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Thread: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

  1. #1

    I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Not bothered which one, the easier the better. For those who can play, do you reach a ceiling in terms of skill and ability, does there come a point where you stop improving? And what type of commitment is needed in terms of practice, time etc? I was thinking the Banjo, guitar is a bit cack for a bloke of my age.

  2. #2

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Piano, so you're avoiding the cliché. Also, less frustrating when you can't get the chord right etc.

    Have a talk to the bloke upstairs in GM music. He's a really nice guy and you can tell he cares more about getting you involved that pushing a sale.

  3. #3

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Oddie View Post
    Piano, so you're avoiding the cliché. Also, less frustrating when you can't get the chord right etc.

    Have a talk to the bloke upstairs in GM music. He's a really nice guy and you can tell he cares more about getting you involved that pushing a sale.
    Sounds good, it would have to be electric though.

  4. #4

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    If you teach yourself, then it will probably happen. I've been playing keyboards in rock bands live for about 25 years, and my last lessons were when I was about 9. So I'm essentially self taught.

    I also tried playing classical songs for fun, and did pretty well but there came a point in difficulty where I just couldn't play them. And it wasn't for lack of practice time, my technique is just not good enough and won't ever be.

    But most people won't reach their ceiling. I also play guitar live and I'm very far from my ceiling in that instrument - a nice way of saying I suck

  5. #5

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuerto View Post
    Sounds good, it would have to be electric though.
    Definitely. I bought a Casio AP470 two years ago when I was thinking the same as you are now and I love it.

  6. #6

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Oddie View Post
    Piano, so you're avoiding the cliché. Also, less frustrating when you can't get the chord right etc.

    Have a talk to the bloke upstairs in GM music. He's a really nice guy and you can tell he cares more about getting you involved that pushing a sale.
    I have a friend who decided he wanted to start learning piano about a year ago, and did it just from YouTube videos. He can only play a few songs, but they are difficult and he can do them very well.

    I'm not sure if this is the best way to do it, as he's not really learning general skills where he could play 'anything' but everyone is different.

  7. #7

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by lardy View Post
    If you teach yourself, then it will probably happen. I've been playing keyboards in rock bands live for about 25 years, and my last lessons were when I was about 9. So I'm essentially self taught.

    I also tried playing classical songs for fun, and did pretty well but there came a point in difficulty where I just couldn't play them. And it wasn't for lack of practice time, my technique is just not good enough and won't ever be.

    But most people won't reach their ceiling. I also play guitar live and I'm very far from my ceiling in that instrument - a nice way of saying I suck
    I envy you. I've always admired people who can put the time and effort in to learning a musical instrument. Do you reckon that some people are just naturally better at playing music, or is it just practice?

  8. #8

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuerto View Post
    Sounds good, it would have to be electric though.
    Try the model before you buy. Look for a piano with hammer action and not weighted keys. They are much more realistic.

  9. #9

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by lardy View Post
    Try the model before you buy. Look for a piano with hammer action and not weighted keys. They are much more realistic.
    Will do, thanks for the advice.

  10. #10

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuerto View Post
    I envy you. I've always admired people who can put the time and effort in to learning a musical instrument. Do you reckon that some people are just naturally better at playing music, or is it just practice?
    It's just because I liked it and wanted to do it. Otherwise I'd have given up.

    I've learned how to play by ear, that is hear a song and immediately play along. It seems impressive but I have no natural talent for it, it's just built up as I've gradually played and learned. I guess there are a small number of people born with something supernatural, but most professionals have got there through perspiration

    Edit: I'm not a professional! That looks misleading

  11. #11

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    ukulele

    4 strings

    Loads of Youtube videos on learning

  12. #12

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    There's nothing wrong with taking up guitar at any age. Easy to learn a few chords and very relatable in terms of what you've heard and what you can play. And it's easy to learn on your own. Books, websites and youtube videos abound.

  13. #13

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue matt View Post
    ukulele

    4 strings

    Loads of Youtube videos on learning
    I was going to recommend that too. I just think guitar would be more satisfying.

  14. #14

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    The department of ASW, that I used to work, for relocated to Newport. We were given a 'sweetner' for moving.

    The general idea was that you'd be able to use the money to buy your own transport - I bought a Yamaha.... piano!

    Looked bloody great (polished rosewood) in the living room of my first-floor flat. I thought I could teach myself, however, I got impatient and the neighbours weren't too impressed when I'd come home bollocked at 3am and attempt at tinkling the ivories.

    Sorry for my inconsequential rambling, just thought I'd share my personal anecdote related to buying a musical instrument.

  15. #15

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Stop poncing about with pianos

    Learn to play on an acoustic then as soon as you know the basics buy an electric , get an amp and start riffing like Sabbath

    Have it

  16. #16

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    I play guitar and keyboards.
    I believe becoming proficient in both is largely down to muscle memory - which means hours of practising finger patterns.
    Why not consider learning to play the harmonica? Not the blues harp (tho that may be an option) - but a proper harmonica. Not too expensive, and you can whip it out at the drop of a hat.
    Oh, and it's cool too....

  17. #17

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by lardy View Post
    If you teach yourself, then it will probably happen. I've been playing keyboards in rock bands live for about 25 years, and my last lessons were when I was about 9. So I'm essentially self taught.

    I also tried playing classical songs for fun, and did pretty well but there came a point in difficulty where I just couldn't play them. And it wasn't for lack of practice time, my technique is just not good enough and won't ever be.

    But most people won't reach their ceiling. I also play guitar live and I'm very far from my ceiling in that instrument - a nice way of saying I suck
    I've often found that it feels like I'm just trudging along with the guitar and then all of a sudden I've improved out of nowhere, then back to trudging along.

    Are there any keyboards you'd recommend? We had some in school and I wasn't bad, but they were never as cool as my mediocre guitar playing so I never pursued it

  18. #18

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuerto View Post
    Not bothered which one, the easier the better. For those who can play, do you reach a ceiling in terms of skill and ability, does there come a point where you stop improving? And what type of commitment is needed in terms of practice, time etc? I was thinking the Banjo, guitar is a bit cack for a bloke of my age.
    As long as you've got the basics right then the ceiling can be more mental than technical, and depends what you want out of it. You may hit a point where you're happy with what you can do and not want to push it any further/there's certain things you're not particularly interested in.

  19. #19

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue matt View Post
    ukulele

    4 strings

    Loads of Youtube videos on learning
    Quote Originally Posted by NYCBlue View Post
    I was going to recommend that too. I just think guitar would be more satisfying.
    I was going to suggest this too. Relatively cheap to buy and plenty of instruction available. If you can manage a few chords then maybe move to s guitar.

  20. #20

    Re: I want to learn how to play a musical instrument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuerto View Post
    Not bothered which one, the easier the better. For those who can play, do you reach a ceiling in terms of skill and ability, does there come a point where you stop improving? And what type of commitment is needed in terms of practice, time etc? I was thinking the Banjo, guitar is a bit cack for a bloke of my age.
    Tuerto there is no ceiling but this is a difficult subject - I play the keyboard and did all my formal learning when I was a teenager, getting to Grade V but after that played in a band and that was where I learned a lot more about playing. I am absolutely no expert and there are ways you can learn to play something which sounds good without being technically good at all. Then I more or less gave up playing for years.
    However, during this Pandemic I bought an new Yamaha piano and I am relearning - I love it and play (very imperfectly) every day now. All sorts. But the reason that this is a difficult subject is that what might simple to me and the other poster who played in a band would probably seem impenetrable to a complete beginner.

    But I do think that You Tube is your friend in this these days, and there are all sorts of lessons for beginners which with a little bit of effort could help you advance quickly to a place where you would enjoy playing and really want to keep it up. No instrument is easy just to pick up and play, but if you really want to do it you can. The good thing about a keyboard is that sounds more complete than say guitar or most other instruments. And even fairly basic electric keyboards have functions which really assist the learner.

    Good luck, it's a great ambition.


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