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Learning other instruments
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CharlieStrings
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June 6, 2017 - 9:25 am
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Wondering what everyone's experiences are in playing other instruments?  

My story is that I started violin last year with an instructor.  I am naturally left-handed, but there are not many options with the violin and I didn't have any trouble starting out right handed.  At the same time, I was learning guitar on my own but playing left-handed.  This month, I decided to start taking guitar lessons, but my violin teacher recommended that I learn right handed to keep so that the skills learned would be more compatible with playing the violin.  I am trying, but holding the guitar right handed is very awkward and the rhythm is not coming very naturally - however, I can see where the fretboard fingering skills would transfer to both instruments.  The rhythm hand is quite different from guitar to violin.cheers

What about you guys?  What are your experiences with learning other instruments and their compatibility with the violin?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 7, 2017 - 9:39 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I started playing French horn, Bassoon, Trumpet, Euphonium, and some piano which is required when majoring in music in school and actually did quite well. I sometimes feel like playing trumpet again but if I don't play often enough my embouchure is too weak.
Always wanted to play guitar but never gave it a shot. Hope to find time in the future.
Of course I can play a bit of viola since it's so close to the violin.
How about you guys?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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June 7, 2017 - 9:48 am
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Does the flutophone count? haha

My big brother taught me one chord on the guitar when I was little... 

Ok, real answer is no, I don't play anything else, but I would like to buy a cheap guitar to noodle with, or a mandolin. 

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Fran
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June 7, 2017 - 10:28 am
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@damfino that's funny I played Flutophone in elementary school 🙂

I played the guitar in the 80's and now of course it's a year since I restarted violin  (after a 45 year gap) which I love!!! And that' when I found this site and forum 🙂

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damfino
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June 7, 2017 - 10:33 am
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@Fran That's when I played it, too, haha. First experience learning an instrument and I loved it. I think I still have that thing packed away somewhere, haha.

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Charles
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June 7, 2017 - 5:55 pm
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I took piano lessons around age 6 or 7. Don't remember exactly why they ended.  I took up cornet around 6th or 7th grade. When I got into Jr. High, the bandmaster let us know that he had about 15 applicants for trumpet/cornet, and 5 slots, and he had a shortage of French Horn players. I wasn't anything outstanding on the cornet, so I switched to French Horn. I was actually fairly good at that, but the high school I went to was what they nowadays call a magnet school (it was an experimental idea, then) and the band director had the attitude that if you weren't in the music cluster, you weren't worth spending any time on, so I never got much encouragement or a chance to move up.  French Horns were expensive, too, so I didn't play it any more after I got out of high school.

Somewhere in that I picked up guitar and got a little bit of amateur teaching. That's probably the one instrument I've played the longest, but I've never been particularly good.  For many years, my hobby was buying musical instruments in the hopes that that would be the one I actually had some talent at, so at one time or another, I've had (or currently have): cornet, French Horn, flute, harmonica, ocarina, acoustic guitar (both nylon and steel string), electric guitar, electric bass, 3 or 4 kinds of drums, alto recorder, and of course most recently, violin and viola.  (I've probably forgotten a few.)

My experience with the violin has shown me something. I'm a lousy teacher of instruments that I myself don't know how to play.  Especially when I'm also the student.  Some people can pick up an instrument they've never met before, and with little or no help, teach themselves to play it, and play it well. I'm not one of them.  Having a teacher for the violin has made a huge difference.

Another thing that has helped a lot has been that for most of those instruments, I had things I wanted to play. I got the instrument in question because I wanted to be able to play certain songs (or parts of songs) that I liked. With violin, there weren't any preconceived likes and dislikes. That meant that I've been much more ok with the rate of progress I've been making (slow, but acceptable for the amount of practice I've put in), whereas with most of the others, I'd get frustrated because the gap between what I could do and what I wanted to do was huge and not getting appreciably smaller no matter what I did.

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CharlieStrings
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June 7, 2017 - 8:35 pm
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Hah, great responses guys.  I just saw that @cdennyb has a poll going on basically asking the same question.  Lots of great responses there.thumbs-up

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Uzi
Georgia
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June 8, 2017 - 1:33 am
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I took accordion lessons in grade school.  Tried to play cornet in the middle school orchestra for about a year until the music teacher told me that I didn't have the right lips to play the cornet.  Sold the cornet and bought a guitar.  Played the guitar for the next 50 years.  Several years ago I started making some Native American style wooden flutes and play those.  Then learned to play the penny whistle for a year or two.  About 3 years ago I bought a violin and have been trying to learn to play that. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fran
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June 8, 2017 - 10:46 am
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@damfino I don;t have mine anymore 🙁  Do they still make them?

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damfino
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June 8, 2017 - 10:56 am
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@Fran I bet they do, I know some of my friends kids still play them in school.. hang on let me see if I can find one....

Ah, yep... this one looks like the one I played as a kid (I got my brothers hand-me-down, haha) https://www.amazon.com/First-Note-FN153-Firstnote-Flutophone/dp/B000EEHE5G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496933693&sr=8-1&keywords=flutophone

My 2 older brothers had a nicer looking black one, I think that's packed away somewhere, too, haha.

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On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
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Fran
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June 8, 2017 - 11:04 am
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@damfino wow thanks!  They even have music to go with it!!!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 8, 2017 - 3:11 pm
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Had to look up flutophone, but come to think of it, I played one too when I was little. Played the harmonica and accordion a slight little bit too. LOL
The question is when you claim the you've played and instrument and when you keep it to yourself. 😉

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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June 9, 2017 - 12:42 pm
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@Fiddlerman My grandpa played a chromatic accordion and harmonica. He was Slovak so the ability to play a mean polka was a good talent to have in his family, haha.

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Bob
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July 25, 2017 - 6:02 pm
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Sounds like a lot of folks went through a lot of instruments like I did as a kid. Parents had me taking piano lessons in elementary school. Started with drums in elementary school (or maybe it was jr. hi). Then took up the trumpet taking lessons for a couple of years until my teacher said I'd do better with something with a bigger mouth piece. So, I graduated to baritone horn (similar to the euphonium). Through out high school I played trombone in the school dance band, French horn for the orchestra for the drama musicals (Calamity Jane, etc).

During this time I thought I was the next Peter, Paul and Mary all in one with my guitar and all their songs.

Actually considered a music degree, but my parents "common sense" decided me to go for an engineering degree 🙁 Now that I'm retired I can study what I want, and I want to study violin 🙂

Bob in Lone Oak, TX

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 26, 2017 - 12:38 pm
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Bob said
....................Actually considered a music degree, but my parents "common sense" decided me to go for an engineering degree 🙁 Now that I'm retired I can study what I want, and I want to study violin 🙂

Bob in Lone Oak, TX  

Funny, I don't know how many people suggested that I don't major in music. Mostly people that I talked to, not peers or musicians. LOL

To the contrary, my parents supported studying music but not so much financially. Fortunately there were plenty of schools offering scholarships for talented musicians in those days.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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RockingLR33
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July 26, 2017 - 7:36 pm
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I find it really funny when people say "don't go for this degree go for that one it'll be better for you" but I know SO many people who have never been able to get a job in their chosen fields. even those with PHD's. So in the end do what you're happy with and what you won't regret (hopefully) in the future.

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 2, 2017 - 1:13 pm
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True.... I think the majority of people get jobs in unrelated fields.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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zpilot
Kansas City, Mo.
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October 1, 2017 - 4:28 pm
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I've played several other instruments.  Accordian then piano for 7 years as a child.  Guitar professionally part-time for 40+ years.  Now I'm learning violin.  Of course those other instruments have given me a leg up on learning violin 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 5, 2017 - 3:42 pm
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I believe that you are right zpilot. It all pays off in one way or another. Kind of similar to learning several languages. Probably even more beneficial with multiple instruments.

Welcome to the violin world.........

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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zpilot
Kansas City, Mo.
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October 11, 2017 - 11:48 pm
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I played guitar full-time for about 2 years in 1976 &1977.  I figured out that it was much better for me to be a part-time musician.  I just wasn't able to make enough money full-time.  Remember that was the disco era and that really hurt the live music business.  Playing part-time I was able to work 2 to 3 nights a week and could augment my full time day job.  Also by not relying on my music business as my primary income I was able to be more selective as to where and what I played.  Most full-time players can't do that and wind up playing things they would rather not just to pay the bills.  I did that for 30+ years. 

I finished up the last 15 or so years playing Contemporary Christian music and a '50's/'60's show.  My professional career is over now and I am learning violin ONLY FOR MY OWN ENJOYMENT.  I'll be happy when I can tackle some Irish fiddle tunes.

    

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