Jump to content
SimonBolivar

Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Recommended Posts

I played the saxophone for about 10 years in school, but it's been about 10 years since I've played. I'm looking to pick up the violin a bit just for fun. Has anyone on here tried to learn a new instrument as an adult? If so was it tougher than as a kid/teen?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, SimonBolivar said:

I played the saxophone for about 10 years in school, but it's been about 10 years since I've played. I'm looking to pick up the violin a bit just for fun. Has anyone on here tried to learn a new instrument as an adult? If so was it tougher than as a kid/teen?

 

 

I took up guitar at 40, so a few years ago. The first year was hard because I was trying to learn from youtube and a few other methods. I started taking lessons and I improved at a quicker rate. 

The difficulty for me is practice time. I try to practice 5 to 7 hours a week but it doesn't always work out that way. When you're a kid, you have more disposable time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, horn4life said:

What you are looking for is a fiddle... to fiddle around with!

I'm pretty good at fiddlin and fondlin so maybe this is a good idea

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Jograves said:

I took up guitar at 40, so a few years ago. The first year was hard because I was trying to learn from youtube and a few other methods. I started taking lessons and I improved at a quicker rate. 

The difficulty for me is practice time. I try to practice 5 to 7 hours a week but it doesn't always work out that way. When you're a kid, you have more disposable time. 

Yeah I was worried about practice time. As a kid I was able to get competent in a year or two because we had to play an hour a day during the school year everyday. I don't think I'll be getting close to an hour a day unless I could find somewhere to practice on my lunch break, but I doubt it. Would 3 hours a week of work even be worth anything?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about the violin but your background in music should make it a lot easier for you. I played the sax one year in 5th grade and the recorder in 7th grade music class and that was the extent of my music knowledge. Learning music theory hasn't been very easy for me. Rhythm was difficult too. Getting my brain to tap my foot and strum the guitar at the same time was way harder than it should've been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, SimonBolivar said:

I played the saxophone for about 10 years in school, but it's been about 10 years since I've played. I'm looking to pick up the violin a bit just for fun. Has anyone on here tried to learn a new instrument as an adult? If so was it tougher than as a kid/teen?

 

 

I taught myself guitar as a teenager, and I decided to try to learn harmonica last year.  I've made very little progress due to time constraints and lack of motivation.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, SimonBolivar said:

Yeah I was worried about practice time. As a kid I was able to get competent in a year or two because we had to play an hour a day during the school year everyday. I don't think I'll be getting close to an hour a day unless I could find somewhere to practice on my lunch break, but I doubt it. Would 3 hours a week of work even be worth anything?

Define "worth anything".  

The odds of you becoming Itzhak Perlman are essentially zero, even with 8 hours of practice a day.  If you're having fun learning violin while only playing 3 hours a week, then in my book that's "worth something".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, jimmyjazz said:

Define "worth anything".  

The odds of you becoming Itzhak Perlman are essentially zero, even with 8 hours of practice a day.  If you're having fun learning violin while only playing 3 hours a week, then in my book that's "worth something".

I'd place it at able to play an intermediate level piece at a generally recognizable level in a year or two and not still playing twinkle twinkle little star at a speed slower than Larghissimo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Schedule practice time so that it regularly happens.

2. Get a teacher right away so you aren't wasting time.

3. Find people to play with regularly as soon as possible (friends, church group, New Horizons group, etc.).

4. Listen to great players and go to lots of concerts. The sound in your head is more important than the physical techniques you learn.

5. Find excuses to perform as soon as possible. Fear of public embarrassment is a great motivator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to include:

6. Learn to sing in tune and be able to sing everything you play. The violin is an expensive lie detector telling you if you really know the tune.

7. Watch TwoSetViolin on Youtube.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you learn new things as an adult, you create extra pathways in the brain. These extra pathways will help you recover faster when you inevitably start having strokes.

tldr: Learn new stuff so you can still wipe your own butt when you're old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that’s nice about guitar is that it’s not (always) incredibly loud. And there are a billion songs that you might play or learn to play if it strikes your fancy. I don’t pull down my flugelhorn and rip out Tiger of San Pedro frequently enough to even still be able to do it. It’s irritating and I don’t get the urge that frequently. I do have guitars all over the place that I pick up constantly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, bschoolprof said:

I taught myself guitar as a teenager, and I decided to try to learn harmonica last year.  I've made very little progress due to time constraints and lack of motivation.  

Good friend of mine decided to learn the harmonica back when cassette tapes were still a thing. He was driving from New Braunfels to Austin to go to school everyday and so would use that time on the road to listen and practice. He got pretty damn good pretty damn quick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Digdogger said:

Your mom has really seemed to master the skin flute

I tried to make it a family tradition but I just cant get used to the location of the spit valve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, El Diablo said:

Good friend of mine decided to learn the harmonica back when cassette tapes were still a thing. He was driving from New Braunfels to Austin to go to school everyday and so would use that time on the road to listen and practice. He got pretty damn good pretty damn quick.

I think that driving while playing the harmonica would be considered distracted driving today 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, NeverMarryAStripper said:

I think that driving while playing the harmonica would be considered distracted driving today 

Well that sucks and blows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak to trying to learn as an adult vs as a kid. But I learned guitar as a kid and had an instructor that would tell me 10 minutes of practice a day was enough to keep improving.

Obviously more is better, but I think a big key is playing some every day, even if some days are short sessions. You'll be developing muscle memory and hand strength, and going 2+ days without playing at all will mess that up early on. But even a short session of ~10 minutes is likely enough re-enforce and continue to learn (or at least not lose stuff). 

I'll echo that you should consider that the violin is loud. If you live alone, cool - but as mentioned guitar or piano or something are instruments that can be played more quietly.

And also that getting a teacher early on is good idea so you learn good technique from the start and don't develop bad habits which are hard to break later. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/1/2018 at 4:25 PM, RDCanecutter said:

If you learn new things as an adult, you create extra pathways in the brain. These extra pathways will help you recover faster when you inevitably start having strokes.

tldr: Learn new stuff so you can still wipe your own butt when you're old.

Why would I want to do that, if I can get somebody to do it for me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One thing that’s nice about guitar is that it’s not (always) incredibly loud.


It is if you are doing it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 1:22 PM, SimonBolivar said:

I played the saxophone for about 10 years in school, but it's been about 10 years since I've played. I'm looking to pick up the violin a bit just for fun. Has anyone on here tried to learn a new instrument as an adult? If so was it tougher than as a kid/teen?

 

 

Keys are your friend. Very intuitive and such a great instrument that you can suck but if you practice enough will be able to play some decent shit. 

Also - being able to sit down at any piano and hammer something out is perhaps the greatest party trick known to man. 

Learn to sing and do it at the same time. Easy pussy. Repeat. 

Phenomenal starter for a budget https://www.amazon.com/d/Home-Digital-Pianos/Yamaha-Weighted-Digital-Sustain-Standard/B00UJ9LNDK

Edited by ztejas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Csb

My old neighbor at an apartment complex was a Mexican guy who played the accordion in a mariachi band. I think his bedroom shared a wall with my bedroom, because I could hear him practice from about 8:30-9:30 almost every night. The lively shit was annoying, but I never noise complained on him because fuck was he talented. Sometimes he would play what to this day is still the saddest, most beautiful music I’ve ever heard live. A couple times I would just lay on my bed and listen to him. 

So Tldr, if you’re gonna play a loud instrument, learn some relaxing songs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The sax is a cool instrument, why learn how to play a goofy one like the violin?

Easy there Kenny G. My step dad taught me to play the guitar in high school, I remember some now. I wish I knew how to play the piano, because my great grandmother had one that is sitting in my dads shop. That an I like listening to some piano music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/1/2018 at 5:19 PM, NeverMarryAStripper said:

The sax is a cool instrument, why learn how to play a goofy one like the violin?

Violin: not goofy.  

I used to live in an apartment and my neighbor played the violin for the Houston Symphony.  He was a semi-dork but nice enough guy. All he had to do was start sawing on his fiddle and the girls came a running.  They weren't ugly and they left in the morning. Just sayin'. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, tbone_ said:

Op ain’t gonna be symphony level on the fiddle any time soon.

Correct. But being able to fiddle at a decent level would be cool and violins in and of themselves aren't goofy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump.

I've taken up the sax, always been on my bucket list.  In some ways I have a head start (university music major in theory/comp, play numerous instruments, etc., classically-trained pianist and organist, etc.), so I know the "music" part pretty well.  Obviously means learning the technique.  I mainly want to do it to learn solos for my own recordings and stuff.  It doesn't seem to take too long to get at least some moderately good solos going.  No, I will never aspire to the great jazz people, but who does?  Plus, I'm more in it for rock/pop/blues and not so much virtuosic jazz.

I gotta say man I love it.  Wow.  Chose tenor because I like the variety, especially the lower register.  I've been able in about 6 hours with the instrument to play a variety of familiar solos (which in rock and roll generally aren't too fancy).  One thing I've noticed that might be a bit unusual is that I prefer a thicker reed, about 3, because for me it holds the tone better.  The air is easier with a lesser one but man controlling your embouchure  is a little tougher.  Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out.

Anyone here a seasoned sax player, in case I have a few questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, phdhorn said:

(university music major in theory/comp, play numerous instruments, etc., classically-trained pianist and organist, etc.)

Jonah Hill Ok GIF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, ztejas said:

Jonah Hill Ok GIF

That wasn't a brag son, that was background.  LOL.  But since you asked...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, phdhorn said:

That wasn't a brag son, that was background.  LOL.  But since you asked...

I mean I don't know how much playing piano has to do with picking up the saxophone, but I'll take your word for it. How much does a tenor sax run? I might add it to the list of things I'd like to play eventually. I can scratch it down under violin, banjo, bass guitar...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did this with the Harmonica several years back because it was pretty cheap investment on the front end.  Only ever learned how to play the old Coca Cola song and Hey Jude though. I think if I was better and had more than a intro level harmonica i could get back into if I had the time.   Always wanted to bust one out at a random time and just crush blues brothers or something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the sax, Harvey Pittel (retired UT professor and world renowned classical sax player) has some great videos on YouTube discussing technique and how to play in a healthy manner. 
 

Pittel studied with Joe Allard, who taught most of the great players from the pervious generation. There’s a great, extended interview with Joe Allard on YouTube if you look for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bump.

I've taken up the sax, always been on my bucket list.  In some ways I have a head start (university music major in theory/comp, play numerous instruments, etc., classically-trained pianist and organist, etc.), so I know the "music" part pretty well.  Obviously means learning the technique.  I mainly want to do it to learn solos for my own recordings and stuff.  It doesn't seem to take too long to get at least some moderately good solos going.  No, I will never aspire to the great jazz people, but who does?  Plus, I'm more in it for rock/pop/blues and not so much virtuosic jazz.

I gotta say man I love it.  Wow.  Chose tenor because I like the variety, especially the lower register.  I've been able in about 6 hours with the instrument to play a variety of familiar solos (which in rock and roll generally aren't too fancy).  One thing I've noticed that might be a bit unusual is that I prefer a thicker reed, about 3, because for me it holds the tone better.  The air is easier with a lesser one but man controlling your embouchure  is a little tougher.  Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out.

Anyone here a seasoned sax player, in case I have a few questions.

1st thing to learn is the lick from Turn the Page.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ztejas said:

I mean I don't know how much playing piano has to do with picking up the saxophone, but I'll take your word for it. How much does a tenor sax run? I might add it to the list of things I'd like to play eventually. I can scratch it down under violin, banjo, bass guitar...

They range wildly.  From $100 from some sweat shop in Thailand using kids to $12K.  However most people are recommended to rent/buy a good "student model" which can sound pretty darn good (I wouldn't buy anything under $400, most of the stuff below that is fairly junky if not used).  I'm renting a Yamaha which is about $2,500 new.  But there's a few brands with high recs that start about $700.  But again, you can get a $150 sax that'll at least play if you're not sure how much you want to do it.

I'd suggest doing what I did - rent first just to see how you like it/take to it.  About $55/mo. from Strait - GREAT quality saxes rented out, and they include a really decent mouthpieces.  You pay for your own reeds (about $5 each in the store).  I also bought a cleaning kit (essential!) for about $15 on Amazon, and a good inexpensive strap for about $10 (again in Amazon).  That's about what you need to get going.

Saxes are not all that cheap, but they do depreciate fairly quickly.  Except for the super-pro models, you can find a ton of saxed on ebay etc. easily in the $300 range.  But most good ones, even used, start about $500.  The one I'll probably buy is $700 and should last me for a decade.  A few guys I've seen on YouTube who are pros use it for their backup.

I gotta tell you, I didn't know what to expect going in, but it's been a blast.  From here the trick is getting your tone focused and consistent.  But it's getting there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mole said:

Regarding the sax, Harvey Pittel (retired UT professor and world renowned classical sax player) has some great videos on YouTube discussing technique and how to play in a healthy manner. 
 

Pittel studied with Joe Allard, who taught most of the great players from the pervious generation. There’s a great, extended interview with Joe Allard on YouTube if you look for it.

Great, I will definitely look them up.  I used to office down the hall from Harvey (never really met him at length).  Good guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, tbone_ said:


1st thing to learn is the lick from Turn the Page.

Heh, that's a sweet solo.  But that's playing altissimo (super high using overtones), which is kind of advanced.  I'll get to that once my tone is settled, takes a few weeks.
So far I've gotten the sax down to The One You Love (Glenn Frey) and Tequila (Champs).  Working on Pink Panther as well.

Those cool solos like Baker Street and those Junior Walker riffs use a lot of altissimo, so gimme a few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


mpu


Football ... Basketball ... Baseball ... Other Sports ... Recruiting ... Gambling ... Movies & TV ... Music ... Hobbies ... Lulz ... Food & Travel ... Daily Texan ... Help ... For Sale ... Politics ... Board Discussion
×
×
  • Create New...