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View Full Version : One Instrument Only or More???


Aris_Berd
09-24-2004, 10:44 AM
Well, I 'd like to know your opinion about this matter :

Should someone practice and work on one instrument only or more than one????

I've seen different opionions about it, tell me yours...

Spock's Theater
09-24-2004, 10:57 AM
Well for me it has been a big help to play some guitar with keys. The theory side of music is so much easier if you have to approach it from different directions.

lighthouse
09-24-2004, 11:05 AM
I think it´s really helpful, in my case I play also guitar and a bit of bass, so it helps me in the writing process cause you can experiment and have a more comlete idea of the whole sound of the song, and also could be helpful in understanding your bandmates.


Juan Pablo

Nick
09-24-2004, 11:36 AM
i only play guitar but would like to play drums and keyboards. but i haven't got time, money or space.

Axe2Grind
09-24-2004, 11:55 AM
I think if you want to be a real master of an instrument, then just learn and practise that instrument with a passion, and maybe dabble with another instrument to the point where it can help with your music. I started keys when I was 11 and then guitar when I was 22, before I took up guitar I was already an o.k keyboardist but still, If I had just played keys, I think I would be a lot better now but instead I am a mediocre keyboardist and an o.k guitarist. But the main thing is enjoyment !, playing two instruments makes you think in two different ways and you can apply techniques from one instrument to another, e.g. learning good vibrato on guitar will help give you an ear for doing good vibrato on keys using a pitch controller. And if you can play keys and guitar, you're pretty self sufficient as a musician (although its always great playing / learning with other musicians).

lighthouse
09-24-2004, 12:11 PM
I think if you want to be a real master of an instrument, then just learn and practise that instrument with a passion, and maybe dabble with another instrument to the point where it can help with your music. I started keys when I was 11 and then guitar when I was 22, before I took up guitar I was already an o.k keyboardist but still, If I had just played keys, I think I would be a lot better now but instead I am a mediocre keyboardist and an o.k guitarist. But the main thing is enjoyment !,


Well... I think it all depends on musical goals, cause if you wanna be a virtuoso in any instrument you should stick to that instrument, but if you wanna focus on songwriting you could explore different instruments and sounds to aid you in that, of course is a lot of work to develop skills in various instruments, but you don´t have to be a virtuoso to make really good music :wink:


Juan Pablo


Juan Pablo

progkeys
09-24-2004, 12:16 PM
I play guitar, bass, played drums, and some harpsichord, along with the regular piano. It's a nice experience, and very helpful if you're a composer, but I now focus on the piano, which is my main instrument.

Cary
09-24-2004, 12:30 PM
I agree 100% with Axe2Grind as I am in a similar situation. I played the organ from about 10 or 11 and picked up bass at 19 and later guitar. Played bass/keys in a band for a while, but considered myself more of a bassist than keysplayer. Played guitar almost exclusively for several years after that. Now that I'm back to keys I feel like my skills are "behind" in a way, but my work and my family life take SO much of my spare time, it's hard to find enough time to practice.
So, it's nice to know other instruments, but stick to one if you want to truly master it.

Tigerfolly
09-24-2004, 02:44 PM
Well, I 'd like to know your opinion about this matter :

Should someone practice and work on one instrument only or more than one????

I've seen different opionions about it, tell me yours...

I'm a big fan of learning more than one instrument. When I started playing bass people would always tell me to pay attention to drummers because that's who I was going to have to lock in with to create a solid foundation for the music. I've always enjoyed the drums, so I started picking the brains of every drummer I could find, started reading drum magazines, and soon enough I was playing and practicing drums as a second instrument.

As I got interested in chords and soloing, I found that I didn't like the sound of either on a four string, and wasn't all that interested in trying to find a five or six string that still felt as comfortable to slap, pop and tap on, as well as having a great sound like my four did, so I started learning guitar.

There's always been keyboards around and I've always noodled around on them a bit, but I never tried to learn how to play them properly. When I had more money than I knew what to do with, I figured I'd buy a guitar synth so I could play all of those keyboard sounds I wanted without learning how to play keyboards. I figured I wouldn't have the time, or it would take too long, or I'd get frustrated, or it would just be too damn hard. Guitar synths are tricky little things, and it really is like playing a new instrument unto itself.

After kind of making a band around this guitar and guitar synth thing I realized I should've just bought a keyboard, but by that point it was already too late.. I spent all of the money I had. Plus, I was always hesistant to spend so much money on just -one- instrument, especially one instrument that I couldn't even play well. I was trying to get more bang for my buck and refused to overspend on an instrument. Instead, I just bought a little USB MIDI controller and got a couple softsynths from a friend and started forcing myself to use that instead of the guitar synth for keyboard tracks.

The whole time I've been into audio production and engineering, and over the years have had a couple nice studios. I'm down to a simple project studio setup, which a Roland 18 track HD recorder and a couple racks of outboard gear.

So what's been the advantage? Well, right now I can play bass, drums, guitar, guitar synth, keyboard and sing for any band around. I'm not a great drummer physically, but mentally I think I'm pretty damn good ;) so I can program or throw ideas at drummers all day long. And I'm still in my first year of playing keyboards so I'm still kind of limited on that front. I'm playing in a tribute band and can do everything but sing lead in it, so at rehearsals or for shows, I can fill in any position I want, and it's a lot of fun. In the studio, if I'm hearing a part that nobody else is able to play, I can easily lay down a track for it. As an engineer, having an understanding of an instrument's role and space within the mix is essential, and as a producer I'm able to arrange and layer the instrumentation so much better because of my knowledge and experience. I feel that learning and enjoying all of the instruments I play gives me a fresh, interesting and balanced perspective on music. I've learned more about the nuts and bolts of music and composition in the last year by learning keyboards than I did in the 15 years I've been playing bass.

The tradeoff is that I'm never going to be a bass virtuoso or anything like that, but that was never in the cards for me because that's just not my personality at all. I've always been the jack of all trades, master of none. Next, I'm going for horns. I've always wanted to play the tenor sax, so one of these days I'm going to pick that up as well.

In conclusion, I'd say that if you want to become a great instrumentalist then you should focus your time and energy on that one instrument. Instead of learning how to play new instruments, learn -about- them and apply that to your instrument. If you want to be a great musician, then immerse yourself in music. Live and breathe it. Learn every single instrument you can get in your hands. Learn every single song you hear.

And there's nothing written anywhere that says you can't be both a great instrumentalist and a great musician. And remember, your mileage may vary.

Another excruciatingly long post by Tigerfolly

Spacehog
09-24-2004, 06:05 PM
Gotta agree with what Tigerfolly says... I'm a jack of all trades, too. Guitar, bass, keys, drums, percussion, harmonica, vocals and accordian are kinda what I play (harmonica and accordian to very limited degrees) and I've been known to pick up all kinds of funny string instruments (my inlaws are Chinese and have a few ethnic instruments kicking around). I'm at a standard where I can play what I want to play on all the instruments, I'm not amazing at any (well, I'm quite a decent bassist after way too many gigs and recording sessions!); if I had to improve on just one, it'd be the vocals.

Learning more than one instrument doesn't necessarily get in the way of your progress on your main instrument, it gives you new approaches etc that you might not otherwise have come up with. It's just a case of needing more time to practice more instruments :)

Martin

Liquid Shadow
09-24-2004, 07:22 PM
I'm totally into being able to play more than one instrument, but then again, each one that I play has come quite easy for me.

I'm primarily a keyboardist, and my skills are best there because I focus on keyboard playing, but I can also play bass, guitar, drums, and sing, all halfway decently. It's given me a very good understanding of all the different parts in songs and how the instruments work together, and makes it MUCH easier to communicate with players of those instruments.

That's just how it worked out for me though. I can see where people are coming from on both sides of this...

Taurus
09-24-2004, 08:03 PM
I agree with Lighthouse.

To add, as long as you can give the motion and message of your music, you're a virtuoso in my opinion.
I play some guitar, but I'm 95% keyboardist/pianist, 5% guitarist. Can't really say it helped me much, just too little to justify, though listening to guitarists usually helps phrasing and improvising. Malmsteen anyone?

I consider Elvis an uberleet professional. Was he a technical virtuoso in technique? I doubt it. But he played multiple instruments and I believe it should atleast give you a different view on things like instrumentation.

If you just wanna play classical piano solo gigs, then why on earth care in learning other instruments, a piano is not supposed to sound or be influenced like as if its another instrument.
If you wanna be a fulltime composer for the industry, learn instruments.
If you wanna be a leet next generation Jordan Rudess, then hmm do what he says haha.
<JR> "Listen to what other instuments do and try to learn from it!"

You dont need 10 years of hanon and technique practice if you're just going to be a weddingplayer either... well you get the point :P

Zaki
09-24-2004, 08:29 PM
i never traied to play an other instrument accasionally i play a little drums with friends but never in my own anything but Key-board-->> it refuses that I share his time with other instrumets :wink:

LiQuId TeNsIoN
09-24-2004, 09:20 PM
If you want to be a incredible keyboard player you've to work only with one instrument, but u can also play other instruments if you like :)
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Spock's Theater
09-25-2004, 04:44 AM
If you want to be a incredible keyboard player you've to work only with one instrument, but u can also play other instruments if you like :)
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.Tony Macalpine?

Tigerfolly
09-25-2004, 05:08 AM
If you want to be a incredible keyboard player you've to work only with one instrument, but u can also play other instruments if you like :)
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.Tony Macalpine?

He's not human though. He's half alien, half machine ;)

Has anyone else heard his piano playing? Absolutely incredible.

Zaki
09-25-2004, 08:18 AM
:lol:

LiQuId TeNsIoN
09-25-2004, 11:45 AM
not exactly :roll:

WoofWoofX
09-27-2004, 02:52 AM
IMHO,
You need to master you KB but for shure you need to experiment with different instruments... especially somthing in the percusion familly Drums... tabla...Bodhrán and especially know how instruments works in terms of techniques and feeling, and that since you KB is not only a piano...or Organ it is a whole lot of instruments that you need to play them in their own technique and in order to do it you need to have a a full vision of the nature of instruments.
So I'm not saying you need to be next Dave Weckel on drums... nor the Zappa of the century.... but it wouldn't hurt your fingers to know some small bits...

Myself I started as a drumer, and shifted to KB in order to stay away from my neighbour's Guns :wink: I play Tabla, flute and Tin Whistle (pennywhistle) ... as for guitars... I can only do the first arpegio from Metallica's nothing else matters (since no left hand is required) but I know how to do the tricks in theory...(as if it is usefull :? )

//WoofWoofX