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Thread: Your First Musical Instrument V.S. What You Play Now

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Sep 2014

    Your First Musical Instrument V.S. What You Play Now

    I'm curious to what peoples first instrument was, how they got it Why they picked it and How and why did they maybe change instruments, or just added one to their collection.

    For example, I Joined band in Middle school and wanted to play the Clarinet or French Horn. The school didn't have a Clarinet for me to borrow and I was broke so I played the French Horn. Which I'm so glad it worked out that way.

    I Learned the Euphonium next because the band needed it to play a song and none of the trumpet players had the lung capacity, So I volunteered. We didn't end up playing that song in the concert but I added an instrument to the list of things I could play. And do to the ego of the trumpeter I replaced I was challenged to learn the trumpet.

    The Next year in marching band I played the Mellophone, the only instrument I dislike playing, I insisted to march with the French Horn but wasn't allowed.

    I mentioned to an Friend of the family's years later that I was interested in the violin, so she bought me a cheap one to practice on. though just like guitar I can't figure it out.

    I did get a Recorder I Fourth Grade but never learn to play it.

    Hope to hear so interesting stories, as you travel down memory lane.

  2. #2
    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Nu Zeln
    At School aged about 9 - 10 The obligatory recorder (Descant) we all had to learn scales and those that showed a bit of aptitude were moved onto the "Treble" which was a bit easier on our parents ear when we practiced at home that was when we started to read music, I still have both a descant (Plastic) and a treble plus a baroque flute and a concert flute but do not play them any more. The Recorder sounds wonderful in baroque music 'BACH - HANDEL' I also used to play double bass but that was a teenage thing which got me into jazz and eventually jazz bands which was where I had a go at the Clarinet I do regret not sticking with the clarinet it is so versatile.
    end of part 1
    I don’t want a signature any more

  3. #3
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    Regularly played the piano and had access to a beautiful grand, which we donated to the Outward Bound Sea School when we moved from Wales. Last instrument is a classical guitar which I am in the process of re stringing.

    Pining for the South of France

  4. #4
    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Nu Zeln
    Thank goodness you are acoustic and not an electric man teddy, a real instrument which I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out of it and don't even consider a Capo do the hard yards.
    I don’t want a signature any more

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Taylors, South Carolina, USA
    Started on piano at 6 yrs. I believe it was.. then added viola at 8th grade..organ at sophomore level.... college organ and voice and added String Bass . Still play piano and organ as I have them. of course as most know in college you have to learn the basics and play all instruments in my days at school.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.


  6. #6
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Quote Originally Posted by PaperTiger View Post
    I'm curious to what peoples first instrument was, how they got it Why they picked it and How and why did they maybe change instruments, or just added one to their collection . . .
    Piano ... our family had just returned from hearing a concert pianist and I went to the piano at home and started to figure out where middle C was and then the octaves above and below, and then played a very simplified small passage of one piece we had heard at the program. I was enrolled into piano lessons at age 6.

    In Jr High, I took a liking to the Cello but dropped interest in about two years after lugging this instrument back and forth to school each day. In those days we walked to school, up to almost 2 miles, but we were on level ground and no snow ... .

    At age 12 transferred to the organ and studied privately for another 6 years, then later on in college, two years with a group of organ students, who called ourselves "the organizers".

    Along the way somewhere between piano and organ I also tried the flute-o-fone, a plastic imitation of the recorder. Found it frustrating, although now in later life I would like to take up playing the tenor recorder - it's on my bucket list.

    In my first year of organ study I secured my first church position as an organist ... that was in 1961 and to this day, 53 years later, still playing every week in church and doing concerts and an annual presentation of Handel's Messiah as solo organ accompanist.

    I've had to work hard to get where I am today ... and now in my 'senior years' I have to work that much harder to keep up the technique as arthritis and other joint ailments start to become a problem. I have been in my present church position since 1982 and play on a delightful II/9 Möller pipe organ that speaks as gentle as a lamb but able to roar like a lion too.

    Throughout all my school years I was in the choir both as a singer (1st tenor) and accompanist.

    I was reared in a musical family ... Parents (Dad=double B flat concert tuba; Mom=violin) played for years in the Scandinavian Symphony (Detroit, MI) and years later in California with the Long Beach Philharmonic. My sister plays both viola and violin. In my youth years our family spent many an evening hour playing together.

    One of our sons, now age 27, took up several band instruments in High School: Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tuba, Baritone, and Trombone.

    Kh ♫

  7. #7
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Albert's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Rocky Mountains, Canada
    My first instrument was the piano, taught by my mother, and later taught by another more advanced teacher. In high school band, I was a drummer. In military college, I was in the band playing drum, and ended up as band master in third year. When I was posted to West Germany under NATO in 1965, the Fort Chambly chapel organist was posted back to Canada, and the music director, also the director of the Royal Canadian Ordinance Corps Band, "volunteered" me to be the organist. It was a two and 30 concave pedal electronic. I found my instrument.

    My first personal organ was a used JC Hallman Model 12, which I replaced upon its decease with the Opus 10 in 2000.

  8. #8
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Welland, Ontario, Canada, mid Niagara Peninsula, between Great Lakes Erie and Ontario
    PaperTiger! I could go on about my life, and maybe another day I will,
    but I'm here just to inform you about statistics about musical instruments.
    People who are brought up taking music lessons usually quit when they are teenagers.
    Musicians who begin again after twenty usually become professional musicians,
    playing the adult instrument they really want to play.
    According to the American Federation of Musician's Union,
    musicians who play wind instruments die seven years sooner than finger players.
    According to the New York Bandleaders Association,
    orchestra leaders who play too much old swing are just never heard.

    Yes, watch out! If I get back about instruments, you can expect some lefty,
    if not left-over, commentary.
    Last edited by John Watt; Nov-11-2014 at 10:40.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    It can be very interesting how people acquire, and learn to play and love musical instruments. My interest in music and instruments goes back more than sixty years. When I was ten I began learning the Banjo Mandolin, and played it for about fifty years. When I was twenty I began bagpipe instruction, and played the pipes for about twenty years. When I was thirty I took to the violin, but only did one year of instruction. When I was forty, I thought I would carry on the ten-year tradition of learning an instrument, and decided to have professional tutoring on the piano, but that didn't work out; but I have taught myself to play piano over the course of many years, and do reasonably well considering. When I was fifty I gave up on being tutored, but have taught myself to play piano accordion, button accordion; and am currently teaching myself to play banjo and glockenspiel. I also play electronic organ and foot pedal harmonium. I can also make sense out of the harmonica and swannee whistle. It would be fair to say that music and musical instruments are my main hobby in life: in my retirement years at least. To all who aspire to learn a musical instrument, I say good luck, and keep at it! DOMINIC71.

  10. #10
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Welland, Ontario, Canada, mid Niagara Peninsula, between Great Lakes Erie and Ontario
    DOMINIC71! Wow! But bagpipes? I'm only of Scottish descent and I've never tried. I'm supposed to have my own, but my grandfather donated his half of the ceremonial, Master Piper clothing and gear to a Scottish museum.
    When you're sitting around a lot, in different cities, waiting to play at night, it's easy to be trying instruments everywhere you go. I know.

    There we were, my famiy, sitting around the TV watching a movie, a Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello movie, a California beach movie. That was okay, but at the very end Annette jumped up off the beach and said "Let's go skiing". Suddenly, you saw the inside of a big and fancy log cabin, a big fireplace with a fire, lots of fur coats and big sweaters laying around, the cast of the movie sitting around. And then she said "Look, there's Little Stevie Wonder". And there was 14 year old Stevie Wonder standing there, playing harmonica, and then singing the song. I got into it. The next day my mother bought me a harmonica.

    It wasn't all good. I didn't have a slider for sharps and flats. I could be standing in line at the bank or supermarket with my parents and I'd be playing "The Days of Wine and Roses", from a movie I saw on TV, very sad, about alcoholics, starring Jack Lemon, "The Shadow of Your Smile", what might have been the theme song from an Elizabeth Taylor movie, the Sandpiper, or Errol Garner's "Misty", what the theatre had on a video for intermission, with Acker Bilk doing "Stranger on the Shore".

    With my little harmonica I had to sing some notes, and when I started singing I usually kept going, what was strange for adults, having a little kid doing those soundtrack songs. I grew up singing in the choir of a church my parents helped start. My grandmother could come home from a movie and start playing a song on piano and sing the words. The kings and queens of Scotland were elected, mostly for their abilities to sing and dance.

    "I was made to love her, in a world lost without her, hey hey hey". Stevie Wonder

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