Does anyone here play any musical instruments?

Jun 15, 2001
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#1
I played saxophone for years as a kid, but got discouraged in marching band where marching was more important than playing. Now that I have time to have a normal life, I'd like to pick up an instrument. I'm really interested in the oboe, but my understanding is that it's the one instrument you don't learn on your own and learning to even cut the reeds properly can take years. Other than that I'd like to learn the harpsichord :p

I may just pick up a used sax somewhere.

Do any of you folks play anything? How good are you?
 
Feb 25, 2011
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#2
I play bassoon. Majored in it. Got a couple degrees and shit.

Synthetic Oboe Reed. Works okay. One will last you a very long time. Pricey though. You don't have to learn to make your own reeds, but it gets pretty expensive if you don't.

Saxophone is easier, cheaper, reeds are simpler, and the instruments are usually more robustly built (so less frequent maintenance and cheaper repairs, plus everybody works on sax while finding a good oboe repairperson is like finding a needle in a haystack.)

Once you hack your way through a couple of method books, pay for a couple lessons with a teacher to make sure you're doing it right. They'll probably want to talk about embouchure and practice habits, but it is possible to do things "wrong" in a way that will lead to RSI or back problems, so make sure you discuss that too. If you encounter back, neck, or shoulder pain as a result of playing, check out Alexander Technique videos on Youtube.

Then join a community band and have affairs with all the flute players.

Good luck and have fun. Especially with that last part.
 
Jan 8, 2010
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#3
Saxophone or clarinet are easy to pick up. I played both for years in classical, jazz, and marching (god I hated marching too), but haven't touched them since highschool.

I was teaching myself the bagpipe for awhile a few years ago, which is interesting.

Mostly now I play piano/keys and guitar.
 
Jul 12, 2006
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#4
yep. I played sax for years, too, and it was also marching band that killed love for music and actually killed my horn (marching the rain too much, cold temps and all that, blah blah blah). Still have the horn, and briefly pull it out every once in a while. I was a pretty good jazz player for some years before marching band happened...but being young and stupid and lazy, I just decided to eff it for a while after high school and lost much of the muscle memory.

I have delusions of grandeur that I will teach myself piano one day...I've tried before. Will try again, but chords make no sense. My brain really doesn't like this idea, but I'll figure it out.

I did play bass for maybe a year. Well, kinda. That was also a very long time ago. At least I'm quite good at reading music and especially sight reading.
 
Jan 18, 2003
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www.youtube.com
#5
I play trumpet, piano and bass guitar. My instrumental bass guitar covers (some with keyboards) are up on Youtube. Feel free to check them out. Some are better than others.
 
Jun 15, 2001
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#6
Do you folks have any trusted resources for good used instruments? Quality tenor saxes seem rare under $2K and I don't want to invest a lot of money when I'm not sure how much the desire to play will stick :p
 

spacejamz

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2003
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#7
Do you folks have any trusted resources for good used instruments? Quality tenor saxes seem rare under $2K and I don't want to invest a lot of money when I'm not sure how much the desire to play will stick :p
Pretty much the dilemma in any hobby (bikes, instruments, cameras, etc)...

You get something cheap and it isn't a good experience so you don't stick with it or you buy something expensive and it just collects dust in the corner after a few weeks...
 
Jun 15, 2001
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#8
Yep. The internet is awash in cheap, poorly made saxes. I'd love to grab something like this or this, but that's a lot of money for questionable hobby. There are some slick looking horns out there though.

 

stargazr

Platinum Member
Jun 13, 2010
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#9
I had drum lessons in 5th and 6th grade. But you had to be in the school band to get them, and I grew tired of staying after school for practice. I ended up picking it up again at age 22.

I studied with several teachers including two years with a jazz drummer who had toured and recorded with Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd. My brother learned guitar around the same time, and we formed a cover band. We played classic rock on and off for over 12 years at clubs, parties etc.

I would say my playing is adequate. I still bang around a little but am no longer active with bands since my back surgeries. It's just too much lugging a kit around.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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#10
Do you folks have any trusted resources for good used instruments? Quality tenor saxes seem rare under $2K and I don't want to invest a lot of money when I'm not sure how much the desire to play will stick :p
Tenor Sax is rarer because kids don't start on it. Altos and Clarinets are crazy-easy to find.

Just get a used Yamaha on eBay or Craigslist. Example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-YTS...t-Condition-w-Case-Ready-to-play/333053264261

If you get frustrated later, a decent instrument is something you can almost always sell off for about the same as you paid for it, so you're not losing money, you're just diverting some of it for a while.

Most of the cheaper horns, regardless of how "cool" they look, are Chinesium crap that nobody is actually all that interested in buying, new or used. You'll find a few in any Middle School band, but the resale is basically zip.
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#11
I like vintage saxes from the jazz era. They don't have a lot of modern features, may require some tweaking to get in playing shape, but you can get a real pro instrument for ~$1k
 
Oct 10, 1999
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#12
I am the "no talent assclown" of the family when it comes to music.

My mom can play several brass instruments and accordian. My Dad plays all classical brass. My sister trained Viola. I had piano lessons when I was like 8 and could play row your boat and twinkle star. My little brother is capable of playing every instrument he has ever gotten his hands on.

He started on guitar when he was like 4. Now, his first love is still guitar, but, he has mastered a wide assortment of instruments. In the last couple of years he has acquired highland style bagpipes, an old vintage beat up saxophone, an old trumpet, and an accordian. He gets these instruments that are in shit shape, and tunes them and does very redimentry repairs, and they sound frickin amazing when he plays.
 
Apr 3, 2001
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#13
Do you folks have any trusted resources for good used instruments? Quality tenor saxes seem rare under $2K and I don't want to invest a lot of money when I'm not sure how much the desire to play will stick :p
Dunno how it is for sax, but for guitar and mandolin (the instruments I play), I like reverb.com.
But I imagine if you buy a decent used sax and decide it's not for you, you probably won't lose much money if you sell it later on.
 
Jan 3, 2001
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#15
Guitar (obviously :) ), plus a little mandolin and banjo. We have a bit of a guitar player cult here on ATOT.
 

dr150

Diamond Member
Sep 18, 2003
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My wife plays the Skin Flute.

I make her practice for an hour in the morning and in the evening before bedtime. She's quite good at it. o_O
 
Oct 10, 1999
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#19
I hear Naer is a prodigy at the piano.
I believe he has huge potential, and we are seeing the very tip of the iceberg with his latest compositions. We may mock him now, but, he will have the last word.
(note: this is not sarcasm, i am serious.)
 
Jun 15, 2001
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#20
Guitar (obviously :) ), plus a little mandolin and banjo. We have a bit of a guitar player cult here on ATOT.
I've tried playing the guitar and I am singularly horrible at it. :p

I had a bunch of saxophone related dreams last night because of this thread. Thanks for the advice everyone.
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#21
Jun 15, 2001
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#22
Wow, that's slick. I'm going to check out a local used instrument store tomorrow or this weekend, depending on weather.
 
Sep 2, 2006
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#23
i have played piano forever. i don't think i'm that good, but people seem to like it when i play.
 
Nov 30, 2004
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#24
If you want a good vintage sax, ebay is probably your best bet unless you have a very good instrument shop nearby. When I was shopping used horns, most were discarded student models from the not distant past. Nothing wrong with them, but not a lot to love either. Buying local means you can check them out, which is good, though the prices will almost certainly be higher.

What I like about old horns is they could have been played by anybody. Good stimulation for the imagination. It might been in a real working jazz band. A smoky club, playing late into the night... In actuality, it was probably in a shriner band, but nobody can prove that :^P It's also a relic of when America made nice stuff, and didn't shop stuff out to the cheapest overseas labor. They're just neat things to have :^)


Oh, and the list of instruments I've made at least a passing attempt at(some more than others)...

Saxophone
Bagpipes
Pennywhistle
Guitar
Didgeridoo
Mandolin
Harmonica
Bodhrán
Primitive flute
 
Jan 3, 2001
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#25
I've tried playing the guitar and I am singularly horrible at it. :p

I had a bunch of saxophone related dreams last night because of this thread. Thanks for the advice everyone.
It takes weeks for the strings to stop hurting your fingers, weeks to learn how to hold notes properly, months to learn how to play to a beat, and years to get comfortable. Most people give up in the first 4 weeks.
 

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