Jump to content

Do musicians grow to be like their choice of instrument?


Recommended Posts

I have often being slightly amused at how suited to instrument people can become; think of Liszt at piano with his long hair in ecstasy playing with his fingers flying over the keys, or perhaps Paganini with his lithe little persona transfixed over his often deliberately snapped violin string to show off how well he could adapt.   But what of a double bass player; need he be necessarily overly large, to fit the thing?  Or a piccolo be best suited to a tiny little person? 

Instruments can be as different as people are; as we all know each make of squeeze box has its own personality likewise in itself; traits, likes, and dislikes, buzzing notes,  clicks, pops or etc...

Perhaps then I should reverse the thought; and instead maybe say.. does the instrument become very much like its owner?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha, I like to think about this kind of thing sometimes too - like how it's said that many dogs seem like their owners, whether by coincidence, or perhaps dogs adapt to their human's lifestyle. When it comes to visual art, I can confirm that the fellow illustrators I've known seem to reveal a LOT about their world outlook in every detail of their process and art style (if they intend it or not).

 

I suppose on a literal level, it's probably true that different instruments attract the type of personality that is able to accept that instrument's specific limitations and value its strengths. Given, of course, that the player gets to choose their own instrument, instead of it being chosen for them, as is often the case with a kids' first instrument.

 

Speaking for myself, I had to take piano lessons from most of my childhood and briefly dabbled in guitar and ukulele, but concertina is the instrument that has resonated with me the most by far. Some of my favorite things about it are that its sound has an unmistakeable character which suits a few particular genres, the limited set of keys keeps arrangements/chords simple, and my hands are literally strapped into place which I think helps my muscle memory develop faster than when I was losing my hands up and down an 88 key piano. (If you couldn't guess, piano is NOT for me.)

 

So, do any of those things mirror something about me? Well, admittedly I have sometimes been known to 'march to the beat of my own drummer' amongst peers, so perhaps a less common instrument with a unique sound suits me. I'd also say that I'm someone who could be perfectly content with a simple life, finding new fun within the familiar and not feeling any particular need to, say, beat a marathon world record or climb up a corporate ladder. So maybe that can be described in my satisfaction with the limited range of an Anglo concertina..?

 

On a more abstract level, perhaps my concertina and I are similar in that we both like to wear a homey "vintage" style with neutral colors. 🤷‍♀️ I'm curious to hear anyone else's thoughts about their connection with their instrument of choice ☺️  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for getting going with my topic set the other day.

Instruments could well choose their owner [in reverse] I suppose! For example you may go into a music store and suddenly an instrument could drop off  a shelf into your very own hands! Just your hands at that moment [almost begging to be taken home by YOU!}.. just a daft joke... but there's a relationship builds up between the player and the instrument that's for sure. Sometimes the lower notes sound like my rumbling tummy; but I hope some characteristic are less similar[bellowing windiness for example!]

You will find in time how the apparent limited Anglo concertina range is in fact capable of a wide variety of  music and effects as you gain even more experience; so carry on enjoy your 30 key one [ I am on that setup and I have yet to find limitations in its capabilities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The instruments beliked the players' style are not coincidence. I was in a band with my bass and there was a girl plays drums. We both are quiet and deep voiced people when talking and the most outgoing and expressive guy is always the vocal and the guitar. I think such a config is default for many bands.

 

For concertina, as a musical instrument that emerged in the era of the Industrial Revolution, the appearance of the concertina were usually with the rococo style decoration that was popular at the time, so I’m with marimo-maiden about the neutral color vintage clothing style.

 

Perhaps we should wear a suit with a bowtie when playing, just like the inventor Charles Wheatstone in his photographs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its always amazed me that despite the seemingly, on the surface, reserved appearance of the Victorian people and generation, just how inventive they were. The Concertina was an amazing little invention in itself;  almost part machine, and part musical instrument.  Can you imagine if Mr. Wheatstone tried to give Queen Victoria herself a try on it how it could have made her actually smile! [what a thought]!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Since starting the concertina I’ve taken a headlong fall into a rabbit hole of nautical nonsense. It started with shanties, but has quickly progressed into knot tying, visits to the river and reading lots & lots of Melville (amongst others). Prior to this the guitar was my main instrument, but I relied pretty heavily on my voice to carry the song along. Not so with the concertina, I can hardly do both at once. Focusing on just the instrument has definitely helped my understanding of musical notation & theory, but I still have a lot to learn. It’s been quite the trip! Very fond of my second set of lungs, more so every day. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hooked meself.  I dream of a 'tina with Abalone ends (the Black can have 9 or more holes per shell!)  As fer knots, a string 'o arf 'ich's 'll do....😜

Edited by wunks
punc.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, wunks said:

I'm hooked meself.  I dream of a 'tina with Abalone ends (the Black can have 9 or more holes per shell!)  As fer knots, a string 'o arf 'ich's 'll do....😜


Ooh now wouldn’t that be something, with pearl buttons! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

I am beginning to wonder if I should have set this topic! As it's getting very alternative in its intended approach to subject set!

😁😁😁


Hey now, you asked how the instrument affects the musician. This is what the concertina has done to me Simon! The transformation to surly old sea wench has begun (and I wouldn’t have it any other way)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/3/2022 at 8:29 PM, gypsea said:

Since starting the concertina I’ve taken a headlong fall into a rabbit hole of nautical nonsense. It started with shanties

With me, it was the other way round. At the age when other little boys dream of becoming engine-drivers, I dreamt of running away to sea! I could handle a dinghy on salt water before I could roller-skate (I can't roller-skate even yet). There came a time when I realised that a shore job was more desirable than seasickness 24/7, but when I took up a competitive sport, it was rowing. That was about the time that I took up the Anglo, with the intention of singing more sea songs (I already had enough instruments to accompany my landlubber songs!)

Cheers,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...