Taking Up an Instrument
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23-05-2017, 01:12 AM
Taking Up an Instrument
I have been considering taking up the violin.

I have read some articles about the correlation between those who play music with an increase in motor-skills, neuroplasticity, and prevention of degenerative diesases. I've seen that there are many benefits to learning how to play an instrument.
I have decided if I pick up the hobby I will do it after I've successfully finished becoming fluent in German.

How many of you play an instrument?
Do any of you play the violin?
Do any of you have an experience with learning how to play an instrument out of your child years and adolescence?
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23-05-2017, 01:34 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
I play the fiddle. I started learning when I was 12. I have tried to pick up other instruments since, but it's a significant investment of time and effort, and I've not succeeded.

It's quite rewarding even if you don't get too complex and technical. Like most other things, music has endless depth. So you can dabble and make quite nice noises, or you can go as far as you like. I've had good times with all kinds of people I've met through fiddling.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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23-05-2017, 01:54 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument



There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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23-05-2017, 04:46 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2017 05:35 AM by Sturm.)
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
Great decision, music is my passion and I can barely spend more than 2 days in a row without playing !

I play guitar, piano and a bit of harmonica, even though my harmonica playing isn't very good since I don't have enough time to practice it.

Violin is also an instrument I also wanted to learn when I was younger, I even had a violin at home when I was living with my ex wife, so I tried it a bit. But I changed my mind about learning it, because I prefer to focus on the instruments I already play, learning another instruments would give me less time to practice the others.

You will be starting with a difficulty because violin is far from the easiest instrument to learn first, but if you made up your mind of violin, it's definitely worth it because that's a very beautiful instrument. Also, there are a lot of instruments you can learn by yourself, but violin will definitely requires some lessons, at least for the start.

About the learning part, on my side, I learned guitar when I was 14. I noticed that I could reproduce songs that I heard on my dad's guitar, so I decided to learn. My dad showed me the basic chords, and then I learned everything by myself. When I was 23, I bought a keyboard to learn piano/keyboard. The thing is, once you play an instrument, learning another one is much easier, so I could easily play some chords on the keyboard, but for years I didn't invest much time into actually learning it. The difficult part with the piano compared to the guitar is that you have to learn to make your hands independent from each other. So until a couple of years ago, I satisfied myself with playing a few chords on the piano with sync hands, only then I decided to actually learn it.

There's is no age to learn playing an instrument, you can learn at any age. The key is : regular practice. When you start learning, you have to play almost daily if you want to progress.
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23-05-2017, 04:46 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
Don't wait! Learning violin will help you learn everything better. There's pretty much nothing better that you can do for your brain than work at music.

I play piano, clarinet, flute, and sax, and I also sing. I have a violin but haven't tried to do much with it. Flute and vocal are relatively new to me in terms of serious study, meaning that I came to them as an adult.

I also teach adults and kids to play piano and clarinet. My students range from 4 years old to people in their 60s-70s. Two major differences between adults and kids that I've found are that 1) adults have to learn patience with their skill-development speed, and 2) adults have to develop their own practice ethic, as they don't have parents requiring them to practice. Adults tend to progress faster, actually, in the beginning of music study than most kids, but they feel more frustrated with the learning process. Adults tend to assume that if they understand what they're supposed to do, they should be able to do it quickly, and they underestimate the time things will take to sink into their muscles. You can slow down muscle memory by not practicing, but you can't speed it up to instantaneous.

Once you get past the beginning, there are some differences between adults' and kids' brains and fingers, it's true. Adults may have to use other strategies or approach things differently than they did when they were kids. For example, when I started studying singing formally and then began singing in an acapella group, I found that I had to do a lot more performing from memory. When I was a kid, I could memorize most music the first or second time through, but that ability had diminished over time. I had to work much harder, especially at first, to memorize the scores--but I kept at it and now I'm pretty fast at getting a new piece off book.

TL/DR: With patience and effort, you can learn to play an instrument at any age.

Good luck!
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23-05-2017, 05:37 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
I've always wanted to learn to play Guitar (more electric really) or Bass, but like proper funky bass as well lol. One day I'll get around to it!

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23-05-2017, 05:52 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
During the late 1970's I decided to take up the cello. I bought a beginner's instrument at a local music store and, through the proprietor, got in contact with a highly qualified music teacher who had once been a lead cellist in the Hartford Symphony orchestra.

After about a year's lessons and practice, my instructor told me that I needed a better instrument. He helped me pick out a used, medium-grade cello costing about $1,500. Another year passed and I was ready for an orchestra-grade instrument. I settled for a very handsome model and hard carrying case costing about $4,700. I had also, by this time, made a considerable investment in weekly lessons, which were by no means cheap.

During this entire period I was hoping for musical evenings or afternoons with my mother and sister. My sister gave music lessons and played both piano and violin. My mother was an adept piano player. Neither knew of my musical activities because I wanted to surprise them.

I practiced diligently and frequently with my newest cello, learning a respectable repertoire of classical music and folk tunes. On Xmas Eve, 1984, when I was confident that I was ready, I brought my cello to the family's annual holiday dinner and performed an informal recital for everyone.

Imagine my shock when my mother's and sister's reaction was, "So, what?" Neither expressed any interest in my proposed musical evenings, saying, "We don't have time for that sort of thing." Gasp

The point of this story is that you should be sure you will have someone to share your musical interests with before you decide to make a major investment. Consider
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23-05-2017, 06:02 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
(23-05-2017 05:52 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  Imagine my shock when my mother's and sister's reaction was, "So, what?" Neither expressed any interest in my proposed musical evenings, saying, "We don't have time for that sort of thing." Gasp

The point of this story is that you should be sure you will have someone to share your musical interests with before you decide to make a major investment. Consider

... There's always someone, it just may not be the person you wanted to impress. Sorry they were so dismissive, Gwaithmir, that's really harsh Undecided Do you still play? I'd love to play cello. I've sneaked a few jams on my cousin's one. Unfortunately they're expensive Sad But the sound is... Blush

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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23-05-2017, 06:19 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
(23-05-2017 05:52 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  During the late 1970's I decided to take up the cello. I bought a beginner's instrument at a local music store and, through the proprietor, got in contact with a highly qualified music teacher who had once been a lead cellist in the Hartford Symphony orchestra.

After about a year's lessons and practice, my instructor told me that I needed a better instrument. He helped me pick out a used, medium-grade cello costing about $1,500. Another year passed and I was ready for an orchestra-grade instrument. I settled for a very handsome model and hard carrying case costing about $4,700. I had also, by this time, made a considerable investment in weekly lessons, which were by no means cheap.

During this entire period I was hoping for musical evenings or afternoons with my mother and sister. My sister gave music lessons and played both piano and violin. My mother was an adept piano player. Neither knew of my musical activities because I wanted to surprise them.

I practiced diligently and frequently with my newest cello, learning a respectable repertoire of classical music and folk tunes. On Xmas Eve, 1984, when I was confident that I was ready, I brought my cello to the family's annual holiday dinner and performed an informal recital for everyone.

Imagine my shock when my mother's and sister's reaction was, "So, what?" Neither expressed any interest in my proposed musical evenings, saying, "We don't have time for that sort of thing." Gasp

The point of this story is that you should be sure you will have someone to share your musical interests with before you decide to make a major investment. Consider

Sad

Did you pursue after that ?

Well, of course when you intend to share the practice with other people it's better to find those people first, but you can definitely enjoy music alone. Personally, 99,9% of the time, I play alone, just for myself. Sure, when you play in a band or with people, it's can be really great (one of my best memories is my first band when I was 16), but I see it as 2 different ways to enjoy making music. Honestly, when I play folk tunes, I prefer to be alone, especially if I dare to sing Smile

In any case, I think it's better to invest progressively in music when you start. I mean not starting with buying an expensive instrument first, better to do it step by step, otherwise it's a waste of money, first if you later realize you don't enjoy that instrument as much as you expected, and second (and here I speak about guitar but I suppose it's the same for other instruments), because only when you have a good level and knowledge of the instrument you can really decide if you prefer this type of guitar or this other type of guitar, depending on your playing and taste in sound, and this personal taste regarding the instrument will only come when you know the instrument.
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23-05-2017, 06:29 AM
RE: Taking Up an Instrument
(23-05-2017 05:52 AM)Gwaithmir Wrote:  During the late 1970's I decided to take up the cello. I bought a beginner's instrument at a local music store and, through the proprietor, got in contact with a highly qualified music teacher who had once been a lead cellist in the Hartford Symphony orchestra.

After about a year's lessons and practice, my instructor told me that I needed a better instrument. He helped me pick out a used, medium-grade cello costing about $1,500. Another year passed and I was ready for an orchestra-grade instrument. I settled for a very handsome model and hard carrying case costing about $4,700. I had also, by this time, made a considerable investment in weekly lessons, which were by no means cheap.

During this entire period I was hoping for musical evenings or afternoons with my mother and sister. My sister gave music lessons and played both piano and violin. My mother was an adept piano player. Neither knew of my musical activities because I wanted to surprise them.

I practiced diligently and frequently with my newest cello, learning a respectable repertoire of classical music and folk tunes. On Xmas Eve, 1984, when I was confident that I was ready, I brought my cello to the family's annual holiday dinner and performed an informal recital for everyone.

Imagine my shock when my mother's and sister's reaction was, "So, what?" Neither expressed any interest in my proposed musical evenings, saying, "We don't have time for that sort of thing." Gasp

The point of this story is that you should be sure you will have someone to share your musical interests with before you decide to make a major investment. Consider

Reading your story made me sad and angry. Most people who learn music want to play with others; that's one of the big joys of the art. I hope you found people to play with--an ensemble or an orchestra.

We had family ensemble on Saturday or Sunday every weekend from when my son was about nine up until the week he went off to college (as a bassoon major). We started out with very simple pieces and grew over time.
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