• Mountie Musicians

    Posted by BrokenVoid on March 2, 2021 at 3:11 am

    We have threads for writing and sharing music, but none so far for people to specifically talk about their experience playing an instrument. This thread can serve as a place to talk about what instrument(s) you play, which ones you’d like to play, which instrument is your favorite, questions about technique, and so on.

    To start off, my primary instrument has always been piano and it’s one of the things I’m known for amongst people who know me in person. I’ve also started seriously playing the mandolin and learning to sing folk songs, mostly Irish traditional. My dad plays the guitar and sings, and we perform at a small local restaurant every other month or so which is a lot of fun, we each play our own solo sets and mix in a few duets in between.

    BrokenVoid replied 1 year, 11 months ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Ginger

    March 2, 2021 at 3:59 am

    First off I adore this thread.

    Secondly, I adore that you and your dad perform together @BrokenVoid. I stan that sort of supportive relationship.

    I’ve had a ride with instruments.

    Buckle up y’all we going for a long ride.

    I adore music, and loads of different instruments and the various sounds created, but began my playing journey in a military marching band :sweat_smile:

    So the first instrument I learned was the bagpipes.

    12 year old me thought it was the coolest thing ever.

    Eventually my family got SUPER sick of it and we moved so I took the opportunity to find not only a new marching band, but a new instrument.

    My older sister did all this with me, but she was a drummer – snare was her favourite, and eventually she went on to become drum major for the band! Not relevant, I’m just proud of her.

    Naturally, spending loads of time together she taught me lots and I was decent with the snare. So when the time came to switch instruments (the new band was strictly a marching band and had no pipe band section) I really wanted to join the drum line, but so did everyone else ever apparently. My sister had played longer so they took her no problem, but because I was Impressionable™️ and going to learn a new instrument anyways, they convinced me to learn trumpet because they needed more trumpets.

    It was alright for the most part. I still love a good trumpet solo, but … let’s just say the trumpet players in that particular marching band were generally not my favourite people.

    Fast forward a few years and I got braces. It was the worst. It hurt so bad to play at first. I had to completely relearn how to play. Of course during all this said unfortunate section members loved to joke at my expense and it became a rather unenjoyable experience. I was over it. I was sick of being laughed at, sick of using boatloads of wax, sick of my mouth always bleeding and being in pain.

    I requested to change instruments to the person in charge, but they still maintained that I was more needed in the trumpet section and that I couldn’t be in the drum line even though I could play better than half of it at that point. A generally miserable experience honestly, and I was ready to walk away when the director did not care at all about what I was asking.

    At that exact moment though, the director for our guard (flags and rifles) walked past and straight up said “You’re quitting band?? There’s a spot for you on flags if you want it.” Because she was a decent person, and also knew I learned a lot of what they did just for fun.

    So I left, had worlds more fun not having to memorize music or destroy my mouth and ended up becoming commander for guard until I eventually left the band altogether when I moved for university.

    Current me no longer has braces, and if you asked me to play a trumpet I’m not sure I could, honestly. I would have to unlearn the relearn if that makes any sense. When I stopped playing I gave my trumpet to my little sister to learn to play, and I have no idea if she still has it haha.

    So university me.

    My family in their – what I’m sure was well meaning – ways was like ah! Ginger likes music! We shall get her the music making thing!

    They bought me an acoustic guitar for Christmas one year because they were sure I knew how to play.

    I do not.

    That same year supporting one of the music clubs on campus I won an electric guitar in raffle.

    That I … also do not know how to play.

    Then suddenly ever friend I had who claimed they could play guitar proved that they really kinda couldn’t or they genuinely didn’t have the time to teach me. I began slowly teaching myself to play at first, but I’m a busy bee so eventually that got cut out of my schedule in favour of more important things. Like school work. Or sleep. Or the several different meetings I had to attend in a week.

    So I have two lovely guitars that have been stored away now for almost two years? And an intense desire to learn, but alas.

    But Ginger a stay at home order is a perfect time to learn, you ask. Well friends, I have been working literally the entire pandemic and struggle to even get two days off back to back. I do not possess the mental energy to learn a new instrument. I barely possess the mental energy to do my laundry regularly.

    So one day I shall learn, hopefully.

    Other than that I’ve also done choir and musical theatre so I can carry a tune, and maintained most of my ability to read sheet music. Anything beyond basic theory will probably require prompting :joy:

    But yes that’s been my musical journey on the playing side, years of cardio and burning in the sun.

    Currently, I am absolutely obsessed with anything that has fiddle in it and couldn’t tell you why, it’s just so fun. So that may be my favourite instrument to listen to and one that in an ideal world I’d be down to learn as well.

    • BrokenVoid

      March 2, 2021 at 4:22 am

      This is EXACTLY why I made this thread! I’m sure there are plenty of nice trumpet players, but the ones in my high school band were pretty unpleasant people too. My dad is the one who got me into music and he’s supported me at every step, I couldn’t be more thankful for him.

      I was also in the percussion ensemble and drumline in high school, I started drumline playing bass drum then moved to the tenors. In percussion ensemble we all kinda played whatever instrument was needed since they mostly work the same way. By far my favorite part was playing the vibraphone with two violin bows (look up bowed vibraphone music online, it sounds awesome). It was a lot of fun but I never pursued it in university because I didn’t think I’d have time for the commitment required (which was absolutely correct).

      I’ve dabbled with a few other odd instruments just for fun: ocarina, accordion, hulusi, guitar, saxophone.

      • Ginger

        March 2, 2021 at 4:42 am

        Omg you just reminded me because I also looked at maybe joining a thing in uni and not having time, but I took some music courses as electives and one of my profs was like head of percussion or something? I don’t know.

        I DO know however, that in a theory based course he created participation days where he taught us how to play the steel drums! Because he ran the global drums program at our school I guess? It was honestly the best, and mostly feels like a fever dream. Also makes me wish I would’ve fought more to be a drummer earlier on but c’est la vie.

        One time another prof subbed for a class (this professor also teaching this course on many occasions) and he asked us what we had covered so far and we answered, and then he was like ??? That’s it??? What have you been doing all semester and the entire class straight up said drumming and this professor realized it was exactly what he expected of the guy, and moved on.

        Still one of my favourite professors to date. Not just because of the drumming mind, he was a fantastic instructor and really easy to approach if you didn’t understand something. He really set his students up for success and just wanted to share his love of music.

        • BrokenVoid

          March 2, 2021 at 4:55 am

          That’s awesome! Steel drums is an instrument that sounds really cool but I’ve never had the opportunity to play.

          I also just remembered that I tried the violin for a bit. I was a manager’s assistant at a hardware store for 5 years and they had storage units for rent out behind the store. Some people quit paying on a unit many years ago and when they cleaned it out there was an old cheap violin in a case in there and it sat in a back hallway of the store for like ten years. I asked the owner about it and he said if I wanted it I could take it so I did. I got a new bow for it because the old one was trashed and got it playable. It was a cheap knockoff but it was still interesting to try out. I’ve been working on other things so my fiancée is playing with it right now.

          Also for anyone who is interested in trying the mandolin: I recently got a new mandolin and I don’t really have a use for my old one. It’s pretty cheap and there’s only so far you can get with it but if you just want to try it out let me know and maybe I could send you my old one to try out.

  • Nimueh

    March 2, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Oh boy, an instruments thread!

    So, I’ve been playing the flute for 15 years now. Started in primary school with a friend of mine when we just kinda thought it’d be some fun. Neither of us really thought that a year later we’d be playing in a junior band (we don’t really have school bands at this age). Changed my whole career choice once I started playing in orchestras and hearing near professionals play (the “senior” band played down the hall from the junior one, and we’d listen to them in our break), and I made it my goal to play in that band. Ended up at one point being in two bands, one on a friday night, the other a Saturday morning, with the Saturday one having sectionals, which was where I got my love for playing in flute chiors. Learned to play both bass and alto flute as they had band instruments. Evenutally, I made my way up the junior band, was lead flute for them, then transferred to seniors, and made my way up to principle flute with them just before I went to Uni. Most amazing thing was when we went on band tour to Italy, the second time of which I got to play solos as part of the band. Best experience ever! Still played in Uni cause music degree, joined their flute choir, and now I’m waiting on restrictions to lift to be able to play with a local amateur band at home.

    Besides flute, I taught myself to play piano. My dad used to play an old (like, from at least the 70s) keyboard when I was really young, and I used to sit next to him and mess around on the upper keys. He could kinda read music, but he was never that good a player. But when I was learning to play flute, I used to play a note and hit keys on the keyboard until I found the right one, and eventually learned that way as I wanted to be able to get an idea of meldies I was trying to play on the flute. Did eventually get myself some lessons in school, although they didn’t last long as the piano teacher a) didn’t really like me cause I had poor technique for obvious reasons, and b) she was pregnant and went on maternity leave like 3months later and never came back. The guitar teacher took over lessons for a bit, bit he was really a keyboard player and when he learned I could sing it turned into “singing lessons” (ie. he wanted to teach rock school stuff and have someone to sing for his guitarists). I carried on learning at home, got myself a better keyboard, and at Uni I would steal the “not so great” piano rooms to keep learning as I liked the lighter response on them.

    As I said, I also sing. Used to be in school chiors where I was the only soprano even though I’m a mezzo. I was in the school play every year, though I was never given roles. They had their favourites who could never learn lines and couldn’t sing as well as me, but hey, let’s put the person that learns everyone’s lines and blocks for everyone when they’re not their in the chorus! I’m not bitter… Only time I got named roles I had like 2 lines or it was because someone dropped halfway through. Led to some really fn situations though were I had stupid quick costume changes. I think I had a total of 6 changes in Oliver once, for a school show!

    Recently I’ve been trying to teach myself to play historical flutes. I have an old baroque style flute with only one key, which is really fun and a pain to play at the same time. Also have myself a two different viking/early medieval style flutes, one of which is basically a recorder, the other is a ceramic replica of a bone flute. It’s really high pitched, dog whistle style, and really tough to play and learn without everyone hating me, but it will happen.

    Along the same vein, once lockdown is over and my reenactment stuff starts up again, I’d love to learn the lyre and tagelharpa (a kind of bowed lyre). Slightly worried about trying to learn myself during lockdown as instruments are expensive and I’ve never played a string instrument before, so I don’t know if I’ll be any good with it.

    • BrokenVoid

      March 2, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      Oh I love the tagelharpa, such a cool sound.

      I face a similar problem living in an apartment and having to try to play my instruments quietly so I don’t disturb anyone. At least my keyboard I can plug headphones into, but not my mandolin. That’s also why I don’t have the violin with me, since they have a pretty loud minimum volume.

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