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#19 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:50 AM

I keep reading in various thread people mentioning other musical instruments...so how many other than the concertina can you play and what are they?

Talented lot you all are. :)


Well, my main talent is for singing, which I do reasonably well, so I take the liberty to dabble in several instruments, most of them suitable for accompaniment. ;)
And apart from that, I have an affliction known as MIAS (Musical Instrument Acquisition Syndrome) :o

To a group gig, I take my Anglo, a 5-string banjo, a mandolin, and a sheaf of whistles, and usually borrow a guitar for one particular song.
To a solo gig, I take my Anglo, 5-string banjo or autoharp, or two of these. These are the ones that I can play fully-fledged instrumental solos on. If it's a purely singing gig, I may take my guitar as well, but I can only play accompaniments on that.

I have several different specimens of each of the stringed instruments, one of each with a pickup. I choose them on the basis of the venue and the type of music I want to play.

I also have a ukulele, which I have played occasionally for fun, and a Waldzither, a German relative of the English guitar, which I sometimes mess around with at home. And a Bandoneon, which gets the occasional public airing, and is lovely for relaxing with (beautiful, warm tone, and arranged like an Anglo concertina, but with more buttons).

And now I'm learning the Crane duet concertina, which I hope will soon become a solo instrument :rolleyes:

Sounds like a lot, but I started most of them very young, and I'm pretty old now.

Cheers,
John

#20 Ptarmigan

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:55 AM

I keep reading in various thread people mentioning other musical instruments...so how many other than the concertina can you play and what are they?

Talented lot you all are. :)


Well, my main talent is for singing, which I do reasonably well, so I take the liberty to dabble in several instruments, most of them suitable for accompaniment. ;)
And apart from that, I have an affliction known as MIAS (Musical Instrument Acquisition Syndrome) :o

To a group gig, I take my Anglo, a 5-string banjo, a mandolin, and a sheaf of whistles, and usually borrow a guitar for one particular song.
To a solo gig, I take my Anglo, 5-string banjo or autoharp, or two of these. These are the ones that I can play fully-fledged instrumental solos on. If it's a purely singing gig, I may take my guitar as well, but I can only play accompaniments on that.

I have several different specimens of each of the stringed instruments, one of each with a pickup. I choose them on the basis of the venue and the type of music I want to play.

I also have a ukulele, which I have played occasionally for fun, and a Waldzither, a German relative of the English guitar, which I sometimes mess around with at home. And a Bandoneon, which gets the occasional public airing, and is lovely for relaxing with (beautiful, warm tone, and arranged like an Anglo concertina, but with more buttons).

And now I'm learning the Crane duet concertina, which I hope will soon become a solo instrument :rolleyes:

Sounds like a lot, but I started most of them very young, and I'm pretty old now.

Cheers,
John


Did you mean that you are now old & pretty John .......... or just pretty old?

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#21 LDT

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 08:58 AM

That's not the only theme, either - "I started out 40 years ago" seems to be another. What was it about 1968?

you know that makes me feel really young....at 22..so I've got 40 years playing ahead of me before I can keep up with the threads round here?
;)

#22 Takayuki YAGI

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:34 AM

I play:

anglo concertina (almost always)
tin whistles, recorder (often)
mandolin (occasionally)
7-course lute, tabor pipe (rarely, and I don't yet have a tabor! )

--
Taka

#23 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:40 AM

Would spoons count? If the bodhran is an instrument then certainly spoons, and bones, ought to count as well. Would spoons be one or two instruments?

I don't believe in talent - at least with regard to musical ability. Is it something like genetic predisposition? I think it's all about desire and discipline.


Well said David!

I too hate that expression.

It makes me mad when I hear punters say oh so & so is so naturally talented.
It's as if the musician is given no credit for all the hard work they put into becoming a good player!


Dick,
I don't see it that way at all!

A lot of people put a lot of hard work into becoming good players. Years and years of it. Some of them make beautiful music. Some of them make ... well ... something that must be termed "music" for want of a better word. And what makes the difference? Talent!

Talent doesn't involve the capability to sit down at a piano or pick up a concertina for the first time, and make sublime music with it. What it does involve is the potential to turn those hours of learning and practice into music of a quality that cannot be reached by someone less talented who has put in the same effort.

Probably each of us has had the experience of attempting something which came easily to them, and at which success bred success - and other things that, try as they might, they could never excel at, though they might achieve a certain competence. We have a talent for one thing, and little or no talent for another.

Talent is the factor that explains the delta between a mediochre player and an excellent player. If they hadn't worked hard, they wouldn't be players at all, so it can't be the hard work that makes the difference, can it?

"Desire and discipline"? Phooey! If you're 5'6" and weigh 7 stone, you'll never make a good oarsman, no matter how much you desire to be one and discipline yourself :angry: . You might make a good cox, though! ;)

Cheers,
John

#24 Dave Rogers

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:22 AM

I'm with Anglo Irishman on the "talent" thing. It's a bit of a fairy tale (fostered by shows like the X Factor) that anybody can achieve anything they want if only they work hard enough. It's a bit akin to wealthy self-made types who feel that nobody needs to be poor, they just have to get off their backsides and work. Life ain't like that, unfortunately. I've worked really hard at playing the fiddle over the years, and I'm *still* rubbish... :rolleyes:

#25 LDT

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:25 AM

Well I know doesn't matter how hard I worked...I could never sing....haven't got that talent. I can't hold a note to save my life....my scores on 'singstar' on the ps2 can testify to that. ;)

#26 Mark Evans

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:29 AM

sing? oh yeah I sing, but after all...all you do is open yer chops an' holler...right?

#27 LDT

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:39 AM

sing? oh yeah I sing, but after all...all you do is open yer chops an' holler...right?

In my case I howl....at the moon :blink:

#28 David Levine

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:54 AM

Many psychologists now interested the putative existence of “talent” are finding that there really is no such thing. All children are born with musical talent. “…the best students training to be professional violinists had accumulated about 10,000 hours of practice over their lifetimes, compared to less than half that amount for students training to be violin teachers. The assumption here is that the former were more accomplished than the latter, which is not unreasonable given differences in career goals. The same sort of difference was found between expert and amateur pianists. Detailed analysis of the amount of practice vs. levels of achievement in performance attained in national music examinations has also revealed a systematic relationship: the greater the practice, the higher the achievement scores.” http://www.musica.uc...rn/V8I2S01.html

To the man who thinks fiddle playing is rubbish, my very real sympathies. Nothing is worse than to think that of yourself. I would ask how many hours a day he practiced in a focused fashion, how many years of lessons he’d paid for from accomplished musicians, and how early in life he’d started. Claiming that you’ve worked hard and got nowhere doesn’t say much except that you don’t like your own music. And that really is a shame.

Talent is a good word never to use: “Whether or not one has “musical talent”, achievement requires intensive and sustained study. Therefore, we can simply focus on this requirement, ignoring claims of “musical talent” as a guide for music education and personal decisions. All music students, of whatever age, can set their sights on the “Carnegie Hall” of their choice, not in terms of expert, public performance, but in terms of realistic levels of personal satisfaction. We should take the New York cop’s advice … and “practice, practice, practice”.”

I won’t bore you with cites. Please Google “the myth of musical talent.” You will find references aplenty. I’ll just leave you with two things. First, “Parents who play music — especially classical — sing, and play rhythm games such as chants and finger plays, will nurture the musical ability that is already within every child. If these are continued … the child will be a highly intuitively musical child. After the preschool years, musical aptitude becomes musical knowledge. This is when people start labeling “talent” because the child who has been nurtured in the early years will now be considered “talented,” while children raised in less musical environments will not be as recognized.”

Second. I was raised by two musicians. I play several instruments. But it doesn’t matter. Not one damn bit. What matters is to play one instrument and to play it well.

End of rant.

#29 LDT

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:57 AM

Many psychologists now interested the putative existence of “talent” are finding that there really is no such thing. All children are born with musical talent. “…the best students training to be professional violinists had accumulated about 10,000 hours of practice over their lifetimes, compared to less than half that amount for students training to be violin teachers. The assumption here is that the former were more accomplished than the latter, which is not unreasonable given differences in career goals. The same sort of difference was found between expert and amateur pianists. Detailed analysis of the amount of practice vs. levels of achievement in performance attained in national music examinations has also revealed a systematic relationship: the greater the practice, the higher the achievement scores.” http://www.musica.uc...rn/V8I2S01.html

To the man who thinks fiddle playing is rubbish, my very real sympathies. Nothing is worse than to think that of yourself. I would ask how many hours a day he practiced in a focused fashion, how many years of lessons he’d paid for from accomplished musicians, and how early in life he’d started. Claiming that you’ve worked hard and got nowhere doesn’t say much except that you don’t like your own music. And that really is a shame.

Talent is a good word never to use: “Whether or not one has “musical talent”, achievement requires intensive and sustained study. Therefore, we can simply focus on this requirement, ignoring claims of “musical talent” as a guide for music education and personal decisions. All music students, of whatever age, can set their sights on the “Carnegie Hall” of their choice, not in terms of expert, public performance, but in terms of realistic levels of personal satisfaction. We should take the New York cop’s advice … and “practice, practice, practice”.”

I won’t bore you with cites. Please Google “the myth of musical talent.” You will find references aplenty. I’ll just leave you with two things. First, “Parents who play music — especially classical — sing, and play rhythm games such as chants and finger plays, will nurture the musical ability that is already within every child. If these are continued … the child will be a highly intuitively musical child. After the preschool years, musical aptitude becomes musical knowledge. This is when people start labeling “talent” because the child who has been nurtured in the early years will now be considered “talented,” while children raised in less musical environments will not be as recognized.”

Second. I was raised by two musicians. I play several instruments. But it doesn’t matter. Not one damn bit. What matters is to play one instrument and to play it well.

End of rant.


would multi 'skilled' have been a more acceptable term? :unsure:

#30 Mark Evans

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 12:27 PM

sing? oh yeah I sing, but after all...all you do is open yer chops an' holler...right?

In my case I howl....at the moon :blink:



I've done my fair share of that as well! :P

#31 Chris Timson

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 01:17 PM

...maybe I need to buy a bodhran

No ... please ... please ... don't!

I play C/G anglo, C/G baritone anglo, G/D anglo and anglo-melodeon mongrel anglodeon. Hmmmm, that's not what you mean, though, is it?

Chris

#32 hjcjones

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 02:03 PM

I play (in order of learning them): recorder, guitar, anglo concertina, hammered dulcimer and melodeon. I also occasionally play a bit of percussion (bones and shaky egg), but sparingly as a little goes a long way. I've also dabbled with ukelele, mandolin and Appalachian dulcimer.

Edited by hjcjones, 15 October 2008 - 02:07 PM.


#33 NoNaYet

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 04:44 PM

Trombone - was good once, sort of rusty now.
Violin - not half bad, but also a bit corroded now.
Flute - just dabbled.
Harp - wife's new toy, and all I really do is mess around with it. Surprising how good you can sound on the harp even if you don't know how.


Concertina is the most fun of all.

NNY

Oops, left out guitar, again not too seriously.

Edited by NoNaYet, 15 October 2008 - 04:45 PM.


#34 Fiddlehead Fern

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 10:59 PM

That's not the only theme, either - "I started out 40 years ago" seems to be another. What was it about 1968?

you know that makes me feel really young....at 22..so I've got 40 years playing ahead of me before I can keep up with the threads round here?
;)


Same here, and you've got six years on me! I can usually manage though, somehow. ;)

I have in my room:
Two violins,
One English concertina,
One lap dulcimer (aka Appalachian dulcimer),
One practice chanter and a few cheap recorders and whistles lurking on the bookshelves (none of which I can play at all, much less satisfactorily).

I really only play the fiddle(s) and concertina regularly and with any skill, the dulcimer I adore, but play "very ill" indeed. I mostly use it for playing around for fun, but not making any decent music on.

The house is filled to the brim (one could reasonably argue over the brim, in fact) with even more musical instruments that you can even imagine shaking a stick at. Including, yes, several bodhrans hanging on the wall! Some of which I've attempted, but never with enough success to make note of.

#35 david_boveri

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:46 PM

Would spoons count? If the bodhran is an instrument then certainly spoons, and bones, ought to count as well. Would spoons be one or two instruments?

I don't believe in talent - at least with regard to musical ability. Is it something like genetic predisposition? I think it's all about desire and discipline.


Well said David!

I too hate that expression.

It makes me mad when I hear punters say oh so & so is so naturally talented.
It's as if the musician is given no credit for all the hard work they put into becoming a good player!


Dick,
I don't see it that way at all!

A lot of people put a lot of hard work into becoming good players. Years and years of it. Some of them make beautiful music. Some of them make ... well ... something that must be termed "music" for want of a better word. And what makes the difference? Talent!

Talent doesn't involve the capability to sit down at a piano or pick up a concertina for the first time, and make sublime music with it. What it does involve is the potential to turn those hours of learning and practice into music of a quality that cannot be reached by someone less talented who has put in the same effort.

Probably each of us has had the experience of attempting something which came easily to them, and at which success bred success - and other things that, try as they might, they could never excel at, though they might achieve a certain competence. We have a talent for one thing, and little or no talent for another.

Talent is the factor that explains the delta between a mediochre player and an excellent player. If they hadn't worked hard, they wouldn't be players at all, so it can't be the hard work that makes the difference, can it?

"Desire and discipline"? Phooey! If you're 5'6" and weigh 7 stone, you'll never make a good oarsman, no matter how much you desire to be one and discipline yourself :angry: . You might make a good cox, though! ;)

Cheers,
John


sorry, i've never heard any scientific evidence for talent. all i've seen is a correlation between hours spent, and the way the hours were spent. (edit: as david levine above says!)

just because someone spends a lot of time working at something, it does not mean they work well. there are many factors involved, including mindfulness (quantified by harvard psychologist Helen Langer), "flow" (a phenomenon proposed by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi), self-honesty, time committed, and working beyond your comfort zone. an article by scientific american (http://www.sciam.com...the-expert-mind) elaborates briefly on the idea that the best chess masters are not inherently different than amateurs, except that the time they spent (which is a lot) is spent past their comfort zone.

people who spend 40 years and never get good, sad to say, are using their time poorly. they are doing several things. first of all, they are not paying attention to how they are practicing, playing, and thinking about music, and if they are, they are doing so very little. one aspect of mindful attention (as quantified and extrapolated by dr. helen langer) is searching for new perspectives. sorry to say, someone who is no good after a long time, probably does not try to find that they are no good--they are complacent with their playing ability. on another forum, a member posted clips, asking for help on how to get better. i tried to help him, and he got defensive with me, saying he didnt need to get better. i told him he was playing out of time, and then after emailing me a few times, he decided i was not worth listening to, and stopped talking to me. the funny thing is, when you look at the first recordings he sent me, and then the newest ones, there is a huge difference, which only occurred over about 3 weeks. he just wasnt willing to accept that he wasnt as good as he thought he was, and he wasnt willing to learn how to count better to learn that he was out of time. someone like that will never appear to be talented.

for example, if you every day took a recording of a tune you wanted to play by a "professional", recorded yourself, and compared them, you would get better. how many of us do this on a daily basis? i often do not like doing it, because it makes me feel bad--my playing is unrhythmic, out of time, unmusical, and rushed. yet, if i were to do it, this would go away. please dont tell me that my playing does not get better because i am not talented--that is insulting. i know i am not talented, but even more so, i know i am unwilling to get better most of the time. i also have an innately bad sense of timing, yet have worked on it so much (with help from james kelly), that now my sense of time and rhythm is better than my little brother, who very early in school was dubbed "the human metronome." there are innate differences (which i doubt are heritable/genetic), but they are in the end, worthless. on a scientific level, the idea of talent is a joke. you cannot prove something like that is innate/genetic. you can prove that over an entire population a particular attribute is a percentage heritable (which means the phenotype/behavior is from their parents/genes), but even the most heritable things hardly ever reach a heritability of 70% (most traits which are considered heritable are at 30% to 50%), which means for an entire population, 30% of the measured trait are due to environment. this does not mean that 30% of a trait which is 70% heritable is due to the environment for a particular person--you can not split up someones traits, or predict whether it is from the environment or from their genes. if talent had a heritability of 70%, that would mean that 70% of people were talented because their family has these traits, and 30% are talented due to environment. i have not seen the numbers for the heritablity of musical "talent," but i'm sure it's at the 20% to 50% heritability range at the most (and likely much less), which would mean that musical talent is still mostly due to environmental influences.

Edited by david_boveri, 15 October 2008 - 11:56 PM.


#36 david_boveri

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 11:49 PM

I'm with Anglo Irishman on the "talent" thing. It's a bit of a fairy tale (fostered by shows like the X Factor) that anybody can achieve anything they want if only they work hard enough. It's a bit akin to wealthy self-made types who feel that nobody needs to be poor, they just have to get off their backsides and work. Life ain't like that, unfortunately. I've worked really hard at playing the fiddle over the years, and I'm *still* rubbish... :rolleyes:


sorry to say you havent been working very well. dont blame anyone else, please. you can blame the situation, sure... you never had anyone hold you accountable for your attention, time committed, and approach to music. but then again, i'm sure you havent held yourself accountable either.

it's not about working hard enough, it's about working well. please practice for 5 hours a day for 10 years, constantly pushing yourself past your competence (going far beyond your comfort zone all the time), and tell me if you're playing is still rubbish. until you do that, i wont believe that you are innately a bad musician. sorry to say, but i have every confidence in your ability as a human being to make beautiful, meaningful music.




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