Musical Instruments for Beginners

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    Sep 29, 2011 7:10 PM GMT
    Im keen on learning a musical instrument, but before I do I would to get some perspective on the matter. I always liked the idea of playing the violin, but as far as I understand it its quite a hard instrument to pick up.
    Should I rather stick to something simpler like the guitar and the piano before venturing into more challenging instruments?

    What musical instrument would you recommend?
  • benarw

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    Sep 29, 2011 9:13 PM GMT
    I recommend starting out with the triangle. icon_cool.gif

    Ok for my real response, take up whatever instrument you're most into learning. As with most things in life if you take up an instrument you have no passion for you're likely to get frustrated and give up. Though if you're just starting out learning a little piano or guitar is always helpful in terms of being able to get a feel for the notes.

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    Sep 29, 2011 9:19 PM GMT
    benarw saidI recommend starting out with the triangle. icon_cool.gif

    Ok for my real response, take up whatever instrument you're most into learning. As with most things in life if you take up an instrument you have no passion for you're likely to get frustrated and give up. Though if you're just starting out learning a little piano or guitar is always helpful in terms of being able to get a feel for the notes.



    No, the handheld castanets are probably easier than the triangle. Because it is so specialized, complex rhythms are often written for it. Spine-chilling, crescendo rolls are tough to execute.
    http://www.ehow.com/video_2371970_roll-triangle.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_%28instrument%29When ignoring pitch modulation and damping, the triangle appears to require no specialist ability to play and is often used in jokes and one liners as an archetypal instrument that requires no skill to play...However, triangle parts in classical music can be very demanding, and James Blades in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians writes that "the triangle is by no means a simple instrument to play". In the hands of an expert it can be a surprisingly subtle and expressive instrument.
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    OK, for a real reply, yes, the piano is probably the best instrument to start with. All the other instruments (wind, string, pitched percussion) require a lot more hand/brain coordination.

    And with keyboards being relatively cheap (a weighted keyboard costs only about $500 nowadays, and unweighted ones can be had for $100 or less), it may be the most cost effective ways to learn music. (A clarinet can cost up to $700, while a good violin would be about $100-150) If you learn enough to continue with it, upright pianos are not that expensive either ($1000-2000).

    The flute might be an exception (I'm told that it's the easiest wind instrument to pick up and is relatively cheap to buy).
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:34 PM GMT
    Try the skin flute...Baddumm-chhh!! icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:35 PM GMT
    LVmotoJock saidTry the skin flute...Baddumm-chhh!! icon_lol.gif


    C! You floozie you!

  • Sep 29, 2011 9:40 PM GMT
    I taught myself to play flute (the REAL one, no skin icon_wink.gif ) It's actually pretty easy to learn. But it also depends on what kind of music you want to play. If you want to play rock'n'roll or country, then yeah, guitar or piano would be a better choice.
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:49 PM GMT
    LVmotoJock saidTry the skin flute...Baddumm-chhh!! icon_lol.gif


    I knew I wouldn't have to scroll very far for that one.

    It was baritone saxophone for me and I have been a chapstick addict ever since.

    If I were do it all over today I would pick the contrabassoon. Piece of cake to learn icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:53 PM GMT
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:57 PM GMT

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    Sep 29, 2011 9:57 PM GMT
    the_leo saidWhat musical instrument would you recommend?

    The one you most love to hear. That is the drive that will motivate you best.

    At the same time, perhaps your natural talents will not support that particular instrument. It would be ideal if both your interests & talent coincided, but it is not always the case.

    The piano is not "simpler." In many ways it is the most difficult, though the violin is very subtle, an instrument of infinite nuance.

    All musical instruments are "challenging" to truly play them well. What is your goal? To play an instrument adequately to amuse yourself and your friends? A piano is more or less all-purpose, and a keyboard is often at hand. And people can always sing along with a piano, not with a violin or most other solo instruments, except possibly a guitar.

    My first wife told me she fell in love with the French Horn as a little girl after hearing "The Waltz of the Flowers" from Tchaichovsky's Nutcracker. She was later trained at the Juilliard. I used to accompany her on the piano, which I learned from my grandmother, sitting alongside her on the piano bench when I was still in single digits.

    I think music is a passion, not something you "pick up" like driving a car. What is your commitment and passion?
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    Sep 29, 2011 9:59 PM GMT
    Violin is difficult to learn, but it is even more difficult for those who have to hear you practice.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:03 PM GMT
    Violin is doable if you have previous music experience and have a decently developed ear. Otherwise, it may take you a very long time to nail pitches accurately on it. Guitar, being fretted, obviously doesn't have the same problem.

    All the same, learning an instrument is like building muscle; it takes a very long time and requires constant practice and reinforcement. If you're absolutely new to music in general, be prepared to learn a lot. The first instrument always takes the longest to learn.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:12 PM GMT
    Taking into consideration the cost of an instrument and the ease of practicing, I would say the clarinet. You can buy a decent one for a few hundred bucks, the reeds are cheap, and it's a breeze to maintain. I play the bassoon and it's a monster to learn. I also like wind instruments because they force you to work on your breathing.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:13 PM GMT
    It's one of many regrets I have. I was the oldest of three - still am and I wish my parents wouldn't have tried too hard for the well rounded kid - you know - musical instrument, Eagle Scout, baseball / football. Plus I wish the baritone Sax wasn't so damn heavy to cart back and forth to the school bus. Instead they ended up with a wrestler, boxer, drag racing, car nut, fag. Congrats mom and dad. Fail !
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    freedomisntfree saidIf I were do it all over today I would pick the contrabassoon. Piece of cake to learn icon_wink.gif
    But a total bitch to master.


    That's why my suggestion. Nothing like a challenge.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:17 PM GMT
    I am a semi-professional clarinetist so I could be biased. I would say though that playing any musical instrument to a high degree is going to be a monster. That being said, I'd advise choosing to play a wind instrument or percussion. The reason for this is that you can join a local community group and thus have another way to connect with people. Lots of major cities even have LGBT bands.

    Good for you for trying something new!
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:18 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    freedomisntfree saidIt's one of many regrets I have. I was the oldest of three - still am and I wish my parents wouldn't have tried too hard for the well rounded kid - you know - musical instrument, Eagle Scout, baseball / football. Plus I wish the baritone Sax wasn't so damn heavy to cart back and forth to the school bus. Instead they end up with a wrestler, boxer, drag racing, car nut, fag. Congrats mom and dad. Fail !
    What's wrong with being an Eagle scout? icon_redface.gif


    Nothing wrong with any of them. I had a lot of fun in the scoutsicon_wink.gif Yes, its exactly what you think. We had a real good time.

    I just got 'encouraged' a bit too much and rebelled regarding all of them.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:20 PM GMT
    I still ended up with strange musical tastes.
  • LJay

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    Sep 29, 2011 10:41 PM GMT
    I have to agree with Trollileo. The piano is a good gateway. There are problems, though. A good piano is not cheap but you can probably find one at a bargain price if you shop around. Pianos are not really portable either. If you want portable, try a soprano recorder, but get a good one and take good are of it. Electronic keyboards can provide a practice keyboard with portability and the advantage of earphones to allow you to practice seriously without bothering others. I think I would have practiced more if this had been available when I was a kid. If you go this route be sure to set up to simulate performing conditions with height of keys and seat in proper relation so that you can define your posture, a very important part of keyboard playing.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:46 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    bostonxfit saidTaking into consideration the cost of an instrument and the ease of practicing, I would say the clarinet. You can buy a decent one for a few hundred bucks, the reeds are cheap, and it's a breeze to maintain. I play the bassoon and it's a monster to learn. I also like wind instruments because they force you to work on your breathing.
    Don't get Rico reads, though. They suck.


    Yea...Vandoren is the way to go.
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    Sep 29, 2011 10:49 PM GMT
    Yea...Vandoren is the way to go.[/quote]

    I know many top notch players are using Rico Concert Selects and love them. They are considerably more than Vandoren V12s though.
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    Sep 29, 2011 11:08 PM GMT
    If you are gonna take lessons on your instrument, play whatever you want. If you're not gonna take lessons and you have little to no musical knowledge, play the piano or guitar. The only qualm I have with picking a wind or string instrument is that it's really easy to play them "wrong" if you're self taught...but if you're doing it for your own enjoyment, I guess that doesn't matter too much. In which case I say play the instrument you will most enjoy icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 29, 2011 11:10 PM GMT
    ChgoClar saidI am a semi-professional clarinetist so I could be biased. I would saw though that playing any musical instrument to a high degree is going to be a monster. That being said, I'd advice choosing to play a wind instrument or percussion. The reason for this is that you can join a local community group and thus have another way to connect with people. Lots of major cities even have LGBT bands.

    Good for you for trying something new!


    That is a good point. It's tough finding people to play piano duets or chamber music with...Brahms and Mozart are so gay. icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 29, 2011 11:14 PM GMT
    I fixed all those typos a while ago...