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Old Nov 13th 2017, 1:34 am   #1
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Default Learning a musical instrument

Miss Moo (9) has been having weekly violin lessons for the past two years. She's also been playing in her school's string ensemble, so has been playing with a group - consisting mainly of violins, with the odd cello. There has been a change of string ensemble tutor in the past year and Miss Moo is no longer enjoying the group. (She still loves her violin teacher!) She's considering shaking things up next year by learning a new instrument and giving up the violin. The school band is very active and has woodwind, brass and percussion instruments (as well as a couple of electric guitars, somewhat randomly).

Having listened to her producing noises akin to a cat being strangulated for a looooong time, I'm not relishing the idea of going back to her murdering 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' when we're finally in a place where 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' is recognisable. My question is, are there any instruments that would be easier for her to learn, now that she's had two years' worth of violin lessons? Or that use similar techniques? (All string instruments are relegated to the small string ensemble, so instruments like cello or viola won't be considered.) I know some of you are quite musical, so any pointers would be welcome.

Thank you!
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 11:02 am   #2
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

The triangle.
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 3:08 pm   #3
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

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Originally Posted by Geordie George View Post
Miss Moo (9) has been having weekly violin lessons for the past two years. She's also been playing in her school's string ensemble, so has been playing with a group - consisting mainly of violins, with the odd cello. There has been a change of string ensemble tutor in the past year and Miss Moo is no longer enjoying the group. (She still loves her violin teacher!) She's considering shaking things up next year by learning a new instrument and giving up the violin. The school band is very active and has woodwind, brass and percussion instruments (as well as a couple of electric guitars, somewhat randomly).

Having listened to her producing noises akin to a cat being strangulated for a looooong time, I'm not relishing the idea of going back to her murdering 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' when we're finally in a place where 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' is recognisable. My question is, are there any instruments that would be easier for her to learn, now that she's had two years' worth of violin lessons? Or that use similar techniques? (All string instruments are relegated to the small string ensemble, so instruments like cello or viola won't be considered.) I know some of you are quite musical, so any pointers would be welcome.

Thank you!
My daughter played the flute for quite a few years (until she reached that moody teenage stage where anything of any worth is considered uncool and/or boring).

It is fairly easy to learn, not horrendous to listen to when they are practising at home and if/when they become any good it really is lovely to listen to.
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 4:12 pm   #4
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

I was 8 or 9 when I started violin lessons at school. I thought I was quite good as the teacher was always getting me to demonstrate parts of what we had to play.

But then the family moved and I went to a different school where there were about three better than me. And they were all girls which upset me at the time.
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Having listened to her producing noises akin to a cat being strangulated for a looooong time, I'm not relishing the idea of going back to her murdering 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' when we're finally in a place where 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' is recognisable.

I think that's just the violin, though. Another instrument doesn't necessarily sound as bad.

Is she reading music? That might sound an odd question but when I was learning, although I could look at sheet music and name the notes, I was actually "reading" finger positions like 2nd finger, 3rd string....3rd finger, second string.
Quote:
My question is, are there any instruments that would be easier for her to learn, now that she's had two years' worth of violin lessons?
I found the Mandolin quite easy. Same strings, except two of each.

Is poisoning the new string ensemble tutor an option?
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 4:18 pm   #5
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

Clarinet / saxophone! Whatever happens don't let her give up learning to play (something). I did (as a child) & really, really regret it!

PS: I appreciate it's puffing instead of scraping but the finger discipline must still be valid (?) plus the reading of music, timing & related skills - & easier on your ears!

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Old Nov 14th 2017, 4:41 pm   #6
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

Trumpet.
They're cool, they're different, they're shiny, you have to drain the spit and they make a wicked sound.

I learned to play just to be able to play the MoTD theme tune and that's what it's all about. I moved on to a bit of blues thanks to a new teacher who wrote his own stuff and really regret being that stroppy teenager who gave up.
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 5:00 pm   #7
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geordie George View Post
Miss Moo (9) has been having weekly violin lessons for the past two years. ... She's considering shaking things up next year by learning a new instrument and giving up the violin. The school band is very active and has woodwind, brass and percussion instruments (as well as a couple of electric guitars, somewhat randomly).

Having listened to her producing noises akin to a cat being strangulated for a looooong time, I'm not relishing the idea of going back to her murdering 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' when we're finally in a place where 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' is recognisable. My question is, are there any instruments that would be easier for her to learn, now that she's had two years' worth of violin lessons? Or that use similar techniques? (All string instruments are relegated to the small string ensemble, so instruments like cello or viola won't be considered.) I know some of you are quite musical, so any pointers would be welcome.
If the school band has electric guitars, she could try one out. My husband is the string musician in the family & he found it natural enough to switch between violin & guitar (though as a grown-up, not learning either as a child). There's still a learning curve necessary, but some things are a little easier to get a feel for if you've learned another stringed instrument.

But really, she should try some other instruments out for herself and see what SHE likes best! I'm the wind musician in our family, and tried both clarinet & flute when young. Early on I FAR preferred the flute, both for its sound and for the lack of having to faff around with reeds (clarinet, oboe, sax).

Sometimes it's obvious which instrument is a better match from the first--other times, it takes a while to narrow preferences down. But in the end, it's her skill so she should choose, IMO.
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 7:40 pm   #8
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

Don't overlook percussion. It's an essential part of any school band if that's the direction she wants to stay, but it doesn't have as high a learning curve as a woodwind or brass instrument that requires special breathing techniques/mouth manipulation. Plus, playing drums is fun.

Now, if she's looking for a new instrument to learn for life outside of school, to have fun with then the guitar is the one for her. Relatively easy, incredibly accessible and massively satisfying when you can start playing songs you know (added benefit that you can sing while playing it as well).

My dad started teaching me when I was 8 and I've been at it 30 years now (funnily enough, I played violin back then as well). Can't beat it.

Piano is also good, but can get expensive and is tricky. I've been playing piano for nigh on 25 years and I'm still kind of shit
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 7:43 pm   #9
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

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Don't overlook percussion. It's an essential part of any school band if that's the direction she wants to stay, but it doesn't have as high a learning curve as a woodwind or brass instrument that requires special breathing techniques/mouth manipulation. Plus, playing drums is fun.

Now, if she's looking for a new instrument to learn for life outside of school, to have fun with then the guitar is the one for her. Relatively easy, incredibly accessible and massively satisfying when you can start playing songs you know (added benefit that you can sing while playing it as well).

My dad started teaching me when I was 8 and I've been at it 30 years now (funnily enough, I played violin back then as well). Can't beat it.

Piano is also good, but can get expensive and is tricky. I've been playing piano for nigh on 25 years and I'm still kind of shit
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Old Nov 14th 2017, 7:46 pm   #10
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

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Don't forget Parent's ears!
For percussion? Well, I guess practice pads are good to keep noise down, but I'd wager screwing up a beat is a much easier thing to hear than the cat-tail-being-cut-off scratch of a violin improperly bowed (I've made that noise more times than I care to remember), or a trumpet being made to sound like a man dying of terminal flatulence

We all have to start somewhere, though. It's all part of learning, of course.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 9:05 pm   #11
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

My son 19 has been playing piano since he was 3 and violin for the past 6 odd years.
Recently he's been sitting in on some Irish sessions at the local bar.
Someone handed him a mandolin, threw me as it has 8 strings, but apparently its akin to plucking a violin.
He took to it straitght off..

So, maybe consider something like a mandolin, lots of really cool blue grass and celtic tunes to be played on one.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 9:12 pm   #12
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

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Originally Posted by excpomea View Post
My son 19 has been playing piano since he was 3 and violin for the past 6 odd years.
Recently he's been sitting in on some Irish sessions at the local bar.
Someone handed him a mandolin, threw me as it has 8 strings, but apparently its akin to plucking a violin.
He took to it straitght off..

So, maybe consider something like a mandolin, lots of really cool blue grass and celtic tunes to be played on one.
Mandolin tuning is exactly the same as a violin, so you are correct. The sets of two strings are tuned to the same pitch but it is essentially the same.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 9:37 pm   #13
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

I suggest the bagpipes, Northumbrian ones would be good.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 9:53 pm   #14
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

At junior school, I learned recorder (didn't we all?) and then trumpet. Around the same age, I was being taught guitar.

Secondary school, was more recorder (up to grade V, lol, my mother still hasn't forgiven me), flute, clarinet and a little bit of sax.

I found that the painful listening period was hugely lessened with subsequent instruments, even when they used different skill sets - probably due to learning breathing techniques which were good for all the blowy instruments and fingering techniques (quiet at the back) which were good for, well, pretty much all of them
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 10:04 pm   #15
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Default Re: Learning a musical instrument

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At junior school, I learned recorder (didn't we all?) and then trumpet. Around the same age, I was being taught guitar.

Secondary school, was more recorder (up to grade V, lol, my mother still hasn't forgiven me), flute, clarinet and a little bit of sax.

I found that the painful listening period was hugely lessened with subsequent instruments, even when they used different skill sets - probably due to learning breathing techniques which were good for all the blowy instruments and fingering techniques (quiet at the back) which were good for, well, pretty much all of them
you really should check your spelling..
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