Multi-instrumentalists - Q about crossover technique/improvisation

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Digital Larry, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    I played mandolin for many years, trying to get fast enough to play convincing bluegrass, but never really did. I like Celtic better anyway so that's what I played mostly. Celtic is much more based on playing the melody than improvisation over chord changes, whereas improvs/solos in bluegrass are typical. So I didn't spend much time trying to improvise. Then I set the mando down for a few years.

    In the meantime I played a lot of guitar and got quite a bit better at improvising and being able to put my fingers in the right place to play the note I was thinking about (as compared to randomly playing scales/box patterns, my phrases now actually tend to end on a tonic note).

    So yesterday I got out my electric mandolin and realized I can improvise on that much better than I could before, even though I haven't been playing it. Certainly I had the scale patterns memorized already, but I seem to have made a quantum leap in improvisational skill without having played the instrument very much.

    Earlier this summer I took a little MIDI keyboard on vacation to mess around with and in spite of really having very few skills on keyboard at all, I found that I could peck out melodies and improvise stuff there way better than I used to as well. I was pretty surprised.. "Way better than I used to" is still pretty bad, but heading in the right direction.

    Interested in hearing other people's experiences along these lines.
     
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    started on bass..then got into guitar in 2015...been doing lot of bass work in studio...then back to guitar..man..the finger stretch & distance change makes for some nice work on the guitar. Tend to have a some extra speed going from bass to guitar in the session
     
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  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's all music ... Choose your instrument ... My experience includes vocal, horn, piano, drums, guitar ... I'm a jackoff all trades ...
     
  4. honeycreek

    honeycreek Tele-Afflicted

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    Learning a new instrument has always been my secret for getting better at instruments that I already played. Besides increasing my interest in practicing, certain instruments lend themselves to certain techniques that can then be applied to other instruments.
     
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  5. T-Bone

    T-Bone Tele-Holic

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    I guess it’s about putting in the hours. As the technical skills improve, the musicality and creativity improve too. And it goes back and forth. Technical skills on one instrument allow us to spend more energy on creativity. That new creativity stays with us while we develop technical skills on a another instrument.

    It’s all music. But yeah, it is kinda weird, how time spent playing one instrument, seems to also help improve on a completely different instrument.
     
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  6. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Holic

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    I am the opposite with my mandolin playing. I can play chords and solo with ease.
    This carries over into my 8 string lap and 10 string pedal steel.
    I sing as well, so I think having an understanding of melody and harmonies, has carried over into my playing.
    Still working on pedal steel .. its a lot of fun.
     
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