put the guitars away, and spend a few weeks or months on keys, my guitar playing improves...not immensely, but noticeably. I will never be a great keyboardist, but I can plunk along through a song.

  • #4

    I pick my instrument by mood and switch when im bored. I played drums since I was like 6 - 10, then I got bored of it, so my father thaught me piano and guitar, which I switch between now. Mostly guitar nowadays though. It's all about having fun with it.


    • #5

      I play in somewhat equal proprotions, accordion, banjo, guitar. I used to play bass (mostly upright) and probably still am best at that.

      I do have a problem sometimes rearranging my brain when I switch.

      It depends how complex the song is though. Since I suppose I am mainly a singer, I have quite a few parts that are more or less rhythm parts. If it is just a matter of chords on a certain beat, I can switch without obvious mistakes. (I might be on the wrong inversions though).

      More lead or melodic parts...that's what I really have to keep on practicing. 

      There is some side benefit I think. I am to a point where I can pick up instruments I really dont play and drop competent parts. In some ways switch hitting has made me think more in basic math terms, chord chord note note, rather than 1st fret 4th fret, ya know...

      I've been at many parties where someone just gave me a mandolin, uke, and I was jamming away, eliciting 'I didn't know you played ____'

      That's kinda fun. 

      But at this rate, I dont know that I'll ever be a master of one. 


      • daddymack
        daddymack commented
        Editing a comment

        that is essentially the difference between being a 'musician' and a 'guitar player/bass player/drummer'/ etc.

        The more instruments you understand, the more you learn about music from different perspectives, the more 'connected' it all becomes...yeah, like mathematics in many ways. Music is, after all, a language essentially. So the more fluency you develop, the more articulate you become, teh better the level of communiction.