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Help me play some more instruments !!! :)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Matthewdormer, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Matthewdormer

    Matthewdormer TDPRI Member

    Aug 12, 2020
    United kingdom
    So, I play guitar. But I love the idea of being able to play a few instruments. I think the top for me would be sax, flute and keys. I think ideally I would be a guitar player but I can do a bit of all of the above. How should I get into these. I have access to other instruments like drums and bass and I am going to try spend a good bit of time playing them, but that is not what I need help with.

    I have no idea what keyboard I would buy, any ideas what I should get, I would like a decent set of sounds from it that covers acoustic piano and some synth and organ sounds, I love blues and rock. I don’t want anything too expensive, but enough to get me going. I’d say budget maybe no more than like $250. Although ideally it would be less, but if I am assured that it would be worth the money then I am happy to spend. Also portability would be great.

    I would love to be able to play sax, but for the next 5 years of my live I will be living as a student and will most likely be living in a flat, is it possible to learn sax at a reasonable volume? I play guitar fairly loud, but there doesn’t seem to be many options to play sax at a reasonable volume for a long period of time. Any advice on this would be great. And what sax should I go for, what’s the starter sax? And how much am I looking to spend, imagine like the squirt strat equivalent but for sax of course.

    I really like Jethro Tull’s flute playing, I wish I could do that. I assume a flute would be a more reasonable volume for playing indoors so I guess my question for this would be how much do I need to spend to get a taste of playing flute. From playing guitar I think I have a pretty picky (expensive) taste for the sounds my instruments make, but I really want to keep to a decent budget for this sort of stuff.

    Any advice, inspiration or experiences on these topics would be awesome, along with any other instruments that any of yous would recommend to me. I just enjoy playing for the satisfaction of learning and being expressive. Any instruments that would help me achieve having this sort of fun would be awesome so shoot away :) thanks in advance.
  2. Cadillac_Mike

    Cadillac_Mike Tele-Meister

    Jan 14, 2021
    River Falls, WI
    Look for a 90's or 2000's stage piano made by Roland, Yamaha, Korg, or Alesis. You'll probably have to stretch your budget to $300-400 though except for the Alesis. Those keyboards are the best value out there. They are big with full 88 keys but will have the most authentic acoustic piano sounds on a budget. They typically also have EP, organ, and/or string settings. Don't buy one with built in speakers, they aren't pro quality.

    Most older synths have gawd awful acoustic piano settings. The ones on my 1988 Yamaha are actually laughable.
    Nahtabot likes this.
  3. Nahtabot

    Nahtabot Tele-Meister

    Aug 19, 2020
  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    The answer is always ... bongos. Now in sunburst!:) IMG_4948.JPG
    NTC, Ed Driscoll, rdjones and 3 others like this.
  5. 4wotitswurth

    4wotitswurth TDPRI Member

    Nov 30, 2016
    Son has a Sax, sounds great, sultry, bluesy, jazzy... but yeah, sort of loud if he has the door open. In a dorm or similar, might be an issue unless the rest of the band are next door... recently got a bass, looks like fun... just replaced the drum heads with remo quiets and zildjian low volume cymbals, looks promising.... keyboards? Only have a cheapo Yamaha semi toy.... but ok with headphones, unless you’re a stickler for tone.... have at it.... cheers.
  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Bagpipes. The answer is always bagpipes
  7. Telegazer

    Telegazer Tele-Holic

    May 6, 2008
    Republic of Korea
    And heeeere we go.

    As a self-absorbed composer and all-around snooty fellow, I've prided myself on self-teaching every instrument I've learned to put on my own recordings, save trumpet. But all in all, commitment to the long term of what you've started is key, since we all know what happens when you buy in and hit a wall that kills your motivation to enjoy the experience in the first place.

    Just a few pointers. Even if you're a long-term hobbiest and don't plan to record, I'd recommend just focusing on piano if you had the choice of one, especially since sax or other reeded woodwinds and brass will be much too loud to practice at home if roommates and duplex residents are a concern... Here's a reworded version of another post I made, regarding why piano alone can be a great choice. It's helpful for...
    1. Developing a sense of pitch and identifying intervals in a scale, regardless of what instrument you choose to learn later.
    2. Learning piano as a whole can be a boon to understanding basic harmony and eventual learning of chord voicings and inversions, and the roles of a bass line, harmony, and a lead melody.
    3. It’s functional for developing left/right hand coordination and independent rhythmic sense with each hand.
    4. Learning piano builds your sight-reading ability of music written in both the treble and bass clef.
    5. There’s a benefit of “seeing” scales and working out intervals between the notes with your own eyes and ears working in tandem, something you may already be familiar with in playing guitar.
    6. Knowing even just basic piano will make programming via a DAW maybe one of the most important things you could do for a future career in music production, if you choose to head in that direction.

    Piano glues it all together, but if you want to cast your net wide, based on what you mentioned, here are the things I'd suggest:

    1. Computer + decent AD/DA + monitors. Get a nicely weighted/reasonably priced MIDI controller like an M-Audio Oxygen88, and splurge on one decent library like NI KONTAKT (or if you have the cash, NI KOMPLETE)

    2. Since you play guitar, consider learning mandolin. Violin scale and spacing with string in intervals of 5ths (instead of 4ths) may throw you off, but your right hand is already in business and chords are fun. If you have large hands, get an Irish bouzouki or octave mandolin.

    3. As long as you have the basic embouchure down, flute can be a good choice. But if you're scared of going bananas with keys and accidentals, consider a diatonic option like an Irish (transverse) Flute: six holes, easy fingering for a flat 7th, and loads of fun. And no need to go pricy with a wood flute! Tony Dixon makes some wonderfully sweet-sounding plastic flutes that are more than affordable. And they're not too loud, so your roommates can breathe easy. Of course, fingering is the same as penny whistle, and is very closely related to uilleann pipes, for what it's worth.

    But to be sure, there are also loads of “cyclical stepping-stones” along the way as well, and in the long-term past your school studies and well into your twilight years, you can technically go either way between any of the following:

    • Learn trumpet, and flute embouchure will come easy.

    • Learn flute, and you’ll have saxophone fingering down pat soon.

    • Learn saxophone, and clarinet embouchure will be a mild cinch.

    • Learn clarinet, and oboe fingering will come easy.

    • Learn oboe / english horn, and the learning of bassoon will be greatly facilitated.

    And so on.

    But in the end, I'm sure you're agree that what’s most important is that you learn what you enjoy, and enjoy what you learn.
    NTC and jayyj like this.
  8. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    All guitarists should try to play a little bass, it's sister instrument that comes in handy pretty often and is pretty guick to pick up the basics on.

    Keys are a super skill, they teach you to read music and are useful in lots of ways. I also feel the "pull" of being a multi instrumentalist but these days I realize that just being good enough on guitar is a lifetime challenge. I bought a digital piano last year but loaned it to my brother when it became obvious that I wasn't going to take lessons or play crappy beginner piano songs every day for 1/2 hr for a year to get good.

    My "could woulda" instrument is actually the drums, they are so fun to play, but so inconvenient, and so hard to be a drummer and stay married to a wife.
    Twang Deluxe likes this.
  9. MLHull

    MLHull Tele-Meister

    Aug 20, 2020
    You might look at a penny flute (aka tin flute). Cheap and dorm friendly.
  10. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

    Aug 15, 2020
    I don’t know much music theory, but I have a suggestion.

    You know those guys who can fix pretty much anything, and you always wonder how? It’s because they generally know how stuff works. For instance, a gas heater, vapor compression refrigeration, and an electric motor are very basic entities by themselves... but if you understand them, you’ve just unlocked the secrets to most of the appliances in your home, and you can pretty effectively determine why they aren’t working in the even they don’t.

    With a working understanding of music theory, it turns out the instruments are logically laid out; and I can’t see why from there it doesn’t become an exercise in technique.

    I would study music theory, if you haven’t.
  11. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2017
    help me learn to play the one I thought knew how to play for the last 60 years
    Oldsmobum likes this.
  12. johnny k

    johnny k Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 15, 2011
  13. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 13, 2014
    Manchester, UK
    Another vote for keyboards - massively useful skill for any musician, a good platform for starting to get your head around theory, a useful 'common language' for explaining ideas to other musicians.

    I tried saxophone for three months, gave up because of the volume. I don't mind sounding terrible myself, but the idea that everyone in my block of apartments was joining me on my tentative journey into the instrument was making me way too uncomfortable.
  14. Hamstein

    Hamstein TDPRI Member

    Nov 17, 2013
    Northest Yorkshire
    I got myself a Baritone Sax, great fun - it's by no means a quiet or subtle instrument in my hands, but it does 'Fog Horn' really well.:D
  15. NTC

    NTC Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2003
    Suzuki Method. My daughter was taught piano with it, and I am teaching myself with it. Not boring after you get past the "twinkles." They also have methods for most other instruments. If you want to play something, you have to play the beginner stuff at least some.

    For the OP, my vote us for piano for the many reasons listed above. It is the basis of everything in western music.

    My other daughter played sax. If you go that way, Look at student level Yamaha instruments. They were specified by the school band teachers. Personally, I don't like the sound of a Soprano sax. She has an alto, doesn't require as much air as a tenor, almost sounds as good. I wanted to get us all to play "Take 5," but the girls dropped music - completely. I'd love to learn the sax, but I have enough to do with guitars, basses, and piano.
  16. standup

    standup TDPRI Member

    Dec 31, 2019
    I’m not a piano player. I add keyboard parts to songs I’m putting together, but they are simple riffs or things I can work out involving 2-3 fingers.

    But I did find a used Casio digital piano for $200 or so, it has a good feel and decent sound.

    I think having a keyboard instrument would be a great way to add a few skills and get a deeper understanding of life, music, and our place in the universe.
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